Saturday, January 31
I'm now in the city that was destroyed by the huge earthquake last year. People still live in tents and schacks here and it's really something sad to see. Our first destination was a totally destroyed factory where over 600 people died...pictures added. The next day we went out to the most devastated part of Sichuan where over 90%of the village had been destroyed. The power of the eatrhquake was equal to 11 times the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The road to that place was non-excistent and it took some time to reach our destination. My arrival there gathered half of the village and everybody wanted to come and check out the foreign stranger...I could never put down in words how it looks in a place where everything has been destoryed so i'm just gonna post pictures and wish you all feel lucky to have a home and food each day...all people are not as lucky.
Wednesday, January 28
Today i've been a really good tourist! Got up at 6 and started driving to the Great Wall. We went to a place at the wall that is away from the usual tourist site, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Now in the New Years holiday few people visit the wall because its a custom to stay home with family. We walked on the wall over 6 hours, the picture probably describes our journey pretty well...
There is about 600 km of "Wild" Great Wall in Beijing which has never been rebuilt from its original state since ages ago. The wild area was closed but we passed the "wall-block" on the wall and got to see the original parts. It has really been an inhuman project to build the wall and drag all those stones up the mountain, god bless those hard working people who made this miracle.
Hooked up with Ville in Beijing a few days ago, Finland got re-inforcement! Good to talk some swedish once in a while.
I got my apartment a few days ago i didn't go there because there has just been so much for the new year. When we came to the apartment to do some cleaning, the key didn't fit the lock..huh? . The weird thing is that there was a sticker to the locksmith company on the door when we arrived that had not been there before. Was the lock broken or did the locksmith company use some serious good marketing by breaking the lock and then posting their number on the door to call them in case of a broken lock? We called the locksmith and a guy arrived in about 1h and we finally got into our own house, feels great to break into your own house the first time you visit it. The locksmith told us the lock had been broken by the key...dunno, this is China...
Monday, January 26
The year of the Ox is here and Chinese people are celebrating their New Year for 10 days. The new year holiday is spent with family and friends home eating dinners. Its much like our Christmas and the most important holiday here in China. I spent my new years eve with a chinese family eating all kinds of great chinese dishes and drinking Moutai, an exclusive 30 year old booze which cost at least 500 euro a bottle!
Each new year there is a traditional TV show that all Chinese watch, the show has dancing, comedy, important people talking etc, kinda like the tradition to watch LINNANJUHLAT back home...
After the show its time for the fireworks! The fireworks are meant to scare the evil monster "zi"away according to ancient traditions. I have to say that the Chinese really kick ass when it comes to fireworks! Beijing was like a warzone last night, firecrackers going off everywhere and the whole sky was lighted up for hours with bright beautiful fireworks!
There is also a tradition in China to give the younger generation Red Pockets filled with money. All relatives give their kids these red pockets and sometimes they can contain thousands of euros. I got my first red pocket this year :)
Saturday, January 24
Today i got myself an apartment in a really good location close to everything. Its about 75m2 and 3 rooms + kitchen for about 400 euros/month. I have an extra room if anybody feels like coming to China and visit a 6 start hotel :)
Tomorrow Beijing will be lighted up by fireworks because its the Chinese New Year!
Tomorrow Beijing will be lighted up by fireworks because its the Chinese New Year!
Friday, January 23
Greetings from a damn cold Beijing without snow like you lucky people back home at the moment have...Today i got the school papers settled and a few apartments checked. The first apartment was totally great! I was really close in sealing the deal if it hadn't had the toilet and kitchen connected and a terrible interior design, the owner (woman) looked totally like a guy. And i had some troubles with ladyboys in the past few weeks...
Never go shopping in Carrefour in China one day before the spring festival,never. Its like Hullut Päivät in Finland with x10 more people. It was exactly as the subway picture from Shanghai, except for no subway, just a looooot of shopping carts and screaming shop assistants, BUY BUY BUY, LOOKY LOOKY!!
The evening went more smooth and we stayed home steaming "baozi" which is typical a Chinese food with meat inside. Feels good to be home after 4 weeks out in the world, although the -10 degrees is not that appealing...
Thursday, January 22
Traffic, huge buildings and more huge buildings under constructions...this city has seriously grown a lot the past year! Took some pictures from The Bund today and the view from there is real nice! Now its time to pack the bags and return to cold Beijing. Should be around - 10 degrees there, something to see forward to...
Tuesday, January 20
Back from continental Asia! Shanghai gave its worse when arriving, we got a retarded taxi driver who had a “talking disorder” OR find our hotel and left us in the middle of nowhere. Turns out that the middle of nowhere was a construction site with nothing but dust more dust and shitty paths...After a painful 2h of dragging and pulling bags we hijacked a cab in the middle of the street (who started cursing us). When we arrived to the hotel they didn’t even have my reservation for the room, just awesome!
Anyway, feels good to be back to see good ol’ Shanghai! The huge buildings that were under constructions last year are done now and the world finance center is standing 571m tall. There is a bar on the 90th floor and views are really amazing from there.
Our old Min Yao Lu home had changed a little Niko and Jonas, there were a lot of constructions and many new buildings build just opposite our balcony on the “swamp”, so much for the great natural views we had. Shanghai your disgusting but I looooooove yoooooou!
Sunday, January 18
Went to an island outside Singapore called Sentosa: The most southern point of Continental Asia! Sentosa is full of beaches and the biggest Casino is Asia is being build here.
All you back there home, i hope you enjoy minus whatever degrees there are and enjoy the beach pictures! :)
Friday, January 16
Kuala Lumpur is one of the big growing financial cities in Asia. A lot of huge building complexes and traffic! The city is pretty dirty and it smells or vomit and other shabby things here and there.
We went out to check the nightlife with a group of Finnish people and had some Frogs on our way to the bar, taste like chicken. To my misfortune they required pants in the clubs where we had VIP tables reserved and I was wearing shorts, good going. I settled to go to an Ice Bar that had too loud music and was deserted. As a Finnish guy you can never have enough of that wonderful cold so after sipping my beer in a 0 degree room I decided I seen the nightlife of Kuala Lumpur...
The way back to Singapore didn’t go that smooth at all…I was put on the wrong buss and they drove me to some weird place called MELAKA..? I didn’t buy a ticket to Melaka but to Singapore! Anyway, this cost me an extra 4€ and 3 hours, could have been worse. This is one of those moments when Niko would say “Det är smällar man får ta I livet”. Thanks for the great slogan; it’s been helping me from time to time
The stupid picture was on the toilet door of the hotel in Kuala Lumpur (5 star hotel btw), guess we westerns need guidance on how the toilet works, hmmm....
Thursday, January 15
I have reached Kuala Lumpur today! Took a 6h ride with a buss to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore. The city is massive and buildings really tall here. Im staying with some friends in a 5 star hotel for free, we have a nice view from the 34th floor! There are about 30 other finnish people studying here. Feels weird to talk finnish again....Now to see what the nightlife has to offer, pictures will be posted later!
Wednesday, January 14
Today ive been walking around the city and taking photos of "stupid" signs. There are signs everywhere about fines if you do anything wrong...nobody dares to litter or spit here! Nobody is walking against red lights in the street either.
Went to a Museum with Asian history and they had all kinds of interesting things there. Original Maos red books and propaganda stuff from the cultural revolution in China. Traveling alone is kinda relaxing :)
Monday, January 12
Greetings from Singapore!
The small big super clean city is full of law. There are signs everywhere what you will be fined for if you do something illegal. The fine prices are 100, 500 or 5000 Singapore dollars. Littering will give the 100 dollar fee while bringing explosive things into the subway will give the 5000 dollar fee which is about 2500 euros....
I live in a small Hostel just next to the subway 4 stops from Downtown and share a room with 2 decent Brittish, only paying 8 euros a night for this :)
Sunday, January 11
Bangkok is a huge, crowded and busy city, never sleeps! Whatever you want can be found here! Huge fancy malls, street shops, night markets, red light districts like pat pong etc. The night markets sale “imitated products” like the locals like to call them. But apart from the fake stuff they have huge malls with super exclusive stuff like Gucci, Armani, and Chanel etc…
The king of Thailand is godlike and there are pictures of him everywhere, remember not to make jokes of him, some idiot Danish guy painted a mustache on his picture and got a 3 year prison sentence but he had it coming for being such an idiot.
Taxis and Tuk-Tuks want to take you everywhere and for tourists they always name a ridiculous price. Same goes for the shopkeepers in the street, if you don’t want to pay your ass off you better start managing those bargain skills, similar to China…Can be a little annoying from time to time.
We went to Bangkok’s highest tower called BAIYOKE TOWER; view of the city in the night was really beautiful. The view point on the highest floor (84th) of Baiyoke tower was actually closed in the night but we bribed the security guard with 4€ and he let us up on a private tour, picture added.
I had some local friends here who showed us around in Bangkok. We went to night markets and visited Chinatown of Bangkok. I think the Chinatown here looks like China did around 20 years ago, mess everywhere and covered with street kitchens, love it!
Last year I was in Bangkok it was much busier and more people around everywhere. Guess the credit crunch is taking its toll of tourist…
Friday, January 9
Today we went Carting for the second time. The carts go about 70km/h and the racetrack is about 400m long, muuuuch better than the ones in Finland and its an outside track, piture attached. Ilari won and Tofi was second, Seba 6/8. There were some Russians driving too but they totally messed up the cars and some of them didnt even finnish a singel lap until the car got busted! Good going! They also made us wait for a long time because they didnt know how to get into their cars...??? No wonder there are so many traffic accidents in Russia, you should have seen the race, it was great entertainment coz they seriously drove so bad....
Our tailor took us our for an Indian dinner today, it was the best Indian food i have ever eaten. Läckert!gyyd! Tomorrow heading for the Oriental city!
Thursday, January 8
....my wallet was stolen by some ladyboy, didnt lose much cash or any ID but loved that wallet...Need to find a similar one in the street market of Shanghai later this month! DAMN! I watch my stuff every 5 minute but they still did it somehow, be careful with ur stuff when coming to Pattaya!! ;)
Wednesday, January 7
We arrived back to Pattaya today, the busride took 8h instead of 4h. Our driver stopped god knows how many times at random places for no reason. Que? The highlight of our ride was the broken AC...AC was working ocasionally and 6 guys in a really damn tight Toyota Custom Special Hiace Wagon (sounds great but sucks) is no fun, no fun at all...Back at Ilaris place now, its great to sleep in a REAL bed without any insects, snakes or other things the nature provides...
Went out to an Island called Koh Chang, its also known as the elephant island coz it’s shaped like an elephant back. The island is covered with 80% of jungle and pretty tropical. Our hut C4 is located abuut 50m from the beach. The toilet is the smallest I’ve ever seen, walls are like paper and there is no warm water, but it’s cozy. We had visitors in our little beach hut by frogs, geckos and a big green snake (no idea if it was poisonous, but Ilari took care of the unwanted visitor in a most heroic manner like Indiana Jones takes care of snakes) and some kind of baboon monkeys in the backyard.
Today I went diving at a choral reef next to Koh Raang. The water was filled with colorful fish, plants and chorals! Beautiful! But diving in Koh Tao last year was better, if you go diving to Thailand, go to Koh Tao, it’s the divers island!
Everything’s damn cheap here, we had a huge dinner for 8 persons today with starters, double main courses and dessert for 48€. It’s even better than China prices, if u wanna live like a king and enjoy the summer that we never have in Finland, then go to Thailand!
Saturday, January 3
Today was an early wake up, went out with a speedboat to an Island outside Pattaya called Koh Laan. After lying in the sun for 5h i was pretty beat but so far i guess i managed to avoid sunburn...On the way back home there was a storm and it was a DAMN rocky ride, got pretty wet as well...Back home we had some great sushi and then it was time for some massage for my sore ass after the boatride for a whole 4€ 1h...Life is great here. Tomorrow morning we have a new destination to reach!
Friday, January 2
First day in Pattaya has passed. Was having a huge buffee breakfast for 2 euros today morning...the day starts well! Not much sun today but already got a little colour.
Pattaya is like a huge red light district 24/7. Girls are constantly trying to pull u into bars and clubs...But apart from that its VERY VERY cheap, food is great and beaches are beautiful. I live in a private apartment on the 15th floor and have a great Ocean view here, really beautiful (picture above!). In a few hours im gonna wake up and go to an island outside Pattaya, there we have some diving and sun-tanning waiting for us! Wish it was summer all year around!
Thursday, January 1
Seba has moved south. Today i arrived at Bangkok airport, a driver picked me up and suprice suprice, he didnt speak any english...But we got by and finally he took me to the right place. Im now staying in a nice private appartment in Pattaya on the 15th floor. The view is awesome here and its 27 degrees outside, gotta love Thailand! Pictures coming up later...