Tuesday, March 31

Sri Lanka - One beautiful Island

So much bad history here the last 30 years but it's shaping up quickly! I didn't really know what to expect when coming here but it's surprisingly nice. Climate is great, people friendly, and super beautiful. I was a bit careful with the food because I thought it might be like India where I last time got a really bad food poisoning. That being said, I still have problems eating Indian food.

Landing 6am on Saturday morning...was actually pretty ok night flight. Got 3 seats for myself so was able to sleep the whole way. And it's warm! Good morning Ceylon!! 
Talked to a guy at my hotel, told him I wanted to see the city. He said OK for 30 USD he will take me around whole town whole day. Deal man 

Started at a few Hindi temples 

Downtown lake
 Independence monument and the presidents 
 Seaside with rail tracks next to it...But why? This could have been a perfect beach spot
 Avoiding local food so had lunch at a German place
 Saturday sunset, awesome! 

 Booked with the same guy for Sunday to take me out. We drove to Kandy and back. Stopped at many places on the way. Ecology farm, elephant farm, tea factory, temple and nice viewpoint restaurant.


Splash splash, I had no idea I was gonna get showered... 

The elephants have a nice park 
Light a fire for someone 

 Pool looks amazing at sunset! 
 A birds view of Kandy county, about 150 km from Colombo. Roads are really small and blocked. It takes about 7 hours to drive the small roads and traffic is aaaawfull
 Tea factory, I got some fine Ceylon tea for you mamma! 
 The irony...
 Cool rock on the mountain. Some tourist went there a few years ago and was robbed. Then they banned hiking there.
 Colombo downtown 
 Word Trade Center
 Someone has a shitty day when they come back to the car
 Wonder how the Hilton is here
 Logistics done right :) 
 This guy...I know I know I know I'm fabulous 

Monday, March 30

Shanghai in 23 hours

Just had time to get home and repack my bag, have a meeting, take care of some bills, go to a Suomi-ilta and then head off to Pudong airport. Was nice to see so many new Finns in Shanghai, many of the new students had come by the Trans Siberian train from Helsinki to Shanghai. Must have been an awesome trip, was thinking about doing it while I wasn't really working but it somehow didn't happen. Regret it now...Well, next stop Sri Lanka!

Pudong airport by night 
Airport coffee machine, what is a "China cup"? Haha we are in Shanghai after all 
 Bye bye rainy and cold Shanghai!! 
 Got lucky with the seat, plenty of space! 

Saturday, March 28

It's always Friday in Taipei

During Chinese new year almost all flights are booked to popular destinations...There are millions of Chinese traveling abroad during this time of the year because we have about 7 days of public holiday from work.

For many in China it is the only time of the year they can go home to see their family. Many parents work in big cities while the children are home with their grandparents in the home town. I can't imagine how it would be if I've only seen my parents around 10 times when I was 10 years old...

Had to take a flight to Taipei first before changing to another airliner to fly back to Shanghai. Everything else was booked, and this is something I fixed over 1 month in advance! Had a few hours extra to go out in Taipei for dinner with Timo. It's been years since we met, was nice seeing you buddy!

Beer, ribs, wings, cheese sticks. No need for aiplane food on my way to Shanghai! Besides, when flying China Eastern cannot really even call it "food". It's plain awful 
 Amazing ribs in smokey whiskey BBQ sauce 
 It's always Friday here !
 Nice massage chairs in the airport :) 

Friday, March 27

Phnom Penh horrors

Siem Rep was not anything I had imagined. So much tourists, bars, restaurants. I thought it would be very undeveloped and dodgy to be there. Well probably is if you move away from downtown areas but in the center it's no problem at all. Will come back someday, when season is lower...Time to fly to Phnom Penh! Took Ankor Airlines, it was so nice! It's a really new airline and they have really new planes. Better than Finnairs, but still not a member in any alliance. They said it was in negotiations, best of luck for that. It's seldom you get this good service on a plane these days..
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum...Pol Pot kept prisoners here, loads of killings and torture went on for years in this old elementary school building. Horrible stuff. The "rooms" you can see are tiny cells without any kind of running water, toilet or beds. Imagine a summer day here with 45 degrees, no food, constant beating, torture etc. How could this go on for 4 years? 

The Royal Palace skyline 
 Some happy memories too, choko fountain
Nothing better than a day by the pool in the sun 

Thursday, March 26

Siem Rep - Ankor Whaaaat? Finally here!

I've been planning on going to Cambodia very many times while living here in Asia but somehow it has never escalated. Now, finally it's happening! Time to see the famous Ankor Wat, Tomb Raider temple and other amazing buildings from the Khamer kingdom. It is truy fascinating how detailed the have crafted the temple and statues. And another reason, HOW did they manage to get all the stone blocks into the middle of the jungle. This project seems like one of Great Wall of China magnitudes. You really need to see this once in your life at least!

Bye bye beautiful Vietnam! See you very soon again :) 
Arrived in the night and took a walk around Siem Rep center...It was packed with bars, clubs and people! Beer cost less than a dollar here and food is awesome and cheaaaap. It begins well! 
Scented coconut...it did not taste very special 
Spice up your life
How about some seafood? It's been there in the 35 degree heat half of the day smelling like it's seen it's better days. How much can I get some shrimp for lady? 
Some of the less fun memories in Cambodia...Pol Pot and his socialist friends who killed about 40% of the whole population 1975 - 1979. Memorial for that.
Wat Preah Prom Rath temple 
We got up at 4.30 am to see the sunrise behind Ankor Wat. We were not alone....the place was flocking with hundreds of eager camera tourists...My advice is do NOT come here during high season...Half of China was here since it is the Chinese new year holiday (that's why I'm not working either). This is one of the "cooler" times of the year, summers must be like a sauna here since it's been 35+ now everyday. 

Wooooow!! But look at the next picture....was not the only one there
3, 2, 1, take your pictures!! 
Ankor Wat inner courtyard

 Ankor Thom

 Ankor Thom
  Ta Prohm - The Tomb Raider temple

 Killer tree
 Ankor whaaaaat?!?! Nothing, sit down and have a beer