16 juni 2007

I'm Still Alive

Sorry about not updating for a while.
I've ended the motorbike trip without any serious injuries and gone back through Vietnam with stops in Da Nang, Nha Trang and Saigon to finally return to Singapore.
After getting back to Singapore, I went over to Malaysia to see James, a guy I learned to know in Sweden when we did our master studies together.

I'll update with more details and photos from the rest of the trip.

03 juni 2007

Dirt Roads of Laos

I ended up going back to Vientiane to get a dirtbike to explore the northern part of Laos more independently. Once there I ran in to an English guy, Henry, with the same plans. So here we are, on two Hondas exploring the more remote parts of Laos.

Yesterday was our first day on the roads, going from Viantiane to Tha Thom (a small village without electricity way out in the bush) via Paksan.
We managed to get to our destination not to long after dawn, and without running out of gas, but I have to admit that the road there were in much worse condition than I had thought. After a day including falling off, passing rivers with meter high water and get stuck in the mud we had a good nights sleep before todays adventure going up to Phonsavan.

On the way to Phonsavan we stopped by to see some of the jars at the famous Plain of Jars, an area covered with hundred of jars from the stone age and probably thousands of unexploded ordnances from the U.S. two million tons bombardments.

31 maj 2007

Vientiane and Vang Vien

After a cramped bus ride over night to Vientiane, the not so very busy capital of Laos, I spent a day there, to see some more temples and visiting the morning market.
There is not much to do in Vientiane, so I decided to go to Vang Vieng, a way more happening place north of the capital. The last few days have been filled by tubing in the river and in caves, caving and kayaking. The main attraction here besides the amazing landscape are the swings out in the river, where tourists who go tubing down stops by for a drink, smoke and to play around.

26 maj 2007

Laos - Savannakhet

After spending the whole day travelling from Hue I finally arrived in Savannakhet, Laos. Even that I had paid for air conditioned tourist bus, the one waiting on the other side of the boarder was the one in the picture. This small town, Savannakhet, in southern Laos looks like a ghosttown, with abandoned old buildings in french colonial style it could just have been an almost abandoned town in Lousiana.
The big difference from Vietnam is that people here are more friendly (not that aggressive when it comes to offering services or selling stuff) and they take every opportunity to speak some English with foreigners. Overall Laos feels more relaxed than Vietnam and will hopefully be a pleasant stay.

25 maj 2007

Hoi An and Hue

Yesterday was spent in Hoi An, a charming city filled with tailors. I spent the day walking Hoi An Old Town, a Unesco World Heritage site, followed by a bicycle trip on the country side, that eventually ended at the beach instead of the Pagodas.
Hoi An is a really nice city that I have to return to on my way back to Saigon, if not for the cheap tailors so for the ice cream and cafes.

Today I arrived in Hue, another historical city that used to be the political capital. I've been walking around the old citadel and seen the Imperial Enclosure, with the forbidden purple city and the old town.

23 maj 2007

Nha Trang - Diving

Yesterday was a good day, my cold got better so I could finally go diving. Diving around the islands outside of Nha Trang was a pleasant experience, the corals were quite nice and an abundance of smaller fishes.
Today I've spent the day at the beach waiting to take off for Hoi An, a ten hours bus ride up north during the night. I plan to spend a day or two there before I head for Hue then into Laos.

20 maj 2007

Nha Trang

Today I travelled from Mui Ne to Nha Trang, another beach resort. There are more people here than in Mui Ne, but still not crowded. Probably as many prostitutes as tourists roaming the streets, so one can definitely tell that it's not the peak season.
Nha Trang is supposed to be a good place for diving, and due to the lack of tourists the prices seem to be quite competitive. Unfortunately I got a cold or allergic reaction yesterday, so my nose is completely congested, so diving tomorrow is no option. Hopefully a good nights rest and vitamin cocktails will get me better until Thursday.

Another thing is that I found out that I'm only allowed to stay in Vietnam for 15 days instead of 30, meaning that I need to leave the country for a while. I haven't decided whether I'll go to China for a few days or doing a part of the back trace through Laos instead of back through Vietnam down to Saigon.

18 maj 2007

Mui Ne

Today I got to Mui Ne, a small town famous for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Unfortunately there is no wind now, and the forecast let us know that it wont come for the next days. The beach here is really nice and it's not crowded at all. So let's hope for a sunny day tomorrow.
(edit: The pictures from around Mui Neh, was taken during the 19th)

Cao Dai Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels

Today's been an intense day visiting a mass at the multi religious Cao Dai Temple and Viet Cong's Cu Chi Tunnels, which played an important role in the Vietnam war. Tomorrow I'm planning on travelling some four hours up the coast for some water sports and sun.

For those of you who don't really know where I've been, take a look at the map above and try to locate Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon in the south.

16 maj 2007

Vietnam - Saigon

After spending some really nice relaxing days in Singapore meeting up with all friends and tried to pick up windsurfing again it was finally time to get on, to Vietnam.

I arrived yesterday (15th) to Ho Chi Minh City, where I'm writing this right now.
The Vietnam rip off started off before arriving here, when Jetstar refused to check me in because I didn't have a return ticket, and thereby forced me to go buy one. This means that I have to come back to Saigon when going back to Singapore instead of taking off from Hanoi, but since my plans are quite flexible this should not be that much of a problem. Fortunately I arrived an hour in advance so I just made it before the gate closed.
I'm now staying in a fairly cheap mini hotel at Pham Ngu Lao, the backpacker place in Saigon, which is like a mini Th Khao San Road. Today I've been walking around the city center and been to the war remnant museum. I've also been to various markets: Ben Tanh Market, the Hong Kong Market and the Chinese Market. I took a cyclo tour to the Cholon area outside the city center, China town and to a lot of temples.
Once I find a computer that works better I'll try to upload some photos.

Finally I have to let you know that everything is great, and to spend five weeks in this country shouldn't be any problem at all.

03 maj 2007

Exam's Over

Now it's done, no more exams - finito. Unfortunately this also means that there will be no more Singapore. Without having too high expectations I think I did quite good on the papers, at least if they can read what I've been writing and can open the answer book that I accidentally soaked in coke.
The plan for the future is to travel more of Southeast Asia, probably Vietnam and maybe Myanmar (Burma). But until I find a cheap ticket I will enjoy my time here in Singapore.

19 april 2007


My friends thought it was a real shame that I hadn't seen one of Singapore's most exciting places: Geylang!
Therefore Alvin, Alda, Zenhan, (left picture) Weisiong, Yanqing and Yijie (right picture) took me there. Geylang is famous for its good food. We had some really nice food, for the first time of my life I tried to eat frog legs with porridge. For dessert we went on to have fermented bean curd, which is not so bad after all.
We also took the tour to see what else there is to do in the area. One of the activities is reconstructed by Alda and Zenhan in the picture to the right.

18 april 2007

Exam Studies

Life abroad is not only free time, vacations and parties. After some time the inevitable exams comes up and procrastination is no longer an option. Some two weeks are more or less dedicated to studying for the (hopefully) four last exams of my life. The papers here are slightly different from what I'm used to; the time constraints are harder, you only have two hours per paper instead of five, of course with fewer question, so you have to carefully watch how much time you spend on each of them.
Fortunately I found some nice people who I can study with and to help me keep up the work. We stay in room with air-condition that the Singaporeans just love to crank up to create something like permafrost and a freezing exchange student.

14 april 2007

Back in Singapore

After only a week of Thailand's sun I had to go back to Singapore to write a test and to start study for the upcoming exams. From Phuket Airport I flew to Kuala Lumpur from where I, after some struggles, managed to get on a bus back to Singapore.
When my parents returned here we did some touristy stuff as taking the tour boat on Singapore river and visiting Orchard Road, Little India and Arab Street.
Since my parents found out that they have their 30th anniversary this year we decided to go to have a lobster dinner and get a feel of the old colonial Singapore at the famous Raffles Hotel.
Before they left we also experienced the "monkey business" in Singapore while trying to buy a camera at Sim Lim Square.

See more photos here

07 april 2007

Koh Phi Phi with my Parents

After exploring Phuket we decided to go over to Koh Phi Phi, an island in between Phuket and Krabi in the Andaman sea. We spent one day on a snorkeling trip going in one of the famous long tail boats. Between the banana pancakes and milkshakes we went to see some of the more remote beaches on the island. Unfortunately I had to leave early to write a test, but my parents continued their Tahiland trip for another week. After Koh Phi Phi they went to Ko Lanta and further up to Ao Nang, Krabi, before returning to Singapore.

See more photos here

04 april 2007

Phuket With My Parents

We left Singapore in the late afternoon and arrived in Phuket at dinner time. We stayed the first night in Patong, but didn't really like it. Therefore we decided to rent some motorbikes to travel around the peninsula. During the next days we went to Karon, Kata, Chalong and many other nice places around the southern part of Phuket. We didn't spend that much time on the beaches since it took some time for two of us to get used to the sun after a few months of winter.

See more photos here

02 april 2007

My Parents in South East Asia

After not having seen my parents for about nine months, they decided to go see me instead. They flew to Singapore to spend a night here before the three of us continued to Phuket in Thailand.