Taking the plunge into unknown and living the dream you always wanted is scary, challenging and rewarding at the same time.
In the pursuit of happiness you may change jobs, you may change countries, you may even change yourself. But always follow your heart! Read More
A little bit of history
“Whiskey Saigon” was my first blog, created in 2010 in order to keep in touch with my family, friends and coworkers during my four month Asia & Africa adventure.
More than 10 years ago I bought the domain name whiskeysaigon.com. I was looking for a good name, something catchy, exotic, that I can use it or sale it.
It happened to be the name of a well-known club in Toronto, no longer in business.
What is the “100 Travel Stories”?
The “100 Travel Stories” is a continuation and revamping of the old “Whiskey Saigon” travel blog with the addition of new trips and stories. Read More
The Story of the Photo and the Meaning of the Tibetan Prayer Flags
It was a sunny, but windy day up into the mountains, and the colourful prayer flags were winding against the backdrop of the blue skies with few white clouds. Down in the valley the rivers were flowing between the naked peaks. The flags bring colour and dynamism into the composition. Read More
Down the road I met many wonderful people, locals and other travellers, making my trips very enjoyable. Local people are more open to interact with you while travelling alone. A local friend is a treasured companion. He knows the culture of the place and he is your best guide. You also can find your friend online, before you go. Gifts from your country of origin are much appreciated. Read More
Welcome to Cambodia!
The border crossing between Vietnam and Cambodia was like being in an old movie: dragging my luggage for kilometers on unpaved, country road, along the Mekong River.
In the evening I arrived at Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. I took a walk on the streets and visited a market. No foreigners at all. I tried some grilled fish under the incredulous eyes of the locals. Not bad. I stopped for a beer and a chat with the locals on the side of a busy road. It was funny to see women wearing pyjamas on the street in a central area of Phnom Penh! Read More
The long way to Cambodia: from Saigon to Phnom Penh. It took me two days with boat through Mekong Delta and bus.
Sailing slowly through the Mekong Delta, I admired the scenery: fishermen, floating markets, houses on stilts.
The fishermen work in pairs: woman and man, in a small row-boat. The woman keeps the boat in position while the man throws the net into the water.
The floating market is quite something to watch. Read More
One thing I didn’t notice in other countries, is how intense and for how long the locals in Vietnam are watching me. I was uncomfortable at the beginning, but I am getting used now.
I think you can measure the level of excitement by the number of photos you take. And in the two days cruise to the Halong Bay I took a lot of photos.
3,000 limestone rocks rise like towers from the water and the view is stunning. Old ships called “junks” are sailing between rocks, and women with raw boats are selling drinks and food to the boats. Read More
So peaceful and tranquil, being in Luang Prabang is like going back in time! With lantern-lit streets, Indochinese architecture, French villas and the Mekong River, Luang Prabang is a place where I wish I can stay forever.
Most of the time I rode a bicycle, speeding through the city and passing motor-bikes, tuk-tuks and racing with the school children. Or walking through the streets and visiting the temples here.
The longest ride was 64 kilometers back and forth to the Tat Kuang Si Falls bringing back memories of long bike rides with my childhood friends… Read More
The City of Angels
Bangkok. What’s all about? What makes this city so mysterious? What Bangkok offers that Paris, Rome, London and New York lack?! It’s a city with a twist at every corner, a tropical paradise with an edgy reputation, with a hint of danger and excitement (paraphrasing from Frommer’s Bangkok Guide).
After Nepal and India, Thailand is a blessing. No more honking, no more hassles, no more begging, no more garbage. And the most important, the Thais are the friendliest people in the world! Read More
From Pokhara I joined the G Adventures tour to Delhi. Our first stop was the Chitwan National Park in a nice and quiet resort. We visited the elephant breeding centre and as always I broke free from the group and went in a village to take photos and talk with the villagers. The people in Nepal are very friendly and the kids always ask for photos. The houses are made from clay and cow dung. Agriculture is the main occupation. Read More
The 6 days Annapurna trekking in the Ghorepani – Poon Hill area was very succesful. My team was the number one attraction, thanks to my guide, a very nice, petite, sherpa girl. It is very rare to see a woman sherpa in a world dominated by men. Ang CeCi Sherpa did an excellent job and same kudos for my porter, Bishnu, a Nepali-Hindu boy. Read More
The dream for a round the world trip was growing in my subconscious for a very long time. But finally, here I am: one more week to the freedom! All this happened in September 2010, when I started my four-month trip from Canada to Asia and Africa via Europe.
Half of the trip was well-organized but the other half was “let’s see what the day brings”. Africa wasn’t planned, it just happened two weeks prior the departure and was a rush against time for the Gambian visa and Yellow Fever vaccination to meet Joyce, my Taiwanese muse… Read More
My first trip to Asia was to Hong Kong, in 2003.
I arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport (Chek Lap Kok) after 16 hours non-stop flight from Chicago. The flight path was going North, in an arch, with beautiful views of Greenland and Siberia, and coming South towards HK. I really enjoyed the journey and flying for the first time with a Boeing 747.
The new Chek Lap Kok airport is impressive, perfectly designed for the most efficient flow of passengers. You don’t even have to read the signage, and, voilà, in no time, you are boarding the double-decker bus to the city! Read More
Some places I’ve seen some time ago in Europe.
If you are between airplanes, take the city tour from the airport, or, if you have more time, take the train (a short ride from Schiphol airport) and enjoy Amsterdam! Amsterdam Red Light District (De Wallen) is the oldest part of Amsterdam and one of the main attractions. For tourists, strolling through the narrow alleys and seeing the prostitutes waiting for customers behind a glass door, is a unique experience.
Buna Ziua! (Good Day)
Romania is my native country and it deserves a lot more exposure. I was born in the beautiful city of Sibiu or Hermannstadt, Transylvania, near the Carpathian Mountains and very close to the Dracula’s Castle!
Romania is a country of extreme contrasts. Beauty and ugliness, luxury and poverty coexists somehow peacefully in an original democracy and a very, very wild capitalism. Welcome to the Wild West! Read More