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!
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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
The “Sex Museum” is a rarity in the world, and you will be shocked of what you see there.
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!