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秘魯懷古徒步印加古道(2009)-下編

Arequipa

離開馬丘比丘,馬不停蹄乘夜車轉到Arequipa。這裡雖然是有百萬人口的秘魯第二大城市,但並不覺得擠迫繁囂。在舊城區內,美麗的歷史建築物圍繞著市中心廣場,市內的景點都可以從廣場步行到達。一會在廣場閒坐看遊人,一會到附近行人街購物喝咖啡,甚為寫意。在Arequipa見到的人是本地人為主,不像庫斯科滿是遊客,所以這城市亦更有實感。


Plaza de Armas

El Misti火山聳立在市外

在Arequipa我最期待的景點是Museo Santuarios Andinos。九十年代在Arequipa附近的Ampato火山頂發現了幾具被冰封的印加兒童木乃依,這項發現令人開始了解印加以活人祭祀山神的風俗,揭開了研究活動和以後一連串的高山考古發現。這具木乃依就隨發現她的考古學家的名字命名為Juanita,現在存放於Universidad Católica de Santa María的Museo Santuarios Andinos內展出。我讀過考古探險家Johan Reinhard九十年代在國家地理雜誌發表的一連串有關木乃依的文章,對她早有印象。今日有機會一睹Juanita之面目,所以特別期待。


Museo Santuarios Andinos

參觀時先看一套國家地理雜誌製作的紀錄片了解背景。祭祀通常是因為發生了大天災後,祭師以小孩作貢品以息神怨。祭師通常要挑出身貴族,完美無瑕的小孩子,被選中的家庭相信會感到榮耀而非悲傷。祭禮從庫斯科的大遊行開始,從那裡祭祀隊伍展開漫長的征途,最後登上如Ampato般高達6300公尺的高峰。祭師在峰頂設立祭壇作祭禮,就在那裡把人間最珍貴的貢品小孩子獻給天神。

放映紀錄片後學生導遊在幾個展覽館向我們介紹展品,有從陵墓出土的陪葬品,又有從木乃依身上小心解拆出來的上等衣物。不少是我曾在相片見過,似曾相識的物品。Juanita放在最後一個館一個雙層玻璃隔著的冰箱裡面,她的軀體比我想像中細小,在昏暗的燈光下實在看相片還要比看實物清楚。無論如何,從當初登上高山,經歷了五百多年後才下山回到城裡,Juanita實在經歷了一段不可思議的旅程。

Colca Canyon

在Arequipa悠閒地過了兩天,又要再活動了。Colca Canyon位於Arequipa西北約160公里,是世界最深的峽谷之一。我們深入峽谷一千多公尺,渡過Colca河對面,在與世隔絕的小村留宿,然後一鼓作氣從谷底爬千多公尺出來。Colca Canyon氣候乾燥,沿途多見仙人掌之類植物,與馬丘比丘的茂林相比又是一番不同的景象。


遊客聚集在Cruz Del Condor期待看到禿鷹飛越

深入Colca Canyon

行吊橋渡河

即使在簡陋的農村,伙食也不能隨便

上來時偷懶,僱了一頭驢子幫我們背行李上來

早上在峽谷還是熱騰騰的,下午回程時竟在山上下了一場雪,也不顧天冷下車賞雪去

秘魯懷古徒步印加古道(2009)-上編

2014.05.16 [] - comments

 

秘魯懷古徒步印加古道(2009)-上編

原載於旅遊人生討論區


第一次到南美旅遊,剛剛從秘魯回來。徒步從印加古道(Inca Trail)走了四天去迷城馬丘比丘(Machu Picchu)朝聖。又遊覽了遍地都是古蹟和殖民式建築的庫斯科(Cusco)。然後去了富歷史色彩的城市Arequipa,還爬落世界其中一個最深的峽谷Colca Canyon。短短兩星期上山下山跑了多處,又受盡高原反應影響,這次旅程可算是辛苦。不過這亦讓我更切身地體驗壯麗的安第斯山脈和見識南美古文明的遺跡,使我得到一個難忘的經歷。


利馬市中心的行人商店街Jirón de la Unión

La Casa Courret

這次旅行可謂出師不利,臨出門前染病在家躺了幾天(我猜是染了豬流感),幸而上機前及時病愈。COPA/Continental機票是我用很平的價錢買到的,但代價是一個極差的行程。從三藩市出發到利馬,再轉Taca機到Cusco前後一共用三十小時,更甚的是當中包括連續兩晚通宵。在我多年旅遊經驗當中這航程算是最差的,直可與我在中國坐硬坐火車之苦相比。原本我是一個很易入睡的人,預算在三十小時之中會盡量去睡。但是不長不短每程三四小時的航機共有四班,美國機場候機室的長凳又用乞人憎的扶手隔開,令人無法躺下。第二天半夜到了利馬,入境竟然要大排長龍,入境以後清早起飛的Taca又未開始Check-in。所以第二個夜晚只能糊糊圖圖在機場Food Court熬過。明早到了Cusco以後倒頭就上了旅店的大床睡,睡到中午才勉強跑出去活動。


從Miraflores觀懸崖和海灘

印加帝國以庫斯科為首都,於十五,六世紀驟然擴張,版圖包括今日的哥倫比亞、厄瓜多爾、秘魯、玻利維亞、智利、阿根廷等地,成為一個綜橫南美州的龐大帝國。然而其全盛時期只有百多年,十六世紀被西班牙人入侵,印加帝國又驟然滅亡了。

印加國土主要在安第斯山脈,四處盡被崎嶇的山嶺阻隔。為了統治這遼闊的領土,印加王國建設了一個四通八達的道路網絡,使人和貨物得以跨越山嶺流通。又在途中設立不少驛站,以便通訊。印加的工程技術非常高明,這些在陡坡上用石頭鋪成的道路和梯級,經歷了幾百年的使用和暴雨沖擊,到了今天有不少路段仍在。其中一段路通往馬丘比丘,每年有不少遊客專誠到裡,跟隨古人的腳步用數天時間徒步往馬丘比丘探訪。


The Temple of the Sun, Písac

高原缺氧,上這段梯級甚為吃力(Písac)

這段印加古道長約43公里,高低起伏的路徑最高點達到4200m,而最低點是高於2400m的終點馬丘比丘,全程分4日3夜完成。除了地勢外,更因為高原低氧的氣候,對體能有一定的考驗。古道沿途經過不少村落和印加遺跡,盡覽壯麗山色,這可算是一條數一數二的遠足路線。


印加古道高度示意圖(from Llamapath)
旅程頭三天在古都庫斯科渡過,一方面四處遊覽,另一方面讓身體慢慢適應高原氣候。印加的建築技術實在精巧,庫斯科四處可見印加遺下的石牆地基。西班牙人摧毀了印加建築物,在遺下的地基上蓋上自己的房子和教堂,那些地基到了今日還是很穩固。Sacsayhuaman的建築實在令人嘆為觀之,石牆由一塊塊龐然巨石切成,居然可以做到天衣無縫,更不需用水泥連結。

庫斯科街景

Sacsayhuaman

庫斯科菜通常都由一度美味的湯開始,主菜總有各種不同的粟米和馬鈴薯。我吃過羊駝肉,味道有點像羊。連特產天竺鼠也吃過,只是可吃的肉並不多。其實我在庫斯科幾天受高原反應影響胃口都不好,每餐都是勉強地吃完。

庫斯科海拔3310公尺,初到那裡的人可能會有高原反應,但每人反應不一。我和我朋友算是受影響大,那幾天一直都覺得有點頭痛,食慾不振。我們已盡量慢慢的走路,其實想走得快也走不來。過了兩天我覺得已漸漸適應了,怎料第三晚才來大發作,頭痛得厲害,一點飯也吃不下,只有回旅店睡,希望明早出發往印加古道時可以應付得來。

本地人推薦以古柯葉coca製品來對抗高原反應,最常有的是古柯茶,亦可以嚼古柯葉,還有用古柯製葉成的糖。這些所有製品我全都試過,對我是否有用就不可已知了。


Coca candy味道苦澀

向印加古道出發

第四日清早,帶了輕便的行裝和睡袋到廣場集合,從那裡開了兩小時車到Ollantaytambo。印加古道的起點就在Urubamba河谷旁。吃過早餐,外面早晨天朗氣清,踏過鐵路走到磅礡的Urubamba河岸,河水流過連綿的山巒。這裡的美景令我的心情大好,昨晚的頭痛已消去,而且這裡的高度只有2700多公尺,所以暫時沒有因高原空氣而不適。


Urubamba河

遊客到此必須參加合格的遠足團,團費雖然是貴一點,但是待遇很不俗。營幕和煮食用具等重擔都由挑夫運送,自己只要背著衣服和私人用品,沿途聽導遊介紹風光歷史。一身疲勞來到營地時,挑夫早已把營幕豎立好,還預備好茶點款待,三餐豐富的飲食也包括在內。我們一團共有11人,另有15個挑夫和兩個導遊,比遊客還要多一半。


出發前先來一張團體合照

開始時我們沿著河岸而行,途中經過數處印加古蹟可以隔河遙望。沿途亦經過一些小村,甚至有茶寮向遊客賣汽水。中午我們在一條小村落腳,由隨團大廚給我們煮一餐美味的午膳。休息過後向第一晚的營地進發。


在營幕內豐富的膳食

途上遇上一隊羊駝

照導遊所說,第一天的行程算是熱身,路程長度和攀登高度都比第二日少,海拔亦較低,應該不難應付。但我覺得這山路越行越陡峭,人越走越慢,費盡氣力捱到營地是已是黃昏,真擔心明天是否能應付攀越4200公尺山口的挑戰。


筋疲力盡

沿印加古道而行,每隔不遠就會遇到一處遺蹟。這些建築物多數是建在山崗上或是懸崖邊,堅固的厚石牆大都保存完好。身處高峰之上雲霧飄渺之間,這些古建築大有天空之城的感覺。它們通常都是多用途建築,既是用於通訊和住宿的驛站,儲存糧食的倉庫,也是可觀察軍情的瞭望台。大規模的遺蹟還有房子作長期定居和有梯田作耕種。


Runkuraqay

Wiñay Wayna之門

我們第二天的行程是最長最有挑戰性,首先要攀越全程最高點4200公尺的Dead Woman's Pass,從離營地出發大概要爬1000公尺。本來我平日有適量運動,爬1000公尺並不難。但在4000公尺的高山空氣稀薄,行動特別吃力。偏偏我們這一隊人除了我和我朋友外,其他人都是二十來歲年青力壯的小伙子。他們一早就遠遠超前,我們殿後的就隨自己的步伐緩緩向上爬。我們也不知用了多久居然也爬了上去,更可幸是今天我沒有被我最擔心的高原反應影響。本來我們全隊人準備在山口慶祝一番,但就在我們到達時天下了一陣大雹,大得打到臉上也覺得痛。於是大家連忙下山去,甚麼慶祝拍照也不管了。


向Dead Woman's Pass進發

這段印加古道多數用石頭鋪成,上下山坡則建了大級的石級,人們就是靠這些建設才可翻越陡峭的安第斯山。今天的問題是一場雨後石級變得濕滑,在這段下山路我跌了十來次。這還是靠我有一支行山棒支持,否則可能連山也下不了要召救兵。其他朋友如果有興趣這段徒步旅程,行山棒是必備用具。


在雨中沿印加石級下山

Dead Woman's Pass只是今天的第一關,午飯後我們還要翻越高4000公尺的第二關才可到達營地。我只是憑著一股耐力,一步一步向上爬,每隔一小段路就坐一坐休息。印加古人可能一輩子習慣在山道跑上跑下,見我這些外人來到,在笑我們真不濟。走到下午五點,我終於到達營地完成今日一整天的行程。


營地

踏足馬丘比丘

第四天早上大家四點鐘起來用早點,再拔營向馬丘比丘進發。今天大家不知為甚麼都好像在賽跑,走得特別快。走到檢查站還要等到五點半才開門,我們是第二隊到達的隊伍。從檢查站再走數公里就來到Sun Gate,在雲霧之間馬丘比丘第一次展現在我們眼前了。


Sun Gate之團體照

馬丘比丘之絕景,嘆不枉此行

馬丘比丘建於十五世紀印加王朝的高峰期,其建築和佈局都是精心設計建造。學者認為那裏是進行宗教典禮的場所,亦是王族的離宮,還有可能是印加精英的學院和研究農業技術的實驗農場。然而它在建立一百年後西班牙人入侵時候被人遺棄了,這座山城慢慢被森林掩沒,此後逐漸被人遺忘。多年來西班牙人亦沒有發現此城,因此馬丘比丘才沒有像其他印加遺蹟一樣被劫掠和破壞,至今還保留得完好。1911年歷史學家Hiram Bingham來到這裡探險,他原意是尋找歷史中記載的另一個迷城Vilcabamba,那是印加失陷於西班牙軍隊的最後據點。但他卻在村民引導之下發現馬丘比丘,就是這樣這座宏偉的山城才被世人認識。


糧倉和梯田

馬丘比丘的面積頗大,我們隨導遊參觀幾個主要的建築群和宗教祭祀的場所。馬丘比丘當地有一個石礦場,從那裡我們對印加石匠破石和打磨的技術有了一點了解,亦可見馬丘比丘當時是個一仍在建造中的城市。城中有一條貫通全城的長樓梯,樓梯旁有一條用石鋪成的水泉,泉水源源不斷地流出。我常奇怪一個文化怎麼會在險峻的崇山之中發展起來,其中原因可能是那裡有肥沃的土壤和充足的水源。


馬丘比丘水泉

第一部分在印加腹地的旅程在此結束,以後幾天轉到秘魯南部城市Arequipa和Colca Canyon遊覽。

秘魯懷古徒步印加古道(2009)-下編

2014.05.15 [] - comments

 

Happy Meal

McDonalds

We paid $33 adult fare for the ferry ride to Discovery Bay, only to find ourselves dining in the McDonald's there. We even feed our baby McDonald's food. Here is the photographic evidence of bad parenting.

2012.06.13 [] - comments

 

Highway Network

Have you wonder why a highway is designed like this? Let's say you are driving from a large city A to a large city B. Between them is a mid size city K. Now city A and B are major economic center and travel destinations. City K is none of that. It is yet another non-descript city. Everyone seems to heading to city B. There seems little reason for anyone to stop in city K.

Highway Design 1

The traffic on the highway was free flowing. Yet as you approach city K, local traffic starts to fill up the highways. the It gets to a point when everything comes to a crawl. You curse at the traffic. Then you wonder why must the intercity highway go through city K at all? Why doesn't it just bypass it so that travelers between A and B can have a smoother trip?

Highway Design 2

I have wondered about this for a long time. Now I have a theory. Roads are built for people. Where there are more people traveling, more investment will be made to build roads. This should make pretty good sense.

Now which kind of traffic have higher volume? Intercity traffic between A and B or local traffic in K? Despite your intuition that everyone seems to travel between A and B, there are actually more local traffic in city K. This is demonstrated by the fact that traffic is free flowing between A and B but clogged within city K. Therefore more funding will be allocated to build roads for residents of city K and not a bypass. Since intercity travelers are the minority, they will not be better off than the local residents of city K.

2010.07.10 [, ] - comments

 

Brief Trip to Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a major Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong. It is a vibrant economic power house, home to the Shenzhen stock exchange and many top-tier technology firms. With 9 million residents, its population has surpassed Hong Kong despite its short history of about 30 years only.

Although I grew up next door in Hong Kong, somehow I have never visited Shenzhen (besides using it as a jump off point to other parts of China). Yesterday I have an opportunity to take a dip into the city. It was an unplanned trip. I know nothing about the layout of the city. I have not even bother to purchase a map since it is only going to be a few hours. Instead I just trust my instinct. I jumped on the metro and managed to emerge in the heart of the central business district.

Shenzhen business district
Shenzhen Business District
Upscale Shopping Mall
Upscale Shopping Mall

It was more than 10 years since my last visit to China. During the time the economic and urban development of China has make huge stride. I want to witness the extend of development myself. If a cityscape of glass-clad office towers and upscale shopping mall is an indicator, Shenzhen has surely joined the rank of world class cities. The Central City Shopping mall is as good as any great mall in the world. Satisfied with what I saw, I decided to move on.

According to the map in the metro station, there is a large garden outside of the mall. I set off to explore it. The garden is separated from the mall by a wide boulevard. In order to access it, it seems I have to get on an elevated walkway. But how do I access the walkway?? This has become an unexpected challenge for me. I walk in and out and around the mall before I finally found the unobvious access to the rooftop garden.

Central Park
Central Park

The park is an oasis in the large city. It is well manicured with stylish fixtures that any city will be proud of. It is also a great refuge for birds and a delightful place to hear their chirping. There is only one issue though. The park is eerily devoid of people. I mean this is a prime real estate in the center of a metropolitan. Where is everybody? New York's Central Park it is not, all I can see is just a sea of green. Perhaps no one is as foolish as me to go outdoor under midday's summer heat. But I suspect this is not the only problem. Perhaps the park's access difficulty has challenged not only me but also the locals.

Shenzhen Cultural Center
Shenzhen Cultural Center

I went out to see the soaring architecture of the Shenzhen Cultural Center on the other side of the park. I figure the building is too far for me to walk to. So my goal is to find a vintage point to take a good picture. This require a long walk through some confusing pathway in an empty park. But the walk just keep getting longer without going anywhere. Many times I have considered to give up my pursuit. This will be a slap in my face since I pride myself in my wayfinding skill. When I finally reached the edge of the park, I found a boulevard and the cultural center in a distant. Nice architecture. But there seems no way for me to continue the walk. It is not even an inviting landscape for a pedestrian. I just took my picture and then walked back.

By now I have spent a fair amount of time walking under the sun. I need to return to civilization to grab my lunch. But there are more long trek before I have finally reached a shopping center and its food court. I finally got a sense of Shenzhen's cityscape. It is a new city done in grand scale, wide boulevards, monument buildings and huge parks. But it is not a livable city that I enjoy.

Las Vegaseque Sheraton Hotel
Las Vegaseque Sheraton Hotel

You can tell I was getting cranky. The lousy Chinese fast food I have had did not help either. I rushed back to the Hong Kong side to end this short trip.

2010.06.30 [, ] - comments

 

Bound for Perú

I am off to a vacation to Perú shortly. I was hit by flu in the last few days. So my preparation is somewhat interrupted. I hope the trip will be smooth from now on.

2009.10.31 [, ] - comments

 

Peak to Peak Walk

Last Saturday I have joined WalkSF in their annual Peak to Peak Walk. We gathered the starting point at West Portal. It was sunny when I took off from the east side. Who would have expected it was actually drizzling in West Portal! We headed out to the wood in Mount Davidson and then Twin Peaks and over a series of hills in San Francisco. When we have arrived on Twin Peaks, we were right at the edge of the morning fog. The scenery change from instance to instance. One moment we saw the Sutro Tower floating in the air, a moment later it was hidden by fog. I find such scenery magical. I have also visited the beautiful campus of USF for the first time. The walk ended in Coit tower where we have a small picnic.

2009 Peak 2 Peak Walk

I was also using this walk as a training opportunity for my upcoming trekking trip in Peru. I carried a backpack with 20 pounds weight the entire day. I don't know if this is a significant factor, but I was really tired at the end of the day.

2009.10.27 [, ] - comments

 

Angkor Travel

I have spent this evening travelling in the ancient city of Angkor. Unfortunately I am not able to set foot in this land yet. Instead I have visited Angkor virtually using Google Earth from my home. It is a small pity that I wasn't going there personally. But what an incredible experience does Google Earth provide! The aerial image gives me so much intelligence on this distance land that even travelling on the ground cannot achieve. He go here.

All this was prompted by an article on the collapsed of Angkor on the current issue of National Geographic. I launched Google Earth to find an image of modern day Angkor to compare with the illustration of a historical map. The glory of the 13th century city is still clearly visible from the satellite.

Angkor aerial view

The square at the center is the site of the ancient capital Angkor Thom, now filled with dense jungle in dark green color. The surrounding area are fields with little population. Siem Reap to the south is the only population center today. The most striking features on the map are several large rectangles. I have labeled three of them, the West Baray, East Baray and North Baray. They are actually enormous reservoir built in ancient time. The largest one West Baray measures 2 x 8 km. Today they are mostly filled up. There are still water in the west side of West Baray. Otherwise they are filled will fields. There are even roads and houses built within the Baray. National Geographic has suggested the failure of this water system during a mega-drought period is one reason for the decline of Angkor.

You can also find clusters of blue dots on the image. They point to pictures uploaded by users. These are actually enormously useful information. First of all you cannot fully understand the area by looking at the aerial picture alone. The user pictures give you detail ground level view and help you to understand some geographic features spotted from the sky. Secondly it tells you where tourists are going! An area with a dense cluster of blue dots are picture worthy places. This is an instant travel guide constructed automatically!

Since Google Earth has come out a few years ago, it has helped me so much in learning about places and geography. It is a really revolutionary tools!

2009.07.03 [, ] - comments

 

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park

We had a nice walk in the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland this Sunday. The park is just a narrow strip of land fronting the bay amid the busy Oakland container port. But this strip of land and the marshland has the best location. It has great open feel and the bay view is exceptional. This area used to be used by industrial and militarily before it was turned into a park just a few years ago. Now it has become a little known gem in the East Bay. [more...]

2009.04.14 [] - comments

 

Travel Map

I have a lot of fun with this Travel Map application. It allows you to mark on a map all the place you have travelled to. I have diligently checked off every town I have visited whether it is big or small. It ended up with just over 200 places so far! Well the number is really a little be inflated because I have check off dozens of small communities within two hours drive from my home in California. Still it is a fun exercise. [more...]

2007.11.01 [] - comments

 

St Lucia

Just came back from a vacation from St Lucia. The sun and water is great. But it is a little crazy for me to bring my toddler son to the Caribbean island on a 14 hours trips over a total of 5 legs of flight. In anycase he did well on the plane and was asleep most of the time. We have a good time on the beach and going to boat tours. Our trip pictures are now online! [more...]

2007.10.12 [] - comments

 

Safe travel destinations?

When I am planning for travelling, especially to some more exotic destinations, the discussion is often steered toward the question - Is it safe? The underlying concern is the place maybe crime infested or perhaps an active target of terrorism. To the more experienced travellers this is often rejected as an undue concern. The standard rebuff is New York and LA has a higher crime rate than that of the destination. [more...]

2007.09.20 [] - comments

 

Home Coming - Asia Trip 8/8

About 150 km to the west of Guangzhou is a rural community known as the village of Tung's clan. This is my ancestral homeland, the place where my father was born and raised. Although he has left for Hong Kong with a few brothers and sisters when he was young, they still maintain strong connection and return regularly to the village. On the other hand I am an urban boy born and raised in Hong Kong. I known very little about the village besides the occasional stories from my parents. I have only make one visit when I was small. I remember very little about the trip beside an impression that the village is a dirty place. [more...]

2007.09.03 [, ] - comments

 

China - Asia Trip 7/8

Yunnan 云南

From the border town Hekou, I took an overnight train to Kunming, the capital city of the Yunnan province. Unfortunately the sleeper tickets have already sold out. So I have to sit tight in the hard seat coach for 16 hours. Fortunately this train was not crowded and it turned out to be not as tough as I expected. This section of railway is one of the most scenic routes people ever built. The train twisted slowly along the beautiful canyons, going through many bridges and tunnels in this mountainous terrain. I was marveled by the scenery until the night has fallen. [more...]

2007.03.04 [, ] - comments

 

Flight Over The Arctic

My flight to Hong Kong arch over the Bering Strait and the wilderness of Russia. I caught some incredible view of arctic sea ice. Click the pictures to see larger images.

2007.01.25 [] - comments

 

Vietnam - Asia Trip 6/8

Hué

After a long day's travel from Laos, my arrival in Hué was rather dismal. Feeling tired from the toil from a full day of traveling, I arrived in an unfamiliar place late at night but still have not found a place to stay. I was very hungry. The only food I had for the entire day was the small breakfast of Laos pork bun in the morning. Moreover I did not have any local currency in my pocket. A cyclo driver has picked me up. Helplessly, I let him circle the streets to find me an hotel. I was not very pleased with the gloomy guesthouse I ended up in. [more...]

2007.01.22 [, ] - comments

 

Laos - Asia Trip 5/8

Vientiane

I have crossed the bridge into Laos with Matthew, whom I have met in Nong Khai. We have shared a room in Vientiane and traveled together. The capital of Laos is more like a provincial town. The city is uncrowded with only low rise buildings, small shops and quiet streets. Most of the city is small enough to reach by foot. Here you would not find any pushy vendors or persistent hagglers like those in Thailand. Instead you would find children playing on the street, sometimes greeting to passing by foreigners with "sawatdee". It is a far cry from other bustling cities in South East Asia. [more...]

2006.12.31 [, ] - comments

 

Thailand - Asia Trip 4/8

Krabi

From Penang I headed toward the beautiful beaches of Thailand. Among the numerous destinations I have chosen the less traveled Krabi. The trip by minibus took 8 hours. But it required a few hours of layover in the border city Hat Yai. [more...]

2006.12.30 [, ] - comments

 

Peninsular Malaysia - Asia Trip 3/8

Melaka

It was a long day traveling back from Sabah to Peninsular Malaysia. After 2 flights and 3 bus rides, I arrived in Melaka late in the evening. I did not have a hotel reservation by that time. But this was resolved quickly because the guesthouse people were gathering at the terminal snatching customers right off the bus. I was sent to a guesthouse that turned out to be a decent and clean place. [more...]

2006.12.29 [, ] - comments

 

Sabah - Asia Trip 2/8

Mountain Kinabalu

I always enjoy the view from airplane. The coast of Borneo is covered by dense forests with winding rivers run between. Roads, houses and farmland are rather scarce until we flew further north. It is a largely undeveloped wilderness. [more...]

2006.12.28 [, ] - comments

 

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