Saturday, September 25, 2010

China Vol 1

Here's the first round of pictures from China. Traveled into the country by bus from Vietnam and bounced around the southern cities working may way out to the coastal town of Xiamen north of Hong Kong. Didn't get to go to Hong Kong because I only had a single entry visa to China and if I went to the city, I could'nt get back into China. So I passed and stuck to the smaller town route, and by small town, I mean 1 million people. Every place was huge and packed full of people, locals and tourists. So many tour groups. They're all Chinese and just like around the world, they stick together in groups and take pictures of things that aren't picture worthy. Pretty much they often get in your way and fill up the cafes. It's a Chinese heavy tourist population. Often I wouldn't see more than 10 foreigners in a day, while each spot I went to was booming with tourists.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mt Fuji Pictures

Most people hike the mountain in the night to be there for sunrise. Unfortunately, with all the people, it gets a bit crowded and there's a traffic jam towards the top, full of tired people, all a bit cold. I heard that and decided to hike the mountain in the day time, much faster, warmer and with views the whole time. Turned out to be a perfect day and a good hike, 4 hours to the top and just under 3 hours down. On the fast side, but had a street party to go to after so the time was ticking.

Once on top of Mt Fuji, it's like you've joined a new family. Everyone is happy, smiling, one even puking, but all are part of the club that has been to the top. I bought a Mt Fuji flag with a stamp saying when I hiked it. Proof that I was one of the elite. In Japan, it's like a rite of passage to get to the top, but you only do it once. The expression is, "a wise man climbs Fuji once, and a fool twice". I ain't no fool, mission complete, bring on the next mountain.

Check out some pictures:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Endangered Monkeys vs. the Justus

Endangered monkey #1: Red shanked douc langur, ready to battle
Justus kicking butt in the feeding process at the start
Uh, oh, monkeys taking over
And the victor is Justus, captain feeder and cage cleaner
And they were left wondering how the Justus won

Hawaii Pictures

Back in the USA

So after 6 months I made it back to the USA. Went to 11 countries in between here and where I started, New Zealand. Most of the time I was in Asia, almost 5 months total, eating a lot of rice and noodles, plus checking out heaps of temples. Should almost get a honorary Buddhist degree after this trip. Wore sandals and shorts 95% of the time, living the good life in constant summer for over half a year.

I last left off the blog when I went to China, where internet is a bit tricky with lots of sites blocked off, including this one. I spent 28 days there, taking overnight buses everywhere, seeing lots of cities and not that many other foreigners. After China I was in Japan for 2 weeks, where I hiked Mt Fuji, saw some cool temples and met up with an old university friend. The last stop of the trip was Hawaii for 2 weeks to relax on the beach, and that wraps up the missing 2 months in between this post and the last.

Now I'm chilling out in Boston, resting up, and liking not having to repack and move out with my backpack every few days. I've got over 4000 photos to go through, some already online, but more will be coming in the near future. Nice to be back in the land of civilized internet and English.