Welcome to Singapore. Please note the warning of imminent death to drug traffickers in ALL CAPS AND RED LETTERS.
Chinese temple in downtown singapore.
Wet laundry? No dryer? No Yard? No Problem.
The five-year-old kid in me is giggling at this sign. The adult me is still trying to figure out why.
My dad has a saying. It goes "Why did the children stick beans in their ears when that is precisely what we told the NOT to do?"
An escalator. In the middle of a hill in a park.
This city is so loaded.
I still think it was strange. So did the cops.
This was shortly after the firemen and police arrived.
Melaka's Chinatown at night.
The oldest Chinese temple in town. All the materials came from China.
Just down the street from that temple is the biggest mosque in town.
The tea shop (the big white character means "tea").
Melaka chinatown's night market.
Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, downtown.
A mosque just outside of a subway station in KL.
Tropical island-- Palau Kapas.
I came for the tropical paradise. I stayed for the piano. (My being sunburned and the piano being in the shade helped.)
Rough life, huh? Funnily enough, the book, Lord Jim, is partially set not far from here.
I came out under cloud cover to take this one so the colors didn't come out, but I think you get the idea of Palau Kapas.
All Thai men are expected to become monks at some point in their lives. Doesn't mean they can't fall asleep listening to their ipods though.
The beaches of Krabi. This was my introduction to Thailand, the first place I came. I took a longboat to the secluded beach of Ton Sai, where I got my own cabin for a spell.
Fire. In the hole.
Sorry, it's part of a performance for a party-- fire dancing is pretty commmon here. Fire poi and fire sticks are the big things.
Low tide at Ton Sai. You can see a couple people who work for the restaurant nearby hunting shellfish for dinner.
I'd seen cartoons of crabs like this, but this is the first one I'd ever seen with one claw that really outsized the other.
Well, if it's recommended by *everybody*...
Ao Ton Sai is a rock climber's dream come true. Karst cliffs with bolts in place surrounding a tropical beach with laid back bars and cabins.
Long Live the King. It's on cars, signs, and even those little rubber bracelets like the “Livestrong” ones Lance Armstrong made so popular a few years back.
Phi Phi Island. Notice that you can see five things: sidewalk, sky, a couple trees, and tourist shops and their employees. That's the main part of Phi Phi for you.
This place was hit pretty badly by the tsunami in 2005, but it seems to have recovered quite well.
Found in my hostel in Phi Phi. It's nowhere near the worst thing I've seen in a bathroom, but it might be the most ominous.
I found a hole-in-the-wall join on phi phi that served huge portions of good food at decent prices. I also found two cats napping in the fridge in the back.
The main thing I came to Phi Phi for was the diving. The scorecard included seahorse, moray eel, rays, sharks, sea snakes, puffer fish, king fish, lion fish, and a lot more. Our surface interval was spent on the island where the Leo Dicaprio movie “The Beach” was filmed.
These shrines are found outside of many shops and homes. The bigger the place, the bigger the shrine. This one was opposite a fairly large hotel.
Basil-Chili chicken over rice. Possibly my new favorite dish.
Found outside my dorm.
The first thing my couchsurfing host asked me after introductions, was whether i'd seen the new star trek movie. I took her usual subway a couple hours later. Every single advertising spot had a star trek ad both on the way out in the morning and back in the afternoon. We did see the movie, and when we were on the subway later and I pointed the ads out to her, she stared and walked off to investigate them open-mouthed like she'd never seen them before. That's successful advertising.
Bangkok's Chinatown. This neighborhood has cornered the gold market-- there are red felt lined gold shops everywhere here.
How do you get a traffic jam in a market not wide enough for cars? Motorcycles!
This temple proved to be part of an elaborate gem scam some guys tried to get me into. I was met outside one of the city's major temples by a friendly English speaker wh informed me the place was closed, and recommended this place instead. When I visited, I was met by another friendly english speaker who tried told me that the next place I had been recommended was an amazing store and that it had amazing deals that were only available today. It went on from there. The next time someone told me a temple was closed, I politely ignored them. It was open.
The second part of the gem scam was getting me into this shop and trying to get me to buy some of the precious stone jewelry. This was one of their displays of precious stones. I'm no gem expert, but I spent enough time in limestone caves in New Zealand to know something is wrong with this picture.
The roof of the temple I entered after ignoring the warning that it was closed and that I should really go see the lucky buddha temple instead.
This is odd, you can see that the car is going to be driving on the left side of the road. But on the crosswalk, peds are directed to stick to the right side.
Look very carefully before deciding if you'd eat these. Now, name that movie: “Ooh! The little cream-filled kind!”
Away from the older half of town, Bangkok is full of gargantuan shopping malls. I think this is one more under construction.
Found in the driveway of one of the malls: a gigantic disco ball. It's one of those things you would have snuck into your college apartment at midnight, and then end up stuck not knowing what to do with it.
This spot reserved for the elderly, disabled, pregnant, and for monks.
Sign in the weekend market in Bangkok. Ye be warned.
Wedding reception. That bouquet is about to get tossed. Look familiar?
Train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I *might* have taken this while the train was moving....
One of Chiang Mai's 300+ Buddhist Temples.
Inside one of the temples.
This is customary throughout South Asia. Feet are considered polluted, shoes doubly so.
There's a no entry sign in the middle. For scale, find the pigeons.
Facing out inside a temple.
A statues of the late head monk of Chiang Mai.
The side of the oldest, most important temple in town.
The flowers are common offerings. Water and flowers seem to be used mostly for blessings.
Get a bumper sticker on a random tuk tuk in northern Thailand? Yes we can!
This was an ad put on the hood while the attendant filled the tank with gas. never seen that form of advertising before.
I knew I would have to be careful. The tigers had been bred in captivity and would have their professional trainers on hand, but these were still very powerful creatures. I didn't feel worried, I just knew I should be. I mean look at that face, it's adorable, not scary, right? Then I saw one of the trainers walk in with one of their favorite toys: the remaining ¾ of a bowling ball. That was when I started to actually *feel* a bit worried.
...whaddya mean our time's almost up???
Maybe someone with actual medical training can tell me. This is the eye of a adult tiger-- would the pupil be more dilated if it were under sedation?
A walk in the woods outside Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Bridges and creeks in Thailand.
Monks blessing the faithful by sprinkling them with water.
Now that is just how a cat would like to spend an afternoon. I gotta say, they look a lot smaller to me after spending time with their cousins.
The oh so traditional night market. With the traditional starbucks and golden arches. Right.
Traditional dancing-- the intricate hand movements were the key here, and the smiles didn't waver once.
Walking down the streets of Chiang Mai.
Just your usual Thai security check point... with automatic weapons.
That's the bridge. Even he's not sure it'll hold him.
Something about the jungle in the hike felt like it was moving... then I looked behind me and saw it was the biggest snake I'd ever seen outside an enclosure slithering where my right foot had been three steps earlier.
Look carefully at the bottommost seasoning-- shrimp.
Iguana in the middle of the Good Life, surrounded by wheatgrass.
Nighttime at Edible Jazz.
Mekong river. It's funny finding these places as an American and recognizing them from war pictures...
Up near the head of the slow boat.
Welcome to Laos.
You'd have that expression on your face if you were surrounded by tourists for several hours.
Swimming hole outside Luang Prabang-- I thought it was cool seeing how the monks handled rolling up their robes for swimming.
Just look at that water.
On the way back to town from the swimming waterfalls, we were taken to a “tribal village”. It was a walkway past a crowd of kids who should hav been in school trying to sell us this stuff.
Water buffalo. There'ssomething about the angle of the head when they chew stuff that makes them look even weirder than cows. I think it helps them keep their nose above water when up to their necks in it, which they really seem to enjoy.
Sticky rice cooking.
The Muong Ngoi village alarm clock and company.
For the few hours that electricity is on, Muong Ngoi changes dramatically. Music starts playing, everyonegathers around the TV of their neighbors and even one or two laptopscome out. I'm pretty sure I even saw the box for a wireless interenet router lying around.
Diggin the hats.
Butteryflies were everywhere around here.
This little guy was sitting on my chest at the time. Very friendly, and very very loud. Nice moustache there, too.
Tug of war!
Water buffalo where they're happiest.
Caving by candle light.
Sticky rice! you just grab it with your hands. I've seen people walking around with lumps the size of their head.
The Nam Khan river.
Bugs descend on the Luang Prabang night market. They come out of nowhere around 6pm, swarm any light source, and then, like a suicide cult, all drop dead between 7 and 8. Their carcasses carpet the ground until someone cleans them up.
The communist flag flies alongside the Lao flag in many small towns. It's the firs time I've ever seen a real one flying.
Care to float down this in an inner tube?
If you zoom in (and ignore the typos) you'll see what makes this place famous, aside from the tubing. I didn't ask for the second menu. In fact, I specifcally said I didn't want any drugs, I just wanted breakfast. But there they were: weed, shrooms, and even opium. Vang Vieng is the town for drugs. It was actually the main reason I didn't try getting a job at a bar when I knew I'd be here a few days-- I didn't want to serve anyone opium!
Irish bar. Communist flag.
Sweeny Todd expands business to Lao.
Fried rice-- breakfast at a bus stop.
Clearcutting is a problem, especiall near the capital.
Guess there is one person who isn't so good in Laos.
A “pancake.” It's more like a crepe, thrown down a bit like pizza dough, and then fried with (in my case) banana, egg, some condensed milk, and a little chocolate, or peanut butter if they have it (rare).
This state-run newspaper is the only English paper in the country. I think the government might be trying to get something across by putting this headline front and center-- a british citizen given a life sentence for drug trafficking.
Fruit! The purple ones with green stems are mangosteens, the little red one with green tendrils are a bit like lychees. The purple ones at the back with leaf-like bits sticking out are dragonfruit.
You laugh. And then you think about all the clothing sold in the west with Asian characters. And you start to wonder...
This is the best picture I took to explain how badly our bus leaked. I was standing the whole time because our seat was being rained on. Inside the bus. And our window, unlike this one, was totally shut.
Work on the organic farm, taking shelter from the rain.
Right after I snapped this, the goat managed to slip that loop off his gate. I kept him in, then slipped in back on a little harder.
This little piggy went wee wee wee all the way to the foriegner with the camera.
Rain. Tis the season...
Geese! With big fat nobs on their heads.
My class. Notice all the girls in the front and that you can't see the boys who are all sitting in the back, fiddling with plastic baseball bats.
View from a tubing bar under construction. every time I came with people, I went swimming and couldn't take my camera with me.
This bus from Vientiane to Pakse was full of little bunk beds instead of seats! It also broke down several times and filled up with smoke, forcing us to go back and get another one.
I just asked for soup. They know how to make food pretty here.
Enough chicken for you there?
Inside a temple in Pakse.
So my bus to Pakse broke down and filled with smoke. My tuk tuk to the next bus station nearly lost its back wheel, and now our Sangtheaw “minibus” has a flat. Clearly this should have told me something.
All over the world, people are wearing shirts and hats from the USA or that advertise American places and stuff. I wonder how many of them realize or know it.
The 4000 Islands. Kick back, relax, and, as one sign said “enjoy doing nothing.”
After the Cambodia border, I was driven down this road at a steady 90km/h for about three or four hours. My driver seems to think the brakes were located in the middle of the steering wheel, and pulled alongside people who annoyed him to yell at them before he passed them.
If you've ever tried to take photo of a sunset or sunrise, you'll realize how much more amazing this was in real life.
Inside Angkor Wat.
Amazingly some of the paint and writing is still preserved. Just about every surface has some kind of carving.
The Moat. Or the third of it you cans ee from this angle.
A shiva linga, traditional fallic piece meant to honor the hindu god of destruction. I'd thought these complexes were devoted to the god Vishnu, god of preservation, but I guess I was partially wrong.
I took this photo without looking.
Some of the things here are still used in worship today.
What used to be the wall of the royal palace.
Trees taking over Ta Prohm.
Angkor Wat, the main temple, as seen from the East.
Monkey in the garden that I spotted while writing this entry!
I took a boat trip from Siam Reap to Battambang. It took us right through several floating villages.
Fishing in the biggest lake in the region. Looked like the sea from where we were.
On our boat, heading home.
Two Canadian travelers and I were invited by a monk to sit in on an English class. We talked to the students, then got grilled by the teacher on our knowledge of Buddhism. I did well (or maybe poorly) enough for him to invite us to the monks meditation afterwards. The chanting was mesmerising (the Christmas lights... not so much). Reminded me a bit of compline back home with their own style of chanting.
I've heard about populations being moved out of Phnom Penh. I noticed there seemed to be a lot of mosques on the city outskirts. This was one of the nicer looking ones.
Look carefully at the list hanging inside this tuk-tuk. The “shooting range” is one where you can fire old army guns, bazookas, etc at livestock. This is listed, with no apparant qualms, right next to the chance to visit an orphanage.
A thousand cranes next to nine thousand skulls. I'd like to know who donated and made them.
”Magic.“ Not the good kind.
These are the kinds of signs we saw.
Another pandanas tree, just like the kind I'd helped plant in Australia. But here if you look closely, the stalks are serrated, and sharp. They were cut down and used for decapitation.
The places only attempt the capture the tragedy in words.
The center glass core was filled with shelves of human skeletons. Mostly skulls. It sounds like something a kid would make up to scare his little brother. Only this was real.
The streets of Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia
I found a restaurant called “Freinds” which uses all its profits for its community education and training programs designed to get people off the streets and on their feet. The Pnomh Penh Post was still focusing on stories about the Khmer Rouge, even thirty years later.
Part of a study of students trying to get a better grasp of how toursits react to the museum. Check out the options for emotional responses. Should tellyou a bit about the place.
This is the sea of motercyclists. My frst reaction was “It's an army.” It took me a second for the irony to hit.
The streets of saigon at night feel more... citylike than any other city I've been to in a long time. Maybe just because i'ts bigger, cleaner, and has a slightly more diverse population.
I radomly walked in on a breakdancing event in downtown saigon sponsored by 7-up. They had a basketball hoop set up-- I won a few free drinks by knowing how to shoot.
The ware remnantes museum. Isn't it odd how putting “truths” in the title of the section make you doubt where they're true?
An unnamed senator visits vietnam. I bet you can name him though.
Inside the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral.
Alleys of Saigon.
The Mekong Delta.
I think I took this on accident.
Got Coconut? The local pride is a coconut taffy they make by the ton. It's pretty tasty, but takes a hour to get off your teeth.
The legendary Pho (rhymes with “duh”). Oh man is it good.
A relatively small gathering of motorcyclists. If you've been to Vietnam recently, you know I'm not being sarcastic.
Found outside my hotel room before posting.
Vietnamese feast. Well, it was about five seonds before the picture was snapped, anyway.
Northbound train to Hanoi, on the beautiful coastal stretch between Danang and Hue.
You probably knew Pho is a kind of soup. Confusingly enough, it's also the word for “street.” It's all in the tone and the marking above the o.
Pretty lake. I just wouldn't swim in it, is all.
One Pillar Pagoda.
This kitten fits in a shoe.
Taken in the “temple” of literature (apparently not a very good translation)-- it was the first national univrsity in Veitnam. This was a stone slap marking the acheivements of one of the scholars.
More from the temple of lit.
In front of a building in the temple of lit, these two dragons are having a face-off over the inscense. From the right angle, it looks a bit like the smoke is coming from the dragons' nostrils instead of the sticks.
Kids, don't buy T-shirts in languages you don't understand.
Wall o t-shirts.
Cuan (spelling?). I got to help out with a little vietnamese cooking! These are noodles, pork, pate, and egg wrapped in lettuce tied up with cooked gree onion, then dipped in a homemade sweet tomato garlic sauce. Tasty!
You want a dust mask on some of these streets.
Making sure we're heading the right way to Ba Vi Park.
Ba Vi mountain! I wish I could have snapped the lightening on the left side...
We climbed this abandoned looking watchtower for the view. We had to lay low for a while though. We weren't sure if we were allowed up, and there were guys in the adjascent house wandering around after we got to the top.
We wandered down a dirt track and found a house at the end. The owners saw us and immdiately invited us in for tea. All members of the household were curious about the visitors.
Our hosts for Cha Vietnam (Vietnamese tea).
An exhibit showing how conical hats are made in the museum of ethnology
this stool was about the hieght most seats are when you eat street food in Vietnam. Some are even smaller. Occasioanlly they will have kiddie tables and chairs. That's just the size people are here.
Even the graffittied back alleys look clean and safe.
Found in the Bangkok Airport. Starbucks has figured out a way to cater to Asian audiences used to bubble tea.
The streets of Hong Kong as seen from one of the many elevated walkways. Slight change from Hanoi.
View from the front of a Star Ferry docked on the Kowloon side of the harbor.
One of the many many escalators in town. This was part of the huge line running up from Central to the Mid-level.
China. We buy their trinkets. They eat our produce.
The disinfectant sign was very common-- especially in elevators.
I've seen a lot of basketball courts around here. Still have yet to challange anyone myself.
The town is full of neon signs like this. This is more like the Hong Kong I'd expected.
This would be the view from Scott and Brooke's apartment.
Taken from Cheung Chau island, Hong Kong. A little different from Hong Kong Island.
Boats docked at Cheung Chow.
On a hill of Cheung Chow island. A lot more peaceful than central or Kowloon.
Walkway down from the summit to the beach.
Mormon missionaries. I won't say they're everywhere, but they're getting there.
Low clearence. I think this is going to be a recurring theme.
Yes, we're still in Hong Kong.
“If you're feeling unwell, please see attendant”? Tells you a lot about this city's attitude towards public health. Hong Kong takes care of its own.
That's Scott and Brooke's Apartment. We're one of the ones on the right, 25 floors up.
um... marketing slogan or evangelical leaflet?
Found this on my train from Hong Kong to Shanghai. Read the text. I'm very curious about this one. Also a bit nervous.
This was next to the bank teller and also next to the immigration officer's desk in Shanghai. Rate the service.
You know how colege apartments look after a party-- the plastic cups and empty liquor bottles everywhere? That's what this reminds me of. Only in this case, it'a Chinese tea ceremony.
That'sa pack of chickens feet on the right.
Our own private tea ceremony. Excellent tea, excellent discussion.
You try and tell me the floor numbers on this elevator make sense. 4 is bad luck in Chinese, so I understand why that is gone, but so is 14.
I told you it looks like a giant bottle opener.
The view from the top of the bottle opener.
The Shanghai museum!
West lake in Hangzhou.
It's a picture of what the Chinese think their past looks lie, but witha a fewmodern touches (like the glass windows and green umbrellas).
These gates a lot more picturesque because I have no idea what they say on them. Probably “this park founded in the year...”
Em... the toilet is where?
The China Daily News. It's always interesting reading a state-controlled English paper and seeing what the headline news they want to get to anglophones is. Not both the death penalty for the corrupt official and the illustration of what you could do with the amount of money used in bribes. Oh and the story below is about ex WA state governor Gary Locke.
WHOA! You mean they've got Chinese restaurants in CHINA? No WAY!
Oh engrish. China is it's birthplace and will forever be its king. I've seen so much engrish every day.. this dinner menu item was one of my favorites though just beacuse I have no idea what it's really supposed to say.
In Hangzhou's Confuscian Temple district.
This is very Chinese.
The Walls of Nanjing! This section ends abruptly not far out of the frame on either side.
This is my answer to all the people who ask me whether Chinese people can stand in line. It's not always like this, but it's a lot better than other countries I've been to *coughcoughindiacoughcough*.
A KFC across the street from a KFC. These are two of at least four in a two block radius.
Exploring the Shaolin Temple
Legend has it those dents in the floor are from thousands of years of monks practicing kicks and stances.
Inside the temple of Shaolin.
Shaolin Pay Phone! ...really.
It finally occured to me to hand my camera over to one of the fifty million groups of Chinese guys who wanted a picture with me.
“This is China” according to a man who took me out for dinner.
Chinese guys have this habit of lifting their shirts up halfway when they're too hot. Apparently the bare-midriff look is only for men here in China.
If you're as cute as this one-month-old puppy is, I'll let you untie my shoelaces too.
Look in the bottom right. It's an ergency brick. The little sign above it says to use it to break the glass of a window in an emercgency. I've seen little mallets before for the same purpose, but this is the first and only time I have seen an emergency brick.
The Terra Cotta warriors of Xian.
HELLO My Name is Terra Cotta Warrior #246
...what would YOU order when given an “english” menu like this one?
Bao Dse! I Friggen LOVE these things.
On the train from Xian to Nanjing. The noodles are what everyone brings on to eat-- there's a hot water spigot on every car with them in mind. Read the little sign next to it for kicks.
Mah Jong! Counterclockwise we have Latvia, China, Venzuela, Colombia, and the US represented at this table. Also Italy off the upper-left corner.
Getting ready for the eclipse on the beach.
Almost fully eclipsed. Once again, that's the sun you're looking at.
Shanghai from the river.
A selection of vending machines onboard the ferry to Japan, including a cup noodles dispenser and a beer machine.
Our first sight of the main island of Japan
Flammable materials only.
This spot is thoroiughly taken.
Takoyaki! Want some octopus? Yes you do.
There's exactly one other country where I've seen this food: Bolivia. They sold it out of huge baskets in the street, though I don't think they usually had it with milk.
Get lost here.
Inside the internet cafe, as much as you want of any of these, soft-serve included.
Torii-- a gate painted that one weird color all men call orange and all women call red.
Sushi! you can see them preparing it here before tossing it onto the conveyor belt. This is the cheaper way to get your raw fish fix instead of the formal restaurants where they serve it as a normal dish. By the way, any Seattlites recognize that handsome man pulling a beer in the picture on the wall? It's Ichiro!
Specialty shops. One of the things I like about Japan is how they've preserved their culture as a sign of class rather than as a cheap tourist attraction. These fans don't come cheap.
Jeepers Creepers. Where'd you get those....
Somebody climbed all the way up Himeji castle with this paper airplane and came back down very disappointed.
Himeji castle, the best preserved Japanese castle in existence.
I don't know what it was called, but once I ignored that I was eating tiny whole fish, I really liked it. You put it on your rice.
Here to watch the fireworks. The couple in the middle is wearing Yukata, a less formal, lighter fabric traditional wear than Kimono, usually kept for summer.
Fireworks! They lasted for more than an hour.
The streets of Tokyo
I was trying to get a picture of the fact that you could buy beer halfway up mt Fuji around midnight for 300 yen. I like how it came out though.
About a quarter of the crowd up on top of Mt. Fuji for sunrise. Note the line of people still climbing in the distance.
The view on the western side. If I had the money to stay on the mountain for a night, I would've loved to see the sunset from here too.
Torii gate on Fuji
Paper lanters from Hiroshima. I thought the collapsed message for peace was one of the sadder things i'd seen in some time.
the only building to survive the atomic blast.
The dreaded fugu. Fugu is pufferfish, a Japanese specialty that is only prepared by the masters of the art, because if it's prepared incorrectly, it will kill whoever eats it in 15 minutes. Pufferfish naturally contain a specific gland that has a poison one guide said “makes cyanide look like chicken feed.” If they risk their lives to eat it, it must be good, right? Well, as far as sushi goes, it turns out it's kind of bland and chewy (though it left me feeling a bit tingly). Still, assuming I don't die in a few minutes, the bragging rights will be pretty awesome.
My first sight of Busan
And we wonder why their Ehglish (sic) is so bad.
This is the crowd in front of the stage at the rock concert. And that is a fire hose.
This is Korean for “Beach”
The Skateboarding competition. So cool looking from the outside. Then you get up close and see them hurt themselves again... and again... and again... and...
Blackened Garlic. They eat it and cook with it by the fistful.
Temple on the sea
A sign for an international policy school asking who will be the next Ban Ki Moon, secretary General of the UN, former foreign minister of Soth Korea. Next to it is a vending machine full of books. I'm pretty sure this is the only country where I've seen book vending machines.
View from a shrine. If the Chinese have the ornate details on shrines and the Japanese have the minimalist atmosphere, then the Koreans have views.
Buddha in the mountain
...green energy poster in the making?
Look kids, this is where zen comes from.
The only subway system I've seen that has gas masks in its stations. Make sense-- the nation is still technically at war, since the korean war ended with a ceasefire instead of an armistice.
Seoul Pub in Itaewon-- expat central of Seoul. The US miitary base is just a few minutes down the road.
Seoul, from Seoul Station
Old Seoul, New Seoul.
I was riding the subway when we emerged to cross this bridge and saw this. I think people were a little startled when I jumped up to get a picture.
There were a surprising number of Korean missionaries all over town. This guy was my favorite-- that' a sign thatll make you think for a second.
Seoul Subway ride. The first time I saw a couple doing something like this in a long time. More exhausted people fell asleep on Korean subways than I'd seen anywhere else. Even Japan had fewer (though Japan had more people glued to cell phones and DS, playing Dragon Quest IX)
A hazy view of North Korea
Inside the third infilitration tunnel under the DMZ. the North tried to paint coal on the walls so they could say it was a mining exploration.. too bad the local geology made the claim so rediculous.
So you have a ship the regularly travels between South Korea and China. Which country do you register it in and choose to fly the flag of? Apparently the logical answer is.... Panama?
Somehow China looked a lot less modern after coming from South Korea than it did when coming from Vietnam.
Not too many places have people selling pet tortoises next to a pedestrain underpass.
Here comes the bride. And the Groom. And Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse.
Something is wrong with this picture.
shirtless men playing cards in the front, kegs of beer in the back.
The Qingdao annual beer festival. Can someone please explain to me why non-american cultures always go for cowbow hats at festivals like these?
This is how they roll in Qingdao. Tsingtao beer, in a bag.
This is the first place I've ever seen a tree reinforced by concrete.
A hutong, or back alley of Beijing. The city is famous for them.
Brought to you by The People's Department of Redundancy Department.
This is a crowd of Chinese tourists at the forbidden city. This is the pushing and shoving mass I tried to avoid in my trip to the further reaches of the great wall of china
The forbidden city. No longer quite so fobidden, this was the imperial palace for two dynasties.
Northern end of Tiananmen square, with theobligatory policeman and tourist shot of your family with Chairman Mao
quick conversation with a man on top of Jingshan park
Beijing streets at night
The heavenly temple, used to be used by the emporer to pray for a good harvest. Very long ad elaborate ceremonies took place for the purpose.
I TOLD you we couldn't bring magnets on the beijing subway!
One of my favorite parts of town: the 798 art district. This is a set of factories that have been converted into art spaces, cafes, and galleries. Also, randomly enough, a very fancy nike-sponsored basketball gym.
One of the 798 zone galleries.
A trademark of Beijing (formerly Peking): the Pekingese dog. i think this one's a mix, but you kind find both the mix and the purebred all over town. They really like their small dogs here.
In the background, the great wall of china. In the foreground, a divot in the great wall of china, containing one hard-boiled egg. Story please?
Inside one of the watchtowers of the great wall
Zipline from the great wall. You just try and tell me you don't want to.
I'm going to be spending several days in a bunk like this one.
Beijing street food. Skewers boiled in marinade including this one kind of pepper that tastes really good but numbs your mouth slightly.
Bricks in a tree?
...I didn't know New Pork was only an hour and eight minutes ahead of Piris!
Mongolian Railway, across the desert.
Lightning storm in Mongolia
Lightning hits the ground.
If you're not laughing, it's because you haven't read the label yet.
A usual Mongolian meal. Pretty tasty. The things on the left are balls of mashed potatos.
In my travels, I often see emblems of lions. I don't often see emblems of lions picking their nose.
This is what life is like in Asia when you're tall.
Lunch in the yurt. The white stuff is in fact fermented horse milk.
Another lunch in another yurt. This time it's homemade yoghurt, homemade butter, and bread.
Some things are always photogenic. Like horses.
Me checking out the view
Home sweet Ger. You can tell this isn't as traditional a family because there are fences. Not too many of those in nomad camps.
Don't make this one angry.
The rolling hills of Mongolia.
The trans-siberian train's Samovar-- the water heater.
Inside a car of a trans-siberian train. Compartmenst to the right and windows to the left are standarrd. The half-mannequin with jeans is not.
CCCP Ice cream bars in the bottom right.
Resting from Mountain biking. In Siberia.
Folk music night in a small village on Olkon Island in Lake Baikal.
Apparently mushrooms are a big thing in siberia. Our van driver bought two buckets.
Karl Marx Street, Irkutsk.
This is why my cabin smelled like smoked fish.
A view of a river from the train.
Our cabin attentands at night, waiting for us to get moving again.
This three-year-old didn't speak a word of english, but it didn't stop him from playing at any point. yes, that's me he's grabbing.
This is a Moscow Subway station. I'm not kidding.