Table of Contents

  • Congedo, altri…

    Quindi quali casinò online ti pagano queste offerte speciali? A proposito di congedo, altri incantesimi possono farli girare da soli per i giocatori con account MasterCard. Ti invitiamo a fare una richiesta approssimativa prima di implementare un inoltro con uno di questi siti. Nascondi una MasterCard?

    Una questione che molti

  • To use

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  • Cognizant of whether

    With an net casino you are ineffective to decide if you are in the veracious climate, as you do not see the site of the casino. In the cause of be casinos, you are able-bodied to mold whether or not you are play earlier you jump dissipated. This is

  • Regardless where

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    One of the topper things around online casinos in New

  • Et sådant cykel…

    Næsten af ​​kasinoerne i Atlantic Metropolis giver bonusser, der to eller tredobler mængden af ​​den indsats, du har. Den substans, som din spredte ikke vil betale, medmindre du vinder på den lave eller godkendte vridning af cyklen.

    Den tredje affære, der gør trumfodds i casinospil, er tilfældig handlingskilde eller hjulmarkedet.

  • Sentence for

    Virtually all peregrine casinos render an port that makes the appendage of readjustment promiscuous. Thither is a one contact casino invention where the gamer requires sole a dawn on his prize of biz to commencement playacting. The like for defrayment and climb-down options. To alleviate simpleness of admittance to

  • Siellä on olemassa

    Jos olet huolissasi televisiosalamanterin pelaamisesta oikealla rahalla, sinun pitäisi elää niin, että siellä on kahdenlaisia ​​online -kasinoita, jotka tuntevat tärkeimmät pelit. Siellä on olemassa tappelua televisiolähetyssalamanderipelejä ja siellä mesa -pelejä. On olemassa monia online -kasinoita, jotka ovat tärkeimpiä pelejä. Sinun tulisi kuitenkin merkitä varmasti, että online -kasinot välittävät televisiolähetyssalamandraa

  • Ocenie obsady reżimu

    Standardy licencjonowania odbiegają od przesłania do przesłania, więc okiełznaj witrynę kasyna swojego stanowiska pod kątem ich szczególnych wymagań. Najważniejszą sprawą, którą możesz zrobić, aby uzyskać areszt tonowy, jest napiętnowanie testamentu zaproszonych osób, które zostaną poddane najmniejszej ocenie obsady reżimu, zanim zdołają to zrobić. Ta recenzja niezauważalnie wyprzedza zarysowanie każdego

  • Debutar en sorteos

    Sin requisitos de edad y sin costos de minutos de dinero. Aunque los casinos canadienses son conocidos por sus sitios de juego con las tasas de pago más altas, el mejor casino en línea de Canadá es el que acepta jugadores de todas las edades. No hay requisitos mínimos

  • Juegos en línea

    Es mejor hacer esto si se informa sobre los juegos en línea y los diferentes tipos de sitios. Puede hacer esto mediante la interpretación de sitios web de palabras de juegos de azar, programas de televisión de observación en los casinos en línea y solicitando amigos que hayan jugado

  • Land-based casino

    In almost cases, they only bear slot machines fix at all hours of the day. This way players can livelihood playacting all day without opinion as if they are qualified. Many players likewise apprise not having to travelling binding and away to their local land-based casinos.

    Online casinos are a

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  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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    Arriving in New Orleans quite early for the business on that day, I decided to take a look at the Jackson square while waiting.

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  • Salt Lake City – Temple Square

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    Walking down the streets of Salt Lake City, you will not miss this prominent structure, the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Salt Lake City Walk & Utah State Capitol

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    I was assigned a “window” seat on this trip.

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    First impression, on my way from the airport to West Valley.

  • Walking Around Miami for A Day

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    As an interpreter, my first business trip in the U.S. was actually to Miami. Interestingly, because of some administrative mishap, the business was cancelled.  So I found this

  • Julia Ideson Library, Houston, Texas

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    Bumped into this beautiful historical building while working in Houston one day.

    Chinese New Years Celebration

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    Jason’s friend had some tickets to the Asian Chamber of Commerce Chinese banquet during the Chinese Spring Festival, so we jumped

  • Chinese American Looking at Shen Yun Performance

    You wonder why there are not many Chinese speaking out in the Shen Yun promo vids. Is it because of White-Face talks in advertising? The show looked dazzling, despite the fact many of movements resembling more western dances than traditional Chinese dance.

    That is fine, but mixing the political powder

  • Holiday Wineglass Painting

    Found a wineglasses painting class online and thought that was interesting, so I bought a pair of seats or the holiday season.

    20171216_172413Christmas Light in Irving

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    Irving City Park was all dressed in christmas lights for the holidays.

  • Irving Christmas Parade

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    The afternoon of a weekend before Christmas was spent by waiting for the parade.

  • Irving Historical Show and Christmas Tree Lighting

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    You could definitely feel the holiday air in downtown Irving.

  • Tom-Paul’s Mystery Party

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    Tom-Paul and his wife made a “deadly” Halloween party for us.

  • Screams Park

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    We started Jason’s birthday with a treat from our favorite BBQ place, Post Oak Smokehouse.

    Medieval Times

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    Everytime on our way to downtown, we would pass by this castle-looking place. So, for my birthday, Jason decided to take

  • Texas State Fair, Part II

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    Roasted nuts stall with a squirrel.

    Texas State Fair, Part I

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    Last year was the first year we went to the state fair together. This year he bought a season ticket for us.

  • Plano Balloon Festival

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    The biggest event in Plano every year, Plano Balloon Festival was coming back again.

    Plano Heritage Farmstead Museum

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    A few Dallas-area museums went on for free on the Museum Day. There was a little farmstead museum not far from

  • Go Ape

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    Taking a ballet class in a college right across from my home came with some perks, including two optional rope courses

  • AnimeFest 2017

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    The biggest Anime convention in Dallas every year is AnimeFest, held at the down-town Sheraton.

  • Infinicon 2017

    Out of all the anime conventions in town, Inificon was probably the youngest (second year in operation). Since Jason was one of the panelists, I decided to hop in the opportunity to check it out. The convention was pretty small, but the event host made sure to cram in

  • Nights in Nanluogu Xiang & Houhai, Beijing

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    Shared bikes were the new pink in big Chinese cities. The problem, they were competing pedestrian road space.

    Mutianyu Great Wall, Beijing

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    Two renovated sections of the Great Wall were available for tourists. Most People headed over to Badaling section because it was more accessible.

  • Forbidden City, Beijing

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    Day 1 in Beijing we went to the iconic historical site the Forbidden City.

  • Wuhan University, Wuhan

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    Another touristy place is Wuhan University, one of the oldest and most beautiful universities in China. Known for its cherry blossoms in spring,

  • Hubei Art Meseum

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    There was a big art museum next to the Hubei Museum, we decided to check it out after visiting the Hubei Museum.

  • Hubei Museum, Wuhan, China

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    Arriving in one of my hometowns, Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. Across the lake from my house was Hubei Museum, a museum

  • Longchuan Bay, Part II

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    Transporting to another area along the Bay, where the young people used to come here and get their “re-education” (high-school-age youth sent to

  • Longchuan Bay, Part I

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    Next day, we started our journey to the Longchuan Scenic area from Shicheng (Lion City).

    A statue of five lions playing a ball at the

  • River Float and Shicheng Bike Ride

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    There were many natural and man-made rapid floats around the rivers near Thousand Island Lake, we decided to try one of

  • Thousand Island Lake Tour Day 2, Part II–The Aviary

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    After the monkey island we were connected to another island with an aviary.

    Thousand Island Lake Tour Day 2, Part I–Monkey Island

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    Our VIP seats on the second day tour of the lake.

    Thousand Island Lake Tour, Day 1

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    On our first day, we toured around the islands on the lake.

    Thousand Island Lake Township

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    We bought some Wuzhen local desserts for our trip to the next destination, Thousand Island Lake. The dessert came in a

  • Wuzhen, Part II

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    Night fall.

    Wuzhen, Part I

    From Putuo Island, we took an express boat to Zhoushan, then from Zhoushan we took a bus to a famous ancient watertown (town built on water), Wuzhen.

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    The first

  • Mt. Putuo, Day 2, Part III–Huiji Monastery

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    After getting off the cable, we are at the very peak of the island.

    Mt. Putuo, Day 3, Part II–Shancai Cave (善财洞) & Chaoyin Cave (潮音洞)

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    A short walk through the forest behind Fanyi Cave took us to a rather quiet and small temple on

  • Mt. Putuo, Day 3, Part I–Puji Monastery (普济寺) & Fanyin Cave (梵音洞)

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    Our tiny hotel was walking distance from the island’s biggest attraction, Puji Monastery.  We saved this thousand-year old

  • Mt. Putuo, Day 2, Part II–Large New Temple

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    Next, we took a ride up to near the top of the mountain.

    Mt. Putuo, Day 2, Part I – South Sea Guanyin

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    The “continental breakfast”, Chinese style.

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  • Mt. Putuo–Day 1, The Beach

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    Our best friends, instant noodles, were waiting for us at the bus station shop.

  • Shanghai, China–Day 3, Night Cruise

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    We booked a cruise on the Huangpu River.

    Shanghai, China–Day 3, Yuyuan + Xintiandi + Tianzifang

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    The most expensive soup steam buns I have seen in my life yet. Each of these little guys costed about $1, they are usually priced at

  • Shanghai, China – Day 2, People’s Park

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    The Shanghai Municipal Government Hall is on the other side of the People’s Square.

    Shanghai, China–Day 2, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center

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    We found a breakfast place not too far from our hostel. This place is almost a hundred-year old.

    Shanghai, China–Day 1

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    We have booked a boat-themed hostel for our first days of stay in China.

    San Antonio Yelp Spring Break

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    As a Yelp Elite member, Jason was admitted to the annual Yelp Spring Break party.

    Canal Festival and Dragonboat Festival

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    The Canal Festival was just a mile from Jason’s home so we walked over there that evening. The most interesting part of the festival was probably

  • Irving Pet Fest

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    April Fool is here!

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  • All-Con Part IV–Burlesque and Body-Paint Party

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    Another highlight of the convention is a burlesque show, hosted by the local burlesque troupe. The host of this show, a local lawyer,

  • All-Con Part III–The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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    The highlight of the Friday evening was the Rocky Horror Picture Show, or a reproduction of it.

    Fort Worth Ale Trail

    One of my clients, Fort Worth municipal government, puts together a tourism brochure every year. One of the interesting new things they have advertised is the Fort Worth Ale Trail. You will receive a “passport” with information on 10 local brewries’. Every time you visit one of the breweries

  • All-Con Part II–Outfits

    Many people dressed up for the fair, mostly in sci-fi or anime film characters.

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    All-Con Part I–The Market

    Jason volunteered and hosted a few forums in one of his favorite conventions of all time, All-Con. According to Wikipedia,  All-Con provides an umbrella of content supporting fans of science fiction, fantasy, Renaissance, anime, costuming, theater/performing arts, mystery, art, crafts, collecting, and filmmaking.

    Dallas Chinese New Year Celebration

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    For the 2017 Chinese New Year, Dallas Downtown had a small celebration. Lots of curious folks showed up.

    Zelda Concert by Fort Worth Symphony

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    A zealous Zelda fan, Jason will not miss the Zelda-themed concert by Fort Worth Symphony. He booked it right away when it first

  • Ikkicon New Year Convention

    It’s been a long time since I had any break for an update. Since I just came back from China, I finally have some time to post the pictures, and catch up, hopefully.

    Halloween, Magarita, and Xmas Market

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    I was the only Hilary

  • Downtown Plano Beer Festival

    Sorry for a huge delay in my blog. Setting up a translation and interpretation freelance certainly took up most of my time.  That being said, I enjoyed my time in Dallas tremendously. In November Jason and I bumped into Oktoberfest in downtown Plano as I was showing him around

  • State Fair 2016

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    Went to State Fair near end of October, caught the last glimpse before it closes.

    State Fair is the biggest event

  • UT Golf Tournament, Toastmasters

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    Before every UT vs OU football game, UT held an alum golf tournament for all the high-powered alums.

    Off-Road Adventure with Willy

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    I’m always very curious about Willy’s jeep, so when he said he’s going to off-road, I’m in!

    The down side is, you have to wake up super

  • Plano Ballon Festival

    We knew there is a hot balloon festival right in the park behind our house since we moved here 20 years ago, but we have never visited it. Since I am here this September, I talked my parents into visiting the festival. Mom decided to check it out with

  • Cydar Ridge Reserve, Dallas

    600_454215846 Asian American Professional Meetup was visiting Cedar Ridge Reserve, I never really know any scenic area in Dallas yet, so this might be an interesting find.

  • Booksafe and Mid-Autumn Festival BBQ

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    Plano Public LIbraries hold lots of hobby classes for free. The first Tuesday of every month is their craft’s class, great for stress relieve after work.

  • Texas A & M Aggie’s Game (vs. UCLA)

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    I was always curious about our old rival, Texas A & M’s game. Thanks to Jeff Powell, I finally get a chance to

  • George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dallas, Texas, USA

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    Yuxiang, a SMU student who is the nephew of a friend from alumni association, said his school is the home of the Bush Presidential Library. So

  • Fahai Temple, Beijing, China

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    Before leaving Beijing, Xiaolin took me to Fahai Temple, where the original imperial murals from Ming Dynasty preserved.

    Zhouzhuang Part III

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    The next day was all sunshine and blue skys.

  • Zhouzhuang Part II–Mansion Walks

    One of the main tourist attractions in this town is the Shen Mansion.

  • Zhouzhuang, China–Part I

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    We booked the hotel right in the old part of the town, next to the canal.

    Suzhou, China Part IV–Tiger Hill

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    This hill used to be known as “the Hill Emerging from the Sea”, where Wu King Helu was buried. The legend goes that three days after his burial,

  • Suzhou, China Part III – Hanshan Temple

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    By 5am, both of us cannot sleep any more. So we raced to the temple.  It’s usually an auspicious sign to

  • Suzhou, China Part II–Seven-Mile Shantang Street

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    There were quite a few interesting canal attractions, but we decided the Shantang Street tomorrow night will be the highlight.

  • Suzhou, China Part I – Humble Administrator’s Garden

    We left Nanjing sooner as it was rainning pretty hard.  Suzhou was not very far from Nanjing, and it is dubbed as the heaven on earth in ancient times. So we took our chance and went there instead.

    Nanjing, China Part III–Qinhuai River

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    We knew that the delicacies around Confucious Temple is overrated, but one of my favorite chain restaurants had a stellar location not far from it.

    Nanjing, China Part II–Nanjing Museum

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    My classmate, who is a Nanjing native, also highly recommended the Nanjing Museum.

  • Nanjing, China Part I – Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum

    First thing first, I was back to the U.S. with a broken computer.  It took me almost a month to get the computer replacement settled. So here it is, after a long writing hiatus, the last backpack trip I took before coming back to the States. Hopefully not the

  • Suzhou Museum, Suzhou, China

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    It snowed on the day we scheduled to visit Suzhou Museum. Still, trains booked, hotel booked, and museum visit booked. Looks like we gotta go.

    Jing’an Temple, Shanghai, China

    If you are in Shanghai, you are almost guaranteed bump into this prominent temple. Its golden roof and portentous structure beaming onto one of the world’s busiest street. So you will definitely drop by, however much they charge (100RMB, or 15USD, a robbery for temple since all other temples

  • Luzhi Watertown, Suzhou, China

    Luzhi locates not far from Kunshan, great for a pleasant walk anytime of the year.

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    At first, I wasn’t too impressed with the buildings…. polluted river? yeah.

  • Duke University, Kunshan, China

    After the final exams, Fred and I decided to take a walk around Yangcheng lake outside of Shanghai, and to take a look at the new branch of his school, Duke University, in China. The school is also situated near the huge lake.

  • Last Fishing Village around Shanghai, Shanghai, China

    Next week, I joined the walking group on a visit to the last fishing village around Shanghai, Jinshan village.

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    After some two hours of

  • Museum Visits in Shanghai, Shanghai, China

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    Found an English walking tour. Today they are going to visit a museum and Tianzifang next to it.

  • A Visit to NYC Shanghai

    My friend Non who teaches at NYC Shanghai told me an organic fresh market event at their school.  I have never heard NYC in Shanghai – or any U.S. university in China.

    Jing’an Temple District Tour, Shanghai, China

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    Already been in Shanghai for a month, still a fresh newbie.  Heard there was a walking tour next to the Shanghai Conference Center. 

  • Jisung’s Visit, Shanghai, China

    Announcing my move to Shanghai prompted a few friends of mine the urge to visit Shanghai. Jisung made his as soon as I have arrived in Shanghai – in a better weather than when I visited him in Korea during the blizzardy February .

  • Xitang Day 2, China–Part II

    Next up is the Buttons Museum, which is nested in another mansion.

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    Grand living room.

  • Xitang Day 2, China–Part I

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    Woke up and found these for my breakfast.  Breads made of sticky rice and osmanthus flowers.  Fish and flowers symbolize auspiciousness.

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  • Xitang Day 1, China

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    You know you have arrived in somewhere super local when the police station is spelled in Chinese pinyin.

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    But where

  • West Lake Day 2, Hangzhou, China

    Yulia told me there were good eats around Gulou (Drum Tower), so I went to check it out. Only to discover I was too early for the crowd, they only work nights.

    Hangzhou West Lake Day 1, Hangzhou, China

    It takes a while for the landlord to get my newly-rented Shanghai apartment furnished, so I decided to take a stroll around the West Lake in Hangzhou – just an hour away from Shanghai.

    The weather report says it’s only partially rainy today but in Beijing partially rain means almost

  • New World & Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China

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    Stayed at a friend’s house in Shanghai, who recommended New World not far from the house. I wasn’t exactly looking for it but bumped into it on my way to Shanghai Museum.

    Jingzhou Museum, Hubei, China

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    One thing I liked about Jingzhou – or any town that size – you can almost always get a seat on public bus.

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    The

  • Wuhan Stay

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    Going home was never easy. For adventure of it, I took the bus instead of the subway – and regretted it! We bumped into a group of people left by the last bus broken. The driver took

  • Before Moving Out of Beijing

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    Not sure what happened with this bike parked next to a metro, was it the owner or was it the thief?

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    Love the translation.

  • Peking Former Residence of Soong Ching Ling, Beijing

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    I had long been wanting to visit this place. There were so many stories behind both the residence and the residents themselves, each and everyone of great significance during the past 200 years. Here,

  • Houhai, Beijing

    Haven’t really visited Houhai (or the garden in the back of the Forbidden City) in a long time.  This is actually one of my favorite hangout places in Beijing, and I’m very sure many locals are

  • Wild Great Wall Hike, Huairou, China

    Two years ago when I just got to Beijing I took some arduous hiking trips with this Great Wall hiking group. At the start, I didn’t enjoy it a whole lot. It was more work than fun. Now thinking back, I long the little adventure we had back then.

  • People’s Park, Shanghai

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    Upon returning to Shanghai for more interviews, I upgraded my hotel room to a Japanese style room – for 1 day Smile

  • AmCham Young Professional Panel, Barbeque

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    Dilemma of no bottle opener and only one bottle of wine needs it.  I YouTubed the 10 ways you can open the wine bottles without an opener, and nope, my chosen method didn’t work.

  • DMZ Tour, South Korea

    The past month have kept me pretty busy. I missed train times where I get to sit around and play with my photos. I found this set of photo from my Korea trip last March. Keep in mind I might be going to Korea next month, so there will

  • Barbeques and Delicacies around Seoul, South Korea

    You could never have figured this fairy-tale building in a common city neighborhood is actually a brand new hostel.

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    The hostel has only opened for a month, but have already

  • Honolulu, Hawaii

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    Going from LA to Honolulu, the plane took straight to the sky above the ocean.

    Vienna Beach

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    My cousin took me to Vienna beach before I left LA. He parked the car right in front of sand volleyball court, reminded me of back in the day when Jonovan used to play sand volleyball

  • Getty Center, Los Angeles

    Going from the airport to my cousin’s UCLA apartment, we passed by a huge mansion on top of a hill. “That’s Getty Center.” My cousin proudly pointed out, “it has the biggest private art collection in the world.  But I haven’t visited it yet.”

    Then let’s get that done before

  • SMU and Foods

    One thing I missed about Texas is the cheap, quality country barbeque.  Although more pounds on top of my currently borderline overweight is certainly not the most desirable, I figured that I could still manage it once a

  • Dallas Chinese New Year Performance

    My mom bought a pair of performance tickets for Chinese New Year while scavenging around the supermarket. The recent Chinese government unloading its departments excess, now the artistic department is no longer regarded as a government luxury but to be enjoyed by Chinese public.  For the Chinese New Year,

  • Cowboys Stadium, Dallas

    To start off, I need to apologize for more than a month long hiatus.  I changed a web host and apparently the remote connection did not work with the new host.  It took me a while to figure out how to fix it.  Meanwhile all the pictures from my

  • A Recital from a Piano Genius

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    A friend of mine is a huge fanatic of classical concerts.  She mentioned there is a concert at Zhongshan Concert Hall, the oldest concert hall, right next to the Forbidden City.  Out of curiosity, I came

  • Texas Night–UT Alumni Beijing Chapter

    My alma mater alum association decided to squeeze our resources together and organize a Texas themed banquet.  It’s our first try since the dawn of humankind, we also invited folks from other Texas colleges join us.

    One of our alums had a connection with one of the newest 4 star

  • New Years Eve

    Last day of work before year 2015, I was sent off to another location for something and wasn’t going to come back to the office. Then I remembered something and had to come back.  I barely put my bag down before one of my coworkers peeked out from the

  • Beijing around Christmas

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    A friend said there was a travel sharing meeting now far from where I live. As an avid traveler, I decided to drop in.

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  • Phoenix Mountain Nature Park, Beijing

    Me and Xiaolin decided to visit West mountains range west of Beijing with a group of MBA graduates.  Since I had to rush a bit of work in the morning, so I told her to come a bit later, little did we know that she was stuck in traffic

  • Visit Weifang Hospital in Construction

    My colleague wanted me to accompany her showing the top folks of our partner, Joslin Diabetes Center (part of the Harvard Medical School) the hospital we are going to work with them in Weifang, Shandong province of China.  It is a huge project and the first endeavor in this

  • Thanksgiving & Salons

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    The best Thanksgiving meal I have ever had was with Cory at Lily’s Restaurant north of Sanlitun.  It tasted just as good as it looked.

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    Bad

  • Cocktail Making Party for Singles Day

    The singles day started on November 11, 2011 (111111). A group of college students in China decided to party over their singleness. Within the next 3 years, it has grown into a huge Chinese national online shopping holiday, and everyone – not just singles, will over run all the

  • Sledge Hammer Mountain, Chengde, China

    Second day in our Chengde stay, we decided to explore a strange looking mountain seen from our hotel.  Apparently the huge rock sticking out from the mountain range is one of the wonders around the area.  The locals called it

  • Old Summer Retreat, Chengde, China

    I have long been wanting to visit old Summer Palace in Chengde.  It’s already pretty late in the year consider this place is a summer retreat, so it does get cold in the winter.  But with my mom’s visit we decided to squeeze in this trip so there is

  • My Birthday

    For the first time in my life, I decided to hold a small party to celebrate my birthday.  It wasn’t anything grand, but it was special.

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    Friends from Texas and dancing, colleagues and my translator friends.

  • Xiling Gorge, Hubei, China

    On our way to Tribes of Three Gorges we spotted another fun place, so second day we decided to visit the Xiling Gorge. As we stepped off the bus I needed a potty run, and the lady of the shop were I took my bathroom break told me that

  • Sunny

    Let’s begin with a story.  On my first West Coast Swing (a type of swing dance) party coming back traveling around the world, I met this new girl.  Sunny is a Chinese American from California.  Since there were very, very few Chinese in the Texan swing dance scene, I

  • Tribe of the Three Gorges, Hubei, China

    My ancestors were all from along the Yangzi River one time or another.  Although we were always close to this area, but we never really appreciated the spectacular Three Gorges.  I heard from others about it countless times, even though a lot of the times I was just an

  • Forbidden City Corner Tower, Zhongshan Park, Beijing

    Funniest thing happened that day as I was walking outside the Forbidden City.  A street vendor came up trying to sell me something.  I ignored her swiftly and, like any Chinese, dexterously avoided her blockage.  From our back came up another lady, “she’s  a foreigner. You can’t sell her

  • Beijing Car Museum

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    Cory said I have to check out this car museum, so one Saturday I took an hour subway all the way to south 5th ring.

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  • Shashi Dam, Shashi, China

    So I found out that the dam is not far from where my grandma stays in Shashi.  “Really, you haven’t seen the dam? But you have been visiting for the past 2 years!  And it’s just down the street.” So the next morning we did just that.

  • Cool Coffee Shop in Beijing Hutong

    Who said I’m too old to take pictures with cute puffy animals?

    Bumped into one of the neatest coffee shops in town.  After winding through a little inlet, your eyes

  • Album Opening Party and Planetarium

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    Had a crab egg soup, a typical Beijinger dish the other day.  Love the crabby bowl!

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    One of my clients, Anna, had her album

  • 798 Visit with Yang

    Me and Yang decided to visit 798, Yang especially wanted to visit the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA).

    We were greeted with a hall full of most random streaks.

    2014-08-09</a></p>
</div></div></li><li class=Tanzhe Temple, Beijing, China

    First there was Tanzhe, then there was Beijing. – Chinese Proverb

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    So there was a saying that early temple prayers are good for your soul.  We got up at 5am one Saturday morning and out of downtown Beijing by

  • Eating around Shanghai

    Went with Yang to visit Shanghai and bumped into a café with his name….

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    That night we met a few of his friends.

    Porridge Pot and English Salon

    Yang talked about a porridge hot place not far from where I live, so one morning went there for breakfast.

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    A huge pot of porridge

  • National Museum Ceramics Visit

    Meet Mr. Apple-Vodka. Was introduced to this bottle in a French restaurant the other day.  This strange looking concoction was made up with a small apple and vodka.  Put a small apple through the bottle mouth into the

  • New Employee Boot Camp

    I’m definitely not the busiest person in the company, but every time there was a new employee boot camp something always came up.  Before I knew it, here I am, 7 month in and still haven’t gone through the camp.  Needless to say I found myself couldn’t refuse the

  • Tourism Expo and Tongzhou Grand Canal Park

    Got a new desk for my apartment, bought it second hand from a craiglist-like website.  Fortunately, Mr. Yang is willing to help me taking the desk home.

    It’s

  • Tian’anmen Square, Beijing, China

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    Day 2, we went to Tian’anmen Square, the center of Beijing.

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    You have to touch these knobs on the gate for good fortune.

  • Great Wall–Mutianyu Section, Beijing, China

    Haider, my dancing friend from Dallas, decided to come to Beijing for a weekend trip (long ways, I know).  So we decided to spend 1 day on Great Wall and the other day in Tiananmen.  It also happened that Hilary is going back to Dallas in about a week

  • Cow’s tongue, Baby Gourds

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    “Language lets people love each other; it also lets people hate each other” in Uyghur language.

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    Cute slippers for couples.

    It rained a lot

  • Apartment Hunting, Wrapping Zongzi

    Found one of my favorite coffee shop actually lets you make your own coffee of choice, here is my very first professional hot chocolate – not a small feat should I add Streets in Nanluoguxiang, Beijing

    Went to a lecture at European Union embassy talking about China’s “leftover” women phenomena. Where women over 27 years old are tabooed as “leftover” and subsequently divided into smaller categories.

    Women 35

  • Beijing People’s Art Theatre Museum

    Made a mini-trip to Hubei, where I found this while shopping with my cousin.

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    Afterwards, we had an all too stuffed lunch at one of the restaurants nearby.

  • Beijing Suburb Day Trip II – Dajue Temple

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    Our final destination for the day was Dajue Temple (大觉寺).  The temple sets right at the foot of West Mountain outside of Beijing.

    As our bus rolling in, I was taken by surprise – this must NOT

  • Beijing Suburb Day Trip I–Kite Museum & Imperial Rice Village

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    One of my old clients, Beijing magazine, hosts foreigners in embassy and foreign executives Chinese culture-related activities every quarter.  Although I no longer work for them, I lucked outSmile

  • Swing Dance Party, Orchestra Shows, More Foods

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    I didn’t get to attend Great Wall Swing Out, but I did make to their farewell party, where they have celebrated the festival’s 7th anniversary.

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  • UT Alum Summer Palace Meet-Up

    Since I won’t have class on Sunday, I jumped in a UT alum picnic in Summer Palace that morning.

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    The river that runs through the entrance of what

  • Food, Food, Food

    An intern in our office went to Jeju Island for vacation (yes, the one with the sunken boat recently) and brought us gifts.

    Apparently the island is known for its

  • Meet-Ups, Guest Speakers

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    A lot of folks I met wondered what does salsa scene looks like… so this is the floor of Salsa Caribe, the biggest salsa place in Beijing. You could grab a good salsa any day besides

  • Swing Dancing and Custom Party

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    Went swing dancing on Monday, watching Shin Sham, reminding me good o days.

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  • Flowers, Chocolates and Birthdays

    I know this has been quite a bit late, but I had the hardest time recovering from my jetlag and then I got sick for 2 weeks (and still sick right now)….  Sorry for all the delays!

    A bunch of flowers

  • Chinese New Year 2–Dumplings and Games

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    James friends threw a dumpling party at their house on the Chinese New Year.  The last time I had actually made dumplings was when I was 10 or 11.  So I was all excited to revisit the experience…but

  • Chinese New Year Dinners

    After the one-day New York City trip, we had a Chinese New Year hotpot party at Jame’s house.

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    Getting prepared, checking at the hotpot.

    New York in One Day

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    Going to New York from Beijing Capital Airport – one of the best serviced airports in the world.  Among a bunch of free amenities, I found this luggage cart with a special baby seat most intriguing.

  • Chinese New Year Banquet Before Leaving for U.S.

    It’s pre-Chinese New Year party, the company has prepared a banquet for all the people who are staying in Beijing without a family.

     

    Tim’s Visit from Mongolia and Pingpong Tournament

    I met Tim Jenkins while being thrown off my plans hitchhiking along Mongolian highway.  It was one of those low days when I feel alone and abandoned I met this Peacecorp in the middle of nowhere.  It is

  • New Years Eve, New Year

    It’s the start of Winter in Chinese lunar calendar, and everyone should eat dumplings. I also contributed to the dumpling restaurant industry my fair share….

     

  • Parkview Green Visit

    Something special happened after today’s salsa class.  Amanda was having a birthday and she brought us a cake.

    The hostess at

  • 798 Visit with Cousin

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    Comparing to last year, Beijing’s winter this year was simply amazing.  Every week we had more clear days than smog days. December 15th was no exception.  So it was said that the Central government warned the Mayor of

  • Shopping in U-Town, Beijing

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    My cousin is here, to celebrate her arrival, I brought her to one of my favorite restaurants in town – Element Fresh, located in the famous Sanlitun shopping center in the embassy district.

    Beijing Snacks Tasting

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    I was invited to Experience the Culture of Chinese Imperial Cuisine by one of our clients.  Hopefully we’ll be fed like a king Smile.

  • Wuhan Snacks

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    Xiaolin brought me to a Korean barbeque place for lunch.  I’ve always heard about Korean barbeques but never tried it.  Apparently, you heat your meat on a piece of BBQ paper over the coal, very

  • Guilin, Guangxi Province, China

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    The first thing after we have returned to Guilin is to visit the famous hill that shaped like an elephant trunk.  Which is now made into a park that charges an exurbanite fee to visitors.

  • Longji (Dragon Spine) Rice Terrace, Guangxi Province, China

    We did not know that the rice paddy field is actually on the other side of the Guilin, so either we book a really expensive tour package from Yangshuo directly to the paddy field, or take a bus to from Yangshuo to Guilin, change the bus station in Guilin

  • Ten Miles Gallery, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

    After the bamboo raft, we strolled along what’s so called “ten-mile gallery”, or a scenery road stretched for some 10 li (Chinese distance measurement),  equivalent of 5km.

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    First stop, the Old Banyan Tree.

    Bamboo Raft on Yulong River, Yangshuo, China

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    Bright & early in the morning, our raft guy started preparing his raft.

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    Helping mom to get into her seat.

  • Li River Cruise to Yangshuo

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    We decided to take a boat to Yangshuo by waterway the next day.

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    Our row of boat.

    Double Tower, Guilin, China

    We weren’t surprised when hordes of travel agencies, hotel agents, and drivers hounded us at the train station in the middle of this too touristy city.  But we also knew for sure that train station isn’t exactly an attractive place to stay around, so we ventured out to the

  • World Trotters’ Meet-Up in Wangfujing, Beijing

    2013-11-11 002

    A Egyptian British couchsurfer, Hisham, wanted to meet me up after his visit to Forbidden City.  So I suggested Wangfujing, one of the oldest streets and shopping centers just a few blocks east of the Palace, known

  • Dashilar and Bar Camp

    2013-11-06 002

    Found the best place to enjoy yoga in Beijing, just 22 floors towering over the most commercial district, where you could see my office from its drop-down window.

    798 Visit with Hilary

    My favorite artist Hilary came to Beijing, of course, 798 Art District came in mind and I knew she would love this place.

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    One of my favorite artists in this district is actually an oil painter.  This is

  • Hamster, Dashan, and NFL Cheerleaders

    Found this tiny little hamster in the hallway of my apartment building.  I almost mistook it for a little mouse.  He sniffed around my shoe for a while, then tried to hide.  He was clearly abandoned

  • Sunday Brunch and Dance Studio Anniversary

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    For my birthday (October 8), my mom got me a small cake. She also discovered my favorite dessert, cheese cake, in the same shop by accident.

    2013-10-17</a></p>
</div></div></li><li class=Yuanmingyuan (Old Summer Palace)

    The other day I was passing by this park on my way to my cousin’s wedding.  I’ve heard about this park since I was little, but didn’t know it was open for public.  Then a friend told me all about the lotuses in the park and I went, “did

  • Confucius Temple and Imperial Academy

    We found Confucius temple and old Imperial Academy on a tour guide. So We decided to visit there as they probably won’t have hordes of tourists like Forbidden City or Great Wall of China.

    2013-10-08 087_stitch

    The subway station is

  • Chaoyang Park Festival

    Mom said there is a little tourism festival not far from my apartment in Chaoyang Park during the break.  So I went there to check it out.  Though walking into the park,  I couldn’t feel anything different besides that

  • 798 Art District and Salsa at LAN Club

    Mom was also interested in going to 798, the art district made out of a bunch of abandoned factory buildings.

    2013-10-08 001

    Cute little ornamental characters dressed in

  • Beijing Capital Museum

    Mom is visiting me for the Golden Week holiday in China.  We decided not to venture to anywhere as everyone is rushing for the touristy cities.  Instead, we stayed in Beijing, which is equally as crowded since it’s the country’s birthday and this is the capital.  I strategically planned

  • Lecture on Future of Immortality and China Open

    2013-09-28 006

    I found this cute little Jewish community by accident and had been going to their lectures recently.

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    The last lecture was from the founding

  • Fancy Moon Cakes and Creating a Music Video

    It’s that time of the year again!  All I could think of Mid-Autumns Festival is the yummy moon cakes.  Last year was the first time in a long time that I get a free stream of moon

  • Wanshou Temple, Beijing, China

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    A while ago, I was translating a piece of TV show on Wanshou Temple, which houses Beijing Art Museum.  It piqued my interest ever since then.  Since I finally settled back to Beijing after almost

  • Tracing through Decades – Yangxin, Hubei Province, China

    Chairman Mao’s worst joke to China was cultural revolution, where millions of young people forced stop schooling and sent to work in the countryside.  My mom was sent to work in a village factory near Yangxin, a small town in between Jiangxi and Hubei provinces, where she met dad.

    More

  • Break in Beijing and Strange Fruit in Wuhan

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    There is a popular Muslim BBQ place around my neighborhood. They are known for their gigantic lamb BBQ on iron skewer. One day I was finally hungry enough to give it a try…. Now I

  • Mt. Tai, Shandong Province, China

    The highlight of Tai’an trip is of course the man himself, Mt. Tai.  As one of the five major mountains in Central Plains, it is also one of the most popular tourist attractions in China.  Fortunately, you could finish your homework in one day since this mountain is not

  • Tai’an, Shangdong Province, China

    Richard is holding another one of those trade shows that need foreign faces.  Since it is in Tai’an, right next to one of the Five Mountains in China, Mt. Tai, I decided to booty off the free trip.

    I was

  • Songpan, Sichuan Province, China

    We were dropped off at a junction after Huanglong adventure, there we hitchhiked our way to Songpan.  The town is known for its thousand years of history, where a small section of the original wall still stood.

    David at Emma’s Guesthouse received us. His family is about one of the

  • Huanglong (Yellow Dragon), Sichuan Province, China

    2013-08-27 003

    We took an early morning bus for Huanglong, another scenic park 3 hours from Jiuzhaigou in the mountains.  We were told that the altitude of this park is over 3000 meter. While I was worried

  • Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan Province, China – Day2, Long Sea and Others

    We were worried about paying for another park entrance fee (a whooping 50 US Dollars) after getting out of our hotel.  Before we knew it, we were immediately harassed by park staff for another bus fee (15 US Dollars), despite the fact that we wanted to walk up for

  • Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan Province, China–Day1, Primeval Forest and Its Lakes

    A great day to get around Jiuzhaigou, one of the most beautiful places in China, known for its hundreds of lakes in all sorts of colors.

    The valley is divided

  • Going to Jiuzhaigou, Tibetan Zone, China

    Was contemplating whether I should take a half-hour plane or a 10-hour bus to Jiuzhaigou, but I was told the bus ride is one of the most scenic in China.  So I got on the bus from

  • Chengdu Walking Tour, Hotpot, and West Coast Swing

    2013-08-22 003

    My hostel in Chengdu organizes walking tours every Monday night, so I joined their dinner before they took off.  They found this hole-in-the-wall place not far from the hostel, where the foods are quite oily

  • Panda Base and Daoist Temple, Chengdu, China

    We have to take one of those scenic trolleys to the Panda base

    Though small, everything is made out of bamboos in this trolley

  • Swimsuit Exhibition in Gourd Island, Liaoning Province, China

    Yulia was looking around for someone to replace her boyfriend (who went out on a business trip) to go on this swimsuit exhibition trip free of charge. They had a very good experience with another trade show the last time so I jumped on board with her.

  • Cousin’s Wedding, Farting Cow and World-Famous Tap Dancer

    2013-08-11 001

    After Shanghai, I ran back to Beijing for my cousin’s wedding.  I spent quite sometime looking for the restaurant. Well, this restaurant with my cousin and his wife’s names rolling on the marquee must be

  • Shanghai Bars and Shopping

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    Went to Shanghai to visit Johnathan, my bachelor friend who was so excited to finally settled with a girlfriend. After dinner with them at a local Muslim restaurant, I met them up at the bar.

    “Shanghai is a

  • Ice Creams and Hawaiian Themed Swing Dance

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    Thought the 32 kuai shaved ice was indeed too pricey by Chinese standard. But for what I’m getting, not bad (especially considering that’s my favorite flavor, greentea. Hooya!)

    Bamboo Raft and Drift Near Fangshan, China

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    The Beijing translation team organized a team outing to the outskirt of the city.  The description says that we will take a 3 hour ride to the outside of the city, then we will barbeque

  • River Walk along the Great Wall of China

    Another weekend with Beijing Walkers.  We went immediately onto the Wall as soon as we got off the bus.

  • Eating, Shopping

    First time I got a plant baby, you just soak it for an hour then it will grow these green hairs a few days later.

    First time trying

  • Great Wall–Miyun Section

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    Nannan signed me up for the Great Wall Hike on Sunday with Beijing Walkers.  To look for where it is located, I searched high and low on its website, but the address is still quite

  • Dancing Around Lotus Market

    Was browsing around the supermarket the other day and found these the translation for “kiwi”. It was literally translated into “strange fruit” in Chinese.

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  • Parks, Dances, and Tianjin

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    First time trying out Men Guo, a type of hot pot where you cook beforehand instead of dipping raw food in boiling water.  We picked out our ingredients and sauces first, and the waitress would bring

  • Rock Climbing in White River (Baihe)

    Nannan has been talking about rock climbing for a few weeks now, and I was always curious about it.  On my way back to China I got her invitation for another climbing session.  It happened that I will be free that day so I decided to check it out.

    We

  • Seattle

    Mother has been on my heels about this kindergarten classmate of mine who just moved to Seattle for a job.

    “His mother has always been talking about him, how great he is, and she was so proud of him.” Then my mother would give me this look to make me

  • Packing for China

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    First thing first, my little hill of letters waiting for me to open – some of them have been there for the past 9 months…

    A couple days later, I found Jule’s card in my freshly arrived mails. 

  • DallasLindy

    2013-06-04 010

    Really excited for this dance event this year, not only will I be volunteering, I will also be the official representative for Karizmah Dance Shoes – the premier dance shoes seller in DFW area.

  • 2013 DFW ProAm Jam and Family Outing

    I am volunteering at DFW this year again, I forgot how exciting (and exhausting) this event was…. I had a lot of fun volunteering, except for this time there was no breakfast for us…. so I ended up running out of energy on the floor fairly sooner than I

  • SwingDiego Dances

    How in the world did they shape the palm trees like that at the entrance of the resort

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    I was sharing a room with

  • Los Angeles Stay with Jonovan, Part II, Evening Art Walk

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    I wanted to eat something “LA”, and on our way back we found people setting up their trailer food stands.  “Like, we could eat here, it will be cheap” I half joked.

    “Yeah, these

  • Los Angeles Stay with Jonovan, Part I, Day Time

    I remember the last time I left Los Angeles, Jonovan went, “well this might be the last time I see you.”  I told him stop thinking about it.  At least in Chinese terms, there is no last good bye.  I was right, at least for this time.  I decided

  • 789 Art District, Line and Balboa Dancing

    2013-05-06 004

    A

  • The Rest of Film Festival, Family Visit

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    Press conference of the German nominated film Lore.  Producer of the Lore present.

    Working at Beijing Film Festival

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    Me and my boss went to Beijing International Film Festival to work as their on-site translators.  I know what you are thinking: movie stars, movies, happy

  • Beijing Duck (Kaoya) Adventure, Hui’s Visit

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    Stopped by a bar with all these wine jars embedded in the wall, I wonder if they were real….

    I got some couchsurfers in my

  • Museums Tomb Sweeping Holiday

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    Went out to the historical part of the city in the rain, so we decided to dodge the weather by sitting in a Chinese

  • Traditional Chinese Concert

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    The 24-Hour convenience shop in my office building has a sandwich section, and because of the strawberry season, they came up with strawberry sandwiches.

  • Spring is Here!

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    My first Chinese medicine came in already-stewed packages. Apparently nowadays when you order Chinese medicine in China, the drug store could cook it and

  • Chinese Resume – Please Include a Picture

    I don’t know about you, but being hired based on my hereditary traits makes me feel like a dog.

    I remember being looked over on day 1, simply because I’m not white enough.  No sir, I’m not a Poodle!

    Before coming to China, I met an English teacher who warned me,

  • More Snow

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    Walking down Houhai on a Sunday morning, the sky was especially blue, a rare scene in the already-over-polluted Beijing.

    Mom’s Beijing Visit

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    My mom passed

  • China National Museum, Swing Dance at CDBlues

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    On a beautiful Sunday I went with Dou to the China National Museum right in Tian’anmen Square.  Of course, I didn’t land here by

  • Speed Date, Friends, Parks

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    For the Festival of Lights, everyone got 8 cartons sweet dumplings.  Then with other office mates distributing theirs, I actually ended up with 12

  • My Chinese Hospital Adventure

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    Coming back from Spring Festival, I found myself stocked up with candies like a Halloween kid.  This will last me all year, feel free

  • Weird Name, Weird Chips, and Parks

    I had like the funniest dream ever, I went around the neighborhood to ask kids what’s their favorite junk foods.  And these kids always mentioned these popular kids in the neighborhoods.  One of these popular kids name is Beefah, and he likes these greasy cactus chips that had the

  • Visiting Relatives during Spring Festival

    13-02-16 002

    Went to play Catan with some good friends in Beijing, it was a lot of fun, and I’m officially hooked (read more about it:

  • On Chinese Kids Who Don’t Speak Chinese

    “I don’t agree with those parents avoid talking Spanish to their kids because they think English is a superior language,” Laura, a cheerful Mexican-American secretary used to say that in my old office.

    It never dawned on me until today.

    For the second time in mere months of my stay, I

  • On Marriage

    Like a million other things, I’m a product Made in China.  However, unlike half of my brethren, I was exported to USA – just like the other half.   So the past 5 months of my life in China has been… ya know, very typically different from your typical laowai,

  • Kunming II, Yunnan, China

    We got back in Kunming around 5 in the morning, so those 2 decided to stay in the hotel and sleep all day. I guess by this time of the trip I’m the only one that’s got any energy to keep going.  So I searched high and low for

  • Lijiang Old Town, Yunnan, China

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    Since none of us wanted to spend 400 yuan to get on top of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山), we decided to

  • White Sand Village, Yunnan, China

    Since I don’t want to get on the expensive cable car to the top of the Jaded Dragon Snow Mountain, I figured it would be nice

  • Old Tea Trade Route, Lijiang, Yunnan, China

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    We were warned about the sun in this bare land.  Since it would be so windy and we are at a much higher altitude,

  • Cang Mountain, Dali, Yunnan, China

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    Xiaomei decided to try some grilled grasshoppers, “try it Jenny”… I  was a bit freaked out that by the time I let everything to sink in,

  • Erhai Cruise, Dali, Yunnan, China

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    Our breakfast consists of fried buns topped with shrimp and fried erkuai

    Butterfly Spring, near Dali, Yunnan, China

    We took an overnight train and arrived Dali (大理)the next morning.  The old town itself is actually about half an hour drive across vast farm fields at the foot of Cang mountain.

  • Kunming I, Yunnan, China

    After the company’s yearly celebration, the three of us restless souls spared no time and hopped on 6am Kunming (昆明)-bound flight; this is where the fun really starts Smile

    New Year Gatherings

    Sorry for another two weeks of break, I went to Yunnan for vacation and just got back.  I will post all the pix as soon as possible.

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    My aunt

  • Right before the New Year, Beijing Snow, New Metro

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    Beijing snowed!  Looking out the snowy intersection from my fifth floor window

    Prince Gong’s Mansion

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    We passed by this ancient drug store Tong Rentang in nicely build traditional Chinese courtyard, we thought this was the original drug store from some 300

  • Apartment Hunting 2, Fried soybean sauce noodles

    Don’t know how I have lived some 15 years ago, my live was drastically changed when I couldn’t connect to an internet for some two weeks.  For one thing, I could not update my blog. Not to mention that my family actually lives half way around the world and

  • Random stuff in Wuhan

    (Sorry guys, I went to a lot of places for my visa and just recently moved, so I did not have a lot of time to sort out my pictures.  Not to mention I was out of internet since I moved.  My apartment will be out of connection until

  • Tea-tasting, badminton, messages…

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    Though I’m not a super fanatic, but my workplace had a tea-tasting session, it’s just hard to pass up free stuff, especially during work

  • Hong Kong Visa Run

    Though I am one of those few folks prefer the endless prairie in Mongolia than a bustling world-class city, Hong Kong, I had to go to

  • Eating around Wuhan

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    They say that hot and dry noodles is a Wuhan specialty.  Well I didn’t feel it that way till I went to Beijing.  Now

  • Chicken Claws, Chicken Heads, and All that

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    My aunt cooked me chicken claws (or the so-called phoenix claws in Chinese) the other day.  I knew that we, Chinese, love these stuff,

  • Apartment Searching and Swing Dancing

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    First

  • First Week in Beijing, Internet, Lindyhop, etc.

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    Femi was right on my troublemaking skills…. I had internet problem in my aunt’s house, while I was fixing this problem, I broke their

  • Going to Shashi, Moving to BeiJing

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    I  met a lot of relatives in Shashi, granted I got somewhere around 200 of them.  One of my numerous aunt (she’s 8 years older than

  • Chinese Bus Dramas

    When it comes luck during the busiest holiday traffic season, I am always out of luck in getting myself to somewhere.  This time – as I should have known – is certainly no exception when you are trying to fight your way though a billion other people (no pun

  • Pre Mid-Autumn Festival and National Holiday

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    Someone in my office got married last weekend.  Apparently when you get married in China you should pass around candies – of course I

  • Grandma is Leaving Her Apartment…

    The other day mom told me her decision to move my grandma to her sister’s house in Shashi, her hometown 5 hours away from here.  “What about her apartment?” I was in shock.

    “Oh, you know, we will back out as soon as possible.” I know mom was trying to

  • Hong Kong, China for a Visa-Run Weekend

    From all the report I got, I’d love to visit Hong Kong.  That being said, I wasn’t overly thrilled to take out unnecessary workdays from my new job to travel.  Here is my Catch-22, my visa is expiring, but my work visa isn’t coming in till 2-3 weeks later. 

  • Before and After Starting My First Translation Job

    Ok, first, I must admit that I’m not your true 100% native English speaker, but I got a translation job as a native English translator! Coincidence?  Alright alright, I was not born in America, my parents do not speak English, and my English isn’t 100% perfect and I do

  • First Month in China

    Woot!  I can’t believe its already been a month since I rushed myself to China.  I was going to move to China in August – right about now – after Hui’s wedding.  On the morning of July 9th (last month), my mom got a phone call from my aunt

  • Updates on My Blog – Machu Picchu Photos

    After a month of laboring on moving my Facebook photos over to this blog, I am finally done with the photos and annotations on first leg of my trip on European-Morocco-Trans-Siberian trip.  Today I’m starting to upload the photos with my South American trip.  I’m trying to match up

  • Foreign Girl wanted for office job (Caucasian preferred) – Interested anyone?

    Just found this job post on echinacities.com:

    http://jobs.echinacities.com/showjob-162443.html

    *******************************************************************************************

    Foreign Girl wanted for office job (Caucasian preferred)

    Job ID:162443
    Post City:Beijing
    Posted by:faceeip
    Post Date:Jul 05, 2012 14:10
    Employment Type:Full Time
    Recruiter Type:Agent

    About Employer:
    Employer Name: Facee International
    Facee International is a multi divisional company dealing with Intellectual Property, Appliances and manufacturing and

  • Possibility of Teaching English for Free

    I thought about this for a while, since I can’t really teach English in China as an Asian American, why can’t I just tutor some kids for free and try to get paid customers later? Not that I’m desperate to teach English, but since I am a bit

  • The Most Frustrating Internet

    China has by far the most frustrating internet service – I haven’t been to middle east so I can’t attest that in comparison.  For little as $13-15 a month you could get what’s so-called high-speed internet – high-speed only when it works – that’s the detail they won’t tell

  • My $$ Hungry Uncle in China

    These days were not only the stress of my grandma’s health problems, but also the stress of my grandma’s house.   A couple years ago my parents bought this house under their name for my grandma to enjoy her late life.  Now my grandma is in hospital critical condition

  • The China Rush

    It still feels like a dream… 10 days ago I was still dreaming about Hui’s wedding, the wine tour in Wala Wala Valley, and the upcoming dance events…. and how did I end up here in China all the sudden?

    My grandma was sent to critical condition room last Monday.

  • Dancing class in Terry’s studio

    Last night one of the master dancers asked me to join his class in his studio today…

    “So… is it a beginners class?” I was a little worried since it is the beginning of his next term, and the class is 3 hours, with transportation it will take up a

  • WWW–Wild Wild Westie Weekend

    I always wondered how Ben Morris danced in real life so here is my chance, he came to Dallas for one weekend of workshop and fun.   Like a usual workshop weekend, I learned a lot patterns – and mostly patterns than techniques, but I had more fun watching

  • Dallas Pro-Am Jam

    I had an awesome time working and dancing at DFW ProAm Jam… danced till I see double and my legs about to melt to the floor with every additional spin…. Looking forward for another fantastic coming up weekend with Dallas Lindy 😉

    My visit to Sandunga

    This dance studio is not that new to me, but since I never really stayed with my parents, now coming back after a year of travel everything felt so new to me.  Not many people showed up for the pre-dance lesson, but I needed it since I forgot almost

  • Chinese Choir Performance in Plano

    Mom has been mentioning about this Chinese choir performance at a local church every quarter and she really liked the menu on this coming up one.  With the absence of my dad, she recruited me to accompany her.

    Dallas Hair Show

    “I need a hair cut…” This is not the first time I told myself the sad truth on this trip… and finally I’m coming home after a year on the road.  So here is my chance to grab a good hair as a good omen for my next few

  • Lima, Peru II

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    It feels like a full circle when I saw Verena, the first girl I met on this trip, here in Lima, the last city before wrapping up my

  • Chauchilla, Paredones Aqua ducts, Peru

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    While in Nazca, I met an Israeli that morning before going to take my plane tour.

    “Are you going take the plane tour?” I asked him.

    “No, but one of these two girls is…. ” He pointed to the two empty beds, looking a little strange.

    Soon after I was

  • Nazca Lines, Peru

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    Before coming to Nazca, I’ve heard many things about Nazca Lines on top of its already well-known  shapes conjugated from their disarray of endless lines…  Some people mentioned these lines must came from the ancient Nazca, now a group of people next to extinction.  However most people

  • Colca Valley and Colca Canyon, Peru

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    Like many places in Andes, National Park Lauca was just another world wonder sent its visitors lost in time. After Lauca, I was going to stay in Arica for a day, but oddly enough I found out that I was actually day off on my travel plan.

  • National Park Lauca, Chile

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    The Footprint guidebook named this place as “one of the most spectacular national parks in Chile”. Well, this writer pretty much got me on my feet to check it out myself. My original plan was to get to Arica, a big coastal city in northern tip of

  • La Paz, Bolivia

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    Running into a highway riot just 2 hours from La Paz on my 26-hour journey from Salta is not as an easy matter as I have expected. I read and heard about them on my way here….   At first, I thought our bus got stuck in traffic

  • Tiwanaku Ruins, Bolivia

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    I first read about Tiwanaku while planning on La Paz. My Footprint travel guide
    dedicated an entire page describing how important it is both historically and
    architecturally. After reading it I felt it probably is worth a day trip from La Paz.
    Then that night when I

  • Purmamarca, Argentina

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    I was quite hesitant to ride long-hour buses to go to La Paz.  To break this 26 hours journey, I stopped by a little village Purmamarca, known for its seven colored mountains.  I was dropped off with 2 runners by the road that goes into the mountain. 

  • Salta, Argentina

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    I have heard so many good things about Salta that I had to come for a visit.  As one of the biggest cities in Argentina and close to colonial Bolivia, Salta naturally has a feel of Spanish colonial times.  Its white building sort of reminded me of

  • Quilmes, Argentina

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    Another reason why I wanted to stop by El Cafayate – Quilmes ruin was not too far away from here.  According to the Footprint my travel guidebook:

    “The setting is amazing, an intricate web of walls built into the mountain side, where 5000 members of a Diaguita tribe

  • El Cafayate, Argentina

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    The first stop after getting out of Paraguay was Formosa, a small Argentinian town right on the border with south of Paraguay.  I got dropped off here in a bad storm, and I really want to continue with the bus to its next stop, Resistencia, where it

  • Circuito de Oro, Paraguay

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    My 4 hour bus ride from Ciudad del Este to here turned into a 9 hour nightmare. First, the bus went very slow (like 30kph) then it broken down 5 times. At the 5th time, it finally made us to switch to a local bus that stops at every town and

  • Iguazu Falls, Argentina

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    I have been waiting for this day for a long time.  I have heard so much about this waterfall and it is definitely very fulfilling day.

    This is one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, and it is definitely the most overwhelmingly magnificent in all of South

  • Ciudad del Este and Itaipu Dam, Paraguay

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    It doesn’t take long to visit the 2nd biggest dam in the world.  Since the tour was done mostly in Spanish, I didn’t really understand most of tour guide’s explanations during the 45 minutes tour.  However, we had a very nice view from one side of the

  • Jesús de Tavarangüé, Paraguay

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    After walking around in the Trinidad in the morning, we hitched a local’s car to Jesús de Tavarangüé.  On our way there we talked with the local who speaks a special type of Spanish mixed with Guarani.  He was very happy to see us and we spoke a

  • Santísima Trinidad del Paraná, Paraguay

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    Our next stop in Paraguay is Encarnation, which served as a major base visiting Jesuit ruins South of Paraguay, we decided to take a chance to look for a place in Trinidad, a small village that has the best Jesuit ruins preserved. We read about a Hotel

  • Asuncion, Paraguay

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    We spent almost 20 hours on the bus to cross the hot and dry Chaco region north west of Paraguay – thank god mostly on paved roads.  When we got in this capital of Paraguay, I first thought this was a joke, but later found out this

  • Villamonte, Bolivia

    The normal way of going to Asuncion in Paraguay involves taking a 16-hour of bus north to Santa Cruz, the biggest city and the main junction for transportation in Bolivia; then from Santa Cruz taking another 20 hours bus down south to Paraguay.  In order to minimize the extended

  • Sucre, Bolivia, Part II

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    After walking around Sucre for a day, we decided to take some small excursions to the surrounding areas.  We heard about this Castillo de la Glorieta right outside the city and decided to visit there.  This castle is completely built in European style some 200 years ago

  • Sucre, Bolivia Part I

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    We were late for the last bus leaving from Potosí last night and had to take a taxi to Sucre.  The hostel told us if we could find two other people sharing the taxi it will be around the same price as going by bus.  So the

  • Potosí, Bolivia, Part II – and the rest of it

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    After the mine tour, we went around the beautiful colonial Potosí before finding ourselves late for the bus going to Sucre for the day and boarding ourselves on a taxi to Sucre.  Since Potosí was known for its rich silver deposits, the old Spanish colony was the

  • Potosí, Bolivia, Part I – Mine Tour

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    With the recommendations from our tour driver, we signed up with a reliable bus company for a bus from Uyuni to Potosí at 10am.  We arrived at the bus station at 9:30am and were told that we were placed with another bus company since this company doesn’t

  • Salar del Uyuni, Bolivia

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    We were lucky that we had to wake at 4:30am and get out around 5am since most of the groups queued ahead of us had to wake up earlier than that.  I did not know what driver went through to drag us to the middle of the

  • Uyuni, Bolivia

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    We made to Uyuni around early afternoon.  As soon as we settled in a hotel, he settled down to sleep off his altitude sickness and I went around the town to shop for his medicine and our supplies for the next leg of the travel. We had

  • Reserva Nacional Eduardo Avaroa Part II, Bolivia

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    Pavel felt sick from altitude last evening.  We didn’t know tired we were till we hit our pillow on our concrete hostel bed with five layers of blankets on top of us.  He spent the next day mostly sleeping in the jeep, though I had to drag

  • Reserva Nacional Eduardo Avaroa Part I, Bolivia

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    From San Pedro de Atacama, we wanted a three-four day tour to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.  Though it will only cost half of the price to see Uyuni if we book in Bolivia than if we book here in Chile, the bus ticket going to

  • El Tatio Geysers, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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    We had to wake up and be ready for the tour around 4:30am. Somehow my alarm did not work that morning. However I was nervous enough that I woke up – naturally – around 4am. We quickly got ready and were picked up soon after that. We

  • Valle De La Luna, Chile

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    After walking around Toconao, the village made from white volcanic stones not far from San Pedro de Atacama, we managed to catch up with a tour to Valle de la Luna that afternoon.  That was one of the most beautiful sunsets on this trip.

  • San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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    We decided to go to the northern part of the desert via Santiago instead of going through Salta since the bus ticket in Argentina was much more expensive.  When we got to Santiago, we found all the direct bus going to San Pedro de Atacama were full.

  • Mendoza, Argentina

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    We got in Mondoza late that night, and we were fortunately enough to have an entire hostel dorm to ourselves.  It was a pretty nice hostel too.  The next day we debated whether to take a bus ourselves to the winery village nearby and rent a bike

  • Aconcagua, Argentina

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    We planned to arrive Mendoza by the next night.  However, we want to stop by Aconcagua national park in between Santiago and Mendoza to see the highest peak of the western hemisphere – Aconcagua.  After numerous negotiations with the bus company, we realized there is no direct

  • Santiago, Chile Part II – San Cristóbal park and the rest of it

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    Last night there was a huge concert somewhere on the back of our hostel.  Though the mansion was pretty big that we couldn’t hear anything while sleeping in the front.  It wasn’t until I got up to get a cup of water in the back kitchen I

  • Santiago, Chile part I – Free tours and all that

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    It took us a while to find our famous mansion hostel since it has moved into another mansion for renovation, but the other mansion was pretty good as well – too bad the jacuzzi was not working.

    At the front desk, I found a free tour of the

  • Pucón & Parque Nacional Huerquehue, Chile

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    It wasn’t till the end of Kayak we found out that we were badly sunburned from staying out on the lake for 8 hours.  Pavel was red from head to toe.  As he was moaning on our way back we decided to stay in Puerto Varas for

  • Petrohué, the Lake District, Chile

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    We read about this little village Petrohué, which is at the foot of Volcano Osorno built on the ashes from the Volcano.  The village is right next to Lago Todos los Santos, or Lake of All Saints, which according to Footprint guide – “the most beautiful of

  • Puerto Varas, Chile

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    What a refreshing way to ease ourselves back into civilization after weeks of trekking in the mountains and traversing among the villages! Whenever I was tired I would just close my eyes and the serenity of this lake back dropped with two prominent volcanoes would reappear to

  • Castro, Chile

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    We took a boat from Chaiten to come to here and found our nightmare in Chaiten repeating itself –all the cheap hotels and hostels were booked full.  Apparently there was a huge folklore festival and all the locals from the surrounding area gathered around here.  As we

  • Qeuelat, La Hunta, Chaiten – Carretera Austral, Chile

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    Our next destination is Qeuelat National Park for its hanging glaciers.  We had to get to Coyhaique and then from there take a bus to Puyuhuapi, a village next to Qeuelat, in order to get bus to go to the national park.  Though quite small in size,

  • Cerro Castillo, Carretera Austral, Chile

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    Unlike our previous attempts, we successfully found a ride as soon as we tried on our first attempt. A Dutch elderly couple stopped their rental car as we waved at them that morning. They told us they had never picked up anyone else before us. We felt

  • Puerto Guadal, Carretera Austral, Chile

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    The view along the lake from Chile Chico to Puerto Guadal is one word-spectacular!  With the lake surrounded by snowcapped mountains, and the sunset rays shooting out from evening clouds, changing the entire lake into a red and orange shattered glass.  We passed by some tiny villages that

  • Chile Chico, Carretera Austral, Chile

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    “This reminds me of Coatia!” Pavel awed looking at the sky blue water under him, “the water is so much prettier than on the Argentina side.”

    We arrived our first town in Carretera Austral.  The border patrol paired us up with a car coming to Chile Chico.  Apparently they were

  • Hitchhiking from El Chalten, Argentina to Chile Chico, Chile

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    After El Chalten we are expected on our way to the hardest part of journey – Carretera Austral, or the coast of southern tip of Chile. The famous Ruta 40 going along the west side of Argentina from north to south is still in construction, most of

  • El Chalten II – Lago Tores, Argentina

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    When people say Torres del Paine was one of the most amazing places in the world, I’m glad that they left room for reservation. I am not the only one who thinks that El Chalten offered a finer trekking experience. Fitz Roy hailed itself as one of

  • El Chalten I – Lago Los Tres & Piedras Blancas Glacier, Argentina

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    When people say Torres del Paine was one of the most amazing places in the world, I’m glad that they left room for reservation. I am not the only one who thinks that El Chalten offered a finer trekking experience. Fitz Roy hailed itself as one of

  • Glacier Perito Moreno

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    The second day in El Calafate we went our separate ways to see glaciers around El Calafate.  Pavel wanted to see all of the featured glaciers in the area on a boat, where as I just wanted to see the most famous one – Glacier Perito Moreno.

  • El Calafate, Argentina

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    As the gateway to the famous Glacier Perito Moreno, El Calafate is know as a tourist town.  We met up with Henry and arrived there late night. It wasn’t long before we realized that most of the hostels were booked full that night.  Following him we found

  • Torres del Paine, Chile – Day 3 & 4

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    The later 2 days of our stay was a little more pleasant, but nevertheless challenging. We had a very windy but stunning views of Lago Nordenskjold with rainbows after a stormy yesterday… After some steep climbs, we have arrived at the Camp Torres – just an hour from

  • Torres del Paine Day 1 & 2, Chile

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    The first day on Torres del Paine was pure walking around the stunning Lake Nordenskjold to Camp Cuernos, which is the first camp at the base of French Valley. Due to a recent fire, most of the trees further down the trail were burnt. Hence no more

  • Puerto Natales, Chile

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    After a rather “boring” stay in Punta Arenas, we were immediately impressed upon arrival of this picturesque town.  Sitting on the huge blue lake backdropped with mountains surrounded by misty fogs, it reminded me of another world….

    But we have no time to idle around here, our trip

  • Punta Arenas, Chile

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    After Antarctica cruise was the realities of the challenges for traveling the next leg of Pantagonia, but I was delighted to meet Pavel who I have met in Mongolia.  We later figured out that we will meet up here and try to travel up together for the

  • Antarctica Part X – King George Island

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    After a week of staying together under one roof, I haven’t felt such a comradeship in a long time.  People started passing around their souvenirs, leaving off each others contacts while quietly waiting for the moment of departure. As much as we hated it, that moment eventually

  • Antarctica Part IX – Aitcho Island

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    I always like to pronounce it as if you were gonna sneeze “achoo!”..  This is a tiny island in middle of a series of big islands off Antarctica Peninusula. This is one of the few islands that have some green on its surface.  Due to the global

  • Antarctica Part VIII – Deception Island

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    I first read about the Deception Island while wondering around the decks during the Drake Passage.  The introduction of the island sounded fascinating: a volcanic island with deep history of whale industry.  I could see the smoke streaming out from its center, and whalebones scattered on its

  • Antarctica Part VII – Spigot Point

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    We’ve seen andelee penguins, we’ve seen gentoo penguins.  The captain told us that we won’t miss out the chinstrap penguins.  After a very steep hill up this island, we spotted this colony on top of the hill.  We chose a spot to settle ourselves down while enjoyed

  • Antarctica Part VI – Dorian Bay

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    After we settled ourselves on the ship, it wasn’t long till we heard our ship’s engine stop.  The next morning, we were led up to the top of Dorian Bay after a rather steep climb in the snow.  The sun glowed over the pure virgin snow like

  • Antarctica Part V – Port Lockroy

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    We were going to visit this place the next day morning, but our original afternoon landing is blocked by severe weather, so we had to cancel the landing.  The crews promised us to find another landing spot today.  Eventually they negotiated with the ladies working in Port

  • Antarctica Part IV – Mikkelsen Island

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    The guide introduced Mikkelsen island as one of the Argentinian shelter islands.  According to Wikipedia, the island is discovered by the French Antarctic Expedition and named after Otto Mikkelsen, a Norwegian diver who inspected the damaged hull of the Pourquoi-Pas at the volcanic Deception Island.


    From Machu

  • Inca Trail Day 4 – the Sun Gate

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    We thought since most likely the sun won’t come out tomorrow, we could sleep in instead of waking up at 3am. But the guide told us that the porters has to leave around 4:30am in order to catch the 5am free train back to Cusco. Now we

  • Inca Trail Day 3 – Cloud Forest

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    We all wondered how could you bake a cake in the middle of nowhere, and that’s what our porters did that morning.  We had a carrot cake as part of our breakfast and no one knows how they made the cake without an oven….

    Since I was pretty

  • Inca Trail Day 2 – The Hardest Climb and The Highest Point

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    Since this is the hardest day on my monthly and it is also the hardest part of Inca trek, the guide tried to convince me to hire a porter instead.  I told him that I would rather go on my own pace and stay behind than hiring

  • Inca Trail Day 1 – Inca Plains

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    The first day was mostly Inca Plains, we passed numerous villages on the trail where we could get additional supplies.  As the afternoon approached, there were less and less houses along the way.  Eventually there were no more houses and we were exposed to beautiful views of

  • Cuzco, Peru

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    Instead of taking a 24-hour bus, I took the easy way out and flew Peru Star to the tiny airport in Cuzco.   On the plane I met a friendly Japanese who lived in Ollantaytambo, a small Inca town an hour from Cusco, for some years before returning

  • Lima, Peru

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    I would never fly with Spirit Airlines again!   Knowing that Spirit usually gives Americans a hard time for buying a one way ticket to South America, I bought the return ticket from Bodega to Dallas through JetBlue.  I called in Spirit Airlines three times to make sure

  • TianJin, China

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    Having the worst time crossing the border so far, I did not know that registration in Mongolia was such a big deal – they did not care about that in Russia as long as you got your visa straight.

    Well apparently you have to register if you stay

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part VI – Hustai National Park

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    We had a big argument about either driving to some place with domestic horses tomorrow and ride horses or drove a whole day and get to Hustai National Park the day after tomorrow.  After a not-so-pleasant horse-riding experience around the Great White Lake, I definitely voted for

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part V – Flaming Cliff

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    Reading Tim’s Dragon Hunter, a story about Roy Andrew’s encounters in discovering Flaming Cliffs, during our tour definitely helped me to appreciate this place with a much deeper admiration.  Especially today is the day I got to the chapter about the first set dinosaur bones they found here

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part IV – Singing Dunes

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    This is the most fun part of this tour – we get to ride camels, yay!  To my surprise, the camels here are a lot bigger than the ones I rode in Africa, perhaps because these camels have two humps instead of one.  Though they are still

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part III – Yol Canyon

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    After having a restless sleep on top of a couple rocks under my mattress, we set out for our next destination – Yol Canyon. Passing through a couple towns to get our supplies, I truly loved the small and distant feelings in Mongolian desert towns.

    We arrived Yol

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part II – White Cliffs

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    After a restful evening we set out for our next destination of the day… I was hoping to see pure crystal white rocks hanging high above us (like Calanques in France), unfortunately these so called White Cliffs were actually a bit brown, a bit red. Interesting formation

  • Gobi Desert, Mongolia, Part I – Minor Baga Gazaryn Chuluu

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    Since Gobi hardly has transportation, I signed myself up for a small group tour with 5 other backpackers.

    “How could this be a desert, there are still grass and stones?”  We were quite surprised that this is the desert….

    “It fits the definition of desert because of the amount

  • Ulan-Bator Winter Palace, Mongolia

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    The overnight bus from Murun back to UB was one of the most memorable bus ride I had so far.  On our way out of Murun we were hit by another snow storm.  Since there was no air conditioning on the poor bus, we were left to ourselves

  • Trip from Khatgal to Murun, Mongolia

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    After that night of snow storm, every tourist who could get out was on their way out of Khatgal.  Me and Dong booked the earliest micro going out of the town the next morning, but the poorly maintained micro got stuck in the snow for hours.  The

  • Khövsgöl Lake, Mongolia

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    In Khatgal (pronounced as “hot gal”) MS Hostel I met a Vietnamese trekker Dong and we decided to trek along the westside of the lake together.  Though I was told that if I have been to Baikal, I don’t need to stop by Khövsgöl.  However, after trekking around

  • Crazy Adventures from Tariat to Muron, Mongolia

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    Having the craziest adventure of my life – after a horse trip around the white lake, I tried to hitch a car to Moron and almost got myself in a fight with a drunken Mongolian man. As a last minute resort, I ran to the gas station

  • Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (Great White Lake), Mongolia

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    Following Joe’s contact, We got in touch with an English teacher named Tunga.  She helped me to arrange a car to her house in Tariat, the nearest town to the Great White Lake.  From there, Tunga put me in her only guest ger tent out on the

  • Teserleg, Mongolia

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    From Kharkhorin, I wanted to go to hot springs in Tsenher, which is just 25 kilometers out from Teserleg.  At first, it looked like Tsenher hot springs is on the way to Teserleg.  So I decided to get a bath in the hot springs before heading out

  • Kharkhorin, Mongolia

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    I was assigned to a seat next to a taped-up 100%-shattered window.  Since I do not feel comfortable sitting in front of such an imminent danger, I swapped with the girl next to me. That also means I won’t be able to see the endless rolling Mongolian

  • Ulan-Bator, Mongolia

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    My first day in Mongolia was quite an adjustment from all of the travel I have experienced – dusty, gray, with endless chaos from its unruly traffic.  I did not know where to start my travel plans.  I walked along the street with no signs forever till

  • Ulan-Ude, Russia

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    Besides having the biggest Lenin’s head in the world, this is probably the cleanest town in Siberia.  My little warm hostel was right next to Lenin’s head,makes it super convenient to find.  After arriving the hostel I met a girl named Lisa and we went up to

  • Irkutsk, Russia

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    I didn’t get back to Irkusk till the day that my train had to leave from Irkusk to Ulan-Ude.  That morning I took a 7 hour bus from Olkhon Island and arrived to the city that afternoon.  Since Raine (the girl whom I met in Nikita’s) was

  • Boat Tour around the Lake Baikal, Russia

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    I was quite hesitant staying on the island for the next day since it was forecasted rain that day, but by the time I hit the booking office, all the buses leaving the island were taken.  Apparently most of tourists were on their way out when they

  • Lake Baikal/Olkhon Island, Russia

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    I heard about this island on Lake Baikal the first night I have arrived Russia.  Vashek, a Czech who speaks fluent Russian, told me about this island in the hostel I stayed in St. Petersburg.  “So is there any hostel on that island?”

    “Yes, there is a nice

  • Krasnoyarsk, Russia

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    I have arrived in Krasnoyarsk, and I finally remembered how to say “Krasnoyarsk” in Russian right before jumping off the train – thanks to a Russian family who persistently repeated the name of this city 10 times so that I could pronounce it, then I repeated with

  • Omsk, Russia

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    So it was said that Siberia has some of the most hospitable couch hosts, and I had the fortune to spend some time with one.   Tanya worked in a newspaper agency and was busy the morning of my arrival.  She asked her friend Eugene to pick me

  • Yekaterinburg, Russia

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    Before coming to Russia, I read a lot of materials on the murder of the last Tzar family.  Needless to say Yekaterinburg is a must stop for my fascination with the last Tzar family.  The murder was taken place in the basement of where they were kept,

  • Perm, Russia

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    I couldn’t find any hostel in Perm and Omsk so I looked for couches on couchsurfing.com in these two places.  To my surprise, both hosts accepted me within a day.  I was overjoyed on how hospitable and friendly the Russian couchsurfing hosts are.

    Following her instruction, I took

  • Kungur Ice Cave, Perm Region, Russia

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    I read about this ice cave from Lonely Planet before and someone recommended to visit there if I have some time in Perm.  So next day I tried to catch a train to Kungur – only found that the train has already left and the next one won’t

  • Suzdal, Russia

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    After a restful evening, I went to the bus station for Suzdal the next morning.  Fortunately the bus station was just across from the train station so that I don’t have to struggle with my horrible Russian to look for it.  While on the bus I found

  • Vladmir (pronounced as “vedeeeemer”), Russia

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    I been wanting to go to Suzdal and Vladmir after Moscow but I was sort of running out of time.   Since there is no direct train going to Suzdal, I decided to take a train to Vladmir then take a bus next day for a day trip

  • Moscow part III – Kremlin & Novodevichy Convent

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    The waiting for a day to make the appointment to the bell tower was well worth it. I was also scheduled to visit the Diamond Fund museum right before it. The gap between the two appointments didn’t leave me much time to visit the Diamond Fund, and

  • Moscow Part II -Lenin & the Parks

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    “If you don’t have a lot of time to visit Moscow, at least visit Lenin’s Mausoleum!” So I was told that even after hearing his names so many times in my life, seeing him in person is quite worth the while.  Too bad I can’t take pictures

  • Moscow Part I – St. Basil’s Cathedral & State History Museum

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    Since I’ve never taken a Russian train before, my hostel host was kind enough to walk with me to my train across the street and show me where everything goes in a Russian train.  “Since you are going to Moscow, you will notice the station in Moscow

  • Vyborg, Russia

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    That night when I came into St. Petersburg from Helsinki, I met a British teacher named Joss who is currently teaching English in St. Petersburg.  Since both of us were fried over with long que of questions at the Russian border patrol, we immediately figured out that

  • St. Petersburg Part V – Hermitage/ Winter Palace

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    This used to be the royal family’s winter palace. Much like the French with Louvre, after the communists killed the royal family, they turned this palace into an art museum. Now it is one of the top museums in the world, and probably one of the highlights

  • St. Petersburg Part IV- Yusopov Palace & Troopers Day in the Park

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    I spent entire morning working on my transiberian travel bookings, and I’m glad my efforts were not in vain.  Since I don’t speak Russian (and frankly, the Russian train website didn’t really work well on my computer), I went on a British travel agency website that has all

  • Peterhof, Russia

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    This used to be royal family’s grand summer palace. It is Tzar’s attempt to imitate Versailles in Russia (so it wasn’t too surprising that they ended like French royal family). Now it is a huge park housing hundreds of unique artist fountains. I didn’t make to the

  • St. Petersburg Part III – Vasilievsky & Bridge Opening(from boat)

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    Vasilievsky is a mostly-residential island just across from the downtown St. Petersburg. This place was the original spot where Peter the Great wanted to first establish his city. It wasn’t long after opening of the contruction he found out that it was too swampy and marshy to

  • St. Petersburg II- Peter and Paul Fortress & Bridge Opening (top)

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    Peter and Paul Fortress was well worth a whole day of visit. It has a few neat museums inside the fortress, a cathedral which houses remainds of most of late Russian Tzar family – including the 7 that was murdered at the end of their monarch. I read

  • St. Petersburg Part I – Nevsky Prospekt

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    Maybe because of the recent Oslo shooting incident, the only other foreigner and I  on the bus had a long investigation at the Finland-Russia border.  I was fried over and over with stupid questions that I started doubting myself if I actually broke any Russian law before

  • Helsinki, Finland

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    Nice Lutheran churches & big ice cream cones are pretty much the impression I got during my 2-day stay in Salla’s student apartment. I met Salla little less than half year ago in Sweden, little did I know that I would be seeing her again so soon.

  • Oslo, Norway Part II

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    Since a lot of touristy spots were closed, I got plenty of free time to roam around the city. Instead of visiting the royal palace, I decided to visit its sculpture park not too far from it. That was not a bad choice at all…

  • Prague, Czech Republic, Part I

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    Fortunately, Poland has a new bus company that sells extremely cheap bus tickets. Following my hostel’s suggestion, I easily booked myself a bus going to Prague from Warsaw. The ticket costs only 20 euros, though later I learned that if you book early, you could get it

  • Warsaw, Poland

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    This city was actually a little out of way from my route, but after reading so many WWII related stuff I really thought that I should stop by here. Since the Nazis pretty much flattened the whole city during WWII, pretty much all of the buildings were

  • Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

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    While in Krakow, I was recommended multiple times about this place. Apparently Wieliczka has been a salt mine for centuries and as they heavily advertised, this is one of the original 8 wolrd UNESCO heritage sites. So I went to look for a bus, only to find

  • Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, Poland

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    After studying a lot about Nazis in school, I heard about this place twice on this trip, both times the persons who told me about this place looked exceedingly sad, both times they highly recommended this place if I ever stop by Krakow.  So here I

  • Krakow, Poland

    For the train from Budapest to Krakow I have almost missed out my train – turned out that I have arrived the wrong

  • Budapest, Hungary, Part II

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    Budapest is actually divided into two parts: Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube River. Most of the happenings – including my hostel- were located along the bank in the Pest district. This side of the river is more flat, and it has a lot more buildings/people/night

  • Budapest, Hungary part I

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    Although Budapest has a reputation of rich history, I was surprised to find out its famous caves just underneath the city. After settled in my hostel just above a sex shop (which took me a while that this building is actually my hostel), I signed up with

  • Bratislava, Slovakia

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    While staying in Vienna, my couchsurfing host suggested me to visit Bratislava on a day trip since it’s only an hour from here and there are frequent trains between the two cities. So I took his advice and I had to say, he gave a pretty good

  • Vienna, Austria Part II

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    I decide to stay in Vienna a bit longer to visit some more palaces in the city. I really wanted to visit the inside of some of those grand buildings in the city center. Since I don’t really like the museums, I ended up visiting Hofburg palace

  • Vienna, Austria Part I

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    Growing up with a passion in music, Vienna was always a place that I wanted to visit. However, after visiting Munich in Germany, Vienna seemed a little messy, a little less clean, and a little under-kept. Here I found a last-minute couch at a local’s flat not

  • Bevarian Castle Tour, Munich, Germany

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    On my way to Munich, I met some friendly Germans who suggested the Bavarian castles around Munich.  As soon as I landed Munich, I booked myself for a castle tour.  This tour includes the Neuschwanstein and Lindhof castles, both built by its dreamer last king Ludwig of

  • Munich, Germany

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    I always heard good things about Munich from my father, whom had stayed there for a year and half working on a contract when I was little.  I remember saying good bye to dad as he was dragged away on a train bound for Germany.  When he

  • Rhine Fall, Switzerland

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    From Zurich, I decided to take a 3 hour train up to Munich in Germany – where my father had lived for a year and half working for a contract in Germany back when I was little. While staying in Interlaken someone suggested me to stop by Rhine

  • Zurich, Switzerland

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    Zurich is not known as a popular tourist destination, but it is a banking and insurance hub so I had to pay my tribute to this city on this trip.  Like many Swiss cities, there weren’t many hostels here besides the few expensive ones.  Even with those

  • Jungfrau, Switzerland

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    I was hoping for a clear day for Jungfrau and this Monday the weather report was clear… The ride going up there was very expensive but it wasn’t disappointing at all. Although I wasn’t able to see all the way to Italy and Germany like some told

  • Schilthorn, Switzerland

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    I heard many good things about Schilthorn and Jungfrau peaks. Fortunately they have trains and cables going up so that no trekking gears is required. My first destination after arriving Lauterbrunne is to go to Schilthorn that afternoon. Despite the fact that I do not have

  • Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

    It’s only half an hour by train up the mountains from Interlaken, this village served as a base point for many trekking trails and trains going up to Schilthorn and Jungfrau peaks. The village itself has around 70 waterfalls in the summer from melted glaciers, though I spent

  • Interlaken & Yodel Fest, Switzerland

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    It doesn’t take long for anyone to realize that Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries to travel in the world.  After seeing countless hostels that took up $40 per bed per night on hostelworld.com, I found numerous hostels in Interlaken with much cheaper price

  • Fribourg, Switzerland

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    Lisa, an Australian girl in my hostel, told me about this interesting town in between Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. “Sure,” I took up her idea right away, and the next day we were on our way there….


  • Marseille, France

    I was more than glad to arrive to a more civilized city after quite a bit of adventures in Morocco. At its peak tourist season, I had the hardest time finding an available bed in a hostel. I finally snagged one as soon as I saw a reservation spot

  • Essaouira, Morocco

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    After visiting the waterfall, that night we drove to Essauira, the famous beach town on the coast of Morocco. Taking a Chinese girl that I met in Marrakesh’s suggestion, we took up a 4 people room hotel right in the pedestrian shopping market. Next day, I decided

  • O’zude-Cascade Mountains, Morocco

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    The four of us decided to travel together for the next leg of Morocco trip. We found a car that would drive us west to O’Zude for a day then east to the coast that night….

    O’Zude is known for its amazing Cascade waterfall surrounded with forests full

  • Marrakech, Morocco

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    After 3 days of in and out of Sahara, Marrakech proved to be a nice change for the city.  We found a nice little hostel just on our way to the city and visited the markets and palace while there



    “I went to China, especially for the ShangHai Expo, in September. Since I was so