On my recent trip to Asia

we returned from our trip to Asia a couple of weeks ago and being completely over jet lag wanted to share some photos and a few of my impressions of China, Cambodia & Thailand with you. wish i had kept a journal like i said i would - it would make this easier since all starts to shrink to vague impressions....all in all we had a marvelous time!

on China:
  • construction is everywhere, specially in Beijing and Shanghai. locals say that the "crane" is now China's national bird!
  • i loved to see old people exercising in the parks but i was expecting tai-chi and not tango or aerobics to western music.
  • even in 5 star hotels people do not speak english - explaining a taxi driver where you want go is almost impossible. better take a little paper with the address written in chinese.
  • people driving in china weave through traffic with very little room to spare. Kind of scary and confusing!
  • crossing streets is hard - better to follow the locals since they know what to do and when to do it.
  • cities are clean.
  • bilingual signs are not common - bilingual menus either.
  • "lady! you want rolex watch?"
  • the Peking duck at LiQun Roast Duck restaurant was out of this world!

The Great Wall of China on a rainy & hazy day

Roof tops at The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City on another hazy & muggy day
one of many souvenir shops
morning exercises (tango) at a park
Confucius Temple - Beijing
mall at Shanghai
Shanghai pedestrian street
tuk-tuk ride Beijing
terra-cotta army - Xian

on Cambodia:

  • one feels pretty safe to walk around most streets in Cambodia specially Phnom Penh.
  • traffic is chaotic - no set traffic patterns - lights and/or signs are irrelevant & tuk-tuks weave in and out of traffic from everywhere! i am glad i never had to cross a street in the city.
  • you see all kinds of transportation - some very creative.
  • poverty is really bad - lots of beggars and malnourished kids on the streets.
  • i was surprised to find out that lots of people speak english and spanish too!
  • the markets are packed full of everything - fruits, watches, wood carvings, clothing, food, car parts, luggage, t-shirts, silver jewelry....and a million other things.
  • we ate really well and were surprised at the low prices.
  • the heat was unbearable - 100% humidity did not help.
  • taxis are cheap - so is everything else.
  • you see lots of cats with broken tails, mangy dogs and long legged chickens everywhere.
  • monks with saffron robes can be seen going about their daily routines.
  • temples are grand are impressive - absolutely spectacular!! i would probably need a whole post to describe this temples but to paint an accurate picture of them would really be beyond me! i would go back to Cambodia just for Angkor!

huge tree hugging one of the temples
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat temples
kids diving in to the moat that surrounds Angkor Wat
young monk at Siem Reap
monk with saffron robes - Siem Reap
Siem Reap group photo
Phnom Penh Museum
3 on a scooter
sticky rice and mango

On Thailand:

  • traffic is also chaotic but not as bad as in Cambodia. there are scooters, bikes, pick up trucks buses and all kind of vehicles, old and modern, moving along really crowded streets.
  • squat toilets are very common. ugh!
  • streets are crowded with markets - food scenes everywhere - rice shops, pots of curry, fried foods and all kind of food stalls.
  • seems that you could get a massage almost anywhere - signs are stuck to almost all buildings and houses.
  • food was great - the blue elephant restaurant in Bangkok has excellent food.
  • the floating market was certainly picturesque but i don't know about getting an idea of local life since most people there were tourists!
  • we loved the fruits - specially mangosteens, rambutans & longans.
  • i love Buddha statuettes and i think i have seen them all now!

elephant ride
ride on a water buffalo-drawn cart
Buddha figures at Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep temple
rice paddy farmer

massage anyone?
removing shoes before entering another Buddhist temple
giant reclining Buddha - Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Arun Buddhist temple - Bangkok
floating market - Thailand
market on the rail road tracks - Thailand


  1. I envy your trip to Beijing I've always wanted to visit there. I have a novel in progress (like for 8 years) of the Boxer Rebellion 1899 and now I know a source for photos and views of the sites.
    I'd love to have copies of the photos you took - can't wait to see the layouts you do - and if you want help :) would be very pleased to do a cple. (big smile)
    Enjoyed reading your comments and love the photos!!

  2. fabulous run down and photos to accompany Nini. I remember Thailand as exacatly as you said and loved to see again the floating markets and reclining Buddha.

  3. Love your colourful photos, Nini, that must have been some trip!!
    I visited all of these places, but on three separate trips! Thanks for showing..

  4. Gorgeous photos, Nini!! Welcome in 'blogging-land' ;-)

  5. oh wow, nini I envy you too!
    fab trip and awesome pict!

  6. It looks like you had a blast in Asia! The photos are stunning and I am sure they will inspired some other beautiful layouts ;)