Monthly Archives: March 2011

Bangkok Temples

Flowers from a temple in Bangkok, Thailand

Statue in Wat Arun Bangkok is home to several famous Buddhist temples. Although not very old, they are still extremely beautiful with very interesting architecture. The two temples we visited, Wat Arun and Wat Pho sit on opposite banks of the Chao Phraya river which runs through Bangkok. Wat Arun from across the river In order to get to War Arun, you must take a boat to the other side of the river. The river is dotted with boatmen for hire in addition to a ferry specifically designed to take tourists to Wat Arun. Boats on the Chao Phraya river … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Outside Bangkok

Elephant Ride in Thailand

Elephant ride outside Bangkok We spent one day doing things in the countryside around Bangkok. We hired a driver and guide to take us to the floating market, the “tiger temple,” an elephant ride, and the bridge over the River Kwai. Water Buffalo cooling off  After the floating market, we went to the tiger temple. Unfortunately, it seemed to be set up entirely for tourists and it was questionable how well the animals were treated.  There are many websites dedicated to this discussion, so I won’t get into it, but needless to say, the only reason to go is if … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged | Leave a comment

Markets of Thailand

Fruit for sale at the Floatin Markets in Thailand

Vendors at a Thai floating market I have always loved large outdoor markets. There is something about the hustle and bustle of the crowds, mixed with the many different things to eat, see and buy that makes it an extremely fun way to spend a day. Thailand has some amazing and unique markets that I was super excited to visit. Although most have them have gotten a bit touristy, they are still such an unusual experience that they are totally worth a visit (or two).1. JJ Market The entrance to Jatuchak Market  Our first day in Bangkok we went to … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Four Nights in Bangkok

Statue at Wat Arun in Thailand In Christmas 2009, my parents were still living abroad, so instead of spending more time in Japan, my family and I went to Bangkok for a few days between.  We were only there for a few days, so we only got to really see the main Bangkok sites. But it was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. I can’t wait to go back to the area of the world and explore some of the other parts of Thailand and Cambodia. Bangkok was HOT, I mean really really hot. Luckily we were there … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Last day in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia at night Up until this point, we had spent most of our time on the European Side of Istanbul, so for our last day, RS and I crossed the Galata Bridge to the Asian side and see the view from the Galata tower. Its not every day that you can literally walk between continents so that was awesome. The city of Istanbul has a few above ground rail trams that run through the city streets. They will get you to the airport, but they don’t go very far into the Asian half of the city.  So the majority … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cruise down the Bosphorus

Bosphorous River in Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish flag over the Bosphorus The Bosphorus River runs through the city of Istanbul separating the Asian side from the European side of the city. Ferries run from the main dock near the old city all the way down to Anadolu Kavagi.  Since the weather was nice, we decided to spend the day on the Ferry and see some of the sights along the river. Anadolu Kavagi The ferry left from the dock at around 10:30 and we tried to get there early to get good seats. Unfortunately, it seemed like everyone else had the same idea. We were able … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sand Boarding in Ica, Peru

Dunes for Sandboarding in Ica, Peru

The Haucachina Oasis After a week in Peru, exploring Machu Pichu, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa, it was time to return to Lima to catch our flight back to the US. We had to take an overnight bus from Arequipa, but decided to make one last stop along the way. We had heard of several interesting places including the famous Nazca Lines but what really caught our interest was the chance to sand board in Ica on the sand dunes surrounding the Huacachina Oasis. Before we boarded our bus, it was really easy to book a tour in Arequipa for a tour the … Read More

Posted in Photos | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Historic Istanbul

Haga Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey

 View from the Topkapi Palace  The next day, after eating the massive hotel buffet breakfast,  we set out for a full day of sight seeing. The first stop is Topkapi Palace which is the former home of the Ottoman Sultans during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. One thing that surprised me about Istanbul was the steep admission costs of all the sites. The Palace alone was about $20 just to enter. Topkapi Palace Corrider The palace is very large and ornate, but I wouldn’t say it was worth the admission fee especially since if you want to … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Istanbul (was Constantanople)

   The next day we took a flight from Athens, Greece to Istanbul, Turkey.  I am going to be honest, on first landing in Turkey I was a little nervous that we had made a mistake. From the airport we had to take two metro trains to get to our hotel and we went through so seemingly rough parts of town. Combined with the fact that Istanbul was colder and more overcast than Athens, the whole thing was feeling a little gloomy. Istanbul is an amazing city, not only because of its history but also because the city … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Cape Sunion: Temple of Poseidon / Ancient Agora

Turkey_Greece, Thailand, etc 2009 212

Ruins of the Temple of Poseidon The next morning we took a bus from Athens to Cape Sunion to see the Temple of Poseidon, which is around 2,500 years old. The bus system was actually surprisingly uncomplicated. We had to take the metro to the bus terminal and then found the bus to Cape Sunion. The ride was about an hour and a half, and the bus would have been great had the seats reclined (still suffering that jet lag). The ruin is on the edge of a cliff over the sea. Its a breathtaking site especially compared with the … Read More

Posted in Destinations | Tagged | Leave a comment