Monday, April 6, 2009

A really late update

I am really not good at updating my blog! Wow I haven't updated since Koh Tao! That is a while ago!


Here is a short summary of the rest of the trip in Asia:
After KOH TAO we continued to another Island called KOH PHANGAN! We traveled up north to the island to a beach called BOTTLE BEACH! We stayed there for a couple of days spending our days in the sunshine and having a great time!
Our next destination was KOH PHI PHI where we spent our days with 2 French girls! We did of course go to MAYA BAY which is the famous beach from the movie "The Beach"! Maya and I also went diving and it was amazing there! We saw sharks (20 or so and I was so SCARED!!), we also saw an octopus, lion fish, nemo fish and so many other types of fish! It was great!

After island hopping in Thailand we crossed the border to Malaysia! we spent some days in Kuala Lumpur. We were up in the Petronas Towers and KL towers.. We ate lots of good food and did some shopping!
Then we went to the Perhentian Islands and stayed there for 8 days or so! it was so great! So sunny and GREAT! We got to know two girls: Stina (a Swede) and Taz (an Australian). and we spent our days with them while they were there! We had So much fun! After they left we stayed and we had one sunny day before it started raining! The locals on the island said that this was the type of rain that they had during the monsoon! Lucky huh :P anyway we stayed a couple of days more due to there not being any bus seats left and that we were hoping that the rain would go away.. We took the bus back to Kuala Lumpur and were there a couple of more days..

Then we crossed the border to SINGAPORE. This place was expensive! But we still managed to do some fun stuff! The two of us and a Swedish girl (Emily) that we met on the bus to Singapore, went to the zoo :D

After spending a couple of days in Singapore we took a plane to Bangkok! Where we stayed in my fathers colleague’s apartment! That for us was luxury (compared to many of the places we stayed in...)! We shopped, took massages and had some really great last days in Bangkok before we returned to Norway! We had one very uncomfortable night on the floor in the Heathrow airport before returning to Oslo, but one night was fine for me!

And now I am back in Norway! I returned to Norway on the 28th of March and it is weird to be back! It was really great to see friends and family but i still missing backpacking :D
PLUS I have to think forward and in less than 2 WEEKS I am going to NEW YORK to visit SORINA (!!!!), LIZ (!!!) AND ALEX SMALL (!!!) and I can't wait :D

And right now I am in our cabin in the mountains having a typical (for me) Easter Holiday with the family! And I am really enjoying it!

But unfortunately in May I have to start working again :(

Hope everyone is having a nice Easter wherever you are <3

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Koh Tao

So I am lousy at updating my blog! Sorry for this!

From Siem Riep we took a bus to the border and it was packed! there was no luggage space under the bus (as there usually is) so all the backpacks were pressed behind the backseat and there were even some backpacks in the aisle! Crossing the border was no problem at all (we had heard some horror stories but it went fine!) we had fixed our visa in Phnom Pehn to get a longer visa than 15 days (that you get on the border) and it turned out that we actually got 2 MONTHS! I only thought we got one...
When having crossed the border into Thailand we took a comfortable minibus instead of a crowded bus! that was nice! The minibus stopped close to khao san road were we found a cheap guesthouse for the night! did some shopping on that street and i ended up sending lots of stuff home from bangkok (some of the stuff had been bought just the night before and most of it had been stuff i had been carrying around for a while...) so now i have better space in my backpack :)
We spent one night in bangkok and the next day we fixed our tickets to get down to the islands! we even payed for the place where we were going to dive and sleep! and that turned out to be great!
CARABAO DIVING RESORT has been such a great place to get our diving license! When we first arrived to Carabao a girl, who worked there greated us and she turned out to be Norwegian! her name is thea and she has been so great! after we finished our diving licence we went on a so called FUN DIVE with her! and it was great!

DIVING is amazing! it is so interesting to see different kinds of fish and how they live underwater! (that was a bad explanation) BUT it is really a great experience! and you never know what you are going to see! when we were 24 meters under water we saw saddleback clownfish (almost nemo) and our teacher john said that he had never seen them there before! so that really cool!

We enjoyed diving so much that we took an ADVANCED ADVENTURE course! it consisted of 5 different dives. 2 of them were: deep dive (we are now certified to go diving down to 30 METERS!) and the other a night dive (I almost did not sign up for the course because i was so scared of this dive but it turned out to be really cool!) when ascending to water surface it was dark and we could see all the stars in the sky! it was really nice!

Tommorrow will be our last day here on Koh Tao! and we have decided to go fun diving again because we want to do it once more before we leave Koh Tao!
The next place we are headed might be Ko Phangan but we are not sure yet!

Hope all is well!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Sosidei (hello in Khmer)

So once again i haven't written for a long time! :/
We have now been in Cambodia for almost two weeks and the last time i updated was in ho chi Mihn.. but oh well! There is not much i can do.. So I'll update it now and write about our adventures in Cambodia!

In Cambodia we have been travelling with Katharina (a German girl who met in Halong bay) and it has been fun! We met up with her in Ho Chi Mihn city.

The three of us crossed the border by bus and arrived in Phnom Pehn. With our backpacks on our backs (quite full now and therefore a bit heavier than the starting weight) we decided to walk to the guesthouse that we wanted to stay at. It was warm, we were tired but we got to the guesthouse of our choice and found a room (2 dollars each per night!) The room was basic and completely fine but we just need a bed, mosquito net and a bathroom! The guesthouse had a great location! It was right by a lake and had a deck where one could relax during the day or watch the sunset. We lived in the backpacker area which was a road with restaurants, some bars and if you walked very far down the road where one would think the was nothing to see, we found some yummy cake!
Apart from eating we also did some sightseeing..
We went to the royal palace and to a pagoda within this palace called the SILVER PAGODA. It sounds really nice right? The description in my lonely planet book made it sound amazing (it was nice) but not as great compared to some of the other things I have seen.. but oh well.
We also went to the Psar Thmei (central market) and haggled a little off everything. bought a watch there since i have none and i keep asking Maya for the time :P the unlucky thing is that now i have lost it again!
But the day that shook me the most was our day when we went to the killing fields and the s21 (also known as the tuol sleng) I was shocked when i heard about the Khmer rouge who for about less than 40 years ago killed around 2 million people. They had set their mind to killing all the intelligent people (doctors, teachers etc.) even if you used glasses you were killed! This was a terrible mass murder that i have never heard about! neither had Maya and she had a lot more history in high school than me! The killing fields is where they (well you understand..) and s21 was a school which had been transformed into a prison. It was a shocking day for us but now i know about it! scary to think that it only happened 40 (or a bit less) years or so...

After all the sightseeing we relaxed one afternoon at the deck of our guesthouse. We saw a local putting out his fishing net in the water. A few minutes later i saw another rowing boat coming towards our deck and i knew at once that it wasn't locals... there were 2 guys in the boat and they both had a strange looking oar. One had a long stick with a part of the fan attached to the end and the other guy used a dust pan as an oar. they stopped at our deck to get some water out of the boat ( it was quite full of water) and we found it quite funny! they had borrowed a boat from their guesthouse and had rowed around using their strange utensils! We ended up watching the sunset with those guys over a few beers and they were nice guys but the boat was so comical to see all of a sudden on the lake!

We spent a couple of days in Phnom Pehn and we continued our trip down to Sihanoukville (famous for its beaches..) Initially we hadn't really thought of going there but we were recommended to go there by the 2 danish girls we met in Nha Trang.
We stayed at Victory Beach in a cheap guesthouse (here in Cambodia one can find really cheap accommodation so why not exploit that?) The beach in itself was okay but the place we stayed was quite interesting and quite gross. The room in itself was nice it was just the people were... old. there were many old people there and when sitting at the Internet (too slow in sihanoukville..) at night one could see men (plural) bringing taxi girls (prostitutes) to their hotel rooms! and there wasn't only one or two... But other than that it was a cheap place to stay where we based our trips from...
We did of course go to the beach a couple of days to work on our tan :P One day we went to Otres (or close to Otres not sure) where it was nice! But on the way back to our hotel we had a scary experience.. We lived quite far away from Otres and had to take a tuktuk back... We found a tuktuk and agreed on a price. After having driven maybe 1 or 2 minutes the tuktuk stops and the driver starts checking something. We see that there is some type of liquid pouring down on the ground and we thought it was gasoline so we jumped out of the tuktuk and said that we didn't want to take it because it was unsafe... We didn't want to pay for that short distance and the driver became so mad and when we started walking he followed us yelling at us.. We ended up going into a store and asking for help because we found it uncomfortable and i didn't know what to do.. We ended up paying him a little and he left.. I guess you have to pay even though you are only driven part of your way to your destination...

One night we ended up playing pool for a couple of hours. it was fun! first the 3 of us played against each other but then a drunk old danish guy (completely harmful) wanted to play with us.. he was teamed up with katharina and it was funny because he was drunk! Later i was teamed up with a Swedish carpenter and he ended up shooting the black ball into one of the holes really early in the game (so we lost :( ) It was a fun night!

The beach that we all thought was the nicest in sihanoukville was the one we went on during a boat trip (with bad snorkeling once more). The island was called BAMBOO ISLAND and the beach was PERFECT! Whote sand, clear water! It was great! GO THERE!

Now we are in siem riep and staying in a dorm for 1 dollar (consists of a mattress, pillow etc and a mosquito net) it is totally fine and very comfy!

We have now spent two days exploring ANGKOR WAT and it is so B-E-A-utiful! There are so many temples to see and it is amazing! I especially enjoyed Ta Phrom (might be the wrong name) where part of tomb raider was filmed and BAYON (the highlight for me) Ta Phrom has been left as it was found with many trees growing into the temple! Bayon is famous for the 216 faces and they are so great!

We are going to stay here for 1 more day before we head to Thailand (Bangkok). We will stay in Bangkok for 1 or 2 nights before we head towards the islands.. It is quite possible that i will take my diving license!

Hope all is well where ever you are!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I haven't written since Hoi An!
Now we are in Saigon. We have been here for 4 days and tomorrow we are going to Cambodia!

After Hoi An we went to Nha Trang and stayed there for 2 days and one night! We arrived very early in the morning and found it very difficult to find a room. Many of the hotels were full because of the Vietnamese new year... We met two danish girls and when we finally found a free room we agreed to share a 3 person room... and it was fine :D we spent the morning looking for our bus office to confirm our ticket to Saigon but the office had moved and when we found the right office they said there were no buses going before the 3 of February or something.. we had to get a new ticket.. it has been fun to experience tet but it has also given us a couple of problems.. In my lonely planet there is nothing about problems that can happen close to the new year or that everything becomes more expensive! but oh well there is nothing i can do about it now..
we spent a long time on the beach in Nha Trang and swam too. The danish girls joined us at the beach and we met Katharina who we got to know on our Halong Bay Trip! We all ate lunch together at a small Vietnamese place. It was so good!
We met Katharina later and we agreed that we will travel in Cambodia together! That will be fun!
After having spent a long time on the beach I had become quite sunburned ( it was my own fault!(on my back) so the next day when we took a boat trip to see some islands I swam in a t-shirt :P
The trip had been recommended in the Lonely Planet but the trip in itself was not that interesting! We still had fun though because the twp danish girls went with us!
BUT the minibus that turned out to be a bus was an HOUR late and when we came to the harbour we had to wait for a long time until we could leave (strange) I think there was something to do with the amount of people on the boat.
We were first taken to an island where one could go to an aquarium but we didn't go in and people who went in said it wasn't all that. Next stop was a place to snorkel and the brochure had promised colourful fish and coral but that was BULLSHIT! The coral was grey and I was lucky to see 3 fish.. The lunch was good though and we had a floating bar in the ocean. The next destination was a beach full of tourists and you had to pay to enter! all the places we went there were loads of other boats. But we got to talk to some fun people and we had a great time with the danish girls! (who unfortunately were travelling north and not south..)
We took the night bus from Nha Trang to Saigon and we both slept so much (I guess we have gotten used to this type of transportation!) We arrived early in Saigon in the middle of the backpacker area and went to the hostel that was recommended in Lonely Planet (FULL OF COURSE!) but we found an even cheaper dorm (4 dollars a night) just up the street!
The first day in Saigon we went to the Behn Tahn Market and just walked around a bit! I really like this city!
The second day we went to the Cu Chi Tunnels which were really interesting! The tunnels used to be 30cm x 40cm wide but were of course made larger for the tourists! I crawled in these tunnels 120 metres! It was so warm and really small! amazing how these tunnels were 200km long! we also went to the war remnant museum and I saw lots of pictures that were quite vivid and I can't forget some of the pictures.. Ate a happy menu at an Indian restaurant and it was good! I am amazed of how cheap the food is here! 30 000vnd (1 dollar = 17 500 vnd you do the math :P) and we found this amazing fruit shake place on the street where you can choose what fruits you want and only pay 10 000vnd. Maya and I have had quite a few fruit shakes and these are by far the best ones we have had!
Today we (Maya, Katharina and I) walked around for a while before deciding that we wanted some Vietnamese food for lunch! we all wanted pho but the restaurant we went to first didn't have any left (or something) so we went right across the street (was a small alley) and had pho there! As we were sitting there a Vietnamese guy driving a moto stopped right in front of 2 western guys and a Vietnamese lady and the Vietnamese guy grabbed of beer bottle that the western guys had been drinking and hit one of them in the head with it! I was shocked! It came all of a sudden and nobody was expecting anything like this.. The western guys reacted by saying something like what did you that for? one jumped up and grabbed hold of the Vietnamese man's moto. The aftermath of this fighting was that one of the western guys was bleeding from the head and the other from the leg. The police were contacted and 5 police men had trouble taking the Vietnamese guy into the car! the policemen were all tiny and the Vietnamese guy was HUGE!
The three of us sat there and wondered why that just had happened and a Vietnamese guy told us that the Vietnamese guy who had fought with the westerns was crazy. he had apparently done something similar a couple of months ago. the guy told us that the guy had studied French, German and Spanish at university and that it all went to his head and he went crazy. and apparently he couldn't speak any of those languages anymore. I don't know what to believe but it was kind of the man to explain us why this happened! We thought that the Vietnamese guy maybe didn't like that there was a Vietnamese lady was sitting with 2 western men. But i have no idea maybe he was crazy! A lucky thing was that this episode happened at the restaurant we went to first but didn't have what we wanted for lunch! Phew!

I have enjoyed Vietnam! I found a t-shirt today that summed up what we have had to say no thank you to SO many times:

the boom boom doesn't apply to us girls but I thought it was funny!

Can't wait to see what Cambodia has in store for us!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hoi an

Hoi an is a small city and is very famous for its tailors so we had to of course get some dresses made! and the outcome was good! I now have two dresses (one short and one long) that I have had to press into my bakcpack with all the other stuff that I already have purchased on the trip! We have now been in asia for three weeks and there are many weeks to come so how I will have room for everything in my backpack is beyond me!
The day after our arrival it rained and it REALLY rained! So we bought some dvds and ended up spending the afternoon in our room relaxing :D
We got to experience the vietnamese new year (called tet in vietnamese) here in Hoi an and that was not the type of new years I was used to! people gathered on both sides of the river and there was a show on the bridge with singing and dancing. Many lanterens were sent down the river and some were sent up in the sky. It is fun to have experienced the celebration but it was very different! the show ended at ten or ten thirty and that was it. I was expecting more but people starting taking the instruments away from the bridge and it seemed like the show was over. we went to a bar and met some danes, some brits and some americans. it was a fun night and we joined the 2 british guys to see the fireworks at midnight. but there were none.
And I must admit that it is strange for me to hear the Abba song "HAPPY NEW YEAR" at least three times a day. I celebrated new years 27 days ago :P
We biked to the beach the next day and it took us about an hour but that was due to the condition of our bikes. We only had one gear and May-Hilde's breaks didn't work.. The beach was nice but a bit to windy..
Our next destination is nha trang which is a city by the beach which is famous for its beaches! so i am hoping for really good weather!

Friday, January 23, 2009

update from vietnam (in hoi an at the moment)

wow so i realise that i haven't written a blog in ages!
i have had internett access but my blog page wouldn't work! but anyway here it goes!
so the last time i blogged i wrote about Hanoi... and so much has happened after that!

Ha Long Bay
Halong bay was really great! we had booked this tour through a tour agency and i think we were smart to do that! because this tour company gave us two days to remember!
We had to drive for a couple of hours due to it being a little bit more north than ha noi but it was worth it! we had lunch on a boat and started driving among the limestone formations! it was really great! we also went kayaking through some grottoes and amongst the lime stone formations (google it and you will understand what this is :D pictures will come later!) that was amazing! after kayaking we relaxed on a boat that drove us towards the island that we going to stay on for the night! this island was owned by the company and it was great! for dinner the whole group that we had been on the boat with had dinner together and i got to know some really great people! when going to bed it was really cold so the only thing i would have wished for was that it could have been a bit warmer so that i could have swum in the water! but staying in the bungalow and falling asleep to the waves was great! the next day we were going to bike on cat ba island and that was a fun experience too! although i never really got the hand of my gears :P we had lunch on the island before we returned by boat and then by bus to hanoi! Mikkel, my brother had recommended this to us (and it is also mentioned in Lonely Planet) and I am very gald we did this trip!

But the trip that I am so greatful to have been on is the Sa Pa trip. For those of you who don't know what Sa Pa is, it is a place close to the border of China and it is very famous for its hilltribe villages! also recommended in the lonely planet but with good reason!
we took the night train to Sa Pa and shared our carriage with a vietnamese family. we arrived very early at Lao Cai (the train station) and we luckily we saw a guy holding a sign where it said MAY-HILDE. not many people have that name so we knew that was us! on our way up towards Sa Pa the driver put on techno music (more precisley Cascada and it made me think oif two people: Molly and Sorina :D) After getting some breakfast we met our guide So. She was wearing hill tribe clothes and she turned out to be the best guide i have ever had. we started walking down towards the town we were going to eat lunch in. other hill tribe girls and women started walking with us and talked to us. some of the girls were only twelve years old and their english wasd great! they had learnt it by talking to tourists! on the way down towards the village we walked among ricepaddies and what we saw was amazing! right before lunch we said goodbye to all the other hill tribe ladies that had walked with us and that is when the chaos started! everyone wanted to sell some hill tribe thing and all of them wanted me to buy from them! i ended up buying something from a girl i talked a lot to but i felt a bit pressured to it and it was an uncomfortable situation! but i guess that is the way they earn some money for their families! anyway the lunch was amazing! our guide made us a typical vietnamese dish called pho while all the other tourists got loaf and other things! so we felt really lucky! we countinued walking to the place where we were going to sleep. A homestay. it was arranged through a tour company but I feel it really was a homestay because we ate dinner with the whole family and it was really a nice meal! the food was great in fact the best vietnamese food I have had in Vietnam! we played cards with So and drank some rice wine. she was quite the cheater when it came to shithead (eller idiot paa norsk) but she got away with it! we played cards for a while and it was great! went to bed really early and the when we woke up we had slept for 12 hours! the second day we walked in the bamboo forest and went to another village called cat cat! for lunch we helped her make the food and once again the food was really good! it was such a great experience. so our guide was really great because she answered all our questions (even if they were about her), her english was great, she had such a great personality and she was really caring! she had a really interesting story too! at the age of 22 she had been married 3 times and the first marriage (arranged) was at 13!
we were to take a bus back to lao cai to catch the train to hanoi but the intial bus we were to take got stuck on the curb (amazing but true...) but we took a minibus instead and it was fine.
the great thing was that we were on this trip with a couple from austarila who we had gotten to know on our halong bay trip! (we actually saw them today in hoi an!)
our last day in hanoi we spent walking around and went to the prison where john mccain had been a prisoner!

we took a nightbus to hue and it was a long busride! i think we spent about 14 hours on the bus but i managed to get some sleep! the bus stopped at the wrong place in hue and we ended up walking around lookinbg for the hotel that we wanted to stay in.. luckily people asked us if we needed help and we found the hotel. we spent two days in hue and i think that was enough. hue is the ideal place to go if you want to go on the dmz tour (demilitarized zone) but we didn't want to sit on the bus that long (lots of hours on the bus start at 6am and come back at 6pm...) so we ended up taking a trip to the citadel the first day and a car trip the second day arounbd in the country side..
we went to this cafe which was recommended in my lonely planet book called cafe on thu wheels. thu the owner was a very friendly owner and somehow we ended up planning a coutry trip on motorbikes with some of her brotehrs. she had 10 broterhs. as she said: 1 cocunut and 10 bananas, a whole football team! but unfortunately we didn't get to ride motobikes because it had rained in the morning.. but the trip was still great! the highlight for me was watching munks sing in the pagoda. we also saw a tomb, some bunkers, another pagoda etc.

today we took the bus early in the morning to hoi an! we found our hotel after some wrong explanations and walked down to the old part by the lake! i like hoi an so far! we haven't done much but we went to a tailor to get some dresses made! i pointed at a dress in a catalogue and said that i wanted a dress like that, choose some fabric and they took some measurements! we'll see how it turns out!
we are going to be in hoi an for the vietnamese new year so that should be fun!

I'll blog soon! :D

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


So now we are in Hanoi!
A VERY different city from Beijing but I like it here!
Although the first night we got here we had a very scary experience! We took a late flight to Noi Bai airport (outside of Hanoi) and had read in our guidebooks that we could take a minibus from the airport. I saw that locals were taking the bus too and thought that would be safe. We were going to the Old Quarter of Hanoi where all the backpackers live. All the other locals got off at stops before us and we were the only ones left on the minibus. A guy came on the bus and said that he was a representative from the minibus company and that he was there to see that we got to our hotel safely. At the airport we had shown our driver where to go (we had chosen a hotel and pointed at it saying we had "reservations" there). The minibus stopped in front of a hotel that was closed.. And the "representative from the minibus company" said "your hotel is closed we can take you another one". The hotel that we had stopped in front of was NOT the hotel that we had pointed at and we got out of the minibus and said that we would find our own way to another hotel. He claimed that it was the rigth one and I knew that he was lying. He only wanted to get us to let him take us to another hotel and pay extra for his help (I think so at least..)
This was a very cary situation for us because we weren't at the right hotel and we had no idea where we were.. Luckily there was a cab right behind us that drove us to the hotel we wanted to go to.. But the room in the hotel we went to, the light didn't work so we had to go to another one!
A very frustrating night but the next day I read in my guidebook that exactly the same thing had happened to other people and my father said that we dealt with it exactly the way we should have.

On a more lighter note: We really enjoy Hanoi! We have been staying in the Old Quarter and have walked around and experienced this part of town! There are many motorbikes here that honk a lot (cars do too) if something is in their way but you get used to it! We haven't been to anywhere in particular of the sights but strolling around in this city is an experience in itself! Many people sit and eat outside on the street, ladies walk around with baskets, motorbikes are filled to rim with porcelain, vegetabels etc (you name it!) The vibrant life and people are just interesting to observe! I recommend going here! What is very fun too is that we see so many mroe tourists here than we did in Beijing!

Tommorow we are going to Halong Bay (which my brother recommeneded ) and then we are going to Sa Pa on saturday. Sa Pa is a place where there are many hill tribe towns and we are actually going to sleep in a hill tribe home! After these two trips (which I can't wait to start) we are going to start taking a bus down to some other cities in Vietnam!

Tam biet (goodbye in Vietnamese!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beijing part 2

Now we have finished our Beijing part of the trip and it has been amazing! We have both had some trouble with jet lag but that is not a problem anymore!
In these couple of days that we have spent in Beijing we have managed to see a lot of things:
The Forbidden City
Tianmen Square
The Pearl Market
Temple of Heaven
Summer Palace
The Great Wall of China
The Ming Tombs
2 Olympic arenas!

We have not taken taxis that much and have instead used the subway (which is very easy to use here) like many Chinese people use! Many times on the train May-Hilde and I have been the only foreigners! We have gotten some looks I must admit! :P

When we were at the Pearl Market May-Hilde and I threw ourselves out into the haggling world! We managed to get half of the price that the people were saying many times and sometimes even lower! For instance when looking at some converse shoes, I thought of buying a pair and asked how much. The sales lady said the price which was REALLY overpriced and I said no no no... She continued asking how much I would pay for them and I said that I really didn't want to buy shoes anymore. When saying that she said another price which was 300 yuan less than the first price! So I guess that is another way of haggling too! May-Hilde has become a real haggler and got many good deals that day! We were very careful of not seeming too interested and talked in a monotone voice even if we wanted something really badly! And it worked really well! :D

When planning for this trip we really wanted to see the great wall of China (when in Beijing I think that is a must). when talking to the people at our hotel we had gotten to know that we could order a guide with a driver for a day but when May-Hilde read that we could take a tourist bus for half the price we did that instead! And what an experience that was! Buying the tickets was fine and we had to sit in a COLD waiting room for a while before hearing something in Chinese and seeing lots of people walk towards the buses. The two girls sitting next to us on the bus turned out to be our saviours for the day because they helped us with a form we had to fill out and some translation! We were the only 4 tourists on the bus and the rest were all Chinese! So the guide only spoke in Chinese on the way towards the Ming tombs (which i thought was a pity but oh well!) We went to the Ming tombs first followed by a lunch that was included with what we had payed! The lunch was interesting and consisted of picking and choosing what was set on the table in front of you!
The Great Wall of China was the highlight of the day in my opinion! There were no clouds in the sky so the view was amazing! BUT it was SO windy that i almost fell a couple of times! Luckily we were both wearing a lot of clothes so we didn't freeze to death but I tell you it was COLD!! But I think it was quite the experience! Being on that bus too and experiencing the tour Chinese style was great! If we had ordered the trip from our hotel we would have been the only people in the car with a guide.. So although we didn't get much explanation from the guide it was worth it!

People here in China are very helpful although they don't speak English that well. For example our room was really warm and we wanted to turn down the heat. BUT we couldn't understand how to do it due to the fact that everything was in Chinese!!!! So I talked to the reception and she had a lady come up and help us.. but she didn't manage to fix it and therefore 2 other people came.. they didn't manage to fix the air condition at the time but the next day when we came back from our day of sightseeing the room was colder!!
Also today we went to eat at this place where you chose what you eat and had to pay for it somewhere else. We chose what we wanted and were shown to the cashier not by one person but by TWO! They were very helpful and made things a lot easier for us! Maybe they also thought it was fun to help us foreigners who had no idea what we were doing?

Bejing has been great and Vietnam is our next destination! Who knows what we will experience there?

Pictures will come later!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


And so our journey has started!
Beijing is the first stop and I am really liking it!

This is only our second day here but I thought that I could write a little-something!
We flew from Oslo to Helsinki and then onwards to Beijing.. Neither May-Hilde nor I got much sleep and we were quite jet lagged yesterday.. But I was sort of expecting that to happen :D! We took a bus from the airport to a bus stop in Beijing and thought that we could walk to our hotel from there.. That was a very ambitious thought so we ended up taking a cab :P When we got to the hotel we both collapsed on our beds and fell asleep but we could only sleep for a few hours because we had to get used to the Chinese time... We walked around yesterday and ate dinner at the hotel before crashing at 20.00! For me I fell asleep at 20.00 but woke up 20.45 wide awake! That was VERY annoying! But I managed to fall asleep again and today we both woke up at 6.00 (so this will be a long day!)

The hotel that we are staying at is really central because it is right behind the Forbidden City! Yesterday we just strolled around and explored where we were staying but today we went to the Forbidden City and Tianmen Square ( den himmelske freds plass). It was amazing to see all the buildings in the forbidden city. this city is in fact 720,000 square metres!
It is very interesting to be back here in China because the last time I was here I was with my family and I didn't have to fix that much... BUT now May-Hilde and I have to arrange everything! What I find is very strange is that it is so hard to find a normal grocery store (we have been looking for one but we can't find any!!)

Being outside of Norway we have to communicate by English but it is quite frustrating that many Chinese people (or at least the people we talk to) don't understand us that well! On the other hand while we were eating breakfast this morning May-Hilde saw a couple and said "I bet these people are Norwegian" and it turned out that they were! So I guess May-Hilde has the eye for that sort of thing!

Anyway we are going to stay in Beijing for a couple of more days and we are planning to see the Great Wall of China, The Summer Palace, go to a couple of markets and something else (but I can't remember it right now...)

That's it! I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

First Blog

I am quite new to this whole blogging thing but I thought it would be a good idea to start one before my adventures in the big continent of Asia! I leave on Monday (the 5th of January) and I am very excited!!!
My best friend from Norway, May-Hilde is my travellingpartner and we have dreamed about going backpacking in Asia for many years! Now the time has finally come for this dream to come true and I think these three months (maybe longer ) will be months to remember!
We have planned this trip for a couple of months now and there has been a lot of stuff to think about: visas, shots, things to bring on the trip and planetickets. And I still have things to fix before I leave (don't have much time left though.... :/)

Anyway out travelling plan is the following:
We will start our journey in Beijing and stay there for a week. After that we will fly down to Hanoi in Vietnam. From there we continue travelling down Vietnam and cross the border into Cambodia. Our plan is to be in Cambodia for a couple of weeks before going to Thailand. We have only ordered a hotelroom in Beijing and the planetickets that we need. Other than that we don't have any plans and we will figure stuff on our way!

Yes I think that is what I wanted to say! I will try updating the blog during my trip!

Happy New Years!!!