Saturday, November 12, 2011

Time for a break

Hey everyone.  Since I'm back in the US for now, i'm once again going to suspend writing this until I go abroad again.  After all, no one wants to read a travel blog about driving from one part of Dallas to .... another part of Dallas.

For those of you looking for information on Korea, please refer to the past year's posts for details.  Bye for now!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting lost in Hong Kong

At Victoria Harbor with Hong Kong Island in the background

When we last saw our hero he was charging boldly towards .... a lounge chair.  Ok so vacationing isn't exactly heroic but it sure can be fun.  Suffice it to say that most of the rest of my time on Bali was just like what I already described.  Relaxed, hot, and slow paced.

Before returning to Dallas though, i had one more stopover to readjust to Western life.  A stop in Hong Kong, a mix of the East and West.  Since i'm still in HK, my thoughts will be brief (since i'd rather be outside exploring).

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is probably the most densely packed city i've ever been in.  It has as many residents as New York but in 1/4 the space.  The streets at rush hour are a sea of humanity.  The buildings are tall, shiny and mostly new on Hong Kong Island.  Across Victoria Harbor in Kowloon, it's even more packed and the buildings are a bit older.  This is where Hong Kong starts to feel less like Singapore and more like Seoul or Bangkok.  If nothing else, the city definitely feels alive and doesn't just feel like a soulless concrete jungle.

 Overlooking Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

At Lions Point looking down

For my time, I've done a good bit of walking around.  Visited Victoria Peak (picture above).  Went and saw the Symphony of Lights show at the harbor at night.  Took the Star Ferry a couple times.  Wandered down the Walk of Stars (had to stop at the Bruce Lee statue of course).  And today I'm off to go browse Hong Kong's famous shopping.  Enjoy the pictures!

 The Hong Kong skyline at night

Cool huh?

Bruce Lee statue

 Preparing to fight in front of the Bruce Lee statue

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chilling in Bali

Sometimes life is pretty good

Just some quick thoughts on Bali and Nusa Lembongan (a smaller, less touristy island off the coast of Bali).

Bali itself is definitely a beautiful island.  There are beaches everywhere and gorgeous greenery galore.  There is also however a lot of trash just thrown away anywhere, a glut of tourist traps and locals who can be friendly but can drive you nuts trying to get you to buy something.

Sanur Beach on Bali

Everything here is either dirt cheap or crazy expensive.  Massages are $5 for an hour.  Dinners almost never cost more than 10.  Indonesian food rarely costs more than 3.  Housing can be found for around 10-20 within 2 minutes of the beach.  And some skill at negotiation can sometimes drop these prices even further.

But the resorts here charge crazy amounts.  And any place that lists the cost in American dollars usually doubles the price.  Booking ahead of time virtually guarantees you're overpaying and overpaying a lot.

After about 4-5 days on Bali, i moved over to my current location on Nusa Lembongan.  It's much less touristy, has better swimming beaches, gorgeous sunsets and is beautifully quiet!

Can you guess how sunset beach got it's name?

lol it also has the power turned off for the entire island from 7-5 everyday while they change the generator system for the whole island (or something like that).  Whatever the case, they will NOT finish while i'm here.

I will definitely say i'm thankful i speak English natively.  I had dinner last night with 2 German women, a young Estonian couple and an Indonesian dive master.  And everyone talked to each other in English.  Thank you lord for being born in the US!

Mushroom Beach on Lembongan

For the next two days my plans are some snorkeling, laying on the beach, reading, reading while laying on the beach, eating while overlooking the beach, hiking around looking for more beaches, ..... noticing a trend?  Partially this is because my room has no power during the day and therefore is too boring and too hot to stay in, so i MUST be outside.  But mostly it's because i like being a beach bum on vacation :)

My lot in life is tough one huh?