Archive for the ‘Indien’ Category

Hanoi (Day 13-14)

Freitag, August 25th, 2006

Thursday, 24/08/2006, Somewhere between Saigon and Hanoi

Wow! Vietnam has a seriously beautiful and magnificent countryside. The train pulls through the middle of it, trough the green jungle, along the coast, passing small villages with only a few houses, then through the mountains…

The long-haul train I am riding in is interesting. Like in an aircraft, you get a blanket, and three (more or less) warm meals, breakfast instant noodles, lunch, and dinner. And they come through with a trolley and sell snacks and drinks (Remember? They used to do this in German trains, too. Oh, sweet nostalgia…).

(mehr …)

Ho Chi Minh City (Day 11-12)

Mittwoch, August 23rd, 2006

Tuesday, 22/08/2006, Ho Chi Minh City

After only three days, I left Cambodia to visit a „real“ communist country for the first time :). Because there is not town on the Vietnamese side of the border, I booked a 5 US$ tour through to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon.

The bus left the hotel at 7 am 7:30 am, and we arrived at the border about three hours later. Fortunately, the streets in souuthern Cambodia are much better than the ones on the north, so the ride was (relatively) smooth. At the border, ckecking out of Cambodia and into Vietnam went without hassle, I had already gotten the visa for Vietnam in Bangkok.

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Cambodia (Day 8-10)

Dienstag, August 22nd, 2006

Saturday, 19/08/2006, Siem Reap

So, after having a nice time in Thailand, I wanted to have some more temples, and set of to Siem Reap, the city next to the famous Angkor Wat. I went to the border with the public bus, running from Bangkok’s northern bus terminal. For 207 Bath (~4 EUR), I got to the cambodian border.

The bus stopped in the middle of a town next to the border, and I got a tuk-tuk for the last six kilometers to the border. On the way, my driver tried to get me to buy a visa, which I fortunately knew I wuld get directly at the border. So I left Thailand, and entered the Kingdom of Cambodia. Since I did not have a visa for Cambodia yet, I got one for 1000 (Thai) Bath, or 20 US$. I was assured that paying in Bath would ensure quicker handling, and only a few minutes later I had my visa.

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Ayutthaya (Day 7)

Freitag, August 18th, 2006

Friday, 18/08/2006, Bangkok

Finally, after over 3 month, a Schnitzel

Today I decided to visit the old capital of Ayutthaya. I took the train out of town, a pleasant 3 hour ride. Thai 3rd class is by far more comfortable than Indian Second! From the railway station in Ayutthaya, I avoided all the riksaw drivers („Too far to walk“) and walked the 50 m down to the river where I took the ferry to the other side.

I rented a bike for the day, which avoided both an annoying driver and sore feet from walking. If only they drove on the right side ;).

(mehr …)

Bangkok (Day 4-6)

Donnerstag, August 17th, 2006

Tuesday, 15/08/2006, Bangkok

We got up early that day, and I think I set a new record by getting from sleeping to ready for departure in about 15 minutes, including shower (yes, I did turn off my alarm clock and went back to sleep :().

We left Delhi, Steffie and Verena stayed in India, I verntured on to Thailand, to Bangkok. A bad surprise awaited me at the airport: I was not allowed to tak my bag on boeard as hand luggage. So I had to repack my bag into my backpack, and only had a book, my Sudoku magazine, and my ticket.

The breakfast on board was quite good, chicken, omlette and fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln), as well as fruits and yoghurt and a croissant with butter and jam. Unfortunately the supply with drinks was not as good, only one small bottle of water and a cup of tea for the whole flight.

(mehr …)

Agra (Day 3)

Montag, August 14th, 2006

Monday, 14/08/2006, Agra

Today, we went to Agra, where the world-famous Taj Mahal is located. We had bokked a driver, who was recommended to us and who also had organized a guide for us. The trip to Agra from Delhi took about 3.5 hours, but since we left early, we could avoid Delhi’s rush hour.

The first visit was the Taj. As foreign visitors, we got a free 500 ml bottle of water (very useful, it was very hot, about 35 C with high humidity) and shoe covers, so we did not have to take or shoes off :).

(mehr …)

New Delhi (Day 1-2)

Sonntag, August 13th, 2006

Saturday, 12/08/2006, New Delhi

Miraculously, my Air Deccan Flight had not been canceled, and I only had a 20 minute delay, due to the security crackdown at the Delhi airport (the US embassy has issued a warning to its citizens about possible attacks on India’s independence day, August 15). Steffi and Verena, two colleagues from SAP, arrived some time later on another flight, and we drove to our hotel together. After check-in, we booked a sightsseing tour for the next day and took the metro to Connaught Square.

The metro is quite a nice construction, and similar to the MRT in Singapore, except that it is mostly elevated, with only a short underground segment. Getting the tocket was more of a problem. We decided to get a tourist ticket (100 Rs), which allows us to travel for one day (there is also a three day version). In retrospect, this was not the best choice. Since we booked it in the evening, we did not have moch chance to us it. One way tickets would have cost 8 Rs each. And the guy at the counter first had to finish a lengthy phone call, and then had to get change.

(mehr …)

A visit from Singapore

Mittwoch, August 9th, 2006

Talking about returning visits…my friend Jochen, who is currently working in Singapore and whom I visited a few weeks ago, has come to town. He arrived late at night (like everyone coming from Singapore to Bagalore), so we started the weekend by sleeping quite long.

Afterwards, we did a sightseeing/temple tour in Bangalore. We visited the city market, then went to the Bangalore castle (pretty boring, not much to see). After a short break at the Cubbon Park, we went on to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Conciousness) temple.

(mehr …)

TOTW: Poverty

Freitag, August 4th, 2006

So, how much poverty is there in Bangalore? A hard quastion, because there are different ways to describe poverty. Say, we take German standards. Then most people here in Bangalore probably are very poor and could by far not survive in Germany with their income.

On the other hand, the same income is rather medium in India, and they can in fact live here (and do so :)). There are few people who live on the street as such. Many people live in small huts, three walls built onto an exisiting wall, and plastic as a roof. This is very common on building sites, as these are the places where the workers sleep. I think this are mainly workers from outside Bangalore, who are here for a job.

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Chronicles of a Sightseeing Tour

Sonntag, Juli 30th, 2006

Like any good tourist, I decided to go on a sightseeing tour in Bangalore, together with Verena. Like any good tourist, I booked one at the KSTDC, the Karnataka State Tourism and Development Corporation. This is the offical tourist agency of Karnataka. We booked an all-day tour (half-day tours were not available on weekends), which was scheduled to start at 7:15 am.

So I got up at 5 am (well, I set my alarm clock at 5 am, and got up at 5:20 :)), and we set off with our driver (we figured it would be easier than getting a rickshaw this early in the morning). Well, I called it a chronicle, so:

5:00 Wake up.

5:20 Get up, shower, eat an apple as breakfast

6:00 Leave for the KSTDC headquarters (Driver, the day before: „Takes us at least an hour“)

(mehr …)