Arriving in Bangkok again was as pleasent as always. The visa line is my favourite part. At Khao san road I met up with mr sloppyhands, Speedy Gonzales and Rainman once again. It was a special day this day. Mr Sloppyhands turned 30 and we were all going out to celebrate. We started out with a humble meal and a crew of seven, the thre mentioned in addition to the swiss and a new british couple. We enjoyed a couple of buckets of vodka redbull and went to the nightclub. Loads of fun the whole night and Anne die gruppenführerin joined us for a very last time before she hit it back to cold europe. Amir partied like a trooper and we were all happy with the result of the night. The next day we had our little "Hangover 2" with the cameras, cleverly deleting some images before they could be shared.

The second day in Bangkok, Nattinatt, a friend of my thai friend Pan from Hong Kong, took me on a private night tour in Bangkok. The third day in Bangkok, the Twits ( Roald Dahl, Herr og fru Dust) arrived. They saw where I lived with Mr Sloppyhands in Khao san road, and they couldn't leave this Indian guest house soon enough. I had booked two nights at a sweet place in Sukhumvit. This was the first part of my two week Xmas holidays with my parents. Trying to show them how my life has been, we were to only stay at hostels. The first day together we checked out the major sightseeings in Bangkok and went on a boat trip in the evening. The next day would be the best we had. Pan showed up the next morning with his car and took us out the bridge on the river Kwai. We got to Kanchanaburi and took the train on the railway of death. We also got to stop at some national parks, museums and a huge temple. We ate loads of good food and had a very nice time. My parents were thrilled and I jumped up a couple of places on the will ranking.

Off to Phuket we went and settled into a hostel close to the beach. We had nice daytips out to the islands around Phuket. In the afternoon we went to the massage studios actually getting massages and not massaaaaages. In the evenings my parents went to bed and I spent time with some of the guys at the hostel. At Patong beach there is always something going on. There is no lack of connect four competition either. The first night in Phuket I spent with a Swede, a German and a Singaporean we can call Bucket. We had a good time dancing among the hookers in one of Patong's discos. The next day Bucket was leaving so lucky her got to spend the day on the beach with me and my parents, killing time until her flight. She made us laugh couple of times, one of which with the comment: "We love Sumatra! They protect us from all natural disasters".

We spent Christmas eve in a swedish restaurant where they were showing the very same disney cartoons we have at home. Eating a good steak at Christmas wasn't a bad idea at all. Relaxing on the beaches all the day and working as a helper for the elderly was good holidays from my holidays. Holding my parents hands while they were jumping in the strong waves at Kata beach, making sure they found the way back home in the evenings, these were my everyday tasks. They went shopping in the streets and I was listening to my pimsleur "learn thai". We had a nice two weeks together and then they left back for cold Norway. I left for phi phi island on the other side, meating up with the crew once again!

My tracks have now been updated but the file is so big, it needs to be downloaded and opened in google earth.


Luang Prabang - Vientiane

Luang Prabang has truly the strangest night life I've encountered so far. Of course we had to go to a country that was officially communistic to find someone with stranger/stricter alcohol laws than Norway. At eleven o'clock the bars in town close and everybody has to take a tuktuk to a night club ten minutes away. James tried to fake an irish-foot-lock to stay ten minutes longer. The club is cool, but for some reason there are barrel tables everywhere, also on the dance floor. This last another hour and then everybody gets thrown out. Where to go? You guessed right, the bowling alley. This is no night bowling, disco bowling or bowling where you get porn on your screen when you get a strike. It's just a regular bowling alley that sells booze and is full of drunken, white monkeys. We went there three times... We also went to a fare in the middle of nowhere. It was out of a horror movie where we were the only guests. We got to shoot with some soft guns and drie bumper cars.

Our group slowly started to split up. Anne was the first to leave for the south. Then Amir headed off to Hanoi. Chris left two days later for the south of Thailand after having missed his first flight due to sleeping. Darlene takes no responisbility. Marie and Lotte also departed. And then One-arm left us. Left were Darlene, James and I. I went bicycling by myself a couple of days and had a tremendous time going through the villages in the outskirts. The people were cheering me like it was tour de France. At one point I stopped outside a school beause all the kids came running to the fence screaming "Sabadee". I replied and they were ecstatic. Laughing and running around me while I took some photos, the kids seemed to have fun seeing a white guy. I remembered I had some Norwegian stickers in my bag and I started handing them out. The kids stumbled over eachother to get them and used them as tattoos in the face. I took a picture of them after my little embassador job and continued my journey to the waterfalls. On my way back I stopped at a random family that seemed to run some kind of local restaurant. At least I ended up eating noodle soup and sticky rice in the living room with the man of the house while the kids were watching the TV. Best soup I've had and it cost me 10 000 kip, rice included. Darlene, James and I went on a last bike trip together and ended up at family's place, eating their fruits and rice. Such parasites we are.

Darlene and I left James in LP and headed for Vang Vieng. The toyota hiace that picked us up was already full, so we sat on the floor and sides inside. It was tight. Luckily it only lasted to the bus station. There we got into another slightly less crowded bus and headed down the curvy roads to VV. It felt like eternity, but we finally got there and checked in at an ok guest house. I liked the owner, Darlene didnt. He was sexist hehe... Vang Vieng is probably the strangest place we've seen. A mixture of nice limestone hills, much like Yangshuo in China, mekong river, shady bars and cafes playing reruns of Friends the entire day. In the river you can go tubing, that is sitting in a tube from the wheel of a tractor, and follow the current of the river. There are multiple bars down the river and they fish you out of the water and give you shots. It was all fun, but too much of Sisqo's shakedown for me. Felt kind of out of place. Lotte was with us again with a young Aussie. We had a nice day together.

Darlene and I went bicycling and hiking around the town. We checked out some interesting caves. Outside one of them we found a cool jew that went in with us. We walked around inside and it was really cool but slightly claustrofobic. Safely outside we went all three on Nir's scooter. It was fun and painful on the dirt roads back to town. The suspension on the bike got some exercise that day. He dropped us off just out of town and we walked the last part. My stomach has been fighting me the last day and during this little walk I had an emergency. Luckily there was a kind of beer garden/guest house there and I ran into it. Turned out it was a maze, but right before touching cloth turned into filling up cloth, I found a toilet and punished it. Meanwhile the owner of the place sent Darlene a small comment, question her IQ since she didn't walk on the boards into the guest house. The sement under it was "wet", but I didn't see anything either since it was quite dark. Darlene, having been fed nice truths about men from me and sexist approaches from our own guest house owner, got the little extra she needed from this guy and she exploded! Full of wrath and fury she ran in wanted to put him in his place! Telling people passing by that his place was shitty and they shouldn't eat there! Leaving the place with an insult that would make a pirate shiver: "I hope your food is bad and you get diarrhea!". While waiting for me outside, still steaming, she admitted to me she wished she'd done a better job insulting him. Leaving the whole place while screaming "An apology would be in order!", I felt more like running than walking. But it made the evening complete and I was laughing and Darlene was not :D

After alot of fun in VV it was time to leave. We went down to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Darlene left immideately with the train and I spent my last kip in the capital on food and spent the evening online fixing a place to stay in Bangkok. When I got back to my guest house I was pleased to see that I still got connection to the cafe's internet. Lying down on my bed, I had a hunch something was wrong and checked under the pillow. My bed was full of ants. I went down and the guy seemed pissed off and bothered and was complaining to himself all the time while changing sheets, like that would solve the problem. The ants were still there and I slept with the lights on and stayed in the other side of the bed. In the morning I tried to get a refund and the guy went mental. Standing there with this crazy guy, acting like a monkey with rabies, I got slightly scared in the end and gave him the key and left. A bad case of ADHD there. Since I left the place 7 in the morning I had alot of time and walked to the airport. Next up: Bangkok again.









Chiang Mai - Luang Prabang

Chiang Mai is by far one of the best place I've been to. Time just seems to disappear in this place. Eating, drinking, massages, going to the night bazaar, spicy night club, boxing matches, there are endless things to do and the weather is great every day. I got some of my christmas presents together and went to a store and asked if they could wrap it for me. After 15 minutes of gesticulating, we finally understood eachother and the old woman started wrapping every pile of presents I had. Of course she did this after a young guy had found precisely the right boxes to put my stuff in so the gifts would be nice and prism shaped. After keeping these two people busy for an hour or more, they charged me 210 baht, roughly 5 euros, paper and ribbons included. Happy as fat guy at McDonald's, with free bigmac coupons, I left the store and thought I had at least gotten 50% of my gifts taken care of. The next evening, our last in Chiang Mai, I took my nice pink bike to the night bazaar to get the last stuff for my family. Close to closing time I had gotten all the last gifts I needed and tried my luck again by asking a woman at the last stand if she knew where I could get it wrapped. Expecting laughter, I wasn't high with hopes, but she brought me to a small post office at the corner. I tried to explain that paper wasn't enough, I would like to have help wrapping the gifts. The woman wistled two girls over from the pizza place across the street and they were up for the job. I was sitting there chatting while these cute girls were wrapping presents, with millimeter precision. Everything was closing around us, it was 12 o' clock, and they were still smiling and were even the first to congratulate me with my 27th birthday. I kept these girls busy an hour or so as well, but in the end I had a full set of perfectly wrapped presents and two new friends in Chiang Mai. What a wicked place! :)

November the 30th I went to the post office early in the morning. I shipped the Xmas presents to Norway and then headed back to the hostel. The team slowly gathered together. Mr Sloppyhands (Amir, the notorious loser of Jenga), Rainman (James, No explanation needed), Christopher Alexander and alwaysOnTimeDarlene. A minivan picked us up and we headed up to Chiang Khong, a border town to Laos. On the way I beat Chris countless times in chess, no wait, I counted, 5-0 was the score. In Chiang Kong we checked into a very basic, but nice and clean guesthouse. We had dinner included in the reservation and then we went out to take a beer. After all, I was 3^3 years old. We found this brilliant pub that was run by an old Belgian bloke. He was so nice and made sure that we had all that we needed. On the bus ride up and in the guest house we had already made some new excellent friends. One-armed Reg, alien-infested Marie, the Argentinians led by Juan, blonde swiss Michele, bday beer Carleigh, Hawaiian, but not so native Bryson and many more. In the bar we had loads of fun, but we lost Amir. He was gone for a good hour or so and we couldn't find him. Luckily he showed up again. Soon after the power went out, or so I thought. Out comes a woman with a birthday cake with loads of sparkling candles and everybody is singing happy birthday. I got a bottle of something which I haven't tried yet. It was a great day.

Getting to Laos by a slow boat, we first had to get some visas in order and then we headed down to the mekong river. Seeing that the slowboat was half full, alot of us thought it would never have enough space for us all. An aussie and a couple of others tried to start a mass demonstration to get an extra boat, but somehow the captain managed to set up more seats all the time. Half way in this funny battle, where people were screaming at eachother, my group entered the boat to make sure at least we had good enough seats. In the end the most stubborn were the last to enter and had to stand haha. The scenery down the river was amazing and we spent the time playing chess and connect four. After a good six hours ride or so we ended up in Pakbeng. A dirty little stopover town, which is basically one road full of guest houses, one bar and loads of husstlers and thieves. Felt like a wild west place, but we had a good time there and nobody I knew lost anything. At the bar we met the swiss and the Argentinian army and had some beers with them. The next day another eight hours were spent on the boat. I crushed most opposition in connect four, although some stabbed back a little. Sloppyhands, facehugger-victim, blondie, speedy-gonzales and chris were some of the ones feeling my cff ( connect four fury).

In Luang Prabang Anne die Gruppenführerin waited for us at the pier and we went to find ourselves a guest house. For breakfast I had some entertainment I've never had before. Two dogs were stuck ass to ass. Somehow they'd managed to end up in this position during intercourse and they walked around like this for fifteen minutes or so before they separeted. It was quite funny to watch. Luang Prabang is a much like Chiang Mai in the sense of being an easy place to relax and let time pass. We were lucky and arrived the week a film festival was held. We watched a documentary about a football team from Laos going to the gothic cup. The film had some stings towards the states for spicying up the country with cluster mines, and at the end of the film, the football team entered the stage and got an applause. Then they invited the American ambassador up to the stage and James got his wide angle lense ready. She was so fat she stood next to the whole team when she was up there. The day after our group went on a kajak and biking trip with a stop at a beautiful waterfall. We had a good time and the new members of the group made it all the more fun. The kajaking part was easy and everybody managed, even the french girls. Did I say everybody? Of course Rainman James managed to capsize.

More to come from Laos later! I got shitty connection so pictures will be added later.


Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son

I woke up in my hostel and went down for breakfast. I stumbled over an American bloke called Chris who was going bungee jumping. Two hours later we were in the car on our way to the site. The 50 meters tall lift seemed pretty scary, but brave as we were, we jumped and survived to tell the tale. It tickled alot in the belly and the feeling the first two seconds is hard to describe. Well back at the hostel we enjoyed some beers and called it a night. The next day we went mountain biking with a brit called James. The three of us went up in the hills and had loads of fun. In the evening Chris and I needed some food. Thinking we walked into a restaurant, we accidently joined a big family dinner. They fed us and taught us Thai checkers. Sitting there, losing all the time, we finally got our victory when we played together against an eight year old kid. We were in ecstacy. The next couple of days we spent playing chess and biking around the town on the hostel's bikes. Needless to say, I got the pink one.

Amir, a friend of James, showed up from India and we had an awesome biking trip in the hills again. The sceneary up here in the north is great, and the temperature is like a great Norwegian summer. Finishing the day with some thai boxing matches was nice. The days in Chiang Mai passed with biking, eating and playing chess. James, Amir and I flew to Mae Hong Son and checked into a dodgy guesthouse with an odd host. After reading some reviews on tripadvisor and speaking to some locals, it turned out that he's an English pervert that likes young boys. Apparently he got dumped by his 17 year old thai boyfriend and after that his guest house has been in decline. After a night in this creepy place, Darlene and Chris arrived on their scooters from Chiang Mai. The five of us, now a steady group that is also going to Laos together, found a lady to take us trekking in the jungle.

Early in the morning we got up and packed our stuff after yet another creepy night at pedoclive's place. We got to store our stuff in a room which reeked from catpiss. The trekking woman, named Shan, picked us up and in her car she had also brought a German looking for some more "space". The whole group sat up in the car and went off to the border of the jungle. We took a boat over the river to get to the start of the trek. The guide's brother and dog also joined us and together we formed an excellent team that would traverse this area next to Burma. We walked through thick jungle and the guide chopped the way through with her machete. Big spiders and rivercrossings were daily parts of our journey. The first day we had lunch and swam in a waterfall which was loads of fun. In the evening the guide prepared a meal for us. We waited five hours... but it tasted delicously. She made sticky rice in bamboo and mugs and spoons, candle light holders and plates, everything was made out of bamboo. It was very cool. Also, small, black, poisonous scorpions walked around us, but Shan threw them away with her chopsticks. In the night I had to walk maybe 15 meters alone up a small creek to get palm leaves to sleep on. It was quite scary beeing in the pitch black with a headlight there. We crawled up a steep cliff and went into a cave to cave in for the night. There was a wasp nest there, but it seemed empty. Nobody slept well, but in the morning everybody was ready for a new go.

With wet shoes and dirty clothes we kept on trekking parallell to the Burmese border. We had loads of fun and we were climbing a big hill. At one point the bushes had grown so thick, Shan stopped and cut a way through. Meanwhile, massive hornets started buzzing around us and we got scared. Amir screaming loudly and starting fighting them, resulted in James being stung in the head and charging forward like a wild pig with a mental look in his eyes. We couldn't stop laughing but also felt a bit sorry for him. At the end of the day we were all safe and sound at a small village hut. It was cosy there and we waited a long time for the food again. This night we slept really well, and we could have a cold shower if we wanted to. Believe it or not, I took one. The last trekking day was nice and not so long. On the way we saw tarantula holes and the Steve Irwin in me decided to lure one out. I used a stick instead of a finger, and I screamed like a girl, but nevertheless I got a spider out and it was really cool. The German, Anne, was taping me. Our dog was always with us and protected us. It started growing on me and its name was Pet. Pretty clever. At the end of the trek we reached a Karen village and saw the long necks. Refugees from Burma that have rings around the necks. Not very unlike the invisible ones I see many guys at home use, although they are attached to a leash. On the way back to Mae Hong Son, the dog was supposed to stay with her husband at the village, but Pet tried all he  could to jump into the car to stay with us. It started howling and the husband had to hold it down. When the car started driving, it got loose and ran after us for kilometers on the road. Made us feel like the ending of "Platoon" except the dog didn't get shot.

Back at Mae Hong Son we all enjoyed a couple of relaxing days at a new guest house. Chris lent me his scooter and Darlene and I went to see the blooming flowers a couple of hours drive south. It was beautiful, the whole hills were coloured with different flowers. Apparently it's blooming season now so we were really lucky. After a week at this place we headed back to Chiang Mai and started preparing ourselves for the conquest of Laos!







Bangkok-Chiang Mai

It was warm in Hong Kong. It was hot in Bangkok. Luckily all cabs have air condition and one of them got me to a nice hostel in the middle of Khao San. My first evening in Bangkok was spent walking a couple of hours and then taking a tuk tuk tour around the city with a funny driver. A tuk tuk is a three-wheeled motor bike with room for passengers in the back. It was great fun. I wasted one more day in a similar way and then I met up with my new tour group at the hotel. Because of flooding, one third of the group had cancelled the trip, so we are only nine plus the guide. There's one couple from Toronto, one from Boston/Peru and one from Ireland. Complemented by a Kiwi girl, a south-african girl and me, the group was ready to go up north with our guide Chai. He's a funny Thai that has a contageus laughter and he laughs alot. The first night together, we all went for supper except for the Americans, they would arrive during the night. The dinner was alot of fun, and the group is full of fun people. Names will become clearer later but for now, let's call the Irish man pirate, south african girl half-breed, Irish girl elephant rider and the kiwi kiwi. With these people I went out after dinner in the search of a pingpong show. We couldn't find anything we found remotly close to safe, so we just strolled the streets instead, looking at junk and into the doors of strip clubs. The kiwi and I had fish clean our feet. That was hilarious! A million small fish ate the dead skin off our feet. Next to us sat two asians speaking broken german with eachother. They were vietnamese and thai and had met eachother while working in Switzerland. Funny situation.

The next day we had a 12 hour bus ride to Sukhotai. That was too long, but due to the flooding, we had to make a detour. Finally arriving at the hotel, the canadian couple and I went for a swim in the pool. The others were all too tired and went to bed. The canadians are really funny and they love animals. Everywhere they go they end up rolling around with the stray dogs and almost bringing them on the bus with us. In Sukhotai we biked around and looked at ruins at the former thai capital. It was great fun and I had my very first coconut. It was good. In the evening we all went for food and drinks. It was great, with live music in a restaurant next to the water. Thailand is a very pretty place. The pirate, who lost his eye in an Irish pub fight in which he won his wife, and I wanted some beers. Together with the canadians, half-breed, kiwi and the elephant rider we crossed the street at our hotel and went into the most random bar I've ever seen. This was something of a residential street and the owner of the bar was a 30 year old tiny thai woman. The guests were 3 local guys and us. As staff she had one other girl and a ladyboy. The owner loved getting drunk with us and when I went for the toilet a kid's head poped out from some curtains. A fourteen year old boy was running around there and it turned out it was the owner's son. Later that night he drove around on a scooter with his mother holding on to him. Happy parenting! Did I mention that they also had a strip pole here? The kiwi and Irish loved that one. On the way back the Irish were eager to ride the white elephant outside our hotel, so we got some great shots. The pirate fell off, but only because the elephant started moving. Good times!

After a tough little morning we had two rigshaws driving us around in a local town, letting us have a look at rice fields, teak factory and locals making different traps. The one driver was quite a character, and having only one tooth did not prevent him from talking alot. He had some awesome sound effects when he was explaining how everything from eals to mice were captured in different bamboo traps. Every trap resulting in "No come back!" for the victim. The elephant rider had a tough day in the heat but from noon and onwards things were better. After this very cool experience we took a second class public bus for 6 hours. That was horrible, but when we finally got there I dragged my sweaty ass to bed and slept well until the next day.

This day we woke up early because it was elephant day! We went to an elephant park and it was really cool, and sometimes slightly sad. Riding elephants and feeding them was very cool. Looking at elephants with blown off feet was not so nice. Chang means elephant and is my thai name. It's also a famous brand of beer here. I got some crap, saving the elephants with my donations, and we headed off to Chiang Rai. From this time on we had private vans which was really great. I tried to teach the half breed, being half German and half English I thought she had the genes in order, chess. It was exhausting and I called it a draw and fell to sleep. We arrived in the evening at the hotel. Our awesome guide, who uses dragon feet crocs, had prepared us for this night. It was cultural exchange night and everyone had to have a show for the others. It was really, really funny and some put alot into it. The Irish took us dancing an Irish wedding dance. The Kiwi danced a mauri dance, with facepainting and all. The canadians had a canadian quiz. I had the toilet-paper game from our annual Xmas parties. Drew was singing a song they always sing in the stadium in Boston. Miss Peru was unfortunately sick after getting milk in her elephant coffee. Not fortunate when you are lactose intolerant. She owes us a show. The half breed had a mimicing show of african animals and at the end we had Chai. He showed us two really funny songs with dances and we all sang and danced to a thai chicken song and a thai elephant song. Shitloads of fun!

The next day we went to the Mekong river and took a speed boat up to Laos. That was cool and some of us got some more things to fill up their suitcases with. We then went to the burmese border and had a peak over to that side. Up here is called the golden triangle between these three countries. It's called so because of all the gold the opium production in area brought in. We went to the opium museum to learn a bit more about this stuff and then it was shopping time. I slept on a bench. In the evening we went to a local restaurant by the river and had food while looking at people sending up lanterns lighting up rockets. It was really cosy.It was the first day of a great festival in Thailand. We went to bed early, because the next day we were going to Chiang Mai and it would be full moon and the main night of the festival!

I woke up in the van on top of a hill. It was time to have a look at Chiang Mai from above. The city didn't look special. After check-in at the hotel we went to take a cooking class. Since I want to eat asian food when I get back, I'm paying alot attention to these courses. The food tasted great and it was time to go for the highlight of the evening: the festival. We went to a temple and started lighting up our lanterns. It was loads of fun and the sky was magnificent with full moon, stars and hundreds of red lanterns flying in the air. I liked it alot. But the fun wasn't over yet. Next stop was the river and we all got ourself a floating lotus flower with a candle inside. Going out on a small bridge-thingy with people shooting rockets arund (and at) us, made it feel like a war zone around us. When the ladyboys on the bridge tried to flirt with us, the war didn't seem so scary anymore. We survived and sent our flowers down the river. It was a brilliant night and the Irish and I wanted to walk home. After 15 minutes we decided to take a tuktuk because there was nothing to see on the way. Elephant rider was pleased with the decision, 3 minutes we passed all the clubs with pretty girls outside and she was worried that we would never have gotten home if we were walking.

Trekking was our plan for our last day together. We walked up in the hills and stopped to have some swims in the waterfalls and rivers on the way. It was great fun sliding down a natural water slide, but slightly painful. I would guess someone smacks themselves pretty badly from time to time there. After a nice lunch at the top, we bamboo rafted down the stream to the vans again. We were three on each raft and had loads of fun. Our captain liked to poke Matt in the balls with his stick, and the two captains did what they could to get him in the water. They weren't able to though, cause this guy has Zapp Brannigan's cat-like reflexes and jumped between the rafts. Safely at the end of our little voyage, the guides threw slices of rubber tires on the girls while screaming "snake!". The girls freaked out, we laughed and went home. After a last dinner together, we split up and the group was no more. The pirate cried with his one eye when I left them. I had an excellent time and invited them all to Norway. Who will show up? Probably none...

Next up: enjoying life in Chiang Mai! Includes bungee jumping!



Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a cool city. We started our stay with a tour to the harbour. Afterwards we ferried over to Hong Kong island and took the cable car up to victoria peak. Sitting at the top, enjoying a beer in the sunset and looking at the view was a good way of ending the China tour. A group of us went out and had a massive party in the streets of Hong Kong. More specifically Lan Kwai Fong for those who know the place. Some videos from that night are hilarious. Once again Marco was there and he is a very good camera man:). The next morning most of the group was gone and I was stuck with myself again. Derek was still in town and together with a couple of Chinese I had met, we went for an all you can eat hot pot night! And we ate a lot! Cause we were hungry pandas! But still some 40 kilo Chinese girl ate more than us and it made me think of a Norwegian fairytale called "Askeladden som kappåt med trollet", foreigners can read the story here:

I got myself a new panasonic camera, TS3, and went out to Macau island to check out asian Vegas and visit Derek who was out there winning poker games. I also played and ended up winning 1000€!!! Just kidding. I lost 1500 HK dollars and was pissed at myself for playing a shitty hand. Except for that, the island was cool. Kind of a mix of mediterranean culture and China. It used to be a portuguese colony. I've enjoyed seeing China mixed with so many other cultures. Back in Hong Kong, I moved to a new hostel that was really nice, but on the ninth floor and without an elevator. I was sleep deprived and loaded with all my luggage when I finally arrived at the top. Sweating and half in a coma I mumbled something and fell to sleep in my bunk bed and slept till five o'clock in the afternoon. I checked in properly after my nap at Tingtong hostel. If you're going to HK, this is the hostel I recommend! :)

At the hostel I met some nice people from all over the world. An Indian girl fed me chili squid and some british had beers with me on the roof. I got contacts in Malaysia and Thailand as well. In HK there isn't that much to really see, which was perfect for me. I just wanted to chill abit. I went to see a temple, stumbling over a small snoopy land on the way. I didn't dare to go in, since there's something sinister about a single male, going into a playground full of kids, with a camera. The main thing in HK was the nightlife. And this weekend was Halloween! We had no idea, but Halloween is massive in HK. And it was celebrated over five days, having it's peak on Saturday. We had an awesome time, dressing up as pandas. The panda hats were even warmer to wear down here in HK. Our belgian friend Johan said something we believe has never been said before: "I'm sweating like a pig! And I'm not even wearing a panda hat!". There were so many excellent costumes, and we were standing there laughing our asses off. -funniest one being a catholic priest. Every now and again the police started pushing the crowd to make sure the whole street party moved in a loop around the block, kind of like a May 17 parade. To avoid being swept away, we hid in a building everytime the cops came. Those were some funny nights.

My last day in Hong Kong I spent on Lantau Island. I took a cool cable car with glass bottom so you coul see down. I had a guided tour through a fishing village and met a nice English lad. We found some hiking trails and I wish I knew about these, cause then I would've checked out this island earlier. Later that night we met up with the belgian friend of mine and had dinner. My last meal in China was a delicious hot pot. I ended the evening in a football stadium, having a beer and watching a strange girl kick a plastic bottle.

China was fantastic and if I would recommend anyone doing one thing before they die, do China!
In China I have
- eaten more vegetables than I've done my entire life
- walked more stairs then I have my entire life
- learned to eat with chop sticks
- learned to count to ten with one hand
- learned to squat
- seen more massive constructions than I've ever seen
- realized I'm pretty tall
- realized Norway might not be the center of the world
- gotten a new favourite cousine

From a massive, nice airport with trains inside and soothing music, I left for Bangkok!

2011-10-25 yangshuo-Hong Kong



Yangshuo is a beautiful place. Due to some special geological happenings, the area is full of sylindrical hills. The fauna is different here and everything is green and feels like summer. The city feels quite small and when we eat and go out, everything is within a radius of 7.4 minutes of walking. After having a decent breakfast together, we went for a boat ride on the river. The location is famous for it's beauty and the backside of the 20 yuan bill displays this area. This explains why everybody is holding up cash when they're taken a picture of. The scenary was amazing and the people on the boats were all laughing and waving. Animals were swimming around us and the drivers were overtaking eachother. One thing that has become slightly annoying though is hooow touristic China is. Cause when we got off the boat in the middle of nowhere, there were stands selling the same souvernir crap as everywhere else. This also happens in a temple on a hill, or on a boat upstream the yangze river. It ruins the moment quite often.
 In the evening Les, dutch Mark and I went for yet another boat ride. This was, however, in the dark with the purpose of watching a fisherman fish with Cormorants, a kind of bird of the family Phalacrocoracidae. The birds have a ring around the neck which prevents them from swallowing the fish they catch. If the fisherman sees that the bird has gotten some fish, he picks it up and shakes the catch out of the bird. At the end of the ride we got to see how much fish they had gotten and we could have one of the birds on our arm while shooting a photo. After the interesting event, we joined forces with the other lads and had some beers. Les and I ended up alone with the manager of a bar and a waitress and they taught us the dice game all the Chinese are playing. Playing this game requires the ability to count to at least ten ( sometimes more ). In noisy areas, like a disco, it can be difficult to hear eachother. That's why we also learned Chinese finger language for one to ten, using only one hand.The manager also beat me 14-1 in connect four, basicly destroying my self esteem since she was a small girl. After some white russians we were finally back at the hotel in the morning.

"Knock, knock, knock!". I got up and opened the door. A slightly angry Milly was outside. 15 minutes ago I should've been outside McDonalds in the center of town. I needed less than two minutes to put on my clothes and brush my teeth. At the rendevouz point the others were pointing and laughing, but I guess some of them were slightly pissed as well. I felt a bit bad, but was able to shake it off me and downed a couple of bottles of water on the way to the bikes. Apparently Les was pretty close to failing too, but managed to wake up 15 minutes earlier. We got some bikes from a local shop and headed out of the town on one of the country roads. We came to a small river and Derek decided to go for a swim. Milly was afraid that he would drown but he calmed her downed with some comforting words: "Take it easy. I'm a great swimmer. I swim at the lodge all the time.". "CRASH". On the way out to the water, the bamboo broke under him and he fell into the water. A perfect youtube moment and everybody was laughing until they ran out of tears. I wished we had that on tape. And we do! Marco taped the whole thing and we can enjoy it over and over again, forever and ever. Envying Derek swimming around in the river, I jumped in as well. Not wanting to bike with wet underpants, I decided to skinny dip. The others were objecting, but I didn't care. When we got out the water, Les said delicatly: "You know you guys had a little brokeback mountain moment there". We laughed and dried ourselvees with t-shirts. Putting them on the bike, wind and sun dried them fast and we could put them back on to maintain our paleness. After passing alot of rice fields and other pretty things we ended up at the main destination point of the trip, moon hill. A hill with a crest shaped hole. Four people climbed up to the top, Les and I being two of them, Jonas and scottish Lucy, spelled completly different in gaelic, were the two others. Some old ladies wanted to sell us water so they followed after us to the top as well. At the very top we had a great view and we took some nice pictures. There was a pole you could climb to get a feeling of beeing even higher up. It was kinda scary, cause it was long enough to make sure you'd fall off the hill if it broke. Luckily it didn't and I got my facebook profile picture. On the way down the women were still waiting for us and wanted to sell us their goods. Lesgot hold of a notebook one of them was carrying with her. It contained many brilliant stories, one of them comes here: "Lovely women! persistance paid off. Didn't want water but her character won me over! Dan London x" , hehe.

In the evening we saw a spectacular show with someting like 600 people involved. They had this massive pool and it was pitch black outside. It was a combination of alot of lights and alot of people with boats, singers, moats and folk dresses. It's hard to describe, but it was one of the coolest shows I've seen on the trip. The next day was really cool. We had signed up for cooking classes and wanted to learn how to make kung pao chicken, sweet & sour pork and dumplings. Three of the best dishes of my life. To kick start the whole event, we went to the market. The market was full of everything strange. From a net, much like the ones we have oranges in in Norway, of living frogs, to eals in buckets with water supply, cats stacked in cages, dogs in bigger cages and flamethrower barbequed dogs on hooks. Trying to take pictures of the dogs made a dude run after us with the flamethrower screaming: "money", so we got a bit scared. After that we went back and woked everything we had bought and it tasted deliciously. I now know the secret ingredient and will impress someone with less skills when I get back home. We got some pictures from the market, but I won't post them. In the evening we took a bumpy dark bus ride to the train station and took the train to my last destination in China: Hong Kong.


2011-10-19 Yangshuo


Yangze Cruise

"Hello, this is your river guide Color speaking". A chinese girl with limited English skills and some pronounciation problems introduces herself. We're onboard the cruise ship and she gives a brief introduction. Before this, I broke a thermos in our room. It was pitch black in there and nowhere to find the light switch. I put y bag down on the floor and the sound of something breaking made me curse. W got a boy to show us the light switch and and mop it up. The group was having dinner on shore, so Marcus, my newest room buddy, and I had to leave the cleaning boy. Marc Tried to gesticulate that the kid could just close the door and leavce when he was done since we had to go. After a solid meal and restocking of beer, we went back to the boat. The kid was standing outside the door, guarding our room. Marc's sign language had given the kid a different order than he expected which made us feel a bit bad but also made us laugh. At 20.30 our river guide wanted to give us a briefing over the next few days. That is the most waste of time so far on this trip. She gave some information I will never forget though. "If you've counted the life boats, and there aren't that many, that's ok, our captain is really handsome. And experienced." Jonas and I cracked up and started crying, doing our best to hide our faces. Derek and I realized we're closing in on departure time so we leftthis nightmare and went ashore to get some extra beers, just in case.

Turns out, like everywhere else, the cruise was a scam and they charged you for everything, even breathing. You could not sit anywhere without paying for it, you couldn't drink water from your bottle anywhere on the ship, and their "packages" where you pay for all-inclusive exclude everything you want. Who wants to pay for drinking as much non-alcoholic beer and wine of the house as you want? We felt like they were trying to rape us all the time and it pissed us off. It didn't get better when they showed up in my room and wanted 80 yuan for the thermos. Turned out they had a price list in the drawer over all the things in the room. Shitty TV 2000 yuan, remote control 300 etc. They make money if they manage to get you to break things. After trying to explain the situation to a girl with limited english skills, we agreed to continue tomorrow with my guide as translator. We played some cards and went to bed fairly early.

The next day started with a good breakfast and then an excursion to the ghost city. The city is in fact a temple with some interesting features. During the cultural revolution they burnt down the temple of the god of heaven, cause he was only nice, whereas the temple of the god of the underworld was spared, because they feared him. Proving once again that it's better to be feared than loved. There were some horrible statues of people being tortured for various sins in the temple. On the way out of the temple you could chose which bridge you wanted to cross. One would give you long life, one would give you money. Needless to say, I chose long life:). On the way down you had yet another chance of buying a pig's face to chew on. We settled with lunch onboard the ship.

The evening started with a nice argument in the room with me, Milly and 3-4 crew members. Apparently they wanted to fight for their thermos and they had set the price to 80 yuan, roughly 8 euros. I told them my story and refused to pay, so after alot of hassling, they admitted some guilt and wanted to split it fifty-fifty. I still refused and Milly settled the score with them. The whole situation pissed me off a bit and I went to the guys for some cards to get in a good mood again. The crew had some dancing show in the evening that was ok enough, but afterwards we wanted to have some beers. Since you had to pay with your arms and legs to get drinks onboard, we wanted to drink our own beer. We ended up going up on the sundeck. Only catch was, there was no sun anymore. Clever as we were, we brought with us our flash lights and sat on the top of ship in the pitch black environment with head lights. The wind blew away our cards so we had to make a wind wall with empty beer cans and the help of a sign reminding us not to jump overboard. Turned out the whole situation was really memorable. The view was nice, alot of lit up cities along the river and going under the bridges at night was cool. We went to bed when it got too cold.

Our second excursion was a trip up one of the streams. The river is now fifty meters higher due to the new dam, so old valleys have now turned into rivers and villages and towns are below water. That makes it possible for boats to bring tourists like me upstream. It was quite cool and resembled Norwegian fjords. In one of the mountain sides there was a coffin. Someone decided it would be a nice resting place, so the dude has been lying there for a thousand years or so. The last part of this trip was done in small wooden boats driven by local chinese. They bleong to one of the 56 minorities in China. The local guides were singing while the men were roing and we were filming. All in all a nice experience. I wish I could sing. In the afternoon I had a power nap and got woken up by a phone call. It was mr Cheng, manager of the ship, who wanted to discuss the matters of a thermos. Being half asleep I started explaining before i realized that Derek was playing with me. I hate him. He laughed alot. In the evening it was a talent show and some of the chinese guests did karaoke. After that it was dancing and I managed to drop kick an old chinese lady. MAde me feel bad. That night we passed through the dam and those ship locks are massive! Everything in China i big and during this cruise, we saw many king size bridges being built. Each one of them worth more than Norway spend on their roads each year. China is growing, Everything is BIG, the people not so much:).

In the morning we got out of the boat and took bus to Guilin. From there to Yangshuo we took an overnight train. On the busride, Les and I played trivial pursuit and I learned a new joke:
Do you know the difference between a scot and a rolling stone?
A rolling stone says: "Hey! You! get off of my cloud!"
Whereas a scot says: "Hey! McCloud! Get off of my ewe!"  (Ewe being a female sheep ( I learned that in the game ) )
The time in the train was killed with card games and Derek's hilarious lango ap for his Iphone. ATTENTION! Mom, dad, Kristian, everyone else. The rest of this paragraph contains vulgar language and you may jump to the next paragraph without missing out on anything important. His ap is hilarious. He has a list of different pick up lines, insults and xxx insults in Chinese. Some of our favourites: "If I wanted to hear from an asshole, I would've farted", "suck my dick and wash my car".

We arrived in Yangshuo which is a truly beautiful place!

Some photos:

2011-10-11 Xian-Chengdu


2011-10-16 Chengdu-Yangze Cruise


2011-10-18 Yangze Cruise-Yangshuo


2011-10-19 Yangshuo



We landed smoothly in Chengdu. The only action occured when Sarah, one of the two Danes, realized she had forgotten the purse with her passport on board the aircraft. The team of four did not waste a second, and while waiting for her outside our bus, the four of us improvised a table with chairs out of a flag post and four luggage trolleys. Our epic game of euchre is still on and Mark and I are still in the lead. The first thing we did in Chengdu was a walk in the park. This park is somehow special, because anyone who wants to can pick up a mic and sing and dance. The sound is loud and their standing so close to eachother that the sound of two and three of them interfere. This was not a pleasent experience for my ears. You could also find a future partner in the park. Either you, or your parents, can put up a laminated sheet of paper with requirements for your spouse. "170cm, makes more than 5000 yuan a month, does not sneaky ball, etc". No pic - no reply, the singles in the group had to continue their search elsewhere. The highlight of this little excursion was the bumper cars.  I can't really remember when I drove one of these the last time, but it's a while ago. It was much fun crashing into the others as much as I could for three minutes.

"This region is famous for four things! Can you guess what?", Milly asks. We're now in Sichuan, a province south-west in China. Turns out the answer is pandas, opera, spicy food and spicy people. The people like to eat spicy food, so they sweat alot. Sweating alot makes their skin clean, so the girls are famous for their pretty skin. Also, the people here are leasuring alot, so working hours end at 14.00 and it's time to go to the park and play mahjong. The day passed and in the evening we went to see an opera. The highlight was a dude that made shadow images of horses, rabbits, birds etc with his hands and some dudes changing masks very quickly. After this, Derek, Les and I went on a mission: to find beers and panda hats. Everywhere they sell these pretty cool panda hats. We got both and went happily back home to bed after trying to eat dog. Trying to explain that you want dog by barking at a chinese street food selling guy  is not easy.

Waking up, going to the bus, arriving at a Panda sanctuary! Many people may have seen a panda or two at a zoo, but 20 different ones at the same day? I think not!:) Surprising the group with our super cool panda hats created some laughter and then we set out to see the pandas. They are some lazy ass bears that sit there eating bamboo all day. They are pretty cute. Derek with his 133 kilos and panda hat was actually the biggest panda of them all haha. The baby pandas would probably be a dream pet for every little girl. Our guide told as a story about a chinese kid that loved pandas so much he spray painted his big dog into a panda. People thought he was walking around with a panda so the cops put him into jail for one week. Apparently the morale of the story was that chinese take their pandas seriously. By the way, do you know how you can see that the panda wives never do the dishes properly? They always have two black eyes;) I kinda made that one up myself with some help of a joke I knew from earlier. I'm proud.

After the giant pandas, a giant buddha awaited us. A massive sitting dude, chisseled into the mountain side. He's looking over the intersection point of three rivers, making sure that the boat men are safe. I don't believe it works, but hey, it's an awesome statue. When we got tired of him we left the dude there to sit some hundred years more and headed off to the monastary. The monastary was nice and the rainy weather said play cards! I don't know how many rules we broke that evening but I guess drinking beer, gambling, cursing and offering empty beer cans and trash to a fat buddha statue won't improve our karma haha. The next day we would check out the mountain the monastary was at the bottom of.

Most of the group wanted to make the regular trip, but the three musketeers wanted to reach the summit as well. We got up at 5.30 and headed down to the bus station. After a two hour bus ride we were dropped off at the bottom of the summit and we went to the line to take the cable car to the summit. Funny thing. In the line we saw this chinese lad with a cap that had a norwegian flag on it and "drunken" written under it. That pretty much sums up Norway haha. It was a hazy day with rain and we didn't see shit at the top so we might call the early bird project a failure, but at least we tried. We walked down and passed some monkeys on the way to the bus. The bus took us to the place where the others started the regular trip and we started a couple of hours after the others. A lot of beautiful signs on this hike. For instance a list over socialist values. Some of them are pretty good and apply for alot of Norwegians. Espescially "Take hard work as an honor, regard loving ease and hating work a disgrace". Some of the chinglish signs up there were also great. One of my favourites so far: "Caution aggressive monkeys here. don't joke the monkeys".  The scenery on this part of the hike was amazing, and the reward at the end was awesome! The joking monkey zone! A small loop with some bridges and paths full of active monkeys. They did everything they could to get hold on whichever article you might have accessable, that being a cap, bottle, umbrellla, food etc. We had each our monkey stick, a one meter bamboo stick, and with that one we were to defend ourselves. It was shitloads of fun and one of them got Derek. A massive monkey jumped him and we were all greatly amused watching him being helped by the old monkey chasing ladies. After a fairly long hike back to the bus stop, we were all done for and our calves would be very soar the next day.

After another night with cards in the monastary, we set off to Chongqing the next morning. There we got our tickets and entered the steamer haha. An interesting cruise on the Yangze river awaited us.

PS: Tracks are available.


My tracks have been updated. Check them to the right here



"Good morning everyone!". "Did everybody sleep well?". Milly is making sure we're ready for a new train ride to Xi'an. The ride is problem free, and Mark and I managed to equalize 0-5 to 5-5 in the game euchre against our arch enemies Les and Derek. Finally in Xi'an we start going for a walk in the city. It's a cute place and I really don't get the feeling of being in a city ith a population of eight million, twice as many as in Norway. We had tour through the muslim quarter, there are muslim chinese, descendants of silk road merchants from the west having their fun at the end station.The city wall of Xi'an is not so shitty. In fact it's the best preserved wall in whole of China. Oncem up there, we got bikes to cycle around the thing. Thinking we're clever and it will be fun, Mark and I get a tandem bike. The bike on the city wall is a shitty bike. In fact. it's the shittiest bike I've ever used. We had some fun in the beginning though. The pedals were out of sync, so half of the energy went to keep balance.Then after 6 km we got a flat back tire and I had to run next to the bike. After 9 km I had to start pushing the bike and finally at 13 km we were back at the start, having amused alot of people on the way. I needed the excercise though, cause eating and drinking is fattining me up. In the evening we had dinner and the quad group went beer hunting. In the lobby Mark, Les and I lost 100 yuan each to Derek in Texas Hold'em and Mark and I are currently in the lead 6-5 in our epic game.

"Guys, have you eaten breakfast?". "You have to eat breakfast, because inside the terracotta museum there won't be any food". "You will then be hungry, and then you will complain!". Hahahaha, Milly's striking logic makes us all laugh all the time. But fair enough, she tells us everything we need to know, and then some. One hour outside of Xi'an is the famous terracotta army, a bunch of live size ceramic figures in battle formation. Seeing them is truly impressive and it's one of the coolest cultural things so far. They are one of the greatest archeological finds ever and you understand why when you have them in front of you. Back at the hotel, internet and a power nap awaited. 7 pm was hot pot time! sitting around a big pot with boiling water, you throw whatever you wanna eat into it and then fish it up after a couple of minutes. None of us being remotly close to being chop sticks experts, the fishing part tend to be quite amusing. After dinner Les, Derek and I ended up at a bar with few people. Those at the table next to us had emptied a bottle of Jameson, wine and some beers. The table looked like ground zero with cards, poker chips, peanuts and sigarets all over the floor and table. One of the three were crying and they seemed to be in shitty shape. We laughed alot and were glad it wasn't us and went on playing cards. Les taught us a new card game and we went home around 1 o'clock. Derek in desperate need of his beauty sleep, was not looking forward to enter his room too much. He shares it with a dutch Mark, Mark B, who snores like a locomotive haha. Adding insult to injjury, he had put the chain on the door so Derek was locked out. "Why are you locking me out man?!", Derek screams in the corridor of the hotel. I laughed and went to bed with a smile on my face. Tomorrow it was time to fly to Chengdu. Domestic flight in China. I couldn't wait



Spending ten days in Beijing has been awesome! Beijing is truly a cool place to be. The time has gone by so quickly and I've had so much fun. China is different, that's for sure, but they got their own thing going here. Squatting is a resting position and a crapping position for the chinese, whereas I myself find the position energy demanding and not food-baby producing. The chinese kids wear trousers without a groin so that they can do their thing on the street where the parents catches the result in a newspaper and throws it in a bin. The chinese I meet are for the most part really friendly and in public offices and stores there is no lack of staff. In the post office two employees helped out me and Tomtom getting all our stuff wrapped and shipped to Europe and they did an excellent job and didn't charge us extra for all the hassle. Also in stores they are many and helpful. Makes you wonder, when you compare it to electronic stores in Norway where they have a 14 year old helping out a line of 50 customers who's been waiting an hour.

Sunday, October 2nd, I hooked up with my new group. A bunch of nice people, young and old, couples and singles, big and small and we went out for dinner. Since I had seen most of Beijing already, I did a couple of things on my own. Wednesday we set out for Shanghai. My room mate for this trip is an Englishman called Mark. He's 51 years old and from Norwich. In the overnight train to Shanghai we shared compartment with four Chinese people and had alot of fun. Their little English and our crappier chinese didn't were no obstacles for having fun. Exchanging chicken feet for Norwegian chocolate seemed like a nice deal until we started eating the things. We had fun in the train, playing cards, having beers and chatting. At ten o'clock the lights went off, so no Siberian party train here. In the morning I had noodles for breakfast, beat Mark in chess and ate my oreo bisquits. Good start of the day! We got off in Shanghai and Milly, our funny, little chinese guide, got cabs for us to the hotel.

The first day in shanghai was great! We had lunch and went for a walk through the city. Milly knows alot so she also guides us like a regular tour guide and doesn't only bring us to food and hotels. We went to the Shanghai museum which was great. The museums in China have so far been awesome so it seems like their way subsidizing stuff works, compared to Norway. Chinese communism results in the best metros, cleanest streets and best museums I've ever seen. To support this I've even got my own little commi-cap now haha. After the museum we went home and had a power nap before dinner. Derek, a massive giant of a Canadian, Les, a scottish born Englishman and myself went out for some drinks after dinner. We ended up in a German biergarten and had a Paulaner each. That was the single most expensive beer so far, 80 yuan, which is roughly 10 euros. And it was half a litre. We got redemption however, because asking an Indian/middle eastern looking dude and his two Chinese friends for direction to a cheap bar, they ended up taking us with them to a club. It turned out the dude had his 25th birthday that day and that he was filthy rich. He had rented a night club and we went into a skyscraper and took the lift up to some floor and suddenly there we were. We paid another 80 yuan, but this time we could drink as much as we wanted :D there were maybe 9 gogo girls dancing on the tables and bars. Live music in the form of Akon's support band, according to Derek, and some dancers. The night club had everything I don't have including style. I was standing there in my free hostel t-shirt I got in Beijing, stained hiking trousers and hiking shoes. Massively underdressed compared to the others haha. But we had shitloads of fun and went to bed in the morning.

Day 2 in Shanghai. Pretzl from the grocery store for breakfast and then a walk through the bund, a famous street in Shanghai. Milly told us about the stuff around us and in the end we were at a small square with classic chinese buildings. Shanghai is totally different from Beijing. If it wasn't for all the asians running around, I would never have thought it was an asian city. Every building is very modern and western. We relaxed a bit in a pleasure garden before Derek, Les and I went to the third tallest building in the world, Shanghai World Financial Center. It's located on the east side of the river that parts Shanghai. This placce was all farmland and now it's full how high rising buildings and concrete. It's all so strange. The center has the highest observation platform in the world and it was really cool standing up there looking down on other massive buildings. It was like being in a plane right after take off except from the fact that you had large windows and infinite time to check out the surroundings. The toilets in the bottom of the builfings were also great! The seats were heated and you could get your ass and/or privates flushed afterwards. The pressure and temperature of the water could be adjusted and if you pressed the button twice, the beam would oscilate. Comfortable and paper saving. Only thing the toilet lacked was an air dryer and some history magazines.
We hooked up with the others and went for dinner. It was an early dinner, because we were going to see some Chinese acrobats. My god that were some good acrobats! I think it was the Chinese olympic team plus some more. They were jumping, kicking, changing hats and driving motorbikes 5 in total!) in a global shaped cage. That performance was some of the best/funniest I've seen. Highly recommend checking that stuff out if you ever go to Shanghai! Cheap as we were, we enjoyed beer we brought with us while watching it haha. The performance was over and we headed back to the hotel with the tube, that is everybody except me, Marco, a swiss dude that sent his stuff with his wife back to the hotel, and danish guy that did the same with his girlfriend. We went out to have a drink. Like the day before we exited the metro station and asked some random kids where to go. They said "follow us!" and we ended up at this posh nightclub called G+ on the 7th floor in a shopping mall. And oh my god! We thougt this would be expensive, but what the hell. We can afford one beer. But 90% of the girls in this club looked like models. One girl came in, hotter than the previous one. Alot of rich Russians and Chinese were hanging out here. Everybody very fine in their clothing ... and us. Me in my commi cap, hostel shirt (can't change clothes every day), hiking trousers and shoes haha. Man, that place made me feel malplaced. But hey, who cares? Never ever have I ever seen such a collection of girls in one place. So we stayed for a couple of drinks. And guess what, they cleaned a small stage and up jumped a little girl and started singing. It was like being at a concert and it was awesome! Live music again haha. How do we run into these places? I have no idea. Maybe this is Shanghai. At least two ou of two nights have had live performance. Some black dancers from the states did some Michael Jackson stuff which was fairly good but also fairly gay. They didn't have too much clothes on. But if the price I have to pay for dancing next to 50 young lucy lius is to look at a couple of brown six-packs then hey, I'm up for that. I was pretending it was beer. I chatted a bit with one of them and it turned out that they were all hookers or gold diggers haha, but still though, incredibly beautiful! We headed home in the morning and the next day it was time to head off to Xi'an and the terracotta warriors!
See you later Shanghai! I'll be back loaded with money one day!

Enjoy some photos:
link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20110917SiberiaIrkutsk?authkey=Gv1sRgCIbV99uIn9O3PQ

2011-09-17 Siberia-Irkutsk

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20110919IrkutskMongolia?authkey=Gv1sRgCMydxuLo-9HGDQ

2011-09-19 Irkutsk-Mongolia

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20110919Mongolia?authkey=Gv1sRgCKjF35T07Z6VTQ

2011-09-19 Mongolia

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20110923MongoliaBeijing?authkey=Gv1sRgCKPfrpCf1tiT8AE

2011-09-23 Mongolia-Beijing

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20111005BeijingBeforeDeparture?authkey=Gv1sRgCLT4pPW6t-nT4AE

2011-10-05 Beijing before departure

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20111006BeijingShanghai?authkey=Gv1sRgCP2UsM3as9zP5wE

2011-10-06 Beijing-Shanghai

link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111895625193387647956/20111007Shanghai?authkey=Gv1sRgCLbvqt-lt8Xx2gE

2011-10-07 Shanghai


Mongolia - Beijing

The very last train ride from Mongolia to China went like a charm. This time we crossed the border at night, so there weren't any major problems with heat and stuff like that. This last ride with be the most beautiful one. The scenery as we drove through small tunnels and moved along the rivers was awesome. We bought delicious chicken feet which we did everything with except eating them. They were too slippery to catch boogers with though.

At the hotel in Beijing we had a short briefing before heading to one of the main attractions of this city, tian anmen square. It turned out, however, that the group itself would become a tourist attraction. All the tiny chinese came running up to us and wanted to have a picture with the giants from the west. It was kind of funny and made me feel like a superstar. Some might say this isn't healthy to my ego, and they might be right. We had a great chinese dinner in the evening and then went for a massage. It was my very first proffesional massage and I liked it. It was chinese style, so we had pyjamas and there was no oil or other liquids involved. Lucky Marni got a pyjamas someone had perioded in haha. After litterarely being rubbed the crap out of, we went back to the hotel. Most of the group were going to the great wall the next day and needed to get up early.

Most of the group went off to the wall. Ms Illeterate and I went to the silk market. A stressy place were the sellers are angry, pushy, aggressive and annoying. However, they have alot of cool stuff and it's worth to check it out. Walking with a girl there is really unpractical since they assume you wanna give your "girlfriend" something. I recommend splitting up there or go with people of the same gender. We met up and had a nice evening at a tea house. I got some ginseng tea, maybe that did the trick, because after spraypainting the rails through Mongolia, my stomach is back to normal. Who would've thought that chinese food is what makes a Norwegian tummy quiet? In the evening we had a last massive dinner and party. We had to say good bye to Ilya that evening, because he had to fly home earlier than the rest of us. Slowly but surely we kept on losing people the next couple of days and now there are only a few of us left. The wonderful trip with these guys is over and I'm left with memories and knowledge. The most important thing I've learnt is sneaky-balling. This involves trying to sneak a testicle or two into a photo. It's good fun and later on, if you look carefully, you might see one;)

I can't really separate the days anymore, but I've been to the summer palace, lama temple, forbidden city and more. The summer palace is gigantic. I thought peterhof was good, but this is awesome! It's so gigantic, beautiful and full of buildings. In such a park even I would be able to charm a princess with a boatride under the bridges in the moonlight.

In china green light is just there to tell you it's safer to cross the street. The food is excellent, but I don't wanna know what I'm eating. The chinese are many, nice and many. They're also tourists in their own country, so most of the tourists are chinese. Beijing is so western and is the most modern city I've seen in many aspects. So strange since this is supposed to communism, whereas Russia was still like the Soviet Union. The hostel I'm staying at is great and the host is a cool guy who practices kung fu and has good movie taste. If you ever go to Beijing, sleep at "fly by knight hostel". I had a local showing me around the olympic stadium which was awesome and I've also lost my camera which was not so awesome. I'm writing like a baby now, cause I just have to get some of this stuff written down while I still remember it. It's hard finding time for blogging. 

I'll try to make a nicer post next time. Cheers!



Excited we all left Russia for Mongolia. This is however, easier said than done. In the train we took south, the windows wouldn't open, so we had to rely on aircondition which wasn't working properly. The border stop at the Russian side takes five hours and during three of these it's not allowed to leave the train. Since the train is standing still within a sanitary zone, they've also closed off the toilets. Having a nice coctail brewing in the belly in a slightly too warm train carriage puts both mind and body to the test. An identical two hour stop on the Mongolian side doesn't exactly fix the problem, so when I finally got to the bathroom at the hotel, I had one of the best experiences of my life I think. 

Mongolia! I had no expectations. All I knew about this place, I had from Chinggis Kahn books. But this place was awesome. The people were nice and friendly. They live in gers, tents, in the middle of the city and they drive like crazy. Half of the cars have the steering wheel on the right side which i found interesting.
After freshening up at the hotel, we went to a temple to cleanse our souls. The munks were chanting as we entered the monestary. Apparently these liberal munks can go out and get married later on, so they only sacrifice 20 years or so of their life. we had a small lunch and then went off to see a show which contained the most important things from Mongolian traditional music and dance. It was awesome to sit there listening to throat singing and watching the happiest dancer in the world spin around in his pyjamas.Seeing a little gymnast scratch her ass with her nose was also pretty impressive. For dinner after the show we had massive portions of horse, beef and other great food. We ate till we almost exploded and helped the digestive system out with a bit of Chinggis Kahn vodka. Those who were still in party mood went out for karaoke.

I know I'm a shitty singer, but my friends Laz and Shafie can't be much better. At least I felt like crying sometimes when I was trapped in the tiny karaoke room with them, Masheena, Clare and Tomtom for two hours. Singing ABBA, Michael Jackson, Nena and Queen accompanied by Chinggis redbull, the evening was already a success. Laz then brought us to this random Mongolian nightclub where we danced and watched some guys whale hunt until 3 o' clock. Mandatory after-party at Shafie's followed and bed time at 4.
At 8.30 we got up, full of energy, to have a nice 2.5 hours busride out to a ger camp. The trip must be something of the funniest I've done so far. I laughed till  my stomach ached and my eyes were wet. Tomtom was feeling really bad, and Harris was simulating vomating and burping etc in front of him. In addition the road was so bumpy the poor lad was thrown up and down. The others, Jesus and me in particular, had a whale of a time watching this haha. At the stop by a massive 40 meter high statue/building of Chinggis Kahn, Tomtom had his tactical puking and we all went to the top of the horse's head to take some nice photos. We also got to dress up as Mongolians.

Arriving at the ger camp, we had some lunch and then saddled up the horses. That was so cool. The horses did as they want all the time, but sitting on them while they were galloping was awesome. There were alot of sore asses and lower backs after this ride. As true Mongolians we shot a bit with bow and arrow and then had dinner and went to bed. The ger was really similar to team tent/lagstelt in the Norwegian army, with the oven in the middle and everything.

Back in U B (Ulaan Baator) the history museum waited and then another massive dinner. We had to spend the rest of our monopoly money, cause only Mongolians use togruks, the Mongolian currency. Another after party followed directly and 5.30 the next morning we went to the train station. Mongolia was amazing and I recommend everyone to go there.

Next up: Train ride to China with chicken feet in the bras.

Blogging from China is difficult, so there won't be any pictures in a while.  I think this link will work.

Link to tracks:



Trans Siberian Railway

"Homo! Get into the picture!", Laz screams. We're making a jumping picture outside the train and unfortunately it's me he's trying to give some instructions. A tall british blonde, which we will call miss Illiterate from now on, wasn't able to get my simple name right at the introduction meeting. She wrote down "Hoko" which she read as "homo" and now even the tour guide uses this nick. Horrible. Punishment would come to her as a hangover from hell the second day of the tour, but enough of that for now.

In the train the group has four rooms. In the first, we have miss Illeterate, faceless, Vanessa and Masheena. Faceless is a canadian girl which claims she's a quarter black although she's a real paleskin, Vanessa is a kiwi which unfortunately has been lying sick the last days and Masheena. In number two we have Jesus christ from Newcastle and his beloved Kate, which spent the whole third day in bed because she tried to drink at the same pace as Harris, Tomtom and Claire. Next was me, the guide, the jew and a spare bed. The spare bed was occupied by a couple of different Russians during the journey. Last, but not least, we have faceplanter Charlie, which is soon to be bruiseless, Shafie, Harris and Marni, his Australian boy-trapped-in-a-girl's-body girlfriend. She is really awesome and dags him all the time. This is a new verb to my vocabulary which means to pull down someones trousers. Since this guy normally doesn't wear any underwear, he has been standing in churches and other inappropriate places showing off his junk as he says. I'm looking forward to meet them in Australia!

I've started tagging stuff with the Norwegian flag, expanding our empire. First off on this ride was our window. We then chatted a bit and got our stuff in place before the first bottles of vodka were opened. We were drinking and having fun until the train stopped. Apparently, the platforms are one third of the time filled with Babushkas, old ladies. They run around with their bags and trolleys, selling everything from beer and coke to fried fish and caramel sticks. Jesus and I stacked up with beers and the other with whatever they needed. First night was a blast and we fell asleep without major difficulties.

For those of us who woke up the next day, a different fauna awaited us. New trees and weather were now to be seen. During the whole journey we were to cross 6 time zones. We played card games, chatted, ate noodles and enjoyed eachothers company until the evening. At night there were once again open vodka bottles on the table andwarm beer to be had. Making sure the train attend would stop by to threaten us with police on the next station, we kept on keeping the wagon awake. The third day went on like the second one and at night it was party time. I brought out aquavitae which was fairly popular. A great icebreaker. We mixed vodka with juice that had "100 % cok" and enjoyed the second last night in the train. The fourth day would be the coolest of them all. Next: Siberia, Irkutsk and lake Baikal.

Link to photos:

2011-09-14 Moscow-Siberia