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Showing posts from 2006

A Perfect Day

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We have been asked quite often what do we do or how we spend our time. Usually we have answered “nothing”, which probably describes it best but does not satisfy curiosity at all. When there has been too many such questions, we get tired and answer that we are all the time so bored because there is nothing to do. But to tell you the truth, here is how we spent one day before Christmas. Today Santeri woke up early in the morning and Päivi slept until noon. She had a bad cough a couple of days earlier which prevented her from sleeping. Now she was able to take it all back. Sleeping is a luxury. We are staying with Santeri’s former babysitter and her family: husband and four already grown-up kids and two dogs. Our hostess had cooked lovely porridge for the breakfast taking us to a trip down the memory lane to our childhood days.

Our top 3 countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Romania

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After travelling over two years here is a list of our favourite countries so far. We have been constantly asked for recommendations and if there are any places where we will return to. Well, there are over 30, but the top three are clearly above all the rest: Bolivia, Brazil, and Romania (in the alphabetical order).

Thailand Humiliates Long-stay Foreigners

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Thailand visa-run system humiliates foreigners and favours sex tourists making long-stay in Thailand unpleasantly bureaucratic and erratic. Yesterday we travelled to Myanmar, which is another neighbouring military dictatorship. Our motivation was to try out the so called visa-run. We wanted to test and document it so that you don’t have to do it unless you really want to. All foreigners staying in Thailand are forced to travel every 1-3 months to the border, exit the country, and return with a new stamp in their passport. Immigration rules enforce this procedure, and the penalty of failing to do so is 500 baht/day (~ 11 €). Those who travel to Thailand for work, retirement, or for renting a wife are granted a 3-month stay between the visa-runs. Ordinary long-stay tourists usually have to do the trip every month. The Argentinian visa system gives an example of another extreme. There you can overstay as long as you wish. When you leave the country you just have to pay a US 15$ fine

The Revolution of Thailand

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Recent lack of freedom in Thailand have been business as usual in Singapore for years. Both countries are dictatorships. [Suomeksi] We visited Singapore for a few days trying to sort out Thailand visa mess. The 30-day permission to stay had to be changed to a visa that could then—possibly—be somehow extended. Not too complicated, fortunately. And the obvious motivation behind this seems to be ripping off tourists.

The King

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Before entering Thailand we knew that the King is extremely respected and revered in Thailand. And that it is illegal to insult him or the monarchy in general. This raised some contradictory thoughts in us and sounded quite pre-historic, very far away from the anarchy we support or from the republic states that we were used to. When we entered Thailand there was a film shown on the flight before landing. In the film an older couple was walking around in fancy clothes and distributing presents to peasants. There were also some pictures of the couple when they were younger, and the old man took pictures of the people that worshipped him. Funny thing, we thought and continued sleeping.

Thailand Military Coup

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Thai Military seized power in Bangkok on Tuesday night, the 19th of September, just a few hours ago. They occupy now every crucial corner in the capital, among others government building and the Prime Minister’s office.

Our books have been transferred to a new location

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We have no longer storage space limitations. Our books are transferred to this new blog. Some of the books used to be in Google books but we had to remove them because of technical issues. The new high-resolution e-books (PDF) are available at nomad and travel book downloads .

Antai-ji (Antaiji) Zen Monastery in Japan

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Visiting Antai-ji Zen Monastery in Japan, learning sitting meditation (zazen) and working on the rice fields. Travel story with photos. The temple of the Antai-ji Zen Monastery is called Hondo. The sitting meditation (zazen) is done there as well as the Buddhist rituals such as Monk promotion. In those rituals the main entrance is used, otherwise the side door.

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia

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Travelling the trans-siberian railway all the way from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, Russia. And visiting Voguls on the way. We started our Trans-Siberian railway ride from Kuokkaniemi, a small village situated near Sortavala and Finnish border in Karelia. The trip ended in Vladivostok near Japan and Korea totaling well over 10.000 kilometres. It would have been possible to do the trip in about eleven days, but we wanted to stop every once in a while and look around. We bought our tickets one by one, just to the next destination, and got this way a lot of experience of Russian bureaucracy, despotism of the police (militsiya), and the lack of any kind of logic in Russia. We knew right away that our Experiment would at least be challenging. In Santeri’s words: Russia should be avoided at any cost.

Sixteen ways to entertain yourself in the Trans-Siberian train ride in Russia

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Sixteen funny ways to entertain yourself in the Trans-Siberian 2-week train ride through Russia. Start to prepare for the trip well in advance: don’t change your shirt, socks or underpants at least for one week. Eat pea soup before the trip so in the train you will be able to entertain other passengers by farting “International”.

Russian Rainbow gathering in Karelia

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Vegetarians, nudists, herbs-smoking rastas and hippies in the Russian Rainbow gathering in Karelia, Russia in 2006.

Visiting friends in Tallinn, Estonia in 2006

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Visiting friends and Santeri's old colleagues from SOT Finnish Software Engineering Ltd. in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

Visiting family and friends in Europe

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Photos of visiting family and friends in Europe.

Tourism Guide for Brazilians

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Satirical tourism guide for Brazilians teaching how to cheat and rip off tourists. Based on real life experiences all over Brazil.

Visiting Mr. Dracula in Transylvania

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A photo blog of visiting Dracula's castle in Transsilvania, Brasov, Romania. This is really dangerous. Continue only if you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. Some higher forces are watching every click you make.

Visiting friends in Buenos Aires

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Photos of visiting our old friends in Buenos Aires after being in New Zealand for a while. Of course there were parties again.

Around the Andes

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Bolivian people are used to carrying anything from groceries to children in their backs like human backpacks. The border between Chile and Bolivia is in 6000 meters and air was quite thin. We saw a group of Norwegian tourists in the border queue fainting from altitude sickness. They recovered after having some coca tea. It's a good medicine for altitude sickness, but unfortunately not a drug. It had no effect on us.

The Flight Marathon

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The flight marathon:18 take-offs and landings, 35 hours of flying and 50 hours in airports within five days.

New Zealand

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Cheviot is a small village of only 400 people located in the South Island of New Zealand. We lived there a few months with some 40 000 sheep. Tim & Heidi who we met in South Africa had invited us over.