Khiva – the fading city 烏茲別克不再繁華的城市 希瓦

希瓦是我們在烏茲別克的最後一站,從布哈拉坐 share taxi 到希瓦需要7個小時車程。因為我們沒有包車,所以另花了一小時去載其他的當地乘客。一開始的路段顛簸不平讓我好擔心未來的七小時,好險一小時後路就很平坦,司機也瞬間開始飆車,據說中國正在協助建造馬路,所以我們路上有看到施工的狀況。司機全程以不變的速度吃了六小時的瓜子,其他兩位乘客則是很安靜。路上停了兩次上廁所,都意外的很乾淨,還提供了疑似再生紙的超硬衛生紙給我。另外停了一次吃東西,但是那裡的廁所居然是架高的木板簡單搭建的,沒有門而且在大馬路旁邊,完全是給路過的車子和對面吃飯的人們看屁股。我只好找一個遠一點的小樹叢解放了!! 就算是在烏茲別克境內開車,還是經過很多警察的檢查哨,在這裡的警察非常有威嚴,到處都可以看到警察,而且不可以隨便拍他們喔!

Khiva is our last destination in Uzbekistan. It was a tough journey from Bukhara by shared taxi, because it takes 7 hours to drive, and we had to pick up another two local people who shared the taxi with us. Luckily the road is flat after the bumpy ride for an hour. The bathroom we stop by were surprisingly clean, I only have to use the “wild toilet” once because the real toilet in lunch place is up in the simple wooden structure whereby everyone can see you! Even we were driving inside the country, we still pass by a few police stop to check our passport, and lonely planet warns reader to avoid police because they might give you trouble, and don’t take picture of the police!!

我們這次住的民宿就位在希瓦西城門的外面,非常方便。來這裡的遊客主要都是參觀舊城內的建築。過去曾經被占領者破壞的古蹟都在UNESCO的幫助下重建, 所以這些古建築多半和飯店、餐廳或博物館結合。來到西城門的右側可以看到數學家花拉子米 (Al Xorazmily) 的雕像,他是代數學的奠基者。

Our guest house is just outside of Khiva castle west gate. The main tourist sites are mostly inside the castle. This place was recovered with the help from Unesco due to the massive destruction by the ruler previously. That’s why most of the old buildings are combined with hotels, restaurants and museums. Just outside the west gate on the right side, you can see the mathematician called Al Xorazmily who is the founder of algebra.

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我們住的民宿 Lali-Opa,便宜又方便 Our hostel is very convenient and cheap

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西城門入口 West Gate Entrance

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城牆 The Wall of the castle

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數學家 The Mathematician

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中越的必吃美食

一直到去了越南才知道原來光是這裡的麵條種類就有六七種以上,以前以為當地麵食就只有越南河粉一種而已,實在是孤陋寡聞阿!

最常見的越南河粉叫做 Pho Bo (發音是ㄈㄜˊ 伯)
Pho是河粉,Bo則是牛肉,所以當然可以換成其他的肉類來搭配。我們在會安剛到的第一晚就在民宿吃了最保守的牛肉河粉,沒想到民宿老闆娘做的好好吃,跟以前在台灣吃的完全不一樣~~讓人回味無窮!別擔心!在越南旅遊的話,任何民宿的早餐幾乎都有提供喔!所以從早到晚都有熱湯可以吃對我們來說真的超幸福的!!

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我們第二個吃到的面類是Mi Quang
這是民宿提供的另一種當地早餐,湯比較少,麵條較粗,調味的方式完全不同,也是非常好吃!所有面類的共同點就是他們會提供一盤生菜綜合盤,裡面有很多種看起來像是剛摘下來的野菜 (有些甚至有超粗的莖葉),然後當地人會幾乎全加進去呢!經過幾天我們都覺得自己變成牛羊了.. 完全不用像在其他國家旅遊一樣忙著找青菜吃,這實在是我最愛越南的地方了!

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Hoi An – the most beautiful & calm city in Vietnam

Finally I visited Vietnam and I am glad I chose the most beautiful city – Hoi An. Recently JetStar started the new direct flight from Singapore to Da Nang. From Da Nang to Hoi An by car is around 40 min. We stayed 3 days there and had a wonderful time!

Hoi An is a town in central Vietnam and it’s famous for its ancient and well-preserved buildings. It was one of the economic and trading centers and was selected as UNESCO heritage. There was once a lot of immigrants from Japan, China, the Netherlands and India thus you can see especially the big influence from Chinese culture. It is not allowed to drive cars inside the old town area, only bike and rickshaw, so it’s quiet and calm when you walk around the streets.

P1080366.JPGUnlike most tourist towns where you see many shops selling the same things. Here in Hoi An, a lot of shops are unique, and the qualities are quite good. The old town area has so many streets that it’s impossible to finish all of them.

One thing worth mentioning is that the place is invading by Koreans!! I think most tourists are Korean and I felt I am in Korea.. A lot of Korean groups love to hire richshaw drivers so the below is a normal scene everyday!

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Thailand – Amphawa 水上市場

This is our second time to Amphawa because last time it was just a quick 3 hours day trip and we felt we didn’t explore everything. Therefore, this time we decided to stay here for one night! The reason we love about Amphawa is that there are less tourists but more local tourists in this market, so we can understand more about local culture.

We arrived at noon time and it was too hot to walk around so we eventually found a foot massage place and afterwards went back to hotel to rest for a while. Surprisingly, there are only two massages here and both are at the very front of the main street.

One day is just perfect for us to explore every shop, I think we walked around the whole street for around 4 times and we got the chance to eat all the food we want!

因為第一次的安帕瓦水上市場是跟旅行團當天來回曼谷,沒有很多時間逛,所以這次又來一次,而且還在這裡找了嘉民宿住一晚。安帕瓦是比較沒那麼觀光的水上市場,有很多泰國的觀光客,也是我們喜歡這裡的原因。這天大約中午抵達,因為實在太熱了,所以做了腳底按摩就趕快回民宿先避暑。在這裡絕對不用怕迷路,主要街道就是沿著河流,而按摩店只有兩間,在街道的最前面。這次有一天的時間,幾乎把整條街逛了四遍!該吃的該逛的都悠閒的達成!

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If you stay one night here, you must wake up earlier the next morning because you can see monks in the temple rowing boats to collect food from the residents. Most of our local Thai guests have prepared food package to give to the monks. There are shops which sell these food package for monks and it includes soft drinks and some rice. I can see the boats are full of the same packages and I wonder if it would be better if everyone can buy some vegetables or daily ingredients which I believe is more needed than soft drinks.

在這裡住的話一定要第二天早起,因為可以看到上流的寺廟和尚划船來各個家裡化緣。我們住的民宿有很多泰國遊客,他們早就準備好食物等待和尚到來,有趣的是這裡的商店會販賣化緣的食物包,裡面都是養樂多和米,我有點懷疑和尚喜歡喝養樂多嗎?看到船上有幾十包的養樂多,卻沒什麼青菜等食材,不知道是否和尚們也喝飲料喝膩了呢?如果化緣食物包可以多一些青菜應該比較實用!

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Early Monday morning stroll is the best because you can see the life of the locals. Thai likes to sit on the grounds and eat meals. I saw many kids and families sitting in their house having breakfast and ready for school. The life during week days are quiet and calm, in contrast with the life of weekend when the markets open and tourists flood in.

水上市場只有週末有店家,平日就恢復日常生活。我在週一的早晨到街上走走,看到每個家庭坐在家裡的地板上吃早餐,小朋友準備上學,大人在河邊洗碗洗衣服,和昨天完全不一樣,寧靜又舒服!

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The river is essential to the locals. They wash clothes, dishes, food in the river. Tourists also come to see how people live a life besides the river. It doesn’t seems clean but both the residents and us are fine after eating a lot of food 😀 I actually see this huge creations swimming in the river that morning and scared me! I wonder what else there are inside this amazing and important river.

離開前在河裡驚見超大的蜥蜴,悠游在水中。這個河流是當地人洗衣、洗碗和洗菜等等日常生活最重要的地方,水雖然看起來不是很乾淨,但是我們勇敢的吃了許多海鮮和當地食物之後,也沒什麼事情發生。不過看到水中的大蜥蜴,不禁讓我幻想著裡面到底還有什麼生物…

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Phuket

This is my first time to Phuket, but this place is not really impressive for me.. To be honest, I prefer Krabi much more!! It’s a famous place to visit in Thailand, because of the beaches and the surrounding islands.

The most popular street in Phuket should be Bangla Road. Well.. it seems not popular during daytime but if you go there again in the evening, it will become a totally different place — the red light district!!! A lot of crazy stuffs are going around here!! P1060368 P1060371 P1060372 P1060374

Toward the end of the street, you will find yourself in Patong Beach. P1060376

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One-day Trip in Perth & Fremantle

It was a short day trip in Perth and Fremantle because our target was margaret river and we only had 4 days in total. We didn’t get a chance to see the city much, the only two places we visited in Perth were Kings park and a restaurant called Tony Roma’s which was recommended by our hotel staff. The city itself seems to be relaxed and calm, I can feel that it must be a nice city to live in. The morning on our way to Kings park, I could see a lot of people walking and running.

這次的旅行只有四天, 飛機時間又不好, 真正可以逛伯斯+弗里曼特爾的時間只有一天, 所以我們逛了兩個地方: 在市中心的餐廳吃晚飯, 還有第二天早上去逛國王公園 (Kings park). 我們走在路上看到很多人在運動, 感覺是個適宜人居又悠閒的城市. 八月來澳洲果然是很冷阿..

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Kings Park 真的超大的, 剛好看到一家生意很好的咖啡廳, 就進去買了一杯咖啡, 如果下次可以在這邊吃早午餐看風景感覺很不錯!!

Kings Park is really big!!!! There was a cafe inside the park and looked packed, so we bought a cup of coffee here. Next time we would love to have brunch here like everyone else!!
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Chiang Mai – about markets and food

It seems like everyone has been to Thailand and everyone gave positive feedback on Thailand. Finally I was able to travel to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in August this year!! We went to Bangkok for a short day in order to transfer domestic flight to Chiang Mai.

Basically it would be better to visit Chiang Mai during weekend because there are Saturday and Sunday walking street (market). There is another daily opened night market called “Night Bazaar” but I found it not interesting at all. As for weekend markets, it was overwhelming with cute designer work and I felt like I am paying for souvenirs every 10 min.. ;p

Saturday market: at Wualai Road near Chiang Mai gate. (smaller scale)
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When the night market started to play National song, everyone including the tourists will stand still during the song, which was really a interesting scene. P1030976

We tried a lot of street food and found the best Thai food sold by this old lady! A small portion is 20 Baht and we came back and bought two more cause it’s just too good!!! P1030979 P1030983 P1030986 P1030988

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