Tag Archives: Travel

Chinese lady gives Forrest Gump a run for his money

Typically when someone says they’re going to “take a walk,” it means usually walking a few blocks and back, not across the country. Well, Chinese immigrant, Catherine Li, had some extra time on her hands and decided to walk from San Francisco to New York City.

It’s been seven months since she began her journey and with the help of Google maps, her savings account, and strangers who have offered her their couches and financial aid, she is determined to make it to the Empire State. Li says, “I just felt like walking. I just decided to click over to living in the actual moment instead of inventing all these fantastic fantasies for the future.”  Not a bad attitude to have in these tough times.

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The fobby way of taking pics when you’re traveling solo

Traveling by yourself is a great way of exploring new cities.  But the problem with that is, taking pictures becomes a hassle, especially if you want to be in the shots. You’ll have to approach strangers and have a modicum of faith that they won’t run off with your camera. It’s kind of tough to have that sort of trust when you’re in unknown terrain, but worry no more! There is a solution to this tricky problem. Just observe the Chinese woman in the image below:

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Update: Not engineer-savvy enough to make your own camera mount? You can buy one here!

Overpopulation rears its ugly head during Chinese New Year

I hate fighting the crowds when I travel during the holidays…but at least I’m not traveling in China during Chun Yun, or the Chinese New Year season.  Tomorrow marks the first day of the year of the Rabbit, and this month more than two billion people in China will be packing into trains, buses and planes to visit family.  In fact, according to BBC News, Chun Yun is actually the world’s biggest annual migration of people. Yikes!

Check out these incredible black and white photos of Chun Yun over the past 10 years.

2011 - Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, a migrant worker holds the train ticket he just purchased between his chapped and cracking fingers.

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Travel shots? You mean, like, tequila?

.Maybe it’s a fob thing, but it has never occurred to me that I might need to take vaccine shots before traveling around Southeast Asia.  I’m going back to fob-land tomorrow, and I’ve always found it curious how people load up on vaccines before traveling to Asia.

I mean, I know that mosquito-transmitted illnesses like malaria and dengue aren’t unheard of, and I’ve had my fair share of food poisoning.  But if I told my parents I was going to get shots for our trip to Malaysia this weekend, they’d look at me like I was crazy.  We’ve been traveling there since I was a little kid, so I’m sure we’ve developed an immunity to most fobby germs.  As my mom would say in Cantonese, “Dai kwun sik sai kwun,” or literally, “Big germ (i.e. people) eats little germ.”

Now, if you’re talking about the other kind of shots, sign me up!

Wanna know what I’ll be doing a LOT of back in the motherland? Okay, a few hints here, here and here!

‘Lost Boy’ of Sudan goes home, debates whether to forgo fob status

I’m grateful for how much I’ve been able to travel around the world — the global outlook I’ve gained is one of the main reasons we AbFob girls think being an immigrant can be a positive experience. One of the cities that has seared itself in my memory is Cairo, Egypt, where I lived for a month during the summer of my freshman year in college, working with Sudanese refugees. (As a very brief background, the violent conflict in Sudan has displaced millions of people from their homes, many of whom traveled to neighboring Egypt, living there for years while the fighting ensued in their home country.)   The NY Times just wrote a moving piece on the homecoming of a Sudanese refugee, one of the many “Lost Boys” of Sudan who sought refuge in the US.

For those who don’t have time to read the full article, here’s a video clip.  I was stirred by Joseph Gatyoung Khan’s internal struggle on whether to return to Sudan for good, where his family lived, or to stay in the US.  While I obviously can’t imagine how much he’s been through, I felt like I could relate with his predicament.

Sudan will hold a critical national vote in January 2011 to determine whether the conflicting North and South should split. Many Sudanese immigrants living in the US will return home to vote.

For more on what’s happening in Sudan, George Clooney has done a great job at raising awareness on the conflict.

International politics gets us talking. Read similar articles, like Thailand’s anti-government riots, the bittersweet North and South Korea family reunions, and Japan’s government changes after half a century of same-old.
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Singapore’s Changi Airport: Killing time never seemed so awesome

If you ever have a flight layover, make sure it’s at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Growing up in Singapore, I’ve been to this airport numerous times but I had no idea it had a Balinese-themed swimming pool, a movie theater, and a butterfly garden!

But it doesn’t stop there.  Recently, the airport unveiled a “super slide” named Slide@T3, the tallest slide in Singapore.  It’s also also the tallest slide in any airport around the world (although I’m sure not many airports have gigantic slides).

For every $22 bucks you spend at the airport, you get two tokens to experience an adrenaline rush down this 40-foot-tall slide.  Each ride down will cost you one token.  Or, if you’re late for a flight, just take a free ride down the shorter, one-and-a-half-story tall slide located at Terminal 3 Basement 2.

Not only is the airport equipped with these delightful time-killers, but the food selection is amazing, too.  I always order a dozen Xiao Long Bao or steamed soup dumplings at the  Imperial Treasure restaurant before I board a long flight.

I just might have to purposely miss my flight next time.

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(Thanks, Yi Ding!)

NY Times’ cool photo montage of Singapore’s fashionista street

OK, so I admit I may be the only one who thinks things like this are awesome, but I am going back to Singapore in nine days, so humor me.  The NY Times’ Travel section just ran a wonderful photo montage of Singapore’s Haji Lane, a little-known street that has apparently become a hub for independent fashion boutiques.

Personally, I think the stores on Haji Lane are way overpriced and maybe a little overrated.  The NY Times makes the street kind of look like a Singaporean version of Manhattan’s SoHo district, when really it’s more like an old, hidden alleyway with a few quiet little boutiques.  When I visited Haji Lane, I actually wondered how these stores stayed afloat since customers were so sparse—the typical Singaporean simply can’t afford to buy their overpriced clothing.

But I do love the photos!

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See the full gallery here!

Chinese woman with “fake fingerprints” sneaks into Japan

China fingerprintThe land of all things fake just reached a new low. After fooling Japanese customs officials with her fake fingerprints, Lin Rong, 27, was arrested last month for illegally entering the country.

Apparently, Lin Rong paid $15,000 for plastic surgery that switched the fingerprints on her left and right hands.  She had actually been deported from Japan in the past for overstaying her visa, but it was only when police arrested her for her other bluff— her fake marriage to a Japanese man — that they realized there was something fishy about the unnatural scars on her fingers.

While it’s Japan’s very first case of biometric fraud, officials have a feeling that the problem is likely widespread.  Yikes!

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Baby born on AirAsia plane gets free flights for life

AirAsia free lifetime flights mom birth babyLadies, I suggest you coordinate your birth delivery with your travel plans. Earlier this week, Liew Siaw Hsia, 31, gave birth on the Malaysian budget airline, AirAsia, while traveling from Kuching from Penang . The company decided to present both the mother and baby with free lifetime flights as this was the first kid born on one of their planes. AirAsia flights are not just limited to the Asia region, but flies to London and Abu Dabi too! This kid’s gonna be a high-flying superstar!

(Thanks, DTP!)

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Airplane food upgrades to include banh mi

The hip airline company, Virgin America, has recently upgraded their in-flight menu to include Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches!  I have never been a fan of airplane food, but banh mi seems to be quite a convenient and yummy alternative to your conventional in-flight cuisine.  While Ipork_sandwich290.20090926012834.20091001204656 haven’t had the chance to try Virgin’s banh mi, I’ve been told that it actually costs around US$10 for one.  I think I’ll do my wallet a favor and hit up my local Vietnamese deli before I travel next time.

Thanks Danny for the link!