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lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:36 am

Yo Stojan

Thanks for an extensive reply. Most welcome!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
Hi Luke! What a remarkable piece or work, once more, by your hands. I regret not finding time earlier to read it but I was on the road myself.

Ach, the road takes priority over the internet at times. I left the forum for a good year on the last trip, but amazing how you can get hooked once more on it.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
how many camera batteries do you carry with you? Being on the road for so long you surely bring extras?

Just the one! It lasts a good 5 days, and the one thing I am never short of finding is electric sockets! Despite the places I go! Had considered a second, but this next trip will be the last for my camera before I upgrade. Can't recall what you use? Find your images are consistently excellent quality...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
At first I only understood 10% (max) of what was being said but over time I tuned in.

Haha, yeah, it just requires tuning in, and knowing the 'drawl'.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
Your passport has been through a lot I see...

Yeah, one more trip. No more double pages.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
Argh, one of my pet-peeves!

Yeah, didn't you mention it in a report one day?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
I just hope that the trash is mainly organic.

I can assure you that not one bit was organic. 3000 odd pax, getting 3 free meals a day in polystyrene boxes, so a base litter level of 9000 polystyrene containers into the Ocean. Tip of the iceberg.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
I recently finished a book (a travelogue) about the region and learned a lot about the West Papua situation. I feel guilty for knowing so little about it until now.

Nice. What was it called? Yeah, I knew so little about it too... Jakarta does a great job of silencing the region.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
People seem to like and trust you. Absolutely fascinating how much help you have received from complete strangers!

Yeah, I am lucky in that respect. Guess I am friendly enough!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
Not "down there", right?

Haha, no, on my calf, but the fear was much the same. The Papuan boys took it off in a flash.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
As much luck you seem to have with people, you seem to lack with that damn malaria. Clearly mosquitos are not your friends.

I would beg to differ! They are my friends, flocking around me, bringing me the gift of malaria!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
This has to be my favorite photo of the entire report.

It would be hard not to go to that market and not get great photos, all on a platter.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 49):
Thanks again for this (allow me to say) piece of art! Looking forward to your future reports

Yeah, need to continue writing today.

Cheers Stojan!

.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:00 pm

Hi Luke!

What an amazing report you made here! It took a while to get through it, but it was well worth the time. Amazing pictures!
Your travels sure amaze me each time, hitch hiking from PNG all the way to Scotland? Wow.. No words for that.
The pictures you made during your travels are amazing, such beautiful landscapes. Glad to hear (mostly) everybody was very friendly and helped you out!

Both flights on BA also look very nice with good service and crew, well done BA!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
as I get a little uncomfortable having to photograph the various strange things that make up a report when I am sure my seatmate is giving me quizzical side looks

I have the same!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 2):
Dinky tray, but great on a domestic hop

Wow, that for such a short flight? Very nice!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 3):
Goodbye LHR

Great view!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Chinese border. Completely ridiculous.

That Wlecom to China sure made me laugh 

Thanks for this amazing report Luke, really appreciate the time you put up into making it!

Looking forward to more!

cheers,

Brendan
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Hi Luke,

One of the last to reply to your awesome trip report and glad I am doing it now!!

Big question, do you plan to write a trip report on your MH flights...my beloved MH!!

And now to the blockbuster report!! Wow! and this is just half of the report...I had tried to quote en masse, and then just write my comments on each block, but it just did not work out....my mistake I had copied all of the report in notepad, and then used word wrap and when I went to post it all back here (with the comments), it went all out of whack...so I had to spend an hour in a.net just to correct and modify it all lol.....was well worth the effort, but once again excuse the quote overdrive!!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Non- Aviation Write Up (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and China.


The part of the route covered in this first part.



I shan’t endeavour to go into any great detail for this part of the report. Prose wise, at least. But the text will just be to outline the sort of routings I did when I set off on the trip. It will be divided into countries, through which I will give some overarching opinions about the place. Please, no sensitive Sally's: opinions expressed are purely my own, cynical and on occasion warped views. I suspect it’ll only Laotians that could be offended by this report.

And so the great read begins.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
They eat dog in Sulawesi. I didn’t eat it, given it’s hounds of Baskerville reflection, but did
eat dog finally in Kazakhstan!

A bit of a turn off there.....

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Tana Toraja Funel ceremonies. I was just in time to witness the ceremony for a maritime officer who had spent his later years out in the Netherlands. As such, over 20 heads of Buffalo were slaughtered that morning.

It all happens very fast indeed. If you can’t take this sort of photo, then you don’t have the right to eat meat IMO

Bloody

One of the thrashing beasts was so close to knocking me out in it’s struggle for life that it splattered my leg with bloody
from it’s neck.

Public Animal sacrifice still very rampant in some parts of the world.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
A little after all the slaughtering, I saw a woman tending to her garden with a large bauble of

hair. When I asked for a photo, I was amazed at the hair she unfurled. Seemingly uncut for many decades. Seems in one of the photos she thinks she has momentarily misplaced it.

Amazing photo! You have captured that look for time eternal!! These are type of pics that I look out from you!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
For the Torajans, it was a question of status how many horns they had infront of their distinct houses

I guess similar to how many cars one has in their driveways here! I think being able to display one's status is everywhere even in the most unlikiely places.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I was the only whitey, or bule, as the local lingo goes, on board. There’s a name for pigmentaly challenged people around the world I suppose. Ekonomi class was a riot; always a wild atmosphere, below deck with the rats and roaches, your daily meal was a boiled, ungutted fish on rice with boiled cabbage! We all lived off their inventive Indomi noodles.

Not even Economy class with a nice pillow, blanket and headrest lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Cruising through the stunning, and pristine, Spice Islands (Maluku), where I’d call with Malaria 2 weeks later.

Like the calm before the storm.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Never failed to make friends on board: like this Tomahon dance troupe who were really wonderful and sand into each night.

I suppose it has a lot to do with your friendly nature in the first place lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
When Papuans started getting onboard (a wave of squat luggage porters at Sorong), it was quite amazing. They were so far removed from Asians, and not discernibly African. Melanesian to be precise; but squat, strong, solid people with hair so curly they could comfortably balance their substantial loads on.

The shift in people from Indonesia to the Papuans...and so it shall continue in this report!! Awesome for us to read this while you took the pain to actually be out there doing it..Thanks!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Papua is a spectacularly ignored case. In every respect (from a visitors point of view), Indonesia ought to have no dealing with this place. Jakarta is thousands of miles away, part of an entirely different continent and people. Papuans are ethnically, religiously and spiritually different. Jakarta’s game has been to flood the
place with Javanese, throw up hundreds of mosques and flex intimidating military muscles in the area. Freedom Fighters are dealt with swiftly and with finality. There are obvious advantages and prosperity seeping into the region, but it just feels all wrong, and the mighty resources have already begun to be plundered.

Bad boys are everywhere, eh?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
But locked up many innocent Papuans (this man had just been released from 6 years in prison for independent fervour)

And so shall the defenders of the truth remain as well, no matter where in the world they may be.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Super flirty young local girls. Blush.

Fortuntely you don't have a reputation of having a girl at every port!! lol[/quote]

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
To Papua New Guinea


Wow. To enter PNG! That place is so other-worldly! Everything is bigger, and it’s all got spirit. An enormous woman parked her arse on top of me in a mini-van, we passed over turquoise waterfalls with naked old ladies bathing, kept afloat by huge bosoms, kids running about in ecstasy at their verdant playground, the road forded rivers and after 40 minutes, I arrived in Vanimo Town, which is the first and last settlement of Papua New Guinea. It is the Sandaun Region, and certainly had a rather Wild West feel about it.

That pic would have made me cry with laughter of the woman parking her backside on you lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
200m up the beach, one of these boys, having studied me curiously for 10 minutes, had asked my name. When I came back down the beach, they had written it in the sand, and asked me to their village for a coconut.

Awesome!! Always nice to have these moments when others make you feel special, especially without any ulterior motives in mind

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Fresh coconut fetched from the trees behind. No fee expected. Glorious people.

Enjoying nature and it's produce...for free!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Papua New Guinea gets the booby prize for worst food ever. They adore canned goods (legacy from WWII) – here is rice, plantain, instant noodles and canned tuna. Yum.

Exciting combination.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Local boys on a trip to the waterfall to ‘was-was’ (wash) each day. This place was their playground!

If you ever go to Pakistan, the North especially you will see similar scenes of young people happy to play in any given
environment. such simple lives, such happiness without any of the frills.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Nights spent by the fire, watching storm clouds rumble off distantly.

How I would like to really spend each evening lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It would be remiss of me to not mention the Malaysian logging company that was in town; Nasty Sarawak-based Rimbunan Hijau. I saw first-hand the devastating damage that resource exploitation can do in this sort of traditional community. Promises broken, bribes made, vast tracts of hardwoods clear-felled for palm plantations, the company had, in a sense, used the delicate social fabric of this community, to wipe its arse. They had put every single shop keeper out of business, and now sold their imported goods. They even imported all their own fuel and flew in their workers. Just criminal. I’m not so naïve to think that the UK doesn’t pull these stunts, but it was pretty wild to see first-hand. Here is a link (courtesy of Mr Airpearl) to the company (see http://www.wrm.org.uy/countries/Mala...pdf).

Bad boys again

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Not wishing to outstay my welcome, I bought Loa and his family some essentials and headed back across the border to Jayapura, where…. 22 hours late, the familiar sight of M.V. Sinabung came into view having completed a return trip to Jakarta since I had last seen her.

Nice gesture

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Very quickly, as the third horn blew and we pushed off for the 6 day voyage, I got an odd and familiar fatigue through me and an unusual ache in my knuckles. It was my old friend back to ravage me once more; malaria.


Do you not take the necessary vacination shots prior to leaving, or do they not have any effect even if you did?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It almost makes me teary when I think how those Indonesians (who knew me not) came to my rescue, showing the most honourable and selfless compassion, generosity and caring (ness?). For 2 days I was nursed by total strangers, carried to the clinic (I was more qualified than the baboon of a ship’s doctor in any case), massaged me to divert the pain, given a bed to rest on in First class. I was constantly sick and delirious.


Fortunately it comes in waves, and it had subsided enough for me to get off in the marooned islands of Kota Ternate in the Spice Islands and get myself to a hospital. There I was given the news I had plasmodium falciparum i.e. the most deadly strain of malaria. I was tended to by Christian nuns, surreally. I was very scared initially (as I wasn’t responding to any of the meds), but made my recover and was discharged in a week. A friend from Jayapura had phoned some contacts on the island, and they (not knowing me), kept a vigil by my bed every day, brought me guava juice, held my sick-bucket. I am eternally grateful to these people.

And so like the bad boys everywhere, there are good folk too!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Fairly typical of hitch-hiking is the idea that you never know what you are going to get. As an example. On Sumatra I was picked up by two female reports who were off to cover the ethnic violence between natives and Balinese settlers in a local viliage. There had been wholesale murder. I got to sit in as a peace accord was signed between two dull dignitaries!

Wow...how awesome is that.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
And eating amazing Padang food (in which every dish on the menu if brought to your food, as you pick and choose and the bill is given for what you eat). I didn’t know this ‘system’ the first time, and though it not
polite to eat all the food ordered by my host. Clearly couldn’t read the look of horror on his face.

ha,ha,ha!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Stopped in Danau Toba. By the time I reached Medan, I had absolutely fallen head over heels with Indonesia. The people were great, so curious and gracious, they were always polite. It also had this feel of a country that, whatever you needed (barring perhaps uncongested roads and drinkable tap water), it was right there, cheap and normally with a smile. I had also picked up a modest amount of the logical language. Sadly, Indonesian Immigration was not so willing to feel the love, and booted me out.

There is so much emphasis on Thailand for the world, while I think the Aussies know Indonesia all too well.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
empowered Tutik, who told her driver to pull over for me, and was a manager in Bumi Resources and let me sleep in her penthouse that night. She was a DELIGHT!

Back to an environment that you are quite used to.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Tutik’s drivers family also put me up for one night!

Nice

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Wonderful Medan, bit of durian in the lower photo

Ate a durian in Kuala Lumpur and have to say my cousin's two daughter still clearly remember the look on my face at it's strange after taste!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Her mum was a third generation Beef Rendang master, and created this masterpiece. So yum! Final meal of Indonesia. Had Beef Rendang in Sydney, though at a fast food and enjoyed it....Unfortunately Malaysian cuisine is not very popular here except for I think what is the only Malaysian restaurant in town, featured in a show highlighting cuisine from around the world, found in Toronto.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia, Tis the Season.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Can’t say I was overly enthralled to be back in Malaysia, a place I consider good for
transiting. However, I met some friends and had a gas coming up the highway into Thailand. I met each of the ethnic groups of the country, and explored what each had to say about the other. No transport quite gives you a cross section of a country like hitch-hiking.


My modus had been that I would get to Thailand to be surrounded by ‘my own’ during the Festive Time of year, as I wanted a festive spirit. So I hitched to Ao Nang, for Rai Leh. It had been hopelessly romantic of me, as what I found was a bunch of debaucherous teeny-boppers, high as kites (although, I don’t disagree with this), balancing of tight-ropes, dancing to drum and bass, an unhealthy appetite for fire and on some sort of warped quasi-Thai/European cuisine. I actually felt totally alienated.

I would feel alientated too, yet for some this is the very reason for visiting these places!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
By New Year I had migrated up the coast to the once devastated by the Tsunami beach area of Khao Lak. This was much more pleasant, as I latched on to a group of eccentric German over landers, who let me boil instant coffee, noodles and eggs on their stove. Passed a great week here, and a very calm and refreshing New Year.

Happy New Year

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Sunset each day! And this was absolutely free with a tent!

Sunrise...Sunset...Sunrise...Sunset (Fiddler on the roof) lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I hitched up north to Bangkok in a day, which was pretty good going, with five wonderfully foxy Thai students. The girl, Chew, will remain as the most aggressive driver of the entire trip, and probably the sexiest too. They invited me to some sort of funky club as a little bonus too.

I am sure there are some not so raunchy sides of Thailand....would love to explore those.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I went off to ‘make paper’ out of sugar-cane (god knows) and eat hash cookies for a couple of weeks on the Southern beaches of Sihanoukville. Sin-ville was about the most feted, wretched place I came across on my trip. The locals despised the foreigners and vice-versa, there were so many screwed-up characters (my American neighbour threw a cherry (?) bomb at the local kids who were taunting him), it was polluted and generally messed up. I stuck to my cookies and paper-pressing. I held the Koh Krong conservation corridor in much higher esteem however.

Not the kind of treatment you are used to

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Camped here one night and had a great omen when, in the middle of the moon-lit night, the river had risen almost to my feet. When I woke I saw a snake slithering through the water straight for me. Threw a rock infront of it to put it off on another trajectory. It had just gone the Year of the Snake. Infact, I saw a lot of snakes on this
trip come to think of it.

Some would consider this a good or bad omen....seeing a snake in the event of moving into the Year of the Snake.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Super Thais! And yes, that is a taxi driver who have me a 200km ride to Bangkok with absolutely no charge. Shocked.

You do have something magical about you, don't you lol

Quoting lukeyboy95,reply=0 ** Side trip to Sri Lanka ***
Carefully marking the spot at Hualamphong Station, I took a ‘diversion’ which is allowed in the imaginary rule book off my trips (did the same last year in Egypt). A year without getting above the clouds is just too much for me, I begin to get twitchy, so I planned a side-trip to Sri Lanka. I took a train down to the Hat Yai, and flew … well, you’ll see it in the
next report. It was a delightful trip, well worth it. [/quote]

Really looking forward to this, as I've been to Sri Lanka myself.




[quote=lukeyboy95
(Thread starter):
I headed north into Thailand. I must say, hearty congratulations for the proud Thai’s, who have just about managed to bag every type of tourist there is in the world. Although, commiserations on getting so many Russians in thongs. But yeah; High-End luxury, Mid-Range schemies, Budget hippies (I’ll take this category), Culture Vultures, sleazy Subcontinent businessmen, Ecotourism idealists etc. etc. all enter the boiling pot.

That would explain seeing two Transaero jets in Bangkok.....Not forgetting Russians are in Goa, India too.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
With this potent pot on the heat, I had low expectations for Thailand. However, I stand severely corrected! Hitching in Thailand was some of the most thrilling of the trip! I think it is the thing of being exposed to people not in the tourist industry by standing by the road, and a lot of them really still are curious. I met delightful,
warm and charismatic people this way. Never happier than in the back of a Thai pick-up trucks, sweeping along their dreamy highways. You’ve got to get a hold of your crop burning though, please!

Ah the other side of Thailand, the one I was questioning in a few posts above.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I was left underwhelmed by Laos, really. It was in stark contrast to my first visit some 6 years ago. The smiles seem to have been wiped off the locals faces. Perhaps I was just meeting all the wrong characters, or perhaps tourism had already begun its rot and decay of the warm, welcoming culture. (more than welcome that I am part of ‘tourism’ hot-headed people). It can’t have been helped by the fact that Lao was undoubtedly the worst country of the trip to hitch-hike in (along with Greece and Hungary).

Another not so friendly encounter on your trip

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Higher and higher through Laos. By this time I was very apprehensive about China!

The biggest and baddest of them bad boys, hmmm lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Made it to the border in this peach of a vehicle. And just to show he was the shit, the driver
had two hats on.

ha,ha...hilarious.

Quoting lukeyboy95,reply=0The Middle Kingdom; Big, Bad China

The trepidation and nervousness I had about going into China was intense. I had been here previously, 7 years prior (walter). But since then, China had been repeatedly villainized in the Western media; it had become a secret society, a bit totalitarian, a powerful threat and an essential friend. But it was the size that perturbed me. I went in fearing the worst. [/quote]

I have to say I've never seen you express fear of a place so openly, though you have reason to, due to your past
experience...You usually stray into the unknown fearlessly!




[quote=lukeyboy95
(Thread starter):
My learning curve for China was near vertical. Landed in a town that had not a single English
speaker (snort, what was I expecting!?), not a single RMB (and not having looked at the rate), not a dickey bloody Chinese phrase, no map. NOTHING! I washed up in that country with nothing. It took me 20 minutes of pleading for an internet café to give me access (they require a Chinese ID card (Big Brother) from each person &can’t fathom that a tourist wouldn’t have one).

I guess your worst fears were starting to mutliply

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
My first ever hitching on Chinese roads!

Congrats

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
It took two days to hitch to Kunming. I actually don’t know how on earth I managed it. Big smiles! On the first night I tried to sleep in an unopened fuel station, and the police were called on me. The next morning
I tried to hitch on a (largely safe) slip road, and police arrived shortly. Somehow, I made it to a mate in Kunming, where
I buckled up with phrases, letters, maps, advice, inspiration, guide-books and adventure, ready for battle!

Things starting to get a little better for you!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I had conspired an audacious plan after conferring with my Chinese speaking friend. I would now route up through Yunnan, Sichuan and then into Qinghai. It would be over some of the highest, most untouched regions of China (barring Tibet, actually, let’s try and stay away from that hotbed).

Glad to see things getting better for you

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I set off in earnest. I found hitching to be largely a piece of cake. Communication was a
different matter altogether. China is an enigma in as much as there are no common grounds when it comes to communication!

Not even gestures seem to match up. Unlike any other language I’ve known, where if you say what sounds very close to a fitting word, common-sense, logic and guesswork prevail and they can sort of ‘autocorrect’, Chinese is tonal, and it can result in dangerous confusions. Well, anyway, I had about 25 pre-scrawled ‘key’ sentences – everything I could need ‘I don’t have any money’ ‘I have a girlfriend’ ‘Don’t shoot’ etc.

Don't shoot...Yikes!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Unique hitch! Gatecrashing another wedding!

You seem to be the honoured guest!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
What I like about Chinese dinner tables is it usually looks like someone has thrown a grenade into it by the end of a sitting.

Hilarious observation lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Absolutely delightful Miss Cheng and Miss Chung, who picked me up and drove outlandishly, put me up in a 4* hotel and took me out for dinner twice. Love these two…

You do have quite an impact on the ladies, don't you lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge

I think this is allegedly the rock from which the Tiger leapt from the hunter!

Still need to learn more about this.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
The story goes, from Shangri-La I wanted to route along this magnificent back road into the South of Sichuan. A Tibetan man invited me back to his home in some isolated valley, and it was about the most remote and unspoilt place I had even been in my life. Just astonishing. His wife cooked me great noodles, local Baiju mixed with egg, butter tea and I slept under heavy yak wool blankets. I think that man, Shwee-Pee or such like, just about saved my skin as the high-ground in which I had planned to camp was frosted , snow-covered and magical next morning when I returned.


The stuff dreams are made of, or something that one sees in travel documentaries and you got to experience it first hand...lucky you....again, the kind of narratives, I look so forward to you in your reports, which sometimes get accompanied with photos to capture the moments..keep them coming!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Waited 3 hours for a hitch on this crazy old road, eventually resorting to a clasped hand, pleading gesture which stopped a young truck-driver. These passes were such a thrill, up to 5000m which made me wheezy

Hitching on the insane S217 ‘Highway’ – absolutely freezing and very high altitude.

Young driver Wussan who takes me over the high passes.

Reminds me of those trucks making their way through the mountainous passes in the North of Pakistan.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
2000 times around they go!

The world cultures, tradition and religious beliefs..

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
One of the best lifts of the trip was my 900km epic with the three police officers! Dan Jin Fei
(right) spoke a little English.




It all got a bit confusing with the police thereafter. They were a little confused by my hitching. And then I dug myself unintentionally into this tall tale about my ATM cards running out, and getting to a friend in Lanzhou. Anyway, the police
insisted on paying for a train for me. They went further, and bought me food and looked after me excellently. This was pretty good, as I managed to avoid some of the major population centres. At the station, the police talked to the station
mistress and let me wait in the lounge for the night.



Couldn’t seem to shake the (very friendly) police on this trip


Chinese police were without doubt the most helpful, kind and caring of any police force I have ever come across. Perhaps it was just luck, perhaps it is an order to make a good impression from the higher ranks, perhaps it is my hopelessness, but they were just a dream. So wonderful. And such misunderstood people! Got this perpetual image of Chinese police blocking cameras with their palms?

You've had a lot of nice police officers on the way....And definitely not the stereotypes potrayed on Western Media.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
+++++The End of the great wall of China!
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Turpan, and lots of Chinese unity propaganda on the walls all about.

Can't help notice the Arabic script on the top

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Jialong ancient city, which was once a thriving stop on the Silk Route

Indeed the Silk Route influence.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Lamb kababs and Naan… very yummy food the Uighurs have!

See already the influences of Afghanistan, Pakistan starting to show up

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Camping out.

Bold

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Next day was Hotan’s Sunday market and was undoubtedly the most vibrant, fascinating and thrilling market that I have managed to visit. And, I’m a bit of a market collector. The food! Argh!!!!!!


My diary describes this as "a glob of aromatic rice, cooked inside banana leaf triange with a cherry inside. This is pressed down, and a sugary syrup, with a distinct honey sweetness, is ladled on. Upon which fresh, cold yoghurt (from under a cold linen) is spooned ontop. From two congealed and crystalised pots are added an apricot jam (warmed and with fresh bits of apricot through it) and another sweet jam with hints of nutmeg and warming spices. " Incredible.

That does look very nice....that market is bustling with activity.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Young and old. Watched these two hold friends embrace for a good 5 minutes amidst the hubbub of the market

Again unusual to see two men hold hands, and even walk around something that would be misinterpreted in the warped minds of the Western World lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
erm, 'scuse me sir, I think you may have got a bit of your product on your face...'... no doubt
an earlier ill-timed sneeze.

Love the pic of the two boys with the pigeon....Like the little lads in PNG enjoying their waterfall playground...capturing these youngsters unspoiled by the likes of the modern world.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
A note about Uighurs. I wouldn’t say they were really the most friendly ethnic group I came
across on my wonderings. But this can be put down to a deep-seated suspicion of all outsiders that has arisen because of the callous way in which China has moved in and cracked down, fanning heavy migration and decimating the Uighurs ancient and beautiful culture. Yarkant has the most unspoilt Uighur feel of all the cities I visited.


Another place you had to encounter unfriendliness.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
So, erm, no hard feelings there… I had one very funny family pick me up in fact, and they all ate plentifully, gorging themselves on lamb kebabs and steaming bowls of noodles – 9 of them – and then at the end, gave me the bill! Haha, don’t think they knew who they were dealing with.

So did you pay the bill?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Clearly I am a curious thing to have picked up by the road.

THE MOST CLASSIC PHOTO (caps intentional) of all the photos on this trip report....This one hits the nail on the head with the way you really are a "curious thing to have been picked up by the road".....ha,ha....The look on his face and the
twinkle in his eyes clearly indicate the fascination LOL!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Ancient Yarkent, which is a great surviving Uighur city.

Awesome photos!!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Child labour,


A bit harsh, maybe helping around the house?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Yeah, another thing. China’s control and monitoring of the people within her borders is absolute, heavy-handed and astonishing. It makes me feel a bit cold really. All internet usage has to be through special ID cards, so they keep tags on content. All social media is banned, even plane Jane stuff like Couchsurfing.org. On the roads, cameras constantly take pictures of and track cars, and every so often you have to get out into a building, swipe your ID and be questioned. The propaganda runs as freely as the baijou spirits


That said, when I compare China and India, I wonder perhaps if this slightly totalitarian, one-party rule is probably the best thing for Chinese. Most, even young and worldly types, live in a Disney-land world of Chinese bias. They are actually so unconcerned about the outside world (barring Japan), that things seem harmonious. I don’t think such rapid growth and power-gain could have been managed under any other system in these modern times. I feel mostly at peace with China after my month here, and was amazed that, despite communications being near-impossible, I managed to feel a warm connection with the Chinese people.

They left you feeling warm and nice about them!! Perhaps they knew you were the great Luke, the world hitch hiker lol

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
When I got to Chinese Immigration on my way to the Irkeshtam Pass (where the mountains raise up out of the desert), they were playing funny buggers, and saying I needed to get a $120 taxi over the border. Conducted a little sit-in protest, and camped outside their gleaming office until the next morning (having almost gone hypothermic), they capitulated and put me in a civilian truck to the border.


Glad they gave in

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
The Immigration Facility of my protest. After 140km, the mountains emerge out of the desert, you are at the frontier of China and Central Asia. The border opens according to Beijing time, which since we are so far West, is very strange. This is the final Immigration post, over there lies Kyrgyzstan!


That takes you to Central Asia. In the next report I will cover Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Armenia.


Looking forward to the next set.....Wow, what an experience this has been...I recall you commenting on my last "Etihad trip report (so boring in comparison) and you location showed Papua New Guinea....and now I get to read all about it, Thank you!!
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:21 pm

.


Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 51):
Hi Luke!

Yo!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 51):
What an amazing report you made here! It took a while to get through it, but it was well worth the time. Amazing pictures!

My pleasure, thanks alot as always for stopping by. I am sure you are due some TR's soon!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 51):
Wow, that for such a short flight? Very nice!

Yeah, not a bad offering!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 51):
That Wlecom to China sure made me laugh 

Haha, they put so much effort into everything else!




.............................................................................









Good evening Flightsimboy

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Hi Luke,

One of the last to reply to your awesome trip report and glad I am doing it now!!

Yeah, you should be the last one. And of course by far and away the most detailed, so it is always enjoyable to see what parts of the report get your attention!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Big question, do you plan to write a trip report on your MH flights...my beloved MH!!

Yeah, well, I am about half way through the writing. Will try and crack on with it tomorrow, had planned for today but I was a little hung over. You like MH then?

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
so I had to spend an hour in a.net just to correct and modify it all lol.....was well worth the effort, but once again excuse the quote overdrive!!!

Oh no! Well, you know it is much appreciated! I was wondering whether you would show, since you were the first to reply, and now appropriatelty the last in this report!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Public Animal sacrifice still very rampant in some parts of the world.

Yeah, why not. Bloody interesting to watch!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Amazing photo! You have captured that look for time eternal!! These are type of pics that I look out from you!

Well, they are tricky to find at times! Was so happy I got the confidence to ask this lady...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Not even Economy class with a nice pillow, blanket and headrest lol

Haha, far from it. But FR might come a bit closer to the standards...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
The shift in people from Indonesia to the Papuans...and so it shall continue in this report!! Awesome for us to read this while you took the pain to actually be out there doing it..Thanks!

Yeah; it was a really nice ethnic transiition - I love that sort of thing, lets you know you are pushing on when the faces are changing!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
And so shall the defenders of the truth remain as well, no matter where in the world they may be.

Yeah, they still have a movement which is great!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Super flirty young local girls. Blush.

Fortuntely you don't have a reputation of having a girl at every port!! lol

[/quote]
No, but I did seem to find alot more flirty, confident females on this trip! Indonesian's were provocatrix!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
That pic would have made me cry with laughter of the woman parking her backside on you lol

haha - they were wholesome ladies, and the minibuses were a tight squeeze!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Awesome!! Always nice to have these moments when others make you feel special, especially without any ulterior motives in mind

Yeah - unspoilt places...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
If you ever go to Pakistan, the North especially you will see similar scenes of young people happy to play in any given
environment.

I would love to get there; I want the Muslim/ West relationship to improve just a little before I start venturing into the far north, but Pakistan is firmly on my list of countries to see!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Do you not take the necessary vacination shots prior to leaving, or do they not have any effect even if you did?

No No! I am innocent; take all the proper courses, it is just the strain is resistant out in PNG.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
And so like the bad boys everywhere, there are good folk too!

Sure! They are the ones I take faith in...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Ate a durian in Kuala Lumpur and have to say my cousin's two daughter still clearly remember the look on my face at it's strange after taste!!

Yeah! It is strange, but not really as bad as many make out...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
I would feel alientated too, yet for some this is the very reason for visiting these places!

Yeah, I guess the party scene is just not for me.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Not the kind of treatment you are used to

Not quite no. Working for a start is something I am not massively used to.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
You do have something magical about you, don't you lol

Well, I think I am pretty ordinary. But I put myself out there like a buffoon!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Ah the other side of Thailand, the one I was questioning in a few posts above.

Yeah! Still there and still so great...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
The biggest and baddest of them bad boys, hmmm lol

Haha, Yeah. China occupies the big, bad boy image in my head. Very little crime in country though it would appear.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Don't shoot...Yikes!!

haha; sarcasm, although in Armenia many of the hitches did have guns...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
You do have quite an impact on the ladies, don't you lol

must be the baby face or that I remind them of Harry Potter.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
The stuff dreams are made of, or something that one sees in travel documentaries and you got to experience it first hand...lucky you....again, the kind of narratives, I look so forward to you in your reports, which sometimes get accompanied with photos to capture the moments..keep them coming!!

It really was! One of the greatest ever moments of my travels, so unexpected and I was very privilaged to be in their house...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Reminds me of those trucks making their way through the mountainous passes in the North of Pakistan.

Yeah! But not half as colourful as yours!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Can't help notice the Arabic script on the top

It looks Arabic, but is infact the Uighur script. Much the same and quite attractive.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
See already the influences of Afghanistan, Pakistan starting to show up

Yeah! I was actually really close to an area of Kashmir that I had travelled in 5 years prior, so I begun to realise how close it all is around that part of the world!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
So, erm, no hard feelings there… I had one very funny family pick me up in fact, and they all ate plentifully, gorging themselves on lamb kebabs and steaming bowls of noodles – 9 of them – and then at the end, gave me the bill! Haha, don’t think they knew who they were dealing with.

So did you pay the bill?

Did I buggery! I am a Scot!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
The look on his face and the
twinkle in his eyes clearly indicate the fascination LOL!

Haha; that is what I loved about the photo too... I like the reaction from people!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
Child labour,


A bit harsh, maybe helping around the house?

haha; yeah, with their very loving father looking on with a patient smile...

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 52):
and you location showed Papua New Guinea....and now I get to read all about it, Thank you!!

Yeah; that perhaps explains the nationality, and also the very long absense.


Well; for services to replying, I will try and get the second part of my report up ASAP.

Rgds

Luke  


.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:54 pm

Hi Luke,

Thanks for responding to my comments...appreciated.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 53):
You like MH then?

May I indulge you to spend time with my first love lol

https://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/trip_reports/read.main/178320

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 53):
Well; for services to replying, I will try and get the second part of my report up ASAP.

Keeping my fingers crossed you found Malaysia Airlines to be a great airline   
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
IH8BY
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:39 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:13 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
my pre-flight drinking (which traditionally used to go on seedily in some public toilets, ever fearful of the over-observant cleaning attendant)
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
there is really no need to excuse a G&T in a civilised world
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
they give you enough drinks to get sufficiently sozzled not to give a damn for mediocre films
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Thread starter):
I catch Mr Muscle’s eye and dilate my pupils kitten-like, to request a second meal tray. Which he brings without a fuss. Great stuff.

*chortle*

A most entertainingly-written report, with great pictures to boot. The trip's a fascinating idea - though I couldn't cope with it myself. Whether I like it or not, I'm firmly on the "cruise-control into a world of careers and sensibilities" as you so aptly put it - you can have the adventures on the rest of our behalf! Looking forward to seeing more.
Have you ever felt like you could float into the sky / like the laws of physics simply don't apply?
 
AI121
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:23 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:55 am

HI Luke, I think the images in first two parts needs to be re-uploaded. Not loading.
dhRuv
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:40 pm

.
Well, sadly my Picassa account unsynced my photos from my computer, so the aviation photos are no longer attached to this report. I think most people had read this report series, and you gotta be fast! Still, the text remains and the non-aviation photos are still included. Many thanks, and if anyone knows how to resolve this sync issues, please PM me

Quoting AI121 (Reply 56):
HI Luke, I think the images in first two parts needs to be re-uploaded. Not loading.

Hi AI121, please see above. Sorry for that, technology took a turn.



********************************

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 54):
May I indulge you to spend time with my first love lol

My First Love-MH 95/94 LAX-KUL-LAX (2002) No Pics! (by flightsimboy Oct 18 2010 in Trip Reports)

Many thanks! I read it and enjoyed it, not so sure how much you will enjoy my critique of MH. Will try get it up today! In Canada in 5 days time! Argh!



*********************************************

Quoting IH8BY (Reply 55):
*chortle*

A most entertainingly-written report, with great pictures to boot. The trip's a fascinating idea - though I couldn't cope with it myself. Whether I like it or not, I'm firmly on the "cruise-control into a world of careers and sensibilities" as you so aptly put it - you can have the adventures on the rest of our behalf! Looking forward to seeing more.
Hello IH8BY

Many thanks for the reply. It is always appreciated to get some nice feedback... Fair enough on your cruise control, looking forward to my own at some stage in the not too distant future!

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
win1290
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:38 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:54 pm

Hey Luke!

It seems I am too late to see all the photos   damm! but nonetheless your travelling photos are amazing! Thanks Luke.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8):
Win, can you help? This was about the best soup I ever had in my life. Peppery and delicious.

Well - I know that kind of soup   but it would be hard to help cause I am no good at cooking haha.

Cheers!
Win
 
lukeyboy95
Topic Author
Posts: 1063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:07 pm

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:06 am

Hi Win! Sorry for a slow reply...,

I am away traveling at the moment...

Quoting win1290 (Reply 58):
Hey Luke!

It seems I am too late to see all the photos damm! but nonetheless your traveling photos are amazing! Thanks Luke.

Yeah, it was a sad old thing but picasa mysteriously deleted that album, or unsynchronized it, and when I put it back to normal, none of the photos were linked in. Still, it was around for a good month before that happened! I will do part 2 and 3 one of these days, so that should be OK!

Quoting win1290 (Reply 58):
Well - I know that kind of soup but it would be hard to help cause I am no good at cooking haha.

Yeah! I think someone put the name and recipe further up in the replies. Delicious. Thailand is definitely top of the culinary picks for me!
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: ~ Asian Adventures 1: Brill BA GLA-LCY, LHR-IST ~

Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:26 am

Can't wait for the rest of the trip to be posted. Thanks, like always it has been an enjoyable read.
You can cut the irony with a knife

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