I’m back home in Frankfurt after five months of travelling. The flight was eventless, but the welcome in Germany everything but warm. Literally and metaphorically. Long queues in front of immigration, which was a rare thing to see, especially as here I can go through the supposingly quick “EU Residents” channel. The immigration officers were even a bit more friendly than usual, joking a bit, though they sent the Japanese off to the right queue with bad English and again a bit harsh. Why do immigration officers need to be so harsh all around the world? Mostly at least… I remember one poster I believe in the Malaysian landborder checkpoint reminding the officers to offer a smile. It didn’t help much. But in general I keep thinking that the German officers are the most blunt. It isn’t a great job to look at a passport and put it into a computer reader, I agree. But they have chosen that job, haven’t they? And immigration officers are the first people to be seen by visitors to the country. As we all know: It’s the first impression for which you don’t have a second chance… Continue reading Epilogue

Singapore (IV) Zoo and Bye

A Quickie as I’m sitting at the airport already, checked-in and all. Just had to start my laptop anyway to charge my iPod, which I forgot before…darn! And this is still Singapore, so there’s no shortage of WLAN. As announced earlier I paid a visit to the Zoo today. It’s a big zoo, especially in terms of area usage. There might be zoos with more different species, but the arrangement in the park area is really a worthwhile visit. When thinking of ‘zoo’ I still picture my first one back in Rheine, the small city I was born in. (Now called NaturZoo Rheine.) Probably a small zoo…but I was less than six years old and all looked great and big and especially sunny to me. So zoo is always something good! 😉 (We probably never went to the zoo during rain…that’s why a zoo is always sunny to me.) For getting there see Night Safari…I took the same way this time again. Continue reading Singapore (IV) Zoo and Bye

Singapore (III) Lazy Sightseeing

After yesterday’s running through all Singapore and back I put in a more lazy day today. Despite it being the last full day of travelling I didn’t want to overdo it. Not now at the end! 😉 And anyway…the limited size of Singapore gives only a limited number of sights to see. Some I don’t need to see (not yet another bird park, for example), and the zoo I parked for tomorrow. But some of the city of Singapore was still left to be explored. Continue reading Singapore (III) Lazy Sightseeing

Singapore (II) Orchard and Flowers

I was aware that Singapore is about shopping. And not only as the number three tourist attraction like in KL, no, here it is number one, again according to the tourist map. “Visitors [sic] map Singapore – Shop, Dine, See”. Bad traveller as I am I had turned around the order. I saw Chinatown yesterday already, had then to dine first just to survive. And today only I would start seeing. Continue reading Singapore (II) Orchard and Flowers

Singapore (I) Arrived

The last photo subdirectory is created…/Pics/SG/Singapore; I’ve arrived at my last stop before finishing my travel. And that without trouble, in fact, was a very smooth ride with AeroLine, a warm recommendation! You have to register, but then can book online and just need to show up 30 minutes before departure to get your ticket. KL – SIN for just 80 MYR (16,40 EUR) in a super comfortable business coach. Continue reading Singapore (I) Arrived

Ao Nang (II) Ko Phi Phi twice

The last two actual vacation days in Thailand: Together with Rafael I went for Ko Phi Phi, this ‘famous’ island off Krabi and Phuket. And a day later, when Rafael and Petra were on their way back to Bangkok, I did a last day of diving, again off Ko Phi Phi. Ko Phi Phi became especially famous after the movie “The Beach” had been produced on one of the beaches of Ko Phi Phi, although the book itself (I’m reading it at the moment) describes an island on Thailand’s east coast, off Ko Samui. Continue reading Ao Nang (II) Ko Phi Phi twice

Phuket (II) Scuba Diving

?Yea…diving again! Finally in Kata on Phuket I took my chance. And it was a very good deed. Great feeling to be under water again! I had no clear recommendations in the end on where to book in Kata. I ended up with Nautilus, which had a mentioning in Petra’s guidebook. Questions asked were correct, equippment good and well-maintained, too. And while sitting at dinner in the evening at ‘our’ restaurant (it was raining again and we had no intentions of getting wet searching for another place) a Thai lady dropped and handed me a note from Nautilus that my pick-up time next morning had changed. The only thing I would have liked to informed upfront is that I was booked on a non-Nautilus boat. Fine…with so few divers as right now it does not make sense that each dive shop sends their own ships to all sites. It would have just been easier to find the right people at the harbor. I was not prepared to look for M/V Similan people… Continue reading Phuket (II) Scuba Diving