Way to Phnom Penh // Droga do Phnom Penh

No useless babbling here… What I meet on the way is dust, towns, villages … and lots of friendly people, encouraging me to cycle harder with their smiles. The capital city itself greets me with a big fire, traffic chaos (it seems the city sprang out so fast that there was no time to built traffic lights!) and with my friends from Battambang who host me here, too.

//

Tutaj bez zbędnych opisów… Po drodze – kurz, miasta, miasteczka … i mnóstwo przyjaznych ludzi, uśmiechem zachęcających do wzmożonego wysiłku. A sama stolica wita mnie pożarem, chaosem komunikacyjnym (miasto nagle tak się rozrosło, że nie starczyło czasu na wybudowanie sygnalizacji świetlnej!) i … znajomymi z Battambang, którzy i w Phnom Penh mnie goszczą.

Kampot

I tag along a group of artists, who organize workshops for kids…

This is the main reason why everyone comes to Siem Reap and to Cambodia in general. The legendary Angkor temple complex… I hope that the photos will reveal at least a fraction of how majestic the temples feel but also how relentless time is and how intrusive the nature… In a way I am also lucky to be here at this particular moment – the crowds are smaller due to coronavirus…

Practical tip: tourist centre where you purchase entrance tickets is way away from any entrance – better think about it, especially if you are planning a one day visit only. Btw, one day is just enough to see all the temples if you are moving around by bicycle.

//

Oto i główny cel, dla którego przyjeżdża się do Siem Reap i w ogóle do Kambodży. Legendarny kompleks świątyń dawnego imperium Angkor… Mam nadzieję, że zdjęcia, choćby w minimalnym stopniu, oddadzą majestatyczność…

Thailand… one more time (cycling from Bangkok to Cambodia). // Bangkok raz jeszcze… Rowerem z Bangkoku do Kambodży.

Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok // Katedra Wniebowstąpienia:

Lumpini Park, Bangkok

Chatuchak Market

Wang Saen Suk (Buddhist Hell // buddyjskie piekło)

Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan (+the town of Chachoengsao)

In between // Pomiędzy

Philippines one more time // Filipiny raz jeszcze

A short post this time, mostly photography-filled. And divided into four sections: Lake Taal volcano eruption – Tablas Island – Banton Island – Back to Manila via Lucena + bonus (timetables of ferries connecting different towns/islands).

Tym razem krótki wpis, przede wszystkim fotograficzny. I podzielony na cztery części: wybuch wulkanu-wyspa Tablas-wyspa Banton-droga powrotna do Manili przez Lucenę + bonus w postaci zdjęć harmonogramów kursów promów między poszczególnymi wyspami/miejscowościami.

Lake Taal Volcano Eruption // Wybuch wulkanu na jeziorze Taal

Tablas (Romblon province)

Banton (Romblon province)

On my way back to Manila via Lucena // Z powrotem do Manili przez Lucenę

Ferry timetables // Rozkłady jazdy promów

Sharing some images from the trip I had to one of the most amazing places in Sichuan, China: Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si) buddhist monastery. The view of the monk shanty town (female monks living within the “island”, male monks – outside)  enclosed by meandering river is simply surreal. Too bad the authorities are “developing” the place and tearing it down…

Plus some photos from near Tagong.

//

Wrzucam kilka obrazków z jednego z najbardziej niesamowitych miejsc, które można odwiedzić w regionie Siczuan: klasztor i świątynia Yarchen Gar (Yaqing Si). Widok wyspy szczelnie zabudowanej mnisimi chatkami z byle czego robi spore wrażenie. Z perspektywy turysty – trochę szkoda, że władze próbują “udoskonalić” mnisie miasteczko, głównie poprzez wyburzanie jego części…

Plus kilka zdjęć z okolic Tagong.

Get prepared for all that Bali has to offer – you will have it all brought to you on a golden platter, you will have to try hard to shake off all the hawkers, you will be offered all that you don’t need from drinks to stone massage to zipline to banana boat; and you will be expected to pay a much higher price than a local would… But once you get out of those ultra-touristy areas (that cover a big part of the island, but not all of it …yet) Bali can still impress you – beautiful landscapes, thousands of family temples, delicious street food, smiling and kind people (protip: when on tight budget and not willing to spend money on transportation, politely refuse all the scooter drivers that pull over offering to give you a ride for money, by telling them you will just walk; once he realizes you are serious and he won’t be able to squeeze…

Of all the countless islands of Indonesia I decided to visit two: Sumatra and Bali (Lombok doesn’t count as I was there for half a day only just to hop on a plane). Below are some impressions of Sumatran part of my trip.

I owe huge thanks to Rudy, the greatest ever couchsurfing host from Medan and to his flatmate William… It is them (and their jolly bunch of friends) I had a very soft landing in Indonesia and I got introduced to many a local custom. The care they took of me even felt too much at some point but only until I watched some videos of people getting mugged in many cruel ways at night (especially by guys on electric scooters)… It was only then that I understood better why my friends would always give their buddies a ride back right to their door and wait until they safely got in… And the security of Indonesian Chinese (and…

This time my visit to the Philippines had a purpose or even two: making a chocolate video (big thanks to Mr. Grover Rosit and his family) and meeting a Filipino shaman/wonderhealer/dr quackquack (and that was made possible with a little help from Grochu – http://breakdacycle.com)… And in between I experienced the fiesta during Kadalag-An festival in Victorias City, I tried to approach Mount Kanlaon in Negros island (nope, it was a little too active recently and it was forbidden to get close but I spent some nice time in the nearby village), I visited the shaman-saturated island of Siquijor… And I have some photos and videos to prove it:)

 

***

 

Tym razem wycieczka na Filipiny miała dwa główne cele: zrobienie materiału video o filipińskiej czekoladzie (podziękowanie dla Pana Grovera Rosita i jego rodziny!) i spotkanie filipińskiego szamana (co udało się na bardzo polskiej wyspie Bantayan, głównie dzięki Grochowi, znanemu z http://breakdacycle.com)…  A po drodze udało się jeszcze zobaczyć…

Taoyuan Confucius Temple (桃園孔廟)

My stay in Taiwan only lasted a few days and was limited to Taoyuan and its surroundings so I will skip the writing part. However, you should know that the locals are very kind and helpful and hard drives are pretty cheap. Oh, and the cheapest stay is in the brothel street (and the cheapest ever, um, room is a sort of a closet under the stairs).

***

Mój pobyt na Tajwanie ograniczony był czasowo do ledwie paru dni i geograficznie do Taoyuan i okolic, nie będę się tu zatem wymądrzał i rozpisywał, ograniczę się tylko do stwierdzenia, że lokalsi są bardzo mili i uczynni, a twarde dyski sprzedają tu w dobrej cenie. Acha, i najtańsze noclegi są przy ulicy z burdelami (a najtańszy z najtańszych, hm, pokoi mieści się… we wnęce pod schodami).

Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

(Scroll down for videos and photos:)

My stay in Laos triggered a reflexion on directions and boundaries of tourism industry development, the development that caters for more and more spleen-ed and lazy tourists (did I just say tourists? My bad – I mean, travelers… None of the thousands or millions of youngsters scaling the very same banana pancake trail would ever want to be called a tourist) and brings them the most amazing and authentic experience. Laos is a great place to ponder on it as – compared with neighbouring countries – their tourism awesomeness level is very moderate, nevertheless, the Laotians keep trying to somehow sell their resources to the visitors. And how, you might ask? They wrap the same old product, pimping it with the “adventure” and “authenticity”. I put those terms in inverted commas because oftentimes that “adventure” boils down to just laying back and letting the guide (of varying degree of competence) do the job and…