Saturday, January 2, 2010

Short (two more posts coming up);)

This time I am writing from Phuket after a wonderful trip in Angkor. The beach here is beautiful, but this is the only country that for now I found quite repelling.:( The dirt, the smell, the fact that practically every thai women here is a prostitute and that all or most of their customers are 50+ men. I might start appreciating this when I will be over 50 myself hehe, so the reader is entitled to remind of that if this scenario ever occurs. It feels as if Caucasian men would never sate their "appetite" back home because its embarassing. Here it is just fine. (spare a thought for the "different area code" concept during Erasmus):) Now this sounds very judgemental (because it is) and preachy, something that I (hope I) am not, but it really is repulsive.

I should have been prepared of course as I was already educated in how to do things here by a 56 year old Australian guy. Though he did say that the best place is still Angeles in the Philippines.:) (bocsi Pali, de a behűtött maláj csajokról még semmi hír);)

Not that I lost too much sleep thinking about it.:) New years fireworks on the beach were quite eclectic as anyone was allowed to fire anything and it made for a very exciting experience. Ah, and we also happened to get some tan, before we make it back home...:)

And btw Happy New Year everyone!

P.S.: Report on Saigon and Cambodia, plus an extra thread on behind scenes stories coming up when I get back to Singapore and/or home

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hue, Hoi An and Merry Christmas

The last week we've spent in the above mention cities. Hue, the old capital of Vietnam. This where the last emperors (mostly puppets of the French) stayed. Accordingly it boasts a huge Citadel, which is still being rebuilt to its original splendour after being mostly destroyed during the war. It has the typical "forbidden city" structure with only higher ranked officials allowed into inner parts. There were separate gates for the king, then members of the army and bureaucracy, then elephants and horses and far away for women. Even the Queen had a separate entrance.

There were also two royal tombs we visited: The ones of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh. The former with a huge garden a campus of buildings, where no one knows where the actual grave is. The latter is a mix of French and Vietnamese style with a lovely view. It is also the only one in the region where the precise spot of the empreror's resting place is known.

Last but not least we visited the 400 year old Thien Mu Pagoda and the surrounding buddhist monastery. The most interesting aspect of which was the car that carried Thich Quang Duc to Saigon in 1963, where he burned himself alive in protest of the governments religious policies. (

We left for Hoi an by car on the 22nd after touring the former Demilitarized Zone, where the VietCong tunnels were of the attraction of note. The trip to Hoi an took us through a quite scenic pass and to better weather. On the way we witnessed huge hotel and golf course development sites for kilometeres on the beaches south of Danang (a city Vietnam is trying to make into a regional hub). It made for a pretty impressive viewing. Hoi an itself is a nice little city with few landmarks like the "Japanese bridge" but something I wasn't able to enjoy to the fullest as I fell sick on our arrival. Had high fever so stayed in the hotel for 1 and half days after which we left for Saigon...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hanoi and Halong Bay

In the evening of Thursday the 17th of December we arrived at Hanoi airport. The road from the airport to Hanoi was like 1970s Baghdad according to my dad. It wasn't a compliment, but huge trucks almost ramming us gave a cool feel (a feeling which applies whenever you're driving in Vietnam) to the ride. We had to walk 600 meters (make it 900, since our "contact person" didn't find his way), because motorcycles flocked the streets as Vietnam lost(!!!!) to Malaysia 1-0 in the final of some sort of cup. Still they were celebrating.

Next morning we met Andris (bro of Veruchito) who's been working in Vietnam for 1,5 years. He proved invaluable. Nice, quick city landmark tour, great (and cheap) food and last but not least a lots of moto-riding (for Mate: without the "ciao"):). My parents and brother usually took the taxi and I rode with Andris through the flow of motorcycles in Hanoi. Normal traffic rules don't apply, neither traffic lights nor lanes is taken into account while driving. The only thing that matters is who is the bigger and who blows the horn. Doing the latter means "I'm coming, so bugger off".:) IT IS HUGE FUN!! :) Thank God the roads are so jammed people don't drive very fast so there are not too many accidents and even those result in light injuries.

After spending a day in Hanoi and seeing my family getting ripped of by the taxi (by 3 dollars :)) we went to Halong Bay. The weather was pretty bad and cold but the scenery was still fascinating. I'll let the pic do the talking. Oh and by the way, the traffic rules don't apply to the highways either. Then again since the max I've seen people drive with was 80 km/h its not (or it doesn't seem):) accident-prone.

3rd day evening we were off to Hue. More on that later...

Oh and the State here doesn't let me to access facebook, so I had to use a proxy site.:)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pics and comments in Hungarian

Mielőtt fölteszem a képeket, két történet Szingapúrból:

1. Az egyik cukrászdában nézegettem a sütiket, és megakadt a szemem a "Trianon" sütin. Értelemszerűen nem tudtam kihagyni, bár magyarázatot nem kaptam a név eredetére. Öcsi szerint valszeg 5 éve még 3szor ekkora volt mint most.:)

2. Novotelben 10$ egy óra internet. Szerencsére volt lehetőség egy kis magyarkodásra.:) Ugyanis a szomszédos hotel wifi-jét fogta a gép, ahol egy óra 5$ míg 1 nap 10$. Az más kérdés, h nem tudták lenyomozni ki és mennyi netet használ a másik hotelben.:) Ergo ingyen net volt 2 napig.;)

The following pics are from Australia. There will be more but I don't want to flood you guys with 1000 pics.:)

Which one of these is endangered?

"Romeo" the breeding-male in Cairns Zoo. This guy is a real stallion!!

Johnny goes for a walk

"Wally" the Maori Wrasse patrolling the shores


Dropped off to Singapore for 3 days to thought I'll give you quick resume:

Visited the NUS (National University Singapore) campus where my bro studied last semester. Compared to our unis back home it is huge, with several bus-lines transporting students around the place. New faculties are still being built, like a the donated by a local businessman for 23 million S$. ☺ The Singapore National Museum is a must if you are interested in the city’s history, takes a bit long though. We were nowhere near finished after 2 hours. The city itself is amazing, with various arcitectural feats littering the centre. As for Singaporeans: If they decide to do something they do it big: Gambling was outlawed for a long time, but when they realized that people just go to Macao, they decided to make their on casino. Its a massive building with three 55 storey hotels (connected with a sky bridge) built by the side of it, just in case. They want to finish them until the Chinese New Year so that the Chinese spend all their money here and not in Macao. Thats why work goes on 24/7. Oh and its only free for foreigners. Singaporeans still have to pay 100 bucks to get in. ☺

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sydney (gonna be a bit long) :)

After Brisbane, Cairns and Surfers Paradise, Sydney is a truly metropolitan city. It feels a lot like London, just better weather.:) The wealth that you see is quite impressive, apparently the recession didn’t hit Australia. I read about it before but I still cannot get to terms with what I am seeing. Huge constructions are springing up in all parts of the country that I’ve visited so far, people seem to be dining out even more then the Spanish do.

Now for the 4 y poco days that we’ve spent here:

Apart from a couple of landmarks (Opera House, doing the Skywalk in the „TV-tower”, ANZAC war memorial, Sydney Aquarium) we met quite a number of friends and a family member. First up on Friday was the Australian division of the Sai Halasz family (Pali and Hanna) who showed us around the eastern suburbs including the Watsons Bay and Rose Bay. It was all very impressive. Just a small drive from the city centre its where some of the poshest suburbs are located. Beaches, beautiful views, parks, nice bars, restaurants etc. Could be hoarding adjectives for pages...

Then we met Zó and his lovely girlfriend-wife-to-be Regine. Zó emigrated in 1969 and then made it big as a professor (and consultant) in accounting. The guy really is larger than life ( in his sixties), with loads of stories and small jokes: „Sorry guys I came with the small car, so one of you might have to sit a bit uncomfortably in the back.” We were already guessing what could this „small” car be. Of course it was a black Porsche Carrera. Any guesses for the big car?:)

We also went to one of his MBA lectures on Saturday, which was really good. Afterwards we went with the ferry to Manly, a northern suburb. Also a really nice place, with some really posh bars, where women wear glittery dresses during the day as well. I guess they are looking for husbands.:)

Sunday we met János Beretvás. Now he may not sound anything special but he is the brother of my grandma who emigrated in 1951 and whom we haven’t yet seen in our lives. He has been suffering from cancer for more then 10 years and is called the miracle-boy back in Sydney. As he says, he was supposed to „go to the morgue” a couple of months ago as he fell into a coma after his heart slowed down. It turns out that it only „recharged”.:) (I know this sounds as very morbid but these are his words) Its the upteenth time he has come back from the brink, so I guess our future wives will have a tough time ahead. We are stubborn buggers.:) We had a big lunch (kaszinó tojás, rántott hús stb.), prepared by his wife Margo, to whom I have to convey a „big respect” for taking care (and putting up with) him.

Afternoon we spent walking down from Bondi Beach and then chilling at Bronthe Beach. The former is the more well known, but the two beaches further down south are much cosier. All in all Sydney was beautiful (maybe even better situated then Budapest)☺ and the only reason why it doesn’t win outright in terms of where to live is because it is so freakin’ far away from everything. Otherwise even the working hours are cool. Not even accountants or consultants work overtime.:) (or at least not to the extent as back in Europe)

Off to Singapore now, to upload the pics (bro left the cable there) and to meet our parents. Y luego Vietnam...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Last couple of days we spent in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. You guessed it we were surfing alright. It was fun though I will need some more time to hone my skills.:) The instructor was brilliant (37 year old everyoung) and I have to say he looked more at home when in the water then when on the beach. He also had a knack of saying "Bavaria" when being on photos, though he only said its a "long story" when asked for an explanation.

We also met Moni again and toured the coast a littlebit with her. Took part in a pub crawl which went well and we did nurse a hangover the next day. That was probably due to the drinking of "goon", Australia's version of cheap wine. I personally think its worse then "tablettás bor". Last but not least we found out on the last day that our max 18 year old „flatmates” were working as strippers. Didn’t look too good so we didn’t miss much, hehe. Ah and one of them had a Hungarian grandma... All she knew was „nokedli”, „rakott krumpli”. Or at least that’s what she told us she knew.:)

We arrived in Sydney today, more on that later.