A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog









































I had very little sleep last night, as happens every Saturday I've spent here in Seoul. Everyone seems to party on the street outside nearly all night long, and then decide they're too drunk to go home so they'll just crash in my hotel. And all this street partying was despite thunder and lightning and pouring rain. Not my favourite weather for flying! And for the first time in two months I feel ill, though that may be compounded by lack of sleep (later I concluded it was probably yesterday's hiking fast food). I hope its not piggy flu or at least doesn't look like it, as they are very twitchy about that round here and would slam me in quarantine before I could say "how can I see the sights in here?" I am currently killing time in the airport waiting for my flight and trying to look healthy...

It was an OK flight, but it is very hot and muggy here in Taiwan, and I still feel crap. This was compounded by wandering around this vast shopping mall in Central Taipei with my over-the-limit luggage trying to find an English guidebook, as while I could manage without one, it would be a hell of a lot easier with one. Eventually I saw sense and went to my hotel first to drop off my luggage and then back to the nearby mall for a now succesful search for an English language Lonely Planet Taiwan. I am booked in the YMCA, though it seems just like a normal cheapish business hotel to me, I haven't seen any blokes in see-through cowboy gear yet, though it is siesta time. Having got my guidebook and some basic provisions I have decided to call it a day and defer sightseeing tioll tomorrow, instead I intend to just stay in my nice air-conditioned room and catch up on my sleep and research my time in Taiwan. On first impressions I like Taipei so far despite feeling a bit shit, I imagine it is very like Hong Kong and various other developed East Asian cities. When I was travelling in mainland China, I got to the point where I was just about hold a conversation in Mandarin, but tragically I seem to have forgotten most of it. Should be interesting.

The phiotos on this page are a sort of 'Best of' Korea. As with the other 'best ofs', the criteria are varied, and it was a challenge to shortlist down from the original 950 or so pics gathered in my two stays in Korea.

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