Showing posts from 2006

A Perfect Day

We have been asked quite often what do we do or how we spend our time. Usually we have answered “nothing”, which probably describes it best but does not satisfy curiosity at all. When there has been too many such questions, we get tired and answer that we are all the time so bored because there is nothing to do. But to tell you the truth, here is how we spent one day before Christmas.

Top 3: Bolivia, Brazil, Romania

After travelling over two years here is a list of our favourite places so far. We have been constantly asked for recommendations and if there are any places where we will return to. Well, there are over 30, but the top three are clearly above all the rest: Bolivia, Brazil, and Romania (in alphabetical order).

Thailand Humiliates Long-stay Foreigners

Yesterday we travelled to Myanmar, which is another neighbouring military dictatorship. Our motivation was to try out the so called visa-run. We wanted to test and document it so that you don’t have to do it unless you really want to. All foreigners staying in Thailand are forced to travel every 1-3 months to the border, exit the country, and return with a new stamp in their passport. Immigration rules enforce this procedure, and the penalty of failing to do so is 500 baht/day (~ 11 €). Those who travel to Thailand for work, retirement, or for renting a wife are granted a 3-month stay between the visa-runs. Ordinary long-stay tourists usually have to do the trip every month. The Argentinian visa system gives an example of another extreme. There you can overstay as long as you wish. When you leave the country you just have to pay a US 15$ fine. All Argentinian visa officials encourage tourists to stay overtime and pay the fine instead of applying visas and permission. Here are our expe…

The Revolution of Thailand

[Suomeksi] We visited Singapore for a few days trying to sort out Thailand visa mess. The 30-day permission to stay had to be changed to a visa that could then—possibly—be somehow extended. Not too complicated, fortunately. And the obvious motivation behind this seems to be ripping off tourists.

The King

Before entering Thailand we knew that the King is extremely respected and revered in Thailand. And that it is illegal to insult him or the monarchy in general. This raised some contradictory thoughts in us and sounded quite pre-historic, very far away from the anarchy we support or from the republic states that we were used to.

Thailand Military Coup

Thai Military seized power in Bangkok on Tuesday night, the 19th of September, just a few hours ago. They occupy now every crucial corner in the capital, among others government building and the Prime Minister’s office.

Books transferred

We have no longer storage space limitations. Our books are transferred to this new blog. Some of the books used to be in Google books but we had to remove them because of many technical problems in the old service. The new high-resolution e-books (PDF) are available here.

Visiting Antaiji Zen Monastery in Japan

This is the temple of the monastery called Hondo. The sitting (zazen) is done there as well as the Buddhist rituals such as Monk promotion. In those rituals the main entrance is used, otherwise the side door.

Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia

We started our Trans-Siberian railway ride from Kuokkaniemi, a small village situated near Sortavala and Finnish border in Karelia. The trip ended in Vladivostok near Japan and Korea totaling well over 10.000 kilometres. It would have been possible to do the trip in about eleven days, but we wanted to stop every once in a while and look around. We bought our tickets one by one, just to the next destination, and got this way a lot of experience of Russian bureaucracy, despotism of the police (militsiya), and the lack of any kind of logic in Russia. We knew right away that our Experiment would at least be challenging. In Santeri’s words: Russia should be avoided at any cost.

Sixteen ways to entertain yourself in Trans-Siberian train ride in Russia

1. Start to prepare for the trip well in advance: don’t change your shirt, socks or underpants at least for one week. Eat pea soup before the trip so in the train you will be able to entertain other passengers by farting “International”. 2. Use a lot of deodorant (spray, not roll-on) and other perfumes, or hang a wunderbaum to your neck. Hairy dices in the same rope make an unforgettable impression.

Russian Rainbow gathering in Karelia

We started our Russian tourney with a Rainbow gathering in Karelia, near Sortavala. The area used to belong to Finland before WW2. Neither of us had visited it before so we were eager to see why so many Finns still would like to get it back, and was it really worth of killing over one million Finnish and Russian soldiers. Neither had we participated in a Rainbow Camps before so we had a great adventure ahead.

Visiting friends in Tallinn, Estonia

We visited Tallinn, Estonia to meet our friends there. Santeri used to work in Tallinn for two years and we met his former colleagues. This picture was taken by Maddy.

Visiting family and friends in Europe


Tourism Guide for Brazilians

Order self cost paperback   |   Download free PDF   |   En Español   |   SuomeksiThis is a stripped html version of the book and it does not contain layout or photos.
Brazil Bra$$$il!Tourism Guide For Brazilians1st edition.The original Finnish edition was published electronically on 14.2.2005 by Päivi & Santeri.This English translation was published electronically on 26.6.2006.

Visiting Mr. Dracula in Transylvania

This is really dangerous. Continue only if you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing. Some higher forces are watching every click you make.

Visiting friends in Buenos Aires


Around the Andes

Bolivian human backpack. People are used to carrying anything from groceries to children in their backs.

The Flight Marathon

Greetings from Brazil! We arrived here last Thursday to celebrate the samba carnival with Pedro and Roseanne. After New Zealand the hot weather and crowds in the streets are more than attractive, not to mention big and affordable steak meals. However we still miss our little garden in Cheviot. Hope we will have a new opportunity to do gardening in Colombia or Bolivia :)

New Zealand

Cows looking curiously at us in the paddock in Cheviot. They followed us all the way they could. Cheviot is a small village of only 400 people located in the South Island of New Zealand. Tim & Heidi who we met in South Africa had invited us over.