dimanche 13 juillet 2008


I finally arrived in Paris Yesterday's morning after more than 14 hours of flights. Now, that this trip has come to an end, it's time for me to go see all the people I missed during this year in Japan and this trip and... to find a job. I know, it's not a sure win.

Anyway, as I don't have any cell phone, if you want to reach emails are still the best option.
See you all !

mercredi 25 juin 2008


I am in the South Hemisphere !!!! Waouh !!!

After a whole Toblerone (paid with the detaxing of my MacBook) and a one hour flight from Singapore to Padang, I headed for Bukittinggi, a "small" (Indonesia has the same problem as China concerning the use of the adjectives small and big) town nested between volcanoes, canyons and paddy fields.

Anyway, even if until now I couldn't check if the water in the toilet flush goes the other way (I don't have a toilet flush...), I really love my days here. People are so nice and smiling (even more than in Cambodia and Laos !!) and the nature is beautiful. The conclusion... you really all should come to Indonesia ! (and this is not a message of the Indonesian Tourism center ! It's really me, Antoine !)

See you all very soon to tell you all I couldn't write on this blog... hahahaha !!!

samedi 21 juin 2008

Soon to arrive

For the lazy ones not reading the comments here is some news:

I will be back in France on the 12th of July.

Which means that I have now less than 3 weeks of travel before coming to bother you all French guys and putting a huge distance between me and you all Japan living guys. And as the end draws closer, I have difficulties organizing the end as there is too much to see and not enough time. In the planning some days in Sumatra (to get a new stamp in my passport and reach the South Hemisphere), a visit to a friend living in Bangkok and all the little things you do before the end of a trip. See you soon !

To make you dream

jeudi 12 juin 2008

Guilin and Yangshuo

One of the highlights of the part in China ! All the more that Hangzhou was disappointing (if you hadn't understood...). A good climate (heat, sun and some humidity), beautiful landscapes, nicer people... all this made my stay there pleasant and memorable.

One of the Guilin's lakes

Guilin is a typical Chinese city (which means at least 1 million of inhabitants) with a flavor of South-East Asia. People are more talkative, opened and smiling. Maybe the same difference as between Paris and the South of France...

Who wants some popcorn ?

And who wants some Ni... oups !

They sure know how to stay healthy

Two pagodas of Guilin

Yangshuo is said to be a small town but I can ensure you that it doesn't really match the "small town" criteria of France (but Japan...). Its setting is quite magnificent. It was the good occasion to ride on a bike and enjoy the beautiful landscapes under a scorching sun, guided by a local (in exchange of a reasonable amount of... you know what I mean), wearing my fashionable ski trousers... (it was supposed to rain !!!) But you can see this with the pictures !


And when we leave the town...

My guide...

...and me

My visit in Yangshuo was the occasion for me to have a passionate debate with some young Chinese. Searching for some help in English, especially about the accent (and they were asking a French guy... Haha), we ended up discussiong about various subjects and especially the Irak war and the Tibet's incidents. This was a big surprise for me to discover that these Young ones clearly despised USA as I thought Chinese to be the opposite way. Concerning the Dalai-Lama and Tibet, they had an firm opinion, unfortunately full of holes... They didn't know neither the origin of the conflict nor the several achievements of the Dalai-Lama (Nobel Price of peace...). Starting from this point their opinion (Tibetans are "independantists" who try to destroy the country) was quite understandable. As my knowledge of the situation was quite as bad as them I couldn't really provide any good arguments except the "Nobel Price" one but it was enough to make them doubt and start rethinking the situation. Anyway, the conclusion is that I should inform myself more and so should do the Chinese (but with other sources than the Chinese government...) !

My first fried rice of the trip (what a beautiful way to end this photos' series)

mardi 3 juin 2008

Ciel, ma lessive !

... who understands, understands...

After more than 24 hours of transport, starting Kanchanaburi, Thailand, I arrived yesterday in Kota Bharu, Malaysia. And the place is really nice ! It provides a great change compared to Thailand as people are here mostly Muslims (no more purple-dressed monks in the streets). The buildings and the people's behavior are different. It's really great after almost two months (without counting the time in Japan of course) of Buddhist countries.

Anyway, I will soon leave for Pulau Perhentian to test my diving and my sunbathing abilities. So no worries please, if I don't give news. It's just that I would have fallen asleep in the shade of a coconut tree !

samedi 24 mai 2008


After spending 48 comfortable hours in Shanghai, spoiled by Aymeric and Celine, I left to Hangzhou , a town I had been advised to go to. I received there the shock that I had been fearing and that had been delayed by my friends in Shanghai. I arrived at the beginning of the evening, under heavy rain and in dark obscurity. As soon as I left the train station I was literally assaulted by a swarm of hotel advertisers. And as the China guide (a guide made by the Chinese government and conveying a lot of funny ideas...) I had bought didn't give me the single start of a hint of where I ought to sleep, I was quite defenseless. I ended up in an ugly, over-expensive hotel lost in a district near the train station. No one in my entourage could speak English, I didn't speak a work of Chinese and I needed to eat and find an internet cafe (I found only to discover this blog and most of the sites I used to consult were censored in China). A really bad start for this town... and it was only the beginning !

A glimpse of the atmosphere near my hotel

In fact, I discovered in this town the real meaning of the two words "Chinese Tourists" (the 's' is very important). This denomination represents a group of people, at least 30, noisy, inconsiderate of the places and the other people and shameless. And they are so many, that I had the impression of being the only westerner in site. My peak of anger was reached when as I was queuing to buy a ticket, a couple passed me, the man throwing a kind of you-lowlife-glance (this gives a good idea of how I was angry) at me and his girlfriend looking slightly embarrassed.

So, even if some of the wonders of Hangzhou were real, I didn't like this town at all and my only thought as I was leaving it for Guilin was "Laos the sooner, the better". An impression so much funnier, my friend Raphael found in Hangzhou a good point for China...

Hangzhou's lake

Another view

A hungry dragon


Window (some of my comments are quite useless, aren't they ?)


As promised, here are some comments and pictures about my stay in Shanghai, the most non-Chinese city of China.

During my stay, I was hosted by Aymeric and Celine two friends of my years in Centrale who are working in Shanghai. Enjoying the expatriated way of life, with their help, the shock between Japan and China was reduced and I was able to survive... Thank you !

No, I wasn't hosted by a giant bottle

Shanghai is a mix between high buildings and poor districts, huge streets and small paths. You can walk 50m and have a vision of wealth and poverty. Such contrasts exist in most big cities but it's the first time that they are so clear.

They built the Tintin's moon rocket. Proof !

Poorer districts

Once again, Pudong skyline

Sometimes they mix everything

I also seized this occasion to visit a Chinese museum in Shanghai to learn more about the history of arts in Shanghai. It's easily summarized. Thousands years ago, the Chinese culture was magnificent. This lasted until the colonialism of the 18th century. Starting from this era, because of western invaders (British, French...) or communism, the Chinese arts became very poor. I base this assumption in the real vacuum observed in art products for this era. Astonishing compared to the richness of the old Chinese cultures !

The origin of Kanjis

A magnificent... 'bottle' of wine in copper

It was also the occasion to behave like good expatriated living in a country with cheap living costs, and to enjoy activities that I would never dare to in France...

Ritz, Hyatt... I don't remember but it certainly was tasty

Along with quite a correct view

Classy ?!

Heaven's door

Finally, I also visited a Chinese garden. And their trip is to have strange stones with holes all over. I don't know why but it's like that (according to the French guide I met during my visit).

Beautiful ?!

Shanghai will also be the host of the next Universal Exposition. As a consequence, there is construction yard everywhere ! I don't remember the accurate numbers but in 4 years they have built more than 5 subway lines. That gives you an idea of the change pace of this city.

The flying worker... a consequence of such a high pace

But I am not a professional guide, so I will stop with this crap. Shanghai is I think one of the most enjoyable Chinese city in that it's really westernized, and... there is a Burger King ! And one of the big discovery of this stay... the Norean bath ! It's some kind of a huge bath complex (the same for Aquaboulevard and a simple pool) where you can bath, do ping-pong (ok it is still the same as onsen..), have massages, sleep, have your hair cut, eat... it's endless ! Something really worth trying !

B-B-B-B-Burger King !!!!!

Korean bath...

I certainly forgot some nice pictures... fortunately ! If not, I would have nothing to tell you at my return ;)