Monthly Archives: April 2023

One-three-one-oh – meters below!

Curiously, in the comments at the bottom of my Instagram post about my visit to Orenburg, a dear reader suggested we visit her nearby hometown of Gui (pronounced Guy; not Gay). Another commenter stated something along the lines of, “What? That hole?!” To which the original commenter retorted, ~”actually, yes – it is a hole, kinda, since it has the deepest hole mine in the whole of Europe!” This interaction was all the more amusing to me since I was reading it… in Gui!…

We flew to Gui (incidentally, a +1 to my list of cities in the world visited) by helicopter. Perfect. In the car we would have missed the fantastic aerial-panoramic views of the vast steppe, and it’d have taken us four hours

Read on…

Orenburg – the city on two continents.

Hi folks!

Sorry I’ve been quiet of late, but I was away on a business trip in the Orenburg oblast (region) and it was non-stop intense work, so I didn’t have time to write up my impressions. So here, today, is me catching up…

Orenburg-region highlight? There were three actually…

The first – a personal record: the furthest I’ve been underground (1310 meters below the surface!) ->

The second – the lecture I gave at Orenburg State University organized by the progressive folks at the Orenburg branch of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media ->

And the third: a small dose of tourism, naturally. This included a pleasant stroll along Orenburg’s main pedestrianized street ->

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • Yakutsk - Tiksi - Yakutsk
  • Yakutsk - Tiksi - Yakutsk
  • Yakutsk - Tiksi - Yakutsk
  • Yakutsk - Tiksi - Yakutsk

Instagram photostream

Seoul > Tokyo > Singapore > Bangkok > home!

Finally, my Asia-Pacific tour (KoreaJapanSingaporeThailand) had come to an end. My physical body, if it could talk, would probably say “and thank god Buddha it’s ended too!”, since the tour sure was physically draining: flights every ~three days, and nothing much else besides work-work-work in-between. However, my mind would never say such a thing. It’s what I do, and what I love doing. It’s on trips away like this one when I feel fully alive – completely in-sync with the rhythm of life.

Bye bye Thailand! We’re heading home!…

Read on…

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Taking stock – on the river in Bangkok.

Our business in Thailand duly completed, it was time for my traditional spot of micro-tourism. First things first – boat trip on the Chao Phraya river through the heart of Bangkok…

In a nutshell: beauty all around – plenty.

We pass our first “temple/palace” – a beaut – but, curiously and perplexingly, it turns out it’s nothing special – neither noteworthy nor Wiki-worthy. I couldn’t even find it on Google Maps! Rather – I could, but it’s not marked as this or that temple or palace; it’s just someone’s mansion, it seems! ->

Read on…

Bangkok – 17 years later.

Korea
Japan
Singapore
Thailand ⬜ – therefore, that’s where we’re headed next!…

My spring tour of Southeast Asia had entered its final stretch, after which would come a long-awaited few days of decompression back home before getting back into the thick of busy things: new contacts, contracts, projects, products, services and solutions – and all so as to make the world more secure, safer, better. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Rewind – to Bangkok!…

Thailand’s capital is a short two-hour flight from Singapore. Take-off, ascent, “the seatbelt sign has been switched off”, a brief pause, “the seatbelt sign has been switched on”, and a short while later you’re touching down. First up – checking into our hotel. And here’s the view from my window:

I hadn’t been here for a full 17 years! I’d been in Thailand in the interim – at conferences in Phuket for example, but not the capital. It was therefore tricky remembering what it was like here nearly two decades ago. Anyway, today – it’s like this:

Ah – some of it was coming back to me: yes, for example, on that tall, thin skyscraper just to the right of the center in the following pic, I remember distinctly… a Johnnie Walker whisky advert! Its text read “don’t drink and drive”! Let me guess – drink and walk, instead?!

As you can see, the city is densely built up. Something else is dense – and long – here: the traffic jams down below (.

Here’s a less salubrious district, just like in any other city:

And down there the streets are a hive of busy activity:

There was a hive of busy activity at our event too – especially up on the stage:

The following day – walkabout-tourism! But I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post. For now – photographic hors d’oeuvres…

The Chao Phraya river:

We took a nice long stroll around the grounds of the Grand Palace – the kings’ residence:

And a superb stroll it was too!

And several more nibbles pics:

To be continued!…

All the photos from Thailand are here.