Beijing Underground

The Chinese real estate bubble has affected nearly everyone. One little known consequence has been people living underground. Many of the people that one has to interact with on a daily basis such as waiters, hairdressers, cooks, cleaners, and supermarket employees live underground. With salaries of $150-$300 per month, they cannot afford to rent a […]

Shanghai, China

After my trip to Japan, my plane landed at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and this finally gave me a chance to try the only commercial high speed Maglev train in the world. Unlike a normal train, they don’t allow anyone to get on the platform before it arrives. I’m not sure exactly why. I did […]

Japan 2012 (Tokyo)

I did get some sleep on my night bus to Tokyo, luckily. I arrived outside Shinjuku station, the busiest train station in the world according to Wikipedia. So it was appropriate to take most used metro system in the world from here to find a hotel. For $9, I got a day pass for the […]

Japan 2012 (Nara and Kyoto)

Leaving Osaka, I took the Kintetsu Nara Line eastwards to Yamatosaidaiji station. This station had a lot of choices for Japanese food inside. I chose the cheapest plate of curry rice for $5. I put $3.75 in a coin operated locker to keep my heavy bag while I looked around the ancient capital of Nara. […]

Japan 2012 (Kyoto and Osaka)

After two nights in Kyoto, I had to leave my hostel and find somewhere else to stay. I decided to head for the slums of Osaka to find one of the cheapest rooms in the country. But first I did a bit more sightseeing in Kyoto. I walked to the nearby Chion-in Temple. I noticed […]

Japan 2012 (Mt. Hiei)

I woke up from my $27 per night 10 person dormitory room and started heading for Mt. Hiei on the northeast side of Kyoto. Since I had no JR Pass this time in Japan, I was free to take any public, private, or subway line I wished. My plan was to take some trains to […]

Japan 2012 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Kyoto, Japan)

I decided to go back to Japan since I found some cheap tickets from Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur -> Osaka) and Spring Airlines (Tokyo -> Shanghai). The only problem is due to deflation in Japan and inflation in the US, everything costs 50% more than when I was here in 2007. Five years ago, I […]

Thailand and Malaysia Notes

Malaysia Notes The bus stations have made some great improvements in the years since I got my wallet stolen at one in Kuala Lumpur a few years ago. The new station called Terminal Bersepadu Selatan is the best bus station I’ve seen. It is designed like an airport. Separate areas for departures and arrivals, clean […]