Jun 1 2012

Whale Island

Category: Martin @ 12:12

There's only a hotel on this tiny island. It's the perfect getaway place and offers basically nothing except quietness a nice beach and a jungle trail. Diving and snorkelling trips can also be booked. I recommend diving the "3 Kings" site.

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May 29 2012

Nha Trang

Category: Martin @ 12:05

Nha Trang is the diving capital of Vietnam. This Russian outpost (меню на русском) offers various activities but is relatively quiet compared to some other south east Asian destinations. The "Madonna Rock" dive site was quite spectacular with a couple of narrow caves and swim throughs.  

Cham temple in Nha Trang. Cham people are of Austronesian origin and are remnants of the Kingdom of Champa (7th to 18th centuries). One noteable peculiarity is their worship of stone willies which they placed inside the temples shown above.

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May 27 2012

HCM City (Saigon)

Category: Martin @ 12:02

This picture looks rather cleaned up compared to the rest of Saigon. The picture also proofs that my camera wasn't snatched.

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May 23 2012


Category: Martin @ 22:00

This is central Macau at Night. Visitors to Macau quickly realize that their whole economy is based on gambling, dried meat and egg custard tarts.

Inside the Venetian Macau our humble residence for one night.

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May 21 2012

Hong Kong Park

Category: Martin @ 12:24

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May 17 2012

Apple Store Shanghai

Category: Martin @ 21:00

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Feb 29 2012

Hanbury Manor, Hertfortshire, England

Category: Martin @ 20:30

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Dec 11 2011

Miami Compliance Meeting

Category: Martin @ 16:54

 View from my hotel room early in the morning.

Sunset in Downtown Miami.

The Epic Hotel at night. Steven Spielbergs yacht, the 7 Seas (on the right) was anchored in the Epic marina.

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Nov 15 2011

Electric Flame Scallop

Category: Martin @ 13:45


Nov 11 2011

Puerto Galera

Category: Martin @ 10:46

So far it looks really nice here. Will do some diving. Also this is the first time in 4 weeks of previous vacations (spread over a year) that I experience something other than constant rainfall.

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Nov 9 2011

Guangzhou by night

Category: Martin @ 19:38

Guangzhou is big... really big. The high-speed train first arrives in Guangzhou north station and then continues for another 15 min with up to 300 km/h to reach the Guangzhou main station. Then it still takes a taxi ride of 30 km to reach the center of the city. Guangzhou may not be the prettiest sight during the day but transforms into quite a spectacular show during night time which can easily compete with Shanghai's Bund river promenade.


 The area around the 600 m tall canton tower is particularly worth visiting.

One of my many hobbies: Going on tall buildings.


Nov 8 2011

Wuhan to Guangzhou

Category: Martin @ 12:09


Train station in Wuhan of the Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway. With a ridiculously politically correct name 和谐 (harmony) the trains initially went up to 350 km/h. After an incident on one of the other high-speed lines the goverment restricted the speed to 300 km/h. It took 4 hours to reach Guangzhou.


Nov 7 2011


Category: Martin @ 11:46

Next to our hotel was a nice little ancient pavillion.

The only real tourist attraction in Wuhan. The yellow crane tower was first built in 223 AD and inspired hordes of poets to write about is awesomeness.


Nov 4 2011

Shanghai Science and Technology Museum

Category: Martin @ 11:15

The most amazing thing about the museum is that it is filled with several thousand schoolchildren.


May 27 2011


Category: Martin @ 12:15

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Apr 4 2011

Diving near Phi Phi island

Category: Martin @ 15:43


Oct 20 2010

Typhoon Megi

Category: Martin @ 07:03


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Oct 15 2010

Guilin and Shanghai video

Category: Martin @ 09:58


Oct 14 2010

Hong Kong

Category: Martin @ 17:22

Hong Kong from The Peak.

Every night 40 Buildings take part in a 14 minute long light show.

Differences between Hong Kong and the mainland: No spitting, protests on the streets, Nobel peace price winners mentioned in the news.

Hong Kong 2010 from Martin Schaerer on Vimeo.


Oct 11 2010

Minority Report

Category: Martin @ 13:14

Our second organized day trip took us to the remote mountain village Pingan in Longsheng county. This time we had a new guide, Mr. Guo who like the previous one encouraged us to add "Gourou" to his name, which means so much as "dog meat" a local slang for buddy, bro, sis, friend.

Left, a Yao minority woman holding a baby. The nappy problem is elegantly circumvented by the open bottom trouser method. The lovely lady on the right side belongs to the Zhuang minority whose members can easily be recognized by the bathing towel worn on their heads. I asked her to teach us a few words in Zhuang language, a close relative to Thai. All I remember is "doohzeh" for "thanks".

Rice terraces in the mist

Our guide, Dog Meat Guo initially told us not to worry. On his tour nobody will be scammed and there's no extra charge for anything. "Ah, but there's the minority theme park where we'll go and where you can either enter for 70 yuan or wait in the bus for one and a half hours". Needless to say, that everybody paid and entered. I don't even regret it, as it was like a zoo and I quite like zoos.

Figure A shows three specimen of the Tujia instinctively performing a ritual welcome drum concert to all bypassers. Figure B shows a Zhuang female in her natural habitat. Behavioural scientists have found out that Zhuangs can be provoked to sing a folk song in response to any folklore song sung at them. Figure C shows four young and fertile Yao individuals of the red variety displaying their long hair, which they never cut. Red Yao males and females enjoy equal rights and food procurement is shared among them. This is in stark contrast to Yaos of the "white trouser" variety illustrated in figures D and E where females are left to do all the hard labour while males go out and play. Females are polygamous and keep up to 5 potential mates at any given time.

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Oct 10 2010

Guilin to Yangshuo

Category: Martin @ 16:54

Today we did a guided trip along the Li River to a small place called Yangshuo. The boat ride takes 4.5 hours and goes through endless varations of the above scene.

The weather forecast for the whole 4 days in Guilin was "overcast with heavy rain", so I was quite happy to get a small patch of blue sky in this picture.

Monkey business

One of the many caves in the Guilin/Yangshuo area.

As we found out all organized day-trips here are quite cheap. The catch is that the tour guide will bring you to about 7 places where you are encouraged to spend money. Of course you don't have to spend anything and it was fun to see with what tricks they tried to extract money from you. They even scam you in a buddhist temple. When we entered, everyone was handed an inscribed bamboo stick (We politely refused) which you were supposed to show to a monk to decipher it for you. A young chinese guy complained to us afterwards that he had to pay around 100$ for the monks "translation" services, which he couldn't refuse to pay because the monk told him he would lose face refusing it in front of the big Buddha statue. The poor tourist's girlfriend wouldn't talk to him for several hours afterwards.

Later the bus stopped in front of a jewellery shop and the tour guide lady told us we HAVE to get in there. The whole group was brought into a small white square room where we waited a while until a young saleswoman arrived and made us guess which of the 4 jade-rings was a fake one. One was obviously very fake and should probably distract you from the fact, that the other 3 real ones are also fakes. At one point a man came in, talked angrily with the girl and left again. Then the girl started her oscar worthy acting and told everybody that her boss is not happy and will fire her if she doesn't sell anything. Great entertainment.

In total we paid 1$ to take a few pictures of the monkey above.

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Oct 9 2010

Arrival in Guilin

Category: Martin @ 20:43

The nine story high sun pagoda in Guilin, filmed from the adjacent moon pagoda.

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Oct 5 2010

Shanghai Nights

Category: Martin @ 21:08

View over the Huangpu River to the Pudong financial zone.

The Shanghai bund. I was there before, but this year the mile long river promenade was crazily crowded.

Neon lights in the shopping street Nanjing Lu.

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Oct 5 2010

Deja vu at Zhujiajiao

Category: Martin @ 14:30

Shanghai's Venice (31°6′46″N 121°3′1″E) is located about 30 minutes from the City center. Walking through the narrow streets was quite tricky as it was about as crowded as Venice during the carneval. Everything is very old school and traditional giving a glimpse into ancient China with lots of merchants, restaurants and the occasional smell of rotten tofu.

Gondoliere in action.


Oct 4 2010


Category: Martin @ 16:47

Chinese Pavillion near the entrance to the Expo.

The Polish pavillion in its green state (changes colours).

Read my whole detailed Expo 2010 Shanghai Review here.

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Sep 4 2010

Rhône Glacier

Category: Martin @ 14:54

This is the easiest to reach glacier in Switzerland. Just drive up to it. It will we gone by 2100.

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Aug 17 2010

Las Vegas, South end of the strip

Category: Martin @ 07:47

Having a break over the weekend after the inspection in San Francisco.


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Jul 16 2010

Downtown San Francisco

Category: Martin @ 08:50

Transamerica Pyramid

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Jan 28 2010

Some Rome sightseeing

Category: Martin @ 03:00

During its 400 year long use some half a million people were slaughtered here.

When in Rome, all roads lead to the Trevi fountain which was not built in a day.


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Jan 25 2010

Decandence in the name of the Lord

Category: Martin @ 09:21

Inside the 220 m long St. Peter's Basilica. It was completed in 1626.

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