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alexchan

  • Travel Guru
  • Member since 13th Apr 18
  • 66 Trips
  • 9066 Photos
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  • 0 Guide Characters
  • 2310 Blog Entries
  • Full Name: Alex Chan ( 51 / Male )
  • Lives In: Auckland, New Zealand

Latest Blog Entries

Travel Blogs alexchan runs

  • Test Malayan Rail - test
  • 2005 Kuching & Brunei - A trip to furnish our newly-acquired apartment in Kuching, followed by a few days of luxury at the Empire Hotel in Brunei.
  • 2005 Tahiti & Easter Island - A minibreak in Easter Island, the most remote place on earth ... with a stopover in Tahiti, possibly the most idyllic place on earth!
  • 2005 Iran - My second trip to Iran, picking up the (even) less touristed places ... from the holy city of Mashad near Turkmenistan, to the maze of narrow alleys in mud-brick city of Yazd, to the Caspian Sea area.
  • 2005 Honolulu (under construction) - A minibreak in Honolulu.
  • 2003 Paris, Andalucia, Norfolk & Guernsey - Brief sojourn in Paris, followed by a trip around southern Spain. Finished off with a visit to family in Norfolk and Guernsey.
  • 2004 Norfolk, Italy & Poland - A visit to family in Norfolk, followed by short break in the Lake areas around Milan. Continued to Poland.
  • 2003 Sri Lanka & Iran - A journey through Sri Lanka's ruins and tea plantations, followed by a peek into mysterious Iran. The trip included the mud-brick city of Bam, destroyed by earthquake on Boxing Day the same year.
  • 2002 Tibet, Yunnan & Northern Thailand - A journey to the top of the world, then to the colourful Yunnan province of China and around Chiang Mai in Thailand.
  • 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria - An epic adventure through Lebanon and Syria enroute to Russia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Hungary.
  • 2001 Sabah, Shanghai, Eastern China & Xiamen - A stopover in Sabah in Malaysian Borneo on the way to bustling, modern and historic Shanghai. Then to Huangshan for a hike in the most stunning scenery imaginable. Finished with a visit to my maternal great-grandfather's home in Xiamen.
  • 2001 Indochina & Bario - A medley of sights and places ... from the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia, to the reminders of war in Vietnam, to Bario in the Kelabit Highlands of Malaysian Borneo.
  • 2000 Argentina, Uruguay, Chile & Florida - A trip around Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, the highlight of which was the land crossing across the Andes. We simply had to travel on to Florida as well because the airfare cost only a tad more.
  • 2000 Bali (and Balinese cremation) - This was going to be what most people consider a "normal" holiday ... until we decided to attend a traditional funeral and cremation!
  • 2000 Noumea (under construction) - A minibreak in New Caledonia; present for my birthday!
  • 1999 Maldives, Southern India & South China Sea cruise (under construction) - In Maldives I thought I had died and gone to heaven ... then we descended into the chaos that was southern India. Then ascended back into a world of indulgence on board the cruiseliner Superstar Leo.
  • 1997 Sydney, Bangkok, Myanmar & Tokyo Motor Show (under construction) - From Bangkok, journeyed behind the bamboo curtain into the golden land (quite literally) Myanmar ruled by a military regime. Continued to Tokyo to experience the hype of its Motor Show.
  • 1994 North India, Kathmandu & Mulu Caves (under construction) - Adventures in Udaipur, Jaipur and Agra before continuing east to Khajuraho and the very spiritual Varanasi by the Ganges. Hopped over to enchanting Kathmandu. Called into the world's largest cave system at Mulu on Malaysian Borneo on the way home.
  • 1992 Kuching, Egypt, Greece, Turkey & Europe (under construction) - My first big adventure. A journey through Egypt, Greece and Turkey before joining an "18-35" (year old) camping tour around Europe.
  • 2006 Xiamen & Northern India - A visit to relatives in Xiamen in China, then Punjab and Rajasthan in India taking in the Pushkar Camel Fair.
  • 2007 Florida - Finally, a trip which most people would consider a "normal" holiday!
  • 2007 California & France - A short break through California (to coincide with car event) and then to France to see friends, then finishing at the Airbus A380 factory in Toulouse! Yes, a lightning-paced journey due to limited time off work but still worthwhile.
  • 2008 Kuching, Jakarta & Cebu - Trip to see family in Kuching, then a "free" trip to Jakarta and finally learning scuba diving in Cebu.
  • 2006 Yemen & Greece - Five heavenly weeks in untouched Yemen ... an out-of-this-world experience. Followed by rest and relaxation in the Greek Islands and Athens.
  • 2005 Trans-Mongolian Rail Journey - A variation on the classic Trans-Siberian rail journey. We chose to start in Beijing, travel through Mongolia and finish up in Kazan (in the semi-autonomous republic of Tatarstan within the Russian Federation).
  • 2004 Lebanon, Syria, Jordan & Egypt - Our second trip to Lebanon and Syria, this time continuing south to Jordan and Egypt. Travelling with us were Kim's parents.
  • 2007 Yemen, Morocco & Bangkok - Return to Yemen (including Suqutra off Somalia), Morocco and then learning Thai massage in Bangkok.
  • 2007/8 Guangxi, Yemen & Ethiopia - Starts with the geoglogical marvels of Guilin and its surroundings, followed by Yemen (again) then Ethiopia at its most colourful during Christmas and Epiphany.
  • 2008 Laos, Sumatra, US, Cuba & Yemen - Air Asia had a great sale .. I just couldn't help myself and make a bulk booking of seven tickets for myself! Some fares were virtually free (just pay the fuel surcharge and the airport tax). Then waderlust kicks in and I extend the trip.
  • 2009 Kiwi Summer - Short trips to various spots in New Zealand during the summer, partly in conjunction with my good friend and visitor Marie.
  • 2009 Adelaide & Kangaroo Island - Much-needed mini-break ... a long weekend to Oz during Easter.
  • 2009 Scuba with Barracuda - Trip to see family in Malaysia and to do some diving ... in particular to scuba with barracudas! Underwater photos courtesy of Christian Albert.
  • 2009 Perth & Sulawesi - Sulawesi has been on my radar for a while with its funeral celebrations. But this trip was precipitated by Air Asia's great sale (and its tiny fares). About USD1-5 for 4-5 hour flights!!!
  • 2009 Midwinter Escape to Cairns - There's no better escape from the Kiwi winter than a few days in the tropics ... so near yet so warm. This time it is Cairns and the Barrier Reef.
  • 2009 Portugal, France & California - Work has dried up ... so here's a trip to Europe to cover some new ground and see my friend Marie. Plus a nice stopover in California on the way back.
  • 2010 Colombo, Lebanon, Syria & Aceh - Strange combination, ain’t it? Yes, Air Asia had another sale. Eight flights totalling 29 hours flying time for only NZD200 (less than EUR100 or USD140)… plus airport taxes. Of course I couldn't just resist but to go even further ... to Lebanon and Syria.
  • 2009/10 Summer into Fall in New Zealand - A short weekend to Otago Peninsula for the wildlife and then the West Coast for its rugged beauty and glaciers.
  • 2010 Vancouver & Alaskan Cruise - Quite unusually, we take what many people would consider a more "normal" holiday!
  • 2010 Rarotonga & Aitutaki - A short mid-winter break to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.
  • 2010/11 Sumatra, Oman and Andaman Islands - Another eclectic trip combining cheap flights on AirAsia and using expiring frequent flyer miles. Diverse combination of sights and experiences ... Lake Toba (near Medan) in Sumatra, the deserts and culture of Oman and diving in the Andaman Islands which is part of India (but closer to Thailand and Sumatra).
  • 2011 Summer into Fall in New Zealand - Another year has past; fortunately I've had travel overseas and also in New Zealand - swim with sharks in Napier and kayaking at Abel Tasman. Then came an early blast of winter as we visited Stewart Island.
  • 2011 SE Asia, Korea, Albania and Mexico - An escape from the wet Auckland winter gets longer and longer ... and takes me around the world as I succumb to wanderlust.
  • 2011 TranzAlpine Rail Journey - One of the most scenic rail journeys in the world (supposedly) is only a short flight away from home. No better time than early spring to admire the snowy peaks of the Southern Alps.
  • 2011 Komodo Dragons and more - AirAsia X had introductory fares from Christchurch to KL for NZD99 each way (inclusive of taxes). We had to find a reason to travel … so we’re off to see the Komodo dragons near Flores, Indonesia ... then a friend in Jakarta ... and of course, family in Kuching.
  • 2012 China, Pakistan, Seychelles & Vietnam - I have frequent flyer miles expiring that are sufficient for a trip to Pakistan or Seychelles. Hard choice … why not do both simply by paying a little more. Then let the adventure begin via China and tag on Vietnam at the end courtesy of cheap AirAsia flights again.
  • 2012/13 Myanmar, Malaysia & Philippines - A trip to spend Christmas and Chinese New Year with family supplemented by adventures in Myanmar and the Philippines ... made possible by nearly free airfares on AirAsia and Cebu Pacific Airlines :-)
  • 2012 Swim with whales in Tonga - Straight back from a 12 week trip, I flew off to Tonga to swim with whales! It was the right season, so why not? Gotta do these things in case I get a job ... in which case life as we know it would be ruined! Underwater photos by Dyfed Evans.
  • 2012 Long weekend in Samoa - A hastily planned getaway in Samoa to escape Auckland's tragic weather during Labour Weekend.
  • 2013 Scotland via Timor, Kashmir & the Caucasus - I get to Scotland, the opposite end of the world, in short hops via the Australian outback, Timor and the Indonesian Archipelago, India, the Caucasus, Turkey, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
  • 2013/2014 Goa & Harbin - A trip to see family in Malaysia via Hong Kong suddenly grows to include Goa (for relaxation and yoga) and Harbin (for the ice festival), making the most of cheap airfares.
  • 2014 Sudan & Egypt - I must be crazy. Not only am I going to Sudan, but I'm going to Egypt at this time too! Hhmmm ... but then, I've been to Yemen and Pakistan, so why should I be surprised at myself?
  • 2014 Europe via Papua - I travel to my nephew's wedding in the UK and explore Europe, via Papua and the Spice Islands.
  • 2014/2015 Norfolk Island via the Gateway to the Heart of Borneo - I visit New Zealand's closest neighbour but not without taking a big detour through Borneo.
  • 2015 Kiwi Summer & Fall - Quick weekend getaways in New Zealand during summer and fall. This time I cover the live volcanic White Island and Great Barrier Island.
  • 2015 Tokyo - A trip to see family in Kuching made more interesting with a circuitous return journey through Tokyo.
  • 2015 South Pacific Explorations - My escape from Auckland's wet windy weather takes me to Niue, Vanuatu and Fiji. This has been a long-awaited journey as I had wanted, for years, to visit Vanuatu's volcanoes and land-diving; and also dive with hand-fed sharks in Fiji.
  • 2015 Tanzania with Asian deja vu - We break new ground in Tanzania but do a bunch of re-runs in Cambodia, Nepal and Maldives.
  • 2015 Sichuan Autumn & Mulu Caves - An attempt to see the golden leaves of Jiuzhaigou Park in Northern Sichuan during autumn, followed by travel to the Tibetan Highlands of Western Sichuan. I finish off with the world's largest caves at Mulu, Borneo.
  • 2015/16 Parahawking in Nepal - I finish a very routine trip to see family with a detour to Nepal to soar with the birds and feed them while in the air. It's called parahawking.
  • 2016 USA to Argentina, through Peru & Bolivia - A short stopover in Texas and Louisiana before an exciting journey through Peru and Bolivia. We cross into Argentina for a brief stay and hope to return for a more extensive visit in the future.
  • 2016 Borneo, Europe, Iceland & Canada - My seemingly annual escape from the Kiwi winter takes me to Borneo, Phuket, Europe, Iceland for my 50th birthday and finally eastern Canada.
  • 2016 Cocos (Keeling) & Christmas Islands - I've always wanted to explore Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island, as they are islands of the Malay Archipelago that have ended up being part of Australia. I now make it happen and try to time it with the red crab migration and spawning.
  • 2017 Natuna & Thaipusam in Singapore - A trip to see family isn't complete with a little adventure on the side. This time it is Natuna Island in the South China Sea and Thaipusam in Singapore.
  • 2017 Good Friday Crucifixion in the Philippines - I combine a routine trip to see family with a detour to see the Good Friday Crucifixion in the Philippines.
  • 2017 Sipadan & Europe - Escaping the Kiwi winter this year involves arguably the world's best diving in Borneo before going to mediterranean Europe, Scandinavia and then another stop in Borneo for Mum's 90th birthday.
  • 2017 Central Asia & NE India - A trip to Central Asia had been on the cards for many years but I finally make it happen, and combine it with India's north-east.
  • 2003 Sri Lanka & Iran - A journey through Sri Lanka's ruins and tea plantations, followed by a peek into mysterious Iran. The trip included the mud-brick city of Bam, destroyed by earthquake on Boxing Day the same year.

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Trips

Trip Stats

2017 Central Asia & NE India (38527 kms)

28 Sep 2017 - 23 Nov 2017

Visiting: New Zealand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and India.

2017 Sipadan & Europe (52302 kms)

03 Jul 2017 - 12 Sep 2017

Visiting: New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Turkey, Algeria, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Thailand.

2017 Good Friday Crucifixion in the Philippines (21509 kms)

11 Apr 2017 - 05 May 2017

Visiting: New Zealand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia.

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