BUENOS AIRES – from the must-sees to the hidden gems

Buenos Aires and me – it was love at first sight. The stately baroque architecture like in Madrid, the elegant cafés – even a bit more charming than those in Paris. Old fashioned gelato parlors like in Rome. The powerful street art of Bogotá next to the picturesque decay of old Havana.

This city simply has it all.

Couple dancing Tango at the Cafe Tortoni in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tango – that’s what Buenos Aires stands for. But it’s only a fraction of what Argentina’s capital has to offer.

The beauty and energy of Buenos Aires took me by storm – and was definitely the highlight of my first trip to Argentina.

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Rocking it in METEORA

I must admit that till the moment I began to plan my trip to Greece, to me, Meteora was the name of my favorite CD by one of my favorite bands – Linkin Park.

Holy Trinity Monastery at Meteora, Greece
The Holy Trinity Monastery is not the largest of the six remaining cloisters, however, the most picturesquely positioned one.

Since last Christmas, I know better; much better: Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece, about 350 kilometers north of Athens. It is famous for one of the largest complexes of monasteries.

So my initial rock-band reference was not that mistaken, after all: Meteora is rocking – big time!

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TOKYO – introduction to 10 extraordinary neighborhoods

Tokyo – my first encounter with Japanese everyday life and culture – left a good impression and prepared me for more to come.

Students at Tokyo in Japan
A warm and fun welcome to Tokyo by these sweet ambassadors.

Tokyo – the first cut is the deepest. However, this one didn’t hurt at all. So let me introduce you to 10 extraordinary neighborhoods.

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KAWAGUCHIKO – taking a shot at Mount Fuji

I’ve heard that there are people travelling periodically to the region west of Tokyo just to take a good shot of Mount Fuji.

A shot of Mount Fuji seen from Kawaguchiko in Japan
This is the picture I wanted to shoot. I didn’t. The person credited below did. (Photo: Kpravin2, Mount Fuji Japan with Snow, Lakes and Surrounding Mountains, CC BY-SA 4.0)

This majestic, perfectly shaped volcano – that erupted lastly in 1707 – seems to be hiding behind clouds most of the time. Therefore, it can be a challenge – or a hobby – hunting the best view. Or at least a glimpse.

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NAGOYA – enjoy the ordinary

Tourist attraction wise, Nagoya has by far less to offer than Tokyo or let alone Kyoto.

bye:myself at Nagoya Castle in Japan
Shogun for a day.

Brands like Mitsubishi, Toyota, and even Shinkansen are all settled in Nagoya. I assume they sound more familiar than the city’s own name.

I guess that’s the reason why most foreign visitors just skip Japan’s fourth-largest city located on the Pacific coast in favor of the more glamorous metropolis.

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PHNOM PENH – a guide to Cambodia’s provincial capital

Phnom Penh hasn’t much to impress. On the other hand, it surprises by being probably the world’s most provincial city with more than two million inhabitants in the metropolitan area.

Street Scene from Phnom Penh
One of the main streets of Phnom Penh – still having a certain provincial flair.

It’s rare to travel a country and not missing much by avoiding its capital. Actually there are tourists who do not make it to Phnom Penh at all. They go from Bangkok to Siem Reap and from there straight to Sihanoukville from where they cross the border to Vietnam via Kampot and Kep; and that’s it.

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SIHANOUKVILLE – Cambodia’s most popular beach town

Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s most popular beach town, however, it has a rather bad reputation – particularly among European tourists and travellers.

Sokha beach in SIHANOUKVILLE - Cambodia's most popular beach town
Tranquil Sokha Beach

But I find that already this picture shows that Sihanoukville absolutely has its nice corners and can be the perfect gateway to various great locations.

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KEP – Cambodia between crabs and rice fields

Kep – probably the most underestimated town in Cambodia – has it all. The rice fields in the backdrop of grand mountains, a crab market with all the exotic treats, a nice little beach where Cambodian families are enjoying food, drinks, and each other’s company right on the sidewalks or in one of the simple cabanas.

Crab Marekt in KEP - Cambodia between crabs and rice fields
One of the numberless fish hawkers on the famous Crab Market in Kep.

After having been in distress when visiting Koh Rong Samloem in unfavorable weather conditions, I sought shelter for one night in Sihanoukville. The next morning, I took off to explore some of Cambodia’s countryside where everything feels just so settling.

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From KAMPOT to THANSUR BOKOR and back

I want more. Much more. Money? No way! I want more time! More time to live – 106 healthy years. But I first and foremost want longer days – at least 36 hours, better yet 48.

Wat Trauy Kooh in KAMPOT from where to go to THANSUR BOKOR and back
Wat Trauy Kooh on Fish Isle Kampot: Studying with a view

I came to Kampot today.

Kampot is very, very nice, actually the nicest place in Cambodia so far. Apart from the deserted beach on Koh Rong, but you cannot compare a secluded beach to the capital of a province.

While Kampot is nice, the guest house I’m staying at is the coziest I’ve been to in Cambodia by now. The room is quite small, but it’s so pleasant and with all these pretty, pretty details. I’d like to spend time here.
Quality time.
Reading. Writing. Cherishing.

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