12.30.2007

A Few Weeks of Flickr...

I have been using Flickr for a few weeks now and I must say that I'm really satisfied using it. For the past year or so I've been using Google's photo service, Picasa (both their photo management software and their website to upload my picture to). However, after uploading pictures from my trip to Europe, I had used around 75% of my one gigabyte of storage capacity. One gigabyte?! That really isn't much space I thought to myself. However, when I went to ger more space, there were the following options: 10 GB for one year ($20), 40 GB ($75) and a few more expensive options. While I feel that 10 GB is a reasonable amount for online storage, I did get second thoughts on whether to consider using Flickr.

I went to Flickr and found that they have one upgrade option, $25 per year for a pro account. Essentially, the pro account is an unlimited upload option, only $5 more than Google's 10 GB per year option. What really set Flickr apart from Picasa for me was the other features. This includes the ability to sort your photos into both sets and collections, thus allowing better organization for your photos. Plus, I feel that there is much more of a community of photographers that exists for Flickr whereas there is very little for Picasa. Overall, I feel that Flickr is just more advanced than Picasa. The interface looks better and there are a greater amount of users.

So after all that, here is a link to my Flickr site. Enjoy the photos!

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12.21.2007

Long Awaited Trip Recap (With Photos)

So I've almost been back for San Diego for two weeks. I finally have uploaded all my pictures as well. They have been sorted and gone through.

I decided when I got back that I would try to use a different site for my photos since my Google Picasa account was getting dreadfully close to its limit. Instead, I decided to shell out the $25 for a flickr.com pro account. So far its been really great, as I like the interface and the appearance of my photos on it.

Feel free to take a look at my photos here:

2007 Asia Trip Photos

Make sure you look at the sets called "Asia Trip Photos" and "Asia Food Photos". Those are the ones that I pulled out that I felt gave the best representation of the trip. If you want to see more pictures in detail you can take a look at the rest of the sets in their entirety.

Overall, the trip was great. Thailand was fantastic as always. The people are very nice and it was good to see my family again. It was great visiting in December as the weather was very nice and it didn't take a few days to adjust to the heat.

I can't say enough nice things about Tokyo (and Chiba City for that matter). Japan was a great place. The best way I can describe it, is that a lot of times you see movies or documentaries set or about certain locations, but when you get there they don't come close to living up to the expectations set forth by the movie or documentary. However, I felt Tokyo met every expectation I could have had about it. It felt modern, yet Tokyo retains its heritage in a very elegant manner.

Hong Kong was an interesting place as well. As I have said before, its is a gateway from the Western world into China. One moment you can be standing between skyscrapers, not sure if you are in New York or San Francisco and the next moment where you feel that you are in the middle of any major Chinese city.

Macau is a unique side trip. If you can't get to Las Vegas, you can get to Macau and have the same gambling experience. Macau retains a lot of it Portuguese architecture, however it doesn't even come remotely close to an experience in Europe. However, it is an experience to see a little bit of Europe submerged in Chinese culture.

So once again, it was a fantastic trip. I felt that I did a lot and learned a lot. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.

Charlton

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12.09.2007

Back in San Diego

What a trip!
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Almost Home

Off to San Diego
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Getting Ready to Leave Tokyo

I am all checked in. The flight boards in about 40 minutes. I will be in the US in around 10 hours.

It was a great trip. I will post a recap here when I have time.
 
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12.08.2007

Made it to Japan

I am on my way to Chiba City. It's a liitle cold out so I'm enjoying
the heated seats. It is very fall like outside as well.
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At My Gate (BKK)

I'm all packed and ready to go. The trip was fun, exciting and
worthwhile.

Today I spent some time at the floating market and crusing the canals
of Bangkok.

I arrive in Narita at 7am tomorrow. The plan is to hit up Chiba City
then Sakura. I will also attempt to make my flight to LA.

Should be back to San Diego soon.

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Well Its Been Fun

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12.07.2007

Getting ready to Head Home

Thailand was fun but off to Japan!

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12.05.2007

Celebrating the King's Birthday

Now I feel like a local.
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The Trip So Far

I currently have a little time right now so I'll provide a trip recap and my thoughts.

Tokyo -

Tokyo is an amazing city. If you took away the language barrier and just viewed the city, it would be very difficult to tell Tokyo from any other major, world-class city in the world. Everyone I met was very cordial and the tourist sites were awesome to see. The Meiji Gardens are very serene and peaceful to walk through. They are the perfect separation from city life.

The food is stellar as well. I had the chance to go to the Tokyo fish market and get some fresh sushi. There is no sushi better or fresher than the sushi you can get there.

In terms of costs, Tokyo is as expensive as any U.S. City. However, if you can make it for a week in NYC, LA or SF you can make it Tokyo. In fact, a day pass on the subways is $8 which is very affordable for the amount I used it. Also, from LA, Tokyo is only a 9 hour flight. It is long but goes quickly. Overall, I can't wait for my next opportunity to go to Tokyo.

Hong Kong -

Hong Kong is a strange cross section. Mostly new school China, with some old school British mixed in. Hong Kong is an incredibly crowded Chinese city. When you are in Kowloon, good luck walking ten fee without running into someone. Despite this Hong Kong has everything any person could ask for. You can get food that costs $100 per person for dinner to as little as a few dollars for dinner. The food is top notch too. In one minute you can be standing in the lobby of a major bank such as HSBC, and the next minute walking next to a poor Chinese smoking. I haven't been to any large Chinese cities, but I would assume that this is a great gateway to a city such as Shanghai or Beijing.

Macau -

Eh, it's ok. Yes it is like Vegas. No they don't really have a strip like Vegas, but they have casinos like Vegas (including the Venetian, Wynn and MGM Grand). They were once a colony of the Portuguese so there are about 15 European styled buildings there. Otherwise it is just a small Chinese city.

Bangkok -

This city has changed so much in the past ten years. It is getting to the point that Bangkok has almost every major conveniences you can find in a Western city. Despite the modernization, the city still maintains its native culture. There are still temples scattered throughout the city and there are still vendors of every sort as far as the eye can see.

The trip has been very enjoyable so far and has been a great experience as always.

Thanks for reading.

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12.04.2007

A Movie With Some Nice Hong Kong Food!



Delicious!

They're especially good when they're still moving a little!

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Visiting the Phimai Ruins

Its like Ankor Wat Junior. Still very amazing.
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12.03.2007

Tasty Lunch

Japanese BBQ

Soup, rice, salad, meat, fruit, coffee and kim chee for $5.

What a value.

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At the Mandarin Oriental

Jealous? No I'm not staying here, I wish!

It is quite nice though.

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12.02.2007

At the Venetian

Macau not Vegas.
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12.01.2007

Around Macau

Around the historic Portugese part of Macau.
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Last Night in Hong Kong

Well tonight is my last night in Hong Kong. I will be leaving to Macau tomorrow. Hong Kong is one of the most interesting cities I have ever seen. The reason for this is the 99 years of British influence. Hong Kong is strikingly modern, while woefully behind the modern Western standards all at the same time. Regardless, Hong Kong is a city I would suggest anyone to visit if they have the opportunity.

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