Travel, Trips & Tips

Traveling is more than just a hobby, it’s the university of life. Indeed, I attended hardly an educational and professional training at any level, which formed my personal development, which increased my social, cognitive, emotional, professional skills (especially the ones in managing critical situations in life) and my understanding of the worlds complexity as much as traveling.

As you notice I give the travel-tips partly in English as this is still the main spoken language between travelers.

Die Tipps über Kurz-Trips sind hingegen in deutscher Sprache abgefasst.

Travels to non-european continents (incl. dealing with political and sociocultural conditions)

1976 With Käthi 4 weeks stay in Benin und Togo. Eye-witness of the impacts of the bloodless coup by «camarade le gèneral Kèrèkou» in Benin. First encounter with a matriarchal society (Fon in Benin). Fascinated by my wife, how fearless and with deep emotional warmth she met all the African people.

1976/1977 With a friend, 3 months stay in Thailand, the Philippines (Romblon, Negros, Panai, Cebu und Mindanao), Hong Kong and Macao. Travelling in some areas no European traveler has been before. At night time dropping into a group of rebels of the islamic MNLF in Zamboanga.

1978/79 With Käthi 6 months stay in Thailand (Ko Samui und Ko Phangan), the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao), West-Malaysia (from Penang to Cameron Highlands). Taken hostage by rebels of the maoistic NPA in the Philippines. Meeting the legendary Belgian nun “Soeur Basile» in Sagada. Guests of guerilla-leader «Cumandante J» in savage Igorot- and Kalinga-areas, northern philippines.

 1980/81 With Käthi and in the Philippines also with my friend Hans Reimann 8 months stay in Thailand (Ko Samui and Ko Phangan, Norththailand incl. 10-day trecking in the burmese-laotian-thai borderregion), the Philippines (Mountain-Provinces of Luzons, Leyte, Marinduque, Tablas, Romblon, Negros, Panai, Cebu, Bohol, Camiguin, Mindanao), East-Malaysia (Sabah), Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Burma (Central- und Northeastburma), Indonesia (Kalimantan, Java, Bali). Confrontation und witnessing the impacts of the 2nd islamic genocide of the ethnical Chinese and of the non-muslim population in Indonesia).

1982-90 With Käthi annually stays of a couple of weeks in North-East-Thailand, on Ko Samui, Ko Tao and Ko Phangan (Sex, Sports and Rock n’Roll) und Central-Burma.

1990/91 With Käthi 8 months stay in Thailand, Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Canberra), Fiji (Viti Levu, Ovolao, Taveuni, Manua Levu and some Island-Atolls in eastern Fiji) and in Canada (Vancouver und Vancouver Island).

 1992/93 With Käthi 8 months stay in Thailand, Australia (Southern Australia, Victoria, NSW), in New Zealand (several weeks living with Maoris in Waitangi), eastern Fiji, in Tonga (Tongatapu) and in West-Samoa (Upolu incl. Central-Upolu and East-Savaii)

1997/98 With Käthi 8 months stay in Thailand, Australia (Western Australia, Northern Territory, Centralaustralia, NSW), New Zealand, Fiji (Island-Atolls in eastern Fiji), and in West-Samoa (Apia und Sawaii).

1999-today annually travels to Thailand, fixed location in Mae Nam, Ko Samui

2012/13 With Käthi 4 months stay in New Zealand incl. stopover in Thailand

2013/14 With Käthi 4 months stay in New Zealand incl. stopover in Thailand and Hong Kong

2015/16 With Käthi 4 months stay in New Zealand 4 incl. stopover in Thailand and Singapore

2016 With Käthi 6 weeks stay in the burmese-southchinese-laotian-thai border-area. Witnessing the reactions of the people and the impacts of Donald Trump getting elected as the USA’s next president.

1) Romblon became 1976-1980 our Mainbase from where we explored the Philippines. 2) 1978 Ko Samui was an extremely lonely island with just three accomodation possibilities, and at night time you better stayed near your bungalow because the same criminal pirates who were robbing and killing vietnamese boat people were not to far… . 3) Legian was an emotional recovery from witnessing the  impacts of the islamic genocid in Kalimantan and Java. 4) One of the most overwhelming places I have been the last century: Maymo with a comfortable dormitory in an  old English villa.

5) and 6) One of  the best ideas we had preparing a trip: traveling with our Starwatcher-Tent to absolutely unspoiled and unsdiscovered parts of the South Pacific. This tent was a loyal companion, was honeymoon and shelter during all our travels 1990 til 1999 – it allowed us to stay at some of the most breathtaking spots we have ever been, as several times at Thangalei Island. 7) A traditional fijian house, called Mbure. Walls and roofs were always a living Biotope. 8) Another south-pacific-paradies: Leleuvia Island, where we got our dive-certificates and were swimming with dozens of Dolphins and Riffsharks.

9) and 10) A Fale is a traditional Samoan house which is always open and with no walls, using blinds made of coconut palm fronds during the night or during rainfall. To get a bit of privacy we often used our Starwatcher in the Fales as „Moskitonets“ … . 11) and 12) Since my time in Samoa I understand the expressions „collictive Wellbeing“,  „Matriarchy“ or „Doing Gender“ not only theoretically! And as a proud man it was quite confusing, but I have to confess: I fellt in Samoa every minute deeply happy, specially at the Tanu Beach Fales in Manase.

13) On bicycles along the Mekong. When passing villages children ran to the street and gave us high fives. Lorries slowed down an tossed tomates to us. And at 6pm the owner called everybody to have dinner together. 14) When we travel in Northeastern Thailand, we always stay at the Mut Mee Guest House! 15) One of our huts in the early times in Ko Phangan. The costs were 1/2 Swiss Franc per night. 16) For many years a quiet place: Rin Beach Bakery Bungalows. But mid 90’s different visitors arrived with different lifestyles. Sex, Sports and Rock n’Roll was replaced by No Sex, Drugs and Goa Parties. After 4 people died in 3 days, we left Haad Rin.

17) The good old Rose Bungalows. 18), 19) and 20) Our home from home for 20 years: Shea Shore Bungalows. Year by year the houses got more comfort: No more lifting the mattress to make sure there’s no snake or scorpion hiding. 24 hour electricity, private bathroom, warm water, fan in the room.  But year by year the same delicious food in the restaurant. Always the most wonderful people from all over the world, bone fires at the beach and serious, not so serious, erotical, philosophical and very personal conversations. Today Sea Shore is sold, replaceed by an awful expensive resort. And Mango, „my“ dog, is an angel in the dog-sky…

21) Our first rental-house at Mae Nam, just behind the former Sea Shore: Aircon, TV, fridge and kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a huge veranda. And Wifi. 22) Mango’s last year, taking care of us on the veranda. When he was a puppy, he was cracy about having a swim in the sea on my head. 23) Before we fly to NZ, this is usually our stopover-place in Thailand: Khao Lak, Seafan B&B. As older as I get, as more importang is sleeping-comfort (soft mattress), a clean and quiet hostel and free Wifi. I get it there!

24) Army tent in the wilderness of Cap Tribulation. 24 hours later we were evacuated because cyclon Ivor was going to hit Australias Eastcoast. 25) Three phenomenal weeks at NZ’s first Maori-run Backpackers, which changed our attitude towards Maoris forever. 26) The Innlet Backpacker: since 1993 our home from home on NZ’s South Island. Here the Christmas -Party with great people from 13 different nations. 27) Living in nature, the tree house in Kohukohu. 40 km to Mitimiti, if you don’t care the gravel road, to the 30 families in my „Capital of Nowhere“.

Trips in Europa

Cork, nach Dublin die zweitgrösste STadt Irlands, boomt! Nebst geschichtsträchtigen Sehenswürdigkeiten und einem reizvollen Umland befindet sich auch der Europa-Hauptsitz von Apple hier. Meine Frau und ich haben Cork vom 11.-15.09.2017 besucht.

Swiss bietet zweimal wöchentlich ab Zürich Direktflüge an. Unkomplizierte Automiete direkt ab den Schaltern im Flughafen. Wir haben bei der online-Buchung bei Swiss gleich auch für 4 Tage das Auto gemietet – bei Budget – und wir waren äusserst zufrieden! In Irland herrscht Linksverkehr, die Strassen sind ausserordentlich schmal, also: Kleinwagen mieten. Nur erfahrenen (Automiete nur möglich, wenn Führerschein älter als 5 Jahre) und mindestens durchschnittlich guten Fahrer/innen ohne Konzentrationsprobleme rate ich eigenes Mietauto an. Die Beschilderung ist in gälischer und englischer Sprache, was den/die Fahrer/in zwingt, weit vorauszuschauen… !

Unterkunft: wir nächtigten im Woodview House Bed and Breakfast für 100 Euro die Nacht. Kurze Bewertung: einfach fantastisch und nur zu empfehlen!

Um die Stadt zu erkunden findet sich nach der Kreuzung N40 / N 27 Richtung Stadt ein sehr gut ausgeschildeter Park and Ride. Gehe nach dem Parken direkt zur Kasse und bezahle 5 Euro. Mit dem Ticket können alle Fahrzeuginsassen per Bus Mitten ins Stadtzentrum und zurück fahren. Auch die Parkgebühr ist für einen ganzen Tag im Preis inbegriffen.