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Friday, July 25, 2008


It is 12:30am here and my wife and I arrived from Singapore after an 18-hour flight via Incheon, South Korea.

All we did in South Korea was get off the plane with all our belongings, get a transit pass and then do a walk-around back to the plane but through another security screening.
It seems quite a waste of time as if you manage to get on the plane the first time with whatever dangerous stuff you plan to do, you would not wait to go through another security screening.

At Changi, I did not have any issues with the hand-carry, but at Incheon, they wanted me to open the bag. I guess my binoculars looked suspicious using different equipment to scan or the person checking wanted to make sure.

Incheon is a relatively new airport and was completed in 2001. You can read their first annual report here:

The taxi ride from Vancouver airport to downtown cost C$40 and we needed a larger cab. Staying one night at the Historic Ramada on West Pender St. The hotel does not look impressive from the exterior but inside it is quite nice. The original hotel was built in 1918.

Later this evening we are boarding the Veendam, a cruise ship of the Holland America Line and we will sail to Anchorage, Alaska where we will drive to Fairbanks and back via Vadez, the scene of the Esso major oil spill some years ago. We expect to see plenty of ice on the voyage and the trip.

It is kind of a dream trip for me. When I got my scholarship to study in the UK in the late 60s, the original plan of the company was to send my colleague and I by ship and in those days that meant a 30-day sail via the Suez canal. They changed their minds when the time came and I felt a little cheesed off. Besides that was the first time I flew in a plane on such a long trip. It was the third flight, the first 2 were from Subang to Ipoh(balik kampong) and back just before I left Malaysia.

I'm not sure how convenient or cheap it will be surf the Net on the ship so don't know when I will post next.

Fantastic day in Vancouver. Clear and sunny skies with temperature of 18C. We arrived at 12:45pm local time and I went to sleep after dinner at about 9:30pm as too jet-lagged and now I will try to get back to sleep at 1am. Hope tomorrow my system would have adjusted to the new time zone.

Vancouver is a beautiful city with a fantastic location but if you walk about, you will notice that the streets are quite dirty with many cigarette butts all over the place. There is a city law that states no one is allowed to smoke within 6meters of a building entrance so that forces all smokers out on the streets.

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