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TRAVELLER    NOTES

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PAGE 1: Africa | Australia | Dubai, UAE | England
PAGE 2: Europe | India
PAGE 3: Nepal | Norway | Oman | Singapore
PAGE 4: Thailand | Tibet | USA
These travel notes are provided for information only. They are submitted from people worldwide. The accuracy of these travel notes has not been, nor will be, verified. If you require critically accurate data, please refer to a more official source.
NEPAL
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Jomson Trek, 1999 Out of the 4 airlines that fly out of Jomson in 20-seater planes, one turned back because of the high winds always a risk. We were lucky to leave as we had to connect in Pokhara and then in Kathmandu.
Nepal Trek, Oct. 1999 The weather on the trek was cold at night and morning (forgot to bring gloves and we did hit below-freezing temperatures) but by 8:00 AM when the sun rises over the mountains, I would strip off one layer and an hour layer I was in my tee-shirt.
Sunscreen is a must at this altitude and sunglasses too, not just for sun but for the wind. (A bandanna would have helped.)
Nepal Trek, 1999 Our first lodge provided us with walking sticks also invaluable but a lot of other trekkers used ski poles.
The best trekking season here is October November so we met others along the way all interesting and good sports.
Jomson, 1999 Believe it or not, Jomson is building a 5-star hotel to be ready in 2 years. (Now, there isn't even a one-star one.) Building materials are helicoptered in or brought on donkey. It will either be wonderful or horrible but Jomson will probably lose some of its local color.
NORWAY
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Oslo, 1999 If you like to walk, Oslo is a beautiful walking city. It is small enough to walk from end to end.

Public transportation is frequent, reliable, easy to understand and goes to all major areas of the city. Get a day/week/month pass at major stations or hotels so you can hop on and off at will. There is no need to rent a car to see the downtown or surrounding areas.
Besides taxi (hang on for life), Trams take you all over the immediate inner city areas. Trams are like cable-cars and run about every 15 minutes. The symbol for the Tram looks like a little cable-car. Routes are clearly posted at all tram stops. The Tram tells you its final destination: if it is going in the direction of "Jar," it will say "Jar" next to the Tram number. If you have a pass, push the "Kort" (card) button on the outside of the Tram doors to get on the Tram. If you don't have a pass, lay your money on the machine next to the driver who will count it, give you change and a ticket. The ticket is good for one hour. If you want to get off the Tram, push the "Stop" button. You may have to also push the "Door Open" button to open the door for getting off. It is a good idea to get a Tram schedule called "Oslotrikken" and follow the stops. IMPORTANT: The Trams change numbers at the Majorstuen stop! Tram #11 turns into #15 and vice versa, and Tram #12 turns into #19 and vice versa.
The T-bane is just like the Tram only faster and more fancy. The symbol for the T-bane is a "T" in a circle. The T-bane meets the Tram at major stations downtown but takes you beyond the immediate city limits. It often goes underground. Take the T-bane, for example, to Holmenkollen to see the ski jump.
The local railway, called the NSB, has a symbol that looks like a set of white wings. It also meets the T-bane and Tram at major stations downtown but takes you even further than the T-bane, to the suburbs and outer towns in all directions, continuing on to the borders and beyond.
The "Flytog" is a train specifically to transport people from the airport to downtown. It cost about 15USD one way and takes about 35 minutes. It runs very frequently, about every 20 minutes. It is common to see people pulling luggage behind them down the street: many people use public transportation for travelling.
Main stations are where different modes of transport meet and where schedules and passes can be purchased. The main station downtown is "Oslo S" also called Oslo Central Station or Oslo Station or Jerbanetorget, and other major stations in the immediate downtown area are "Nationaltheatret" also called the National Theatre, "Tinghuset" also called Prof. Aschehougs Plass, and "Majorstuen."

Oslo, 1999 English can usually be spoken if you initiate it, but everything is written and announced only in Norwegian, including signs at the airport and local transportation schedules and most other general information. Bring along a little translation dictionary to look up words. Larger restaurants usually have menus in different languages.
Oslo, April 1999 March/April is nice with few tourists but can bring any type of weather from sunny 10degC to 8inches of snow. The trees and flowers start to come out in mid-April. Easter week is the major holiday in Norway - almost everything will be closed except major restaurants, fast-food places, 7-11s, and the movie theatres.
OMAN
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1999 A great travel book is "Off-Road in Oman" by Desert Line Projects. The Lonely Planet is also a good guide. The country and city code, by the way, is (00-968)
1998 Stay at the Almina Hotel, opposite the fish market, phone 711-828 fax 714-981. The town of Mutrah is good and the Mutrah Souk is good. Muscat is a government town and the Bustan Hotel is good. The big hotels are located in Alquirm. Between the Intercon Hotel and the Gulf Forum Hotel is a big sandy beach, or from Al Bustan to Bandar al Jassah and Oman Dive Center. It is rocky near the dive center.
1999 Taking a boat tour isn't necessary - it is just as good to look from the beach. Opposite the Intercon Hotel is a nice shopping center. Drive out of town to see the Nakal Fort, the mountains and Rustak, but do it in the morning - I think it closes in the afternoons.
SINGAPORE
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1999 Singapore is the most beautiful city. Orchids everywhere, clean, safe. It is very civilized with large shopping malls, several Starbucks, large bookstores, major restaurants, waterways, and you can discover smaller local noodle shops here and there. There is not a lot of historical culture evident to the tourist or casual visitor, however, so it isn't a good vacation for adventure or the "asian experience." It is a good place for relaxing, sunning, shopping for electonics, and for taking trips to outer islands and villages. Note that sizes of clothes and shoes tend to only come in extremely small sizes, for both men and women, so don't plan on buying clothes if you are over 5ft tall.
1997 Orchard Road is "the place" for electronics. Bargain hard. It is also the very best location for hotels, but they can be expensive. Look for deals or for a hotel off the main street.
1997 There are at least three good options for getting from the Singapore airport to Orchard Road (the main street): taxi about 25USD, Airbus for less than a taxi, and subway for less than that. In general, public buses, the subway and taxis make it very easy to get around.
1997 Scotts road has a real nice movie theatre in the mall. You can buy tickets in advance and choose your seats.
1997 Taxis are hailed by standing at a designated taxi stand, like a bus stop. You queue up at a taxi stand and wait until a taxi stops.

 

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