Tokyo Notes

Staying near Shinjuku was a nice area, close to the action.

-Condomania : Small little store with lots of condom paraphanelia.

-Gyoza Lou – Gyoza spot in Harajuku, sure they were good and cheap but they’re gyoza, would have rather gone to gyoza stadium

-Tokyo Robot Show – pretty wild shit and pretty strange. Don’t think it’s something I would do twice. I enjoyed the first couple of ‘stories’ but didn’t really understand anything after those.

-Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo – a really nice park to walk around in and see the sights.

-Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten in Shubya – amazing meal, great tonkatsu, everything was fresh and tasty

-Buy a drink get 5 gyoza restaurant in Koenji was cool, smelt of smoke but it was a fun little spot

-Roast beef place was legit

-Ramen place with Krysta was amazing for under $10

-Other ramen place with Krysta was also amazing, it had the sardines in it, upstairs, tiny little counter but was A+.

 

 

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Iceland Notes

Only pertaining to Golden Circle to Vik areas.

Trip timing: 1 week (this was plenty of time), you need basically only one day in Reykjavik.

Travel: Need a car (there is no other way)

Timing: If going in October as I did, there are only about 6-7 hours of daylight which makes it difficult and confusing to see landmarks. Sun usually goes from 10AM to 4-5PM.

Aurora Borealis: Don’t go in expecting to see it. We did not, other than a slight glimpse on the airplane in. Most of the time it was either raining and cloudy and therefore unviewable.

Blue Lagoon was an amazing experience though it was pretty crowded. Alcohol at 10am and hanging out in a giant heated pool is the way to go. Obviously great instagram pictures and a little bit on the basic side but who cares it’s fun.

Phallic museum was pretty funny but honestly not sure if it’s really worth the money to see. It’s literally one big room and maybe 4 small rooms of dicks.

Hallgrimskirkja is the giant church thing. Definitely a cool sight to see but also pretty anticlimactic.

Reykjavik Roasters: It’s dark at 10am so it felt a bit weird coming to a cafe but it was a ‘cute’ little spot. Prices are high but it’s iceland, what can you do. Anyways it was just a normal coffee shop to me and it was raining and I was miserably tired so maybe that also played into it.

Prikid: breakfast place in the middle of the ‘downtown Reyk’ area. Again, it’s expensive for a breakfast (like $15-$20) but everything in Iceland is pricey. It’s a good spot for a nice breakfast though, cozy.

Harpa Concert Hall was a cool thing to see, and right on the water (of course it is, it’s an island). Was quite the sight to see, especially at 6AM.

Grillmarkadurinn: Expensive dinner restaurant & grill. I went here to watch the chefs work and get some puffin/whale. It was very expensive (nearly $100) but it was more for the experience of things I guess.

Fish Company Fiskfelagid – One of the better meals had during the Iceland trip. Not even as highly priced as the Puffin place so I would recommend going here if looking for a nice fish meal.

Icelandic Fish & Chips – So I made the mistake of ordering something other than the fried fish and that was strange. It was still good but the menu was a little bit confusing. There is a cool geological store next door though.

Day trip from Reykjavik to Snaefellsjokull National Park. Definitely a doable trip and most of the loop has the things right next to the road. Early morning first stop was to Geirabakari Kaffihus to get some delicious pastries. Highly recommend making this stop! Starting the loop will be the Eldborg Crater. Wasn’t necessary to stop there so we didn’t. Same happened with the Gerduberg Cliffs. Vatnaleid, Berserkjahraun , Kolgrafarfjordur sights, and Kirkjufellsfoss are all beautiful things to see at the beginning of the loop. Followed by lots of mountains and horses until you get to the tip of the loop. Skadsvik Beach, Vatnshellir Caves, & Fjourhusid cafe are some nice things to see and of course anywhere here you can just stop off and explore the beautiful parts of Iceland. From there, it’s basically more of the same scenery as the drive in. Altogether it takes about 8-10 hours or more.

The Golden Circle Loop: Pingvellir National Park, Stokkur geyser, Gulfoss were all cool sights, though after a while the geysers and waterfalls become a bit repetitive.

Kerid is a giant crater with beautiful colors to it. I enjoyed it but it was a quick in and out.

Urridafoss was another big waterfall but again, at a certain point it’s just another waterfall.

The drive from Reykjavik to Vik: Unfortunately we went in the middle of a severe storm, making the drive hectic and dangerous as the winds smashed into our car and torrential rain poured down. Quite the adventure. But on the way are more big beautiful landmarks. Seljalandsfoss is the a good first stop, If you have time, stop into Seljavallalaug Sundlaug and hike into this outdoor swimming pool. The next big falls are Skogafoss where you can basically walk right up to it and get some great pics. Solheimasandur Plane Wreck  was a good way to differentiate between the falls and it’s quite a beautiful sight to see. It’s a bit of a hike in but it’s all flat hike so just do it.  Finally in Vik is the Renisfjara Beach. Beautiful black sands and incredible columns next to giant caves make for sexy pictures.

Would love to go again for summer time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baltimore Quicknotes

Baltimore was cooler than I thought it would be

  • Small city, somewhat walkable, although the Megabus drops you off about 30 minutes out of the city. Weather was hot and not much shade throughout. There are a lot of very nice areas and then there are also a lot of not so nice areas. The city seems to be riddled with beautiful abandoned spaces. i would not mind purchasing land here to develop + sell. Overall, probably would not go back as I felt i did everything there was to do here
    • Fells Point is a pretty cute little area near the water with great food, though the food is definitely not cheap in Bmore – even in relation to New York Prices. Thames Street Oyster house had delicious short rib soup and the lobster roll was one of the better that I’ve had. The ‘beach fries’ were good but had a slightly weird taste to them. Blue Moon cafe was a great brunch place to check out and I had the ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’. It was a ton of food, and a ton of crab, which filled me up for the rest of the day.
    • National Aquarium was beautiful inside but I felt it was not worth the $40 price tag, the dolphins were cute but it’s just another basic aquarium, I didn’t really see much that was out of the ordinary, especially in comparison with California.
    • Illusions Magic Bar I would love to go back and try to go to one day. Unfortunately was closed but is in a nice area and close to the ballpark
    • Orioles stadium is definitely one of the my favorites. It has a lot of characteristics and I loved seeing the graphics they’ve put throughout the park. I also would love to try more of the foods at the stadium.
    • George Peabody Library located in the John Hopkins area, right next to the George Washington Monument (which I climbed to the top of and got a couple of good pictures of the surrounding areas. Not sure if really worth doing though, you don’t get to go outside onto the ‘balcony’). The library was free which made it really nice to go to. I thought the library was beautiful and rivals the architecture space in LA (Bradbury).
    • Lexington Market was a wannabe Reading Terminal in Philly. It was big and had a lot of options but the space was pretty worn down and I didn’t feel like it was really the place to be anymore. I did have Faidley’s in the back which is famous for their crab cakes. It was a very big portion with a big pricetag to match. I enjoyed it but not as much as I’d hoped. Probably would not repeat this.
    • Seeing the grave of Edgar Allen Poe and others was a cool thing, especially since it’s so close in relation to the downtown area. Did not get to see the birth house of EAP or Babe Ruth though.
    • Fort McHenry is a bit far out and you do have to pay money to get in, though you can see the huge flag waving from afar. I did not think it was worth paying so I just walked back towards inner harbor.
    • Federal Hill Park is just a park on top of a big hill. On the bottom of the hill sits volleyball courts and the American Visionary Art Museum. That museum was pretty amazing and I’m glad I went to it. Pretty funky but I really had fun there and got to see some cool things. I especially loved the 3rd building with the cool mechanical art.
    • Baltimore Museum of industy was another cool thing to see. I am an avid fan of historical things so seeing all of these old artifacts struck a chord for me. I think museums like these are important to the culture of America and if you watch American Pickers, you get a sense of the types of history that is still out there. I would definitely recommend this.
    • The Bun Shop was my breakfast stop on the first day. There are I think 2 locations in BMORE and I thought that the pastries were very tasty. They also had vietnamese coffee which is one of my favorites (though it wasn’t quite the same as if you were to get it from a hole in the wall vietnamese shop). The guava bun was tasty and the ham & gruyere bun was tasty too. Would love to try more from here. Lots of space, cozy, industrial and beautiful gold leafing on the windows.
    • Chaps Pit Beef. This was a bit farther out, so I had the uber driver stop in on the way in from White Marsh. The Pit Beef special was a huge sandwich filled with pit beef, corned beef and ham, cheese and white bread. It’s no joke. Felt like I was having a heart attack but it was tasty. Get the pit beef done medium instead of well done though. Triple D approved and MVF approved. I would probably not stop in again but it was a cool experience to try it out.

Thats all.

Seoul Quick Notes

I wasn’t overly impressed with the city, though of course there were some cool aspects

  • Bukchon Hanok Village – Old school village was definitely worth seeing. Amazingly old looking buildings, delicious super cheap meat on a stick/cup.
  • Mount Namsam – A pretty cool place. Lots of love locks everywhere and people taking pictures. Was a bit chilly when I went but still saw some cool stuff. I really enjoyed the cable car back down the most though.
  • Common Ground – shopping for everybody in old shipping containers. Bought one of my favorite hoodies here. Would have liked to buy more but things in SK are pretty pricey!
  • Makgoelli place was LEGIT, would definitely go back
  • All the food here was good also

Kuala Lumpur Quick Notes

  • Restoran 168 – This spot was dope! Last restaurant I was able to frequent but it was delicious. Go here, get anything and be happy
  • Batu Caves – Another amazing experience and available right off of the subway. Did the dark cave tour also and that was pretty legit especially for the prices. Would come back here in a heartbeat
  • Islamic Arts Museum – definitely a cool thing to see. Located in a random area, I definitely was yelled at multiple times for accidentally having shoes on. Make sure you know the rules when you over to these areas.
  • City Centre – I think I expected more from here but seeing the Petronas Towers is a must.
  • Taps beer bar – The only place where I could find even a scent of a craft beer. I did actually really enjoy this place though.

Quick Notes on Hong Kong

  • The Sundays Grocery – Same owners as Yardbird but still worth going to!
  • Yardbird – One of the best restaurants I’ve been to. Corn tempura, chicken meatballs, everything was great
  • Causway Bay ‘Times Square’ – I didn’t feel it was necessary to go here being that I live in New York but there was some great shops around.
  • Victoria Peak – It was a very touristy thing to do. Went on a wild adventure just to get up there because the rail had a 3 hour + wait. Would be insane to wait in that line, seemed like a pain in the ass.
  • Tian Tian Big Buddha Statue – It’s a cool place for sure, the 10,000 buddhas thing was pretty amazing and the ride there in the glass cart was pretty cool as well.
  • Ho Choi dim sum – google translate in full effect. Did enjoy it but wasn’t overall super memorable.
  • Ho Lee Fook – Steak was pretty amazing
  • Eggs & Chicken Noodle Spot – legit
  • Noodle place next door was legit too
  • Mongkok – An area in HK that was chill
  • Tim Ho Wan – Very touristy thing to do, got in line early and was first in. Pineapple buns and all were very good. Though this is now available all over the damn place, even in NY
  • Tsim Sha Tsui – Don’t even remember what this was
  • Temple Street Night Market – Not bad, didn’t really compare to the nightmarkets I’ve been in other places but it was still a cool experience.

 

Things to do: Take the Star Ferry to Kowloon to see the Light show

 

Notes from Bali

Canggu – Legit

Uluwatu – One of my favorite temples, insane views, crazy ass monkeys, worth going to, would even go back.

Bedugul – These gates are everywhere and they’re all beautiful

Pura Tana Lot – Really nice place also, right on the water, big crowds but still an amazing place

Sehati Restaurant

Restaurant Locavore in Ubud – was a nice meal at a small place, felt like I could’ve been in California though. The burger was good.

Seminyak – Cool area