Day 430 In Beijing: Asia, Part 3.


Angkor Wat is rather amazing, even in 1:25 scale.

Angkor Wat is rather amazing, even in 1:25 scale.

Off to Angkor Wat.

This is truly a magnificent replication of the temple.

This is also some place that is on our bucket list that we want to see and we want to see this before we return to the USA.

Strangely enough, writing this blog post on Asia has shown me how little of Asia we have seen, even though we’ve been here for over a year.

We’ve been to Malaysia and Singapore, twice, Mongolia, Shanghai and Beijing but we haven’t really seen much of Asia.

Between work, visa and life popping up, it has made it difficult to hop over to these other places even though they are quite close.

In regards to the visa: My visa is a business visa so I’m free to do anything  I want.  Up until recently, Jill had a 1 year tourist visa.  This visa required her to leave the country every 90 days.  As you can guess, this became quite expensive and made it difficult to set up plans to visit the countries we wanted to go to because we weren’t able to save up the money needed to truly do the trips we wanted.

We’ve seen a lot but want to see a lot more.

We both consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have seen what we have seen and been where we have been but just realize there is so much more to see and do!

We also stopped by Ishtar’s Gate on the way to the Grand Palace of Thailand.

It was quite gorgeous and there was a family playing around in front of it.

I did my best to capture them as many families seemed to truly enjoy this park and probably learned a lot about the outside world.

Our hope is that the information is checked, and questioned, by the families that visit and they find out that there is some good points, and some bad points, and that they decide to explore the world themselves and not just take the park as truth.

I guess it would sort of like an American citizen going to Disneyland and expecting the rest of the world to look like that.

I have high hopes for this park, as it looks like they are building more parts of it, and hopefully they are renovating what they have already built, as it was definitely a fun, and worthwhile, trip and I’d suggest anyone give it a try and spend some time here when they visit Beijing!


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Day 429 In Beijing: Asia, Part 2.


The not-so-great wall of China.

The not-so-great wall of China.

The Great Wall of China…well, not so great, since it was pretty small.

By the way, there is a myth that you can see the great wall from space.

This is actually not true.

It is only 30 feet wide, at its widest point, so you can’t see it from space.

In fact, one of my favorite video bloggers, CPG GREY, has a wonderful video explaining why this is not true.

I have to admit, I’ve become addicted to his videos and Jill and I immediately watch a new one when it comes out.

They are always packed full of humor, and facts, and entertaining while be educating.

I’d suggest subscribing to his YouTube page and sharing the joy.

We then walked over to the Taj Mahal, which is another sight we want to see at some point in our lives.

However, we don’t plan on going to India until we are a few years removed from China as we’ve heard that it is even more chaotic than China and we will need some serious downtime and calmness before we venture into India as we want to be grounded and really be present and mindful in such a magical and life changing place.

The Taj Mahal.  Also, one of my favorite musicians.

The Taj Mahal. Also, one of my favorite musicians.

My aunt and uncle, and my cousins, have all spent many years in India, and have told us about the wonders and the incredibly powerful experiences they have had there and we look forward to seeing them in the near future.

Again, the world has so many places to visit and so little time.

We are fully trying  to make time and take advantage of our ability to live without an office and without a country.

Day 428 In Beijing: Asia, Part 1.


The amazing Shwedagon Pagoda of Burma/Myanmar.

The amazing Shwedagon Pagoda of Burma/Myanmar.

We start with the beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda of Myanmar/Burma.  We were taken back by its size and definitely want to see it in real life before we leave Asia for the USA.

We have heard a lot of wonderful stories about Myanmar/Burma and have yet to hear of someone that went that didn’t love it beyond belief.

Next was Borobudur and it was quite well done and very detailed.

This is also a temple that we’d like to see before we leave.

Sadly, there is only so much time in life, so we need to start traveling more as soon as possible.

In fact, if things go well, we plan to retire in the next 5 years and survive on Jill’s website SF Tourism Tips and other businesses that we are starting at this point.  If you want to subscribe to her site, and get information about San Francisco, click the here: SF Tourism Tips, and please do!

We don’t want to be tied to a desk, an office, a city, or even a country because we know there is so much more to see and so little time to see it.

We also love being able to meet new people, see new sights, and constantly be surprised by different cultures.

So, if I can ask a favor, please go to the Facebook SF Tourism Tips and like that page.

The Borobudur of Indonesia.

The Borobudur of Indonesia.

Also, please share it with others and use it whenever you travel to San Francisco or have friends that are traveling to San Francisco.

To give you an idea of how we plan to live our lives, here is a picture of us, on the ferry from Athens to Mykonos, working on building our business and enjoying the view from our “office” for the day.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do this every day?

That is our plan and we’d be happy to help you figure out how to do it also!



Day 427 In Beijing: Australia and Easter Island.


The Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House.

Off we went to the magical island of Australia…and Easter Island after that.

I’ve been to Australia and absolutely loved it.  Jill has never been to Australia so this was her “first time” visiting it and seeing the sights.

Sadly, the Sydney Opera House was pretty dirty but it still looked darn cool as the design is supposed to resemble the sails on a ship as it sails through the ocean.

I can’t quite figure out why the Sydney Harbor Bridge is blue, since it is actually grey, but I guess they have the designers of the World Park have their reasons.

Jill, Gulzar and I really liked how close the Dome of the Rock and Australia were located in the World Park since they are probably about as far apart as any two places on the Earth, but literally and figuratively.

However, when you have limited space, you make displays fit into where you can and they have done a good job of that at the World Park.  It is a rather large space and we became so worn out we didn’t even get to see everything they had in one day and may return again at a future date.

The Moai on the Easter Island island were only about 5 feet tall but were fun to imagine being full sized and awe inspiring.

We then moved on to the Asian part of the World Park.


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Day 426 In Beijing: Africa.


One of the animals at the Africa region.

One of the animals at the Africa region.

Jill, Gulzar and I ventured into Africa.

I have to say that this is probably nothing like Africa and I found it to be quite disturbing.

The simplicity and the primitiveness of the display left nothing to the imagination and gave no hint to the fact that many parts of Africa is very 1st world and very diverse.

Sadly, in this park, there is no chance that anyone knowing these facts when they visit Africa and see what they have.

I actually didn’t take many pictures because there were only a few mud huts and nothing that showed the reality of what is happening in that part of the world.

After taking a few pictures of the animals, we left quite quickly and didn’t really enjoy this part, obviously.

Also, the blatant racism of the African sign really disturbed us so we left pretty quickly and tried to put it out of our minds so it didn’t ruin the trip.


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Day 425 In Beijing: Egypt And Jerusalem.


One of the pyramids, complete with hawkers!

One of the pyramids, complete with hawkers!

Egypt and Jerusalem were close enough together to put into one single post.

They were quite fun and the displays were fairly realistic.

We had fun walking around and checking out the massive statues and the semi-massive pyramids.

Even though the pyramids were 1:25 actual size, they were still pretty massive and pretty impressive.

At one point, a Chinese father climbed up on one and his wife took a picture.

We were thinking of doing the same but the sign specifically stated “No Climbing” so we thought better of it.

A hawker tried to get us to ride the camels but we also decided against that since the poor animals at the World Park looked to be pretty badly treated, sad and it was horribly hot in the sun.

Jill and I realized we were supporting this treatment by just being there but didn’t want to go any further than that by paying to ride the animals.

Jill had been to Jerusalem in 2010 so we took a picture of The Dome of the Rock and she particularly enjoyed the water around the Dome as there is nothing even close to a body of water that size near the Dome.

We realize that this is a park and they have to make do, and adjust as needed, and I’m glad they did because it allows for so many humorous posts.

None of it is meant in anger or resentment but just in pure humor.

Well, other than the blatant racism of the sign pointing towards Africa and the Native American in a headdress from the first post.

Those are meant in horror and disgust, even if it is accepted for a second, in a park that has many visitors per year.


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Day 424 in Beijing: Turkey and Greece.


Jill and Gulzar underneath the Trojan Horse.

Jill and Gulzar underneath the Trojan Horse.

Jill and I thought this was a fitting part of our visit to World Park since we were heading off to Turkey and Greece in just a few days and were incredibly excited.

A little aside here, we are in Greece at this moment, since I write these posts about 1-2 weeks in advance.  I can’t tell you how Greece has been but Turkey was amazing beyond belief.

I plan to write the next 2 months of blog posts on our travel to Turkey and Greece once we return to Beijing since there is so much to see, do and write about in just two weeks of travel so far.

Trust me, if you ever get a chance to go to Turkey or Greece, do it.

In fact, do it now.

And that is coming from an Armenian.

Well, the Hagia Sofia in the World Park was a bit hilarious and a bit disappointing since Jill and I have both seen it in real life and it is utterly impressive and massively huge in all dimensions.

The good part of that is we were ready for the real thing and to be blown away, once again, by the awesomeness of the Hagia Sofia (by the way, we were blown away when we saw the real thing a few days later.  The Hagia Sofia is mindblowingly huge and inspiring).

We walked on and noticed the Trojan Horse.

I have to really question the ability to get a whole army into this little horse and kill enough soldiers to win a war but we are in the World Park so we just took some pictures and laughed about it.

Last, but not least, was the Acropolis and took some pictures of the Parthenon.

Again, by the time you read this post, we will have seen it, in real life, and I’ll be posting about it in the near future.

Jill and I are very much looking forward to seeing the Acropolis and being able to take some pictures of it and see the history that is truly alive in this part of the world.

FYI, I write down what I’m going to write blogs on and, just from the first 2 weeks of this trip, I have over 50 different posts that will have to be done.

Therefore, I’m expecting to have over 100 blog posts when we are done with our whole month long trip to Turkey and Greece.

Trust me, it will be an amazing read and I welcome you to join us on our real journey!

ps. I want to give a shout out to my cousin, Alexis Averbuck, who is the writer for the Lonely Planet: Greece edition.  She gave us a lot of great information and advice on what to do and where to go.  Thanks cuz!


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Day 423 in Beijing: World Park: Italy.

Are our hands going to be bitten off?

Are our hands going to be bitten off?

After France, we wandered over to Italy.

I know that countries are close by in Europe, but this was absurd.

It took about 100 feet, and one lawn, to get to Italy and check out the Vatican.

I’ve seen the real Vatican and this was not a bad representation if you ignore the fact that no one was there and there weren’t lines about a mile long to get inside of it.

After that we wanted to fix this strange tower that seemed to falling over.

What can I say, we are helpers!

So, Jill and Gulzar tried to fix it first but didn’t seem to have any luck.

I jumped in and I’m pretty sure I actually straightened it out and it is in much better shape than before I got there.

Jill and Gulzar didn’t agree but, as Ron Burgundy once said, “Agree to disagree!

Next we went over to the famous Bocca della Vertia, which Gulzar immediately said, “Roman Holiday!”

It cracked me up that a movie, from so long ago, would be known and loved by someone from Xinjiang, who is Muslim, and has never been able to travel outside of China so far.

It says a lot about the power of Hollywood and movies.

Again, I’ve been to Rome and I’ve stuck my hand into the real Bocca della Verita, and it is a bit scary because you have no way to see inside of the mouth.

This one was pretty shallow and the hole wasn’t that deep so it wasn’t very scary but it was still fun.

The story is, if you don’t know it, is that if you tell a lie with your hand inside the mouth, it will get bitten off.

Jill and I decided to keep our mouths shut and not tempt fate.


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Day 422 in Beijing: World Park: France.


Me in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Me in front of the Eiffel Tower.

We entered the French part of the World Park and sighted the Notre Dame Cathedral.

It is quite a site, even if it is 1:25 scale, as the windows are quite beautiful and the buttresses are definitely flying.

Sorry, architectural humor there.

We then walked a bit more and saw the Eiffel Tower.

Well, a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower.

It was quite impressive and we happened on to a photoshot as we approached.

The woman was in a full gown and the guy was in a full suit.

And it was probably about 95-100 degrees at this point.

We were hiding under the umbrellas of a near by cafe and we were boiling.

We have no idea how they were doing this without breaking a sweat.

We watched them during the photo shoot and it seemed quite romantic.

After the photo shoot ended, we decided to do our own little photo shoot around the tower and were quite happy with the results.

Jill is, after all, quite beautiful and looks wonderful in photographs.

Me?  I take wonderful photographs.

There is a big difference.


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Day 421 in Beijing: World Park: Latin America.


El Tajin.

El Tajin.

We next traveled to Latin America and checked out the sites.

There weren’t very many but they were fairly well done and some of the Chinglish translations left us laughing and happy, if not more educated, on what the monuments were designed for.

However, I can’t imagine people going to the World Park are truly interested in a history lesson and any type of information is better than none.

I think that there wasn’t a lot about Latin America as that part of the world doesn’t seem to have the tourism pull that the USA or parts of Europe has for most Chinese at this time.

I’m sure that as they start to travel to Latin America more, they will add more sites and exhibits.

I was sorely tempted to climb the pyramid that was designed for sacrifices to Apollo.

Maybe my USA education is sorely lacking, but I’m fairly sure that Apollo and Mexico didn’t have a lot in common.

However, I may just have to go back and read some more history books to become better educated.

I have obviously lived in China too long.


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