A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: JPalmer15

Czech Republic

Czech Republic is a land locked country near the top of Europe. it's bordered by Germany, Poland, Austria, and Slovakia. The population is 10,512,210. The land area is 30,450 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $27,165. The main language is Czech.

Czech Republic includes old territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and a small part of Silesia. Czech was formerly known as Bohemia, and in the late 9th century it was formed as a small place (Duchy) around Prague. At the time it was under the dominance of the Great Moravian Empire. Shortly after the Empire fell in 907, it became part of the Holy Roman empire. In 1212 the duchy became a kingdom. During the Hussite wars, the kingdom was faced with invaders from all over Europe on crusades. In 1526 the Crown of Bohemia was integrated into the Habsburg monarchy, along with the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. In the 18th century the Bohemian crown was abolished. After WWI, the Republic of Czechoslovakia was formed, after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.Following a series of revolts,coup d'etats, and much dissatisfaction, Czechoslovakia peacefully spilt into its constituent states, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

Mount Snezka is the highest mountain in the Czech Republic. It is 5255 ft. high. The first recorded climb to to the peak was made in 1546, but a Venetian farmer. After that, settlements appeared on the mountain, mainly for mining communities. The mining shafts still remain intact. The first recorded German name was Riseberg, which means "giant mountain", then the name was changed to Reisenkoppe, "giant top", andthen to Schneekoppe, "snow top" or "snowy head". The Czech initially called it Pahrbek Snezny and later, Snezovka, and finally Snezka which means "snowy" or "snow covered". The first picture is a view of the valley below the mountain. The second is of a building on the mountain in the winter time.

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, it is also the largest city. During the era of the Holy Roman Empire, Prague was the permanent city of residence for two Holy Roman Emperors, thus making it the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. In Old Town Square, there is a beautiful clock tower, which has a inaccurate clock. This clock was built before it was widely known that the earth revolves around the sun. However, the clock still works and Prague schoolchildren are taught how to read the clock, but most don't remember by the time they leave school.
Prague is historically rich, all throughout the city there are old Churches and the Old Town Square is still kept in lovely shape. Personally, Prague is exactly what I expected from the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The third picture is of the old clock tower.

The Valley of Upa

The Valley of Upa

Mt. Snezka in the snow

Mt. Snezka in the snow

Astronomical Clock

Astronomical Clock

Prauge from across the river

Prauge from across the river

Posted by JPalmer15 11:40 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country close to the center of the Asia. It's bordered by Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and in the far southeast, China. The population is 30,420,000. The land area is 251,772 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $956. The main languages are Dari Persian and Pashto.

Afghanistan has been broken into peaces and conquered by many different people in the past, including the Medes, Greeks Persians, Arabs, Kushans, Turks, Hepthalites, and Mongols. Modern-day Afghanistan was created in 1747 by Ahmed Shah Durrani. Britain tried to take over Afghanistan is the mid-19th century. In 1919 the country began to exercise its independence again.
Afghanistan is not recommended for travelers from the United States for various reasons.

Sah Tus Aqa Ghar is 15757 ft tall. There's actually not much information on this mountain.

The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul. It's also the largest city in Afghanistan. The city is very poor looking, the buildings are not shiny, or new looking. Most look a bit run down. There's not really too much that interested me here. There are quite a few mosques in the city, but they still look a bit run down. There was also an old fortress in the city, which is pictured below.

Kabul reminds me mostly of the ghetto and project cities of the U.S. The mountains are pretty and the country itself is nice.

Afghan Mountains

Afghan Mountains

Old Kabul Fortress

Old Kabul Fortress

Kabul areial veiw

Kabul areial veiw

Posted by JPalmer15 11:40 Archived in Afghanistan Comments (0)

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island country. It's located south east of India and surrounded by the Maldives, the Palk Strait, and the Gulf of Mannar. The population is 20,277,600. The land area is 25,332 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $5,670. The main languages are Sinhala and Tamil.

Until 1972 Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon. Sri Lanka is sometimes called The Pearl of the Indian Ocean. In ancient times, Sri Lanka was called numerous things by different people, including Lanka or Sinhala by the Indians (from India), Taprobane by some Greek, and Serendib by the Arabs.When the Portuguese arrived in 1505 they gave the name Ceilao, which translated to Ceylon.
With it's location, it was an important stop along the silk road. It is the country where Buddhist teachings were written down for the first time, thus making it the center of the Buddhist religion and culture. It's also the oldest continually Buddhist country.

Pidurutalagala or Mount Pedro is 2524miles high. It is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. It's closest to the city of Nuwara Eliya. With a small mountain like this, I can hardly compare the view to any other mountains I've visited. It's rather small, sort of like the mountains in Colorado, they may seem big, but not really.

Colombo is not the actual capital of Sri Lanka. The capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, also known as Kotte, it is the parliament capital, while Colombo is the commercial capital. However, the focus of this trip is on Colombo, not Kotte. Colombo is similar to Thailand, in the sense that in the sense that it's past and present mix very well. Many temples, like the one below, are spread throughout the Districts. Some are very old, while other are just similar architecture. The second picture is not an actual temple, but a part of the entrance to one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka.

Hindu Temple

Hindu Temple

Gangaramaya Temple -Front-

Gangaramaya Temple -Front-


Sri Lanka skyline

Sri Lanka skyline

Posted by JPalmer15 11:41 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

Thailand

Thailand is a country on the southern edge of Asia. It's bordered by Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Malaysia. Two bodies of water border the southern parts of the country, there's the Gulf of Thailand and the Strait of Malacca. The population is 66,720,000. The land area is 198,115 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $9,396. The main language is Thai.

Thailand's name was changed a total of 4 times, from Siam to Thailand, back to Siam and finally back to Thailand. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by Europe. In 1932 the people were granted their first constitution, ending centuries of monarchy. In World War II Japan wanted to move their troops to Malaysia and invaded and fought the army of Thai for a short period of time until they were granted passage. Shortly after that they signed a treaty, where Tokyo would help Thailand regain lost territories. On Jan. 25, 1942 Thailand declared war of the United States and the U.K. and began assisting Japan in the war. After the war Thailand became an ally of the U.S.

Doi Inthanon is the highest mountain in Thailand at 8,451 ft. It's located in the Mae Chaem Distict. In the past it was known as Doi Luang or Doi Ang Ka. The mountain's current name was given to it in honor of one of the last kings og Chiand Mai, king Inthawichayanon. He ordered that when he died, his remains be placed at the top of Doi Luang, which was renamed after his death.

The capital of Thailand is Bangkok. In Thailand the city is known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep. Bangkok amazes me at how well the present and past blend to create this city. There are numerous temples scattered throughout the city, in places one might not expect, such as between two shopping malls. Which is where Wat Panthum Wanaram is. The temple was built in 1857 by King Mongkut as a place of worship. Whwn this temple was built, it was surrounded by rice fields. The temple's full name is Wat Pathum Wanaram Ratcha Wora Vihran.

Doi Inthanon

Doi Inthanon

Wat Panthum Wanaram

Wat Panthum Wanaram

Bird's Eye Veiw of Bangkok

Bird's Eye Veiw of Bangkok

Posted by JPalmer15 11:55 Archived in Thailand Comments (0)

Vietnam

Vietnam is on the southeast edge of Asia. It borders with Cambodia, Laos and China. The Gulf of Thailand, the South China Sea, and the Gulf of Tonkin border the east, south and partial western part of the country. The population is about 85,000,000. The land area is 128,565 sq miles. The GDP per capita is $3, 549. The main language is Vietnamese.

2,700 years ago the population consisted mainly of Khmers and Cham. The Vietnamese arrived after the Chinese forced them out. After that Vietnam stayed in China's control until 938 BC when Vietnam regained it's independence. In the middle of the 19th century France colonized Vietnam. Then during WWII Japan expelled the French and occupied the country, after the war, France attempted to re-establish it's rule over the country, but failed. Then the country was split in two which led to the Vietnam war.

Ngoc Linh is one of the highest mountains in Vietnam at 8,523 ft. The mountain straddles the two provinces of Quang Nam and Kong Tom. It's sometimes called the roof of Southern Vietnam.

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. It's located along the banks of the Red River. It's the second largest city in the country. From 1954-1976 it was the capital of North Vietnam. I found a lake in the capital, which held a few things of interest. At first the lake was named Luc Thuy which means Green Water. Now it's called Hoan Kiem Lake. In the lake there are two interesting things. One is a bright red bridge, called the Huc bridge. It's name means Morning Sunlight Bridge. The bridge connects Jade Island to the shore. On jade Island there is a temple, which is called Temple of the Jade Mountain or Ngoc Son Temple. The temple was built in the 18th century to honor a 13th century military leader, Tran Hung Dao, a scholar, Van Xuong, and a Confucian leader, Nguyen Van Sieu.
The other interest is a Tower in the middle of the lake called Turtle Tower. According to a local Vietnamese legend the lake was named because an emperor Le Loi was boating on the lake with his sword, when a turtle grabbed the sword and disappeared. Loi assumed that the Golden Turtle God had taken it back, seeing as the Turlte God had given it to him in the first place. He renamed the lake to it's current name to commemorate this event. The tower has been linked to this legend.

I think this country is much more culturally rich than the other two I visited, only because of the ease to find a legend of a local place. The view from the mountain was very nice as well. I'd compare this view to the one of Taiwan's Jade Mountain.

Ngoc Linh Mt.

Ngoc Linh Mt.

Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake

Huc Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Posted by JPalmer15 11:42 Archived in Vietnam Comments (0)

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