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Travel the World

Martijn's homepage background info

Background information


(information for Dutch travelers) 

China

Capital: Beijing

Climate: to a big country to be specific,

China lies mainly in the northern temperate zone under the influence of monsoon. From September and October to March and April next year monsoon blow from Siberia and the Mongolia Plateau into China and decrease in force as it goes southward, causing dry and cold winter in the country and a temperature difference of 40 degree centigrade between the north and south. The temperature in China in the winter is 5 to 18 degree centigrade lower than that in other countries on the same latitude in winter. Monsoon blows into China from the ocean in summer, bringing with them warm and wet currents, thus rain.In general the best time tot travel in the north and central part (Beijing - Hong Kong) is in autumn (september).

Language: Mandarin (the official language)

Religion: Not one specific, but the main influence comes from Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam .

Visa: required

(Chinese Embassy A. Goedkooplaan 7, 2515 JX Den Haag)

Vaccination and malaria: Contact GG&GD or see CDC or call AMC in Amsterdam infoline (0900-9584)

Currency: RMB, 'Yuan'

(you can easily use travelercheques in Dutch guilders)

Electrical power: AC 220V, 50Hz.

Television system: PAL

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.86, to the Netherlands 0031

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) 10831

Official Holidays

New Year's Day: January 1 Chinese Lunar New Year's Day: (Between January and February (The exact date varies, depends on the Lunar Calendar), Labor Day: May 1 National Day: October 1

 

Travel survival kit

Bolivia

Capital: Sucre (official)

Climate: Difference from three regions, the rain forest, the Andes and down south

The temperatures are colder than to be espected and the best time to travel, is at the beginning and during our winter (from september on)

Language: Spanish

Religion: mainly roman-catholic 

Visa: when entering the country you get a 30 days tourist visa

Vaccination and malaria: Contact GG&GD or see CDC or call AMC in Amsterdam infoline (0900-9584).

It is important to know if you go to the rainforest or not. If you go into the Andes beware of altitude sickness. The best thing to do is to avoid to much activity at first and take your time to acclimate. Further watch the intensity of the sun at high altitudes.

Currency: Bolivianos

Electrical power: AC 220V, 50 Hz (in some parts 110V)

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.591, to the Netherlands 00.31

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) not possible

Official holidays:

New year, Carnaval, Semana Santa (easter), Labor day, Corpus Christi, Independence day (5-7 august), Columbus day (12 october), Dias de los Muortos (2 november) and Christmas

Travel survival kit

Peru

Capital: Lima

Climate: Difference from three regions, the rain forest, the Andes and the coast

The temperatures are colder than to be espected and the best time to travel, is at the beginning and during our winter (from september on)

Language: Spanish 

Religion: mainly roman-catholic

Visa: when entering the country you get a 30 up to 90 days tourist visa

Vaccination and malaria: Contact GG&GD or see CDC or call AMC in Amsterdam infoline (0900-9584).

It is important to know if you go to the rainforest or not. If you go into the Andes beware of altitude sickness. The best thing to do is to avoid to much activity at first and take your time to acclimate. Further watch the intensity of the sun at high altitudes.

Currency: Sol

Electrical power: AC 220V, 60Hz (Arequipa 220v/50Hz.)

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.51, to the Netherlands 0031

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) 0800 50430

Official holidays:

New year, Carnaval, Semana Santa (easter), Labor day,Fiesta de la Cruz (2-3 may), Corpus Christi, Inti Raymi (Inca festival, 24 june). St Peters day (29 june), Independence day (28-29 julyt), Santa Rosa de Lima (30 august) Battlw of Angamos (8 october), Fiesta de Todos los Santos (1 november), Dias de los Muortos (2 november) Feast of the immaculate conception (8 december) and Christmas

rough guide

Travel survival kit

USA

Capital: Washington

Climate: to a big country to be specific,

Language: English

Religion: mostly Christian

Visa: no

Vaccination: not necessary

Currency: US dollar

Electrical power: 110V

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.1, to the Netherlands 01131

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) 1 800 432 0031 (AT&T), 1 800 351 0120 (Worldcom), 1 800 388 2465 (MCI) 1 800 473 8824 (US Sprint)

rough guide USA

(this the 3rd edition which I used, but there is a new 4th one )

Republic of South Africa

 

Capital: Pretoria

Climate: The western cape,

The western cape has sub tropical climate with dry sunny summers (aroud 26 C) and cold winters (av 5 C) the winds on the coast are famous!

Language: English and Afrikaans (among others)

Religion: mostly Christian

Visa: no

Vaccination: not necessary (for the cape that is)

Currency: Rand

Electrical power: 220V

You need a special converter because of the unique socket

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.27, to the Netherlands 0931

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) 0 800 990031

 

lonely planet

Zambia

Capital: Lusaka

Climate: temperate

three seasons, cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry in September and October and rainy in the summer from November until April.

Language: English and a lot of tribe languages

Religion: mostly Christian

Visa: required

You can get it at the border but have to pay in US dollars!, If you're coming in from Zimbabwe (like we did) and make use of a Zambian operator a discount is possible. The nearest Zambian embassy is in Brussels

Vaccination and malaria:

Contact GG&GD or see CDC or call AMC in Amsterdam infoline (0900-9584), It is an Malaria area and be aware of AIDS.

Currency: kwacha

for your visa and touroperators you probably need cash US dollars

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.260, to the Netherlands 0031

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) not possible, we had a lot off problems with telecommunications even the public phones in Lusaka

 

lonely planet

 

Malawi

Capital: Lilongwe

Climate: temperate

two seasons, cool and dry from May to August, the wet season runs from mid-October April.

Language: English and a lot of tribe languages

Religion: mostly Christian

Visa: required (although it wasn't required for a long time)

You can get it at the border and most of the time no real problem

Vaccination and malaria:

Contact GG&GD or see CDC or call AMC in Amsterdam infoline (0900-9584), It is an Malaria area espacially in the raining-season. Be aware of AIDS

Currency: kwacha (not the same as Zambia)

In Lilongwe it was easy to change money, outside the capital it was far more difficult.

Telephone: from the Netherlands 00.265, to the Netherlands 10131

Nederland direct (collect call & scope) not possible, we had a lot off problems with telecommunications and we had to pay a lot.

lonely planet

Books & Literature

Amazon.com

China

Paul Theroux 'Down the Yangtze', 'Riding the Iron Rooster' 

Adriaan van Dis 'Een barbaar in China'

Carolijn Visser 'Ver van hier'

Dolf de Vries 'China in de rugzak'

Jung Chang 'Wild swans, three daughters of China'

Ken Hom 'De vele smaken van de chinese keuken' 

South America

Paul Theroux 'The Old patagonian express'

Mario Vargas Llosa 'De geesten van de Andes'

Gabriel Garcia Marquez 'Liefde in tijden van cholera'

John Hemming 'The conquest of the Incas' (history about Inca's)

USA

Bill Bryson 'Walk in the woods' (novel about the Appalachian trail)

Amy Tan 'The Kitchengod's wife' (novel about the chinese society in San Francisco)

Africa

F. Springer 'Quissama'

Adriaan van Dis 'Het beloofde land & In Afrika'

Both

Michael Palin 'Full Circle'

What do I take with me? take a look in my Backpackbackpack


If you have remarks or additional information mail me Mail to wo@dds.nl


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(c) Martijn Moser, Amsterdam 1997-2001
updated: februari 18, 2001.