Matka – Journey Return to the real world :)

After considering my next move I decided to take the chance and start working at Autotask

After a long break from working of 10 months I will be heading to London for a training period. After this it’s time to return to the motherland, I will move to Helsinki Finland.

I hope many of the friends I met during my travels are able to visit me and I can provide a lot of fun experiences around Helsinki!

/Worker Lankinen 🙂

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Matka – Journey playing Ice Hockey in Barcelona

What would be the best way to celebrate coming back to Europe and kicking of my European summer?

Playing Ice Hockey of course! So after arriving to Amsterdam it was time to pick up my hockey gear and head down to the heat of Barcelona!

Click for a video from 2014 Tournament

And yes it’s a yearly thing 🙂

I had the privilige to play with the most awesome crew already in 2014. And we were all psyched to kick of the 2015 Fenix Cup with Perkele Pelicans!

Last year our team had some Swedes bringing us luck but this years playing team (we still had a swede with us as a “coach” of sorts) consisted of an Irishman, Canadian and some notorious Finns!

And yes below the Handsome team infront of the famous Camp Nou which is also the location of the tournament.
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Nothing beats playing ice hockey during summer and heading to the beach for some recovery drinks after the games!

/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey Malaysia: One more time before departure to Amsterdam

My last stop before returning to Europe was the same as where I started from: Kuala Lumpur.

During the 2 week stay I had 3 different accommodations in KL

Mayview Glory, local very cheap hotel in a rather cockroachy area 🙂
JW Marriot, yes went all in since it was my last days. A bit different from the previous one.
Air BnB condo. I can highly recommend air bnb in KL. Cheaper than 4 or 5 star hotel but you get a modern room and the building usually includes a swimming pool and a gym.

Relaxing at the Condo
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This time in KL I took it rather easy and spent a lot of time at VCR a nice cafe near the Condo I was staying.

I also visited the Batu caves, must visit destination when visiting KL. I left it for my 3rd visit to KL 🙂 Batu caves are also full of monkeys if you haven’t had enough of them in some other destination 🙂

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Batu Caves is definitely a not to miss spot if you stay in KL a bit longer.

I had the privilige to visit Malacca with a local and the city was quite different from KL. A lot more relaxed feel. Malacca can be a nice weekend trip from KL to enjoy the local cuisine and stroll around the old town.

The feeling of the city is much more relaxed than the busy KL streets.

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So, eventually my Asia trip was cut shorter than the 11 months I planned. When boarding the plane my mind was buzzled: Whats the score, whats next?!

/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey mindset

If you are on a journey and not progressing what to do?

STOP 🙂

This is what I felt and decided to go back to Europe to visit friends and family. Traveling is about enjoying life. It’s not a chore. It’s not an achievement. It’s not ticking boxes to say I have been there.

So my matka – journey will continue in Amsterdam and then towards Helsinki. And what next? Don’t know. Exciting 🙂

/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey Koh Samui 3,5 weeks of training at Jun Muay Thai bootcamp

As I’m writing this I really miss my time in Thailand. Friendly people, awesome landscapes, really good food. One of my favorite destinations!

The goal of my trip to Koh Samui in Thailand was to get fit and learn Muay thai. Little did I know to what kind of physical test my untrained travelers body would enter!

Picture this:

Training outside every day, temperature between 30 – 40 celcius with a high humidity.

Morning training starting around 7:20 with 3 km running finishing a bit before 10 AM.

Afternoon training from 16:30 until 18:45

I was wrecked after a few days :))))

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Also since my body is not used to kicking, hitting, elbowing etc I cut me knees, fist and feet open and eventually took antibiotics to get the swelling down. In the boiling heat it’s useless to use bandages since the sweating will remove them in an instant during training.
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Other than training I mostly slept and ate in Samui 🙂

Koh Samui is infamous for going out in the Chaweng area which boasts a number of big clubs. I avoided those temptations and instead experienced with the locals hanging out in Camp Beer which is a Thai bar with live music. Avesome atmosphere and you can even bring your own bottle of alcohol and just pay for the ice and mixers 🙂

I chose Jun for my boot camp and could not be happier with my choice. Excellent atmosphere also for a beginner like me. Jun’s gym is really about learning the art. So if you are serious about learning to kick some ass and you are thinking of going to Thailand check it out!

If you are in Samui don’t miss out seeing some Muya thai fights. The Island boast 3 stadiums to choose from so you can see good quality fights almost daily. Muya thai is really part of the culture and the atmosphere is great inside the stadiums. Definitely worth the entrance fee!

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So did I learn Muya thai. Yes a bit 🙂 It’s a super fun sport and I hope to continue it where ever I am but also I hope to be back in Samui sometime soon 🙂

The food in Koh Samui is excellent and I had the opportunity a few times to eat home cooked thai food. Simply delicious!

Without prior experience driving a scooter/motorbike I rented one and really got hooked on it. The feeling of being free and roaming the Island with a bike is simply splendid. The bike gives you perfect freedom to explore the Islands many temples, waterfalls, beaches, etc.

I ended up getting a ticket from the police as well to complete my Thailand experience. Ticket was for driving without a helmet 🙂

I definitely want to come back to Thailand and Samui to visit all the people I met and to have the chance to continue the Muay Thai training.

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/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey 2 nights in Bangkok

I only had 2 nights in Bangkok. Instead of trying to achieve the hangover experience or wathing the ping pong show I went for a different kind of experience 🙂

During my only full day in BKK I visited the Grand Palace area and Wat Pho together with my friend I met in Nagasaki. Below pictures from the hot day in marvellous surroundings!

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Me and my local friend in the sweaty heat 🙂

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I also visited the Queen Sirikit textile museum, which is nearby the Grand Palace. You can experience here the rich variety of design from different decades.

Cruising the river

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Huge abandoned building

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Dining with locals

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I stayed at Hotel Dusit Thani
Apparently it is situated at Silom area which is famous for it’s gay bars. Unknowingly I went for a whiskey at the Irish pub and was approached many times by other westerd guys. After wondering why a quick google search told me what the area is all about 🙂

The thing I didn’t experience in BKK was the notorious ping pong show or getting wasted at one of the bar streets. This can wait for some other time, other travels and other travel companions.

/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey Koh Phangan Full Moon party

My main goal in Thailand was and is to learn Muay Thai. But 1 day of party doesn’t hurt anyone right 🙂

The most famous and notorius full moon party is just a short 30min ferry ride away from Koh Samui.

The place you want to go to is the Haad rin beach. I stayed with Air Bnb with a great lady called Marisol. The property was right at the beach.

This meant it was the loudest night of my life. When I went to bed the music was so loud that the base made my bed shake. hahahah. Epic.

The party itseld includes a lot of drunkennes, fire displays and shenanigans. It’s definitely something to experiece once in a lifetime 🙂

Before the party
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Party time

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Just before going to sleep

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As a note I had hilarious time checking out the drunk white people making out with ladyboys. They will have an interesting morning after. hahaha 🙂

/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey Experiencing Seoul

Matka – Journey Seoul

First of all Seoul is a crazy place in a good way 🙂 Lot of people, excellent transportation system, so many tempting foods to try out. Overall a lot of fun!

I missed out on many touristic activities since I was too busy going out! But I did see a few things. Also my camera was not very active in this vibrant city 🙂

Cool old buildings, Seoul is full of history

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I stumbled upon a lantern festival

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Overall Seoul was for me eat, party and sleep instead of eat, pray and love 🙂

Korean party life in Seoul is pretty epic, I had the privilige to meet a local guy from couchsurfing who introduced me to many differents areas or bars, pubs and clubs. The nights were filled with alcohol so I don’t have pictures of the places, nor do I remember the names of the places we went 🙂 Good times!

Also I stayed with a lovely host a bit outside Seoul for a night through couchsurfing and had the privilige to spend an afternoon with another couchsurfer and explore the city. Meeting locals is my favorite kind of traveling activity 🙂

Gangnam area is the are where the rich people hang out. Expect also to see women who had plastic surgery within this area. Also famous for the Gangnam style song. You know it 🙂 I visited a club called Octagon. IT was rather expensive so I like a true alcoholic I brought my own bottle of alcohol. The coolest thing was the live band who played together with the DJ such classics like Metallica Enter Sandman. Nice.

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Other cool areas for nightly activities if you want to avoid the expensive clubs of Gangman are Hongdae, Itaewon and Apgujeong rodeo.

Fast Facts: Air BnB and Couchsurfing are hot scenes in Seoul don’t miss out!

Funny Facts: If you go out in Seoul keep an open mind and have fun. The nightlife in Seoul was the most active and liberal out of the any other Asian countries I have visited.

Seoul was a destination with great new friends! I will be happy to come back to Seoul in the future!

When I came to Korea I decided to visit less places, but enjoy the nature more and get to know people. This means that I have plenty to visit when I’m back.

Korea is still very korean for a traveler. Most people do not speak English very well. Taxi drivers don’t know where to take you unless you have the address in Korean. Bus doesn’t have anything to indicate where it is or if it’s the right direction etc, and all the stops are again only in Korean. When it comes to ease of travel I’m sure in the future Korea will become more english speaking friendly! Currently it offers a refreshing challenge and it feels more like an adventure than the more traveller friendly countries 🙂

A bit of food pics 🙂
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/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey First time in South Korea, destination Busan

First time in South Korea 🙂 It was 5 AM when I landed. Busan airport was pretty dead 🙂

If you travel to Korea make sure to buy sim card at the airport. The shop opened at 9 AM so I didn’t. As a result it was a traveling experience without a sim card since as a foreigner outside of the airport you need to register with your passport and wait for 3 working days. Not worth the hassle. I bought some wifi codes but these turned out to be rather unreliable. So when in Korea, buy the sim card at the airport 🙂

Fast Facts: Busan is the second most populous city in South Korea

Funny Facts: Even the old and reliable Starbucks doesn’t offer free wifi in South Korea :/

In Busan I stayed at With guesthouse. This is the best guesthouse experience during my travel. Really awesome staff. The place was quite empty during my stay. This meant more time to hang out with the staff, late night chats, alcohol (mainly the local Soju) and food. I also got to experience some crazy Korean drinking games 🙂

I made many new Korean friends in Busan and will be happy to meet up again when I go back. I also got to meet new friends from couchsurfing and share travel stories. Again let me remind you, sign up 🙂

I stayed at the Haeundae Beach area. Really relaxed area during my stay. The beach was busy during the evenings with people playing music or other type of performing arts. During the hot summer months I am told the area gets really busy and the nightlife is also supposed to be very vibrant.

Busan for me was very relaxed. Yes I did some touristic things like visited temples and the fish market. But I also went running along the beaches, hiking and in general enjoeyd myself in a relaxed atmosphere. One thing to remember when in Busan, eat seafood! It’s amazing!

Below my Busan in pictures!

Guesthouse activities
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Late night drinks at the beach

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Couchsurfing rocks!

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Pictures from my 12km run (got lost of course)

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Busan Fishmarket and the most awesome pagoda I have seen 🙂

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FOOD pics

Many restaurants have all you can eat side dishes including a frying pan for your eggs 🙂
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/Traveler Lankinen

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Matka – Journey Observations after 4 months of solo traveling

It’s been quite some months since I left Europe. Currently I am in Koh Samui busy with my Muay Thai challenge. It’s super fun and nice to stay in one place for a longer period of time.

Starting in Hong Kong I started to feel that I have kept myself too busy. Too many sights, too many cities in a short period of time.

My last destinations Hong Kong, Macau and Korea were different from the other destinations.

I slept a lot. I didn’t see many sightseeing locations. I didn’t work on my blog. I just relaxed and ate 🙂 Except Korea. Korea was a lot of late nights and drinking. 😉

I started reading again, I watched a movie. I even read news 🙂

Some people can travel and just continue seeing and experiencing day after day. I need a break. And I need exercise. It’s not good for the body and soul to be constantly on the move. I’m not built to be a nomad. I miss luxuries of life and I miss being able to know people better than just on the surface.

On my earlier post I mentioned my traveling shoes, Nike and Toms shoes. It has turned out that the Nike shoes is very durable and the Toms shoes not so much. So I would not recommend Toms as a brand if you want a shoe that lasts for a long time. I tried to contact their customer service to inquire if it’s just my pair or a general issue but didn’t get anything else than automated responses. Until I emailed to close the case and all of a sudden got a response froma human being. A bit disappointing.

Especially after just finishing reading the book from the Chief Shoe Giver and founder of Toms. I guess it’s hard to keep the original value of customer service while growing the business 🙂

Below the shoes after only 2 weeks of use. My highlight was in Korea where I slipped in the toilet and fell on the floor. And trust me it was not water on the floor 🙂

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For me it has chrystalized that the most important thing in traveling is not to tick boxes and visit everywhere. It’s much more important and interesting to meet local people, other travelers and enjoy the nature, surroundings and different cultures.

One of the most memorable and fun experiences I have had is through Couchsurfing. I highly recommend using the website and app especially if you are a solo traveler.

I have also had many interesting days and dinners with people I have met from Tinder. Tinder can be surprisingly handy for meeting nice local people after you filter out all the hook up stuff 🙂

Other worthy notes from the road:

/The highlight of every destination is not the place itself but the people I meet

/The hardest thing is the constant farewells with the new friends I have made

/The couple fashion is Asia is fascinating 🙂

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/Use hotwire.com if you wish to have some privacy in a more fancy hotel for a decent price, as an example I stayed here when I had couple nights before going to Thailand in Kuala Lumpur

/So far I have taken 16 flights during this journey. The most pleasant airline has been Bangkok airways. Really friendly service. Clean and modern fleet. And free lounge also for economy class passengers. Cool!

/I decided to not care about the budget. 🙂 I still travel rather cheap but it’s not my style to look at every penny

/The stuff I packed has been more than enough. If you are looking for a packing guide this is the most handy one I have found, check the packing post from Daria

/ I can’t recommend Air BnB high enough. Currently in Koh Samui I have a fully modern flat for a really cheap price for the whole duration of the stay

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As an ending note when I have been speaking with other travelers they tend to lose things along the way. Looking at myself I’m quite proud to have only lost 1 pair of ear plugs so far 🙂

/Traveler Lankinen

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