New York Times information on Mongolia

June 2, 2012

Mongolia is the world’s least densely populated country, with 2.9 million people spread across an area three times the size of France, two-fifths in rural areas on windswept steppes.

Landlocked between Russia and China, Mongolia contains vast troves of natural resources like coal, copper and gold that have attracted intense interest from mining giants around the world and turned the nation into a pawn in a global game involving China, the United States and Russia. Washington has lauded the country for its smooth transition from Soviet satellite to thriving democracy.

General Information on Mongolia

Official Name: Mongolia
Capital: Ulaanbaatar
Government Type: Mixed parliamentary/presidential
Population: 2.952 million
Area: 604,103 square miles; slightly larger than Alaska
Languages: Khalkha Mongol (primarily ), Turkic, Russian
Literacy: Total Population: [98%] Male: [98%]; Female: [98%]
GDP Per Capita: $2,100
Year of Independence: 1921

Slideshow: “The Downturn Reaches a Mongolian Goat Farm”


(click on the images to go to the NYTimes website to view the entire
slideshow and read the captions that go along with each photo)

Slideshow: “Inner Mongolia’s Field Hockey Players”

For 1,000 years, the Daur people of Molidawa, in Inner Mongolia, have been playing a game called beikou. The game is similar to field hockey and entails whacking around a ball-like knob of apricot root with long wooden branches.

A local cultural organization holds beikou matches. Two dozen or so players assemble and put on their traditional uniforms: boots, silk pantaloons, long silk robes belted with a sash, and a Daur hat that looks a little like a bishop’s miter.
Eight schools in the area teach hockey starting in the third grade. The best students are admitted to a select hockey development program in Molidawa.
(click on the images to go to the NYTimes website to view the entire
slideshow and read the captions that go along with each photo)

“Mongolia Navigator”

A list of resources from around the Web about Mongolia as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.


NY Times profile of Mongolia

NY Times search results for “Mongolia”


Weekend Spotlight

June 1, 2012

This weekend the spotlight is on Mongolia.  I chose Mongolia because I wanted to write about a lesser known Asian country and this seemed a good place to start.  Last summer in May 2011 I visited China and had the opportunity to go very close to Mongolia when we visited Dunhuang which is beginning point of the Gobi Desert that stretches thousands of miles into Mongolia.  We were told that it was possible to see Mongolia from the peaks of some of the sand dunes, but we never made it to the top to get this view unfortunately.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

News about Indonesia

May 20, 2012

From New York Times

The airline industry in Thailand has been heavily criticized in the past few years because of some safety concerns which resulted in a few fatal wrecks.  The European Union has banned most of Thailand airline’s from flying into their airspace, and now, as of February 2012, there has been more news about a series of arrests of pilots who have been using drugs:

“Quakes Set Off Panic Among Indonesians, but No Tsunami in Indian Ocean”
April 2012

“Former Treasurer Convicted of Bribery in Indonesia”



Lady Gaga cancels Indonesia gig

Indonesian Earthquakes



Youtube search of “Indonesia news”

New York Times search of “Indonesia”


Scuba Diving in Indonesia

May 19, 2012


– Dive the World Indonesia:


– “2,500 scuba divers in Indonesia set world record for mass dive”

– Unearthing Asia: “8 Diver’s Paradise in Indonesia”

Cities of Indonesia

May 19, 2012

The largest city in Indonesia, which is also the capital, is Jakarta which has a population of approximately 10,000,000 people.

Its current name is derived from the word “Jayakarta”. The origins of this word lie in the Old Javanese and thus ultimately in the Sanskrit language. “Jayakarta” translates as “victorious deed”, “complete act”, or “complete victory”.

Top 10 Most Populous Cities in Indonesia:

1. Jakarta (8.792 million)

2. Surabaya (3,282,156)

3. Bandung (2,771,138)

4. Medan (2,036,018)

5. Bekasi (1,940,308)

6. Tanggerang (1,488,666)

7. Semarang (1,352,869)

8. Depok (1,339,263)

9. Palembang (1,323,169)

10. Makassar (1,168,258)


TravBuddy: “Popular Cities in Indonesia”

Top 10 Most Populous Cities in Indonesia

Interactive game that challenges one to pinpoint the cities of Indonesia on a map, by

Weekend Spotlight

May 18, 2012

This weekend the spotlight is on Indonesia.

I wasn’t sure which country to choose next as the Weekend Spotlight so I asked my mom to name a country at random and she said Indonesia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos from GoogleImages

Upcoming travel

April 29, 2011

I stumbled across this distance calculator where you can type in any two cities in the world and it’ll calculate the distance between the two.  I started to plug in some cities where I’ll be traveling in the near future and it turns out I’ll be traveling over 28,000 miles in the next seven weeks.

4/29 – 5/2 – Tampa for the weekend, 1,000 miles each way = 2,000

5/6 – 5/10 – Amsterdam for four days, 4,000 miles each way = 8,000

6/10 – 6/23 – China for ten days, 7,000 miles each way.  Leaving from Tampa so that’s an extra 2,000 miles there and back, and will also travel around 3,000-4,000 miles while in China = 19,000 – 20,000

TOTAL= 29,000 – 30,000 miles total