Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maps & Traveling

I wouldn't say that we are active travelers or tourists just yet, because the number of maps we have is still less than 10.  I still like buying maps when traveling to a new country or state because maps do help you to navigate around the city.  When we did road trip in Malaysia, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu, then to Kelantan and to Pengkalan Kubur border to Thailand, we still used a map.  We seem to get a kick out of saying the highway numbers and street names that we're on.

Reading a map is like going for treasure hunting.  We want to know where we want to go, what's nearby, and the different routes that can take us there.  But I tell you, reading a map that has writing in different languages can be challenging, especially when the prints get smaller and smaller.  When we were in Shanghai, we couldn't find any FREE English Tourist Map at the train station.  Luckily there was a bookstore that sell maps, and we just had to buy one to find our ways.

I think of the best tip in buying the right map is to look at it first before purchasing it.  Then look if the places that you want to go are in the map.  Next, make sure the road names and the streets around the places that you want to visit are visible and legible because sometimes you may have to walk from street to street.  Last, a map that doesn't open too big (imagine you opening a HUGE map while you're on the street and a wind come gushing by!).  And we also probably wouldn't buy a map that's too overloaded with information.  Simple and straightforward seem to be in our criteria as we don't want to add anymore clutter (and stress) in those times that we get lost.

Image | Shanghai Tourist Map bought at Shanghai Train Terminal
Photo | Olympus PEN
Place | Donut King Cafe
Edit | Desaturate, sephia and soften effect

Image | Map of Shanghai with lots of Chinese characters and some English ones
Photo | Olympus PEN
Edit | Exposure, desaturate, sephia

I often treat maps and books as precious things that I would very rarely scribble on them.  I had to become more 'adventurous' in that sense, so we thought, let's make our mark!

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