About the JSA tour

I have been receiving a considerable amount of hits regarding the JSA tour. This is fine but I would like to mention that this site shows only my opinion on certain travel and photography topics. If you want to know requirements regarding the JSA tour please check out these sites http://www.jsatour.com/ . This company is the one I used to book my trip last year, they are very reliable.  I have shared my impressions about the JSA tour  in an earlier post: http://troi.senturias.com/site/travel/2010/05/jsa-tour-south-korea.html .

I also get hits on the kind of camera that you can bring. According to tourdmz.com (http://www.tourdmz.com/english/07guid/tour1_1.php ), “You can bring your camera. However you are strictly asked to follow the instructions of your tour guide when and where to take a photo. (No camera with zooming capacity more than 100mm are no allowed to carry to this area) ” .
Before going to the tour I was anxious about this, because I had a DSLR and wasn’t entirely sure about the restrictions. I wanted to be on the safe side and so I didn’t bring it; I just brought my point and click. On hind sight, I should have brought my SLR —  some visitors did and they didn’t have any problems. So if I were to do it again, I’ll definitely bring mine, of course I will comply with  the 100 mm lens limit.
Again I will stress out the importance of booking the JSA tour the sooner you can do it, it isn’t your regular tourist tour.  Point in case jsatour.com does not make a secret about the fact that you could be subject to background checks.

Travel apps and Gadgets

Amazon 3g kindle  

3g Kindle
3g Kindle

At 189 USD, the Kindle comes in cheap for the functionalities that it offers. For the modern traveller its interesting feature is the  free 3g Access worldwide(At least in most cities with 3g Access).  Most modern e-mail websites have text only versions and this comes in handy with Kindle as its browser is not meant for graphical and interactive content. With Wiki travel and Wikipedia, you’ve got enough internet reading material without breaking the bank.

For the avid reader and traveller, buying a Kindle 3g is a no brainer: you could bring it by the beach and  read with your hearts content without the sun glare on the screen, high contrast — just like paper. You can even let it read the book for you. Having said that I recommend buying Amazon’s Kindle Lighted Leather Cover, not only is it classy, the light it offers is powered by the Kindle itself!
Wouldn’t it be good to centralize all your travel information in one place? Trip-it.com offers this cloud based system for free… ok no big deal. But, here is where Trip-it.com shines, you can actually send them e-mails of your plane itinerary and hotel reservations and they will automatically aggregate all this info in their system. Most of the time, you will not need to edit this. If you have Android or iPhone… Good news! They have an app for that, the great thing about it is that the info is cached in your phone. no need for Internet if you just want the cached info from your mobile.
With luggage excess fees skyrocketing this days,  at around 25 USD, this gadget is worth it for the peace of mind of bringing a maximum of luggage load  with out the penalty. A friendly reminder, please check the airline you have booked with for your luggage limitations. There is quite a difference between Europe and North America for sure.
I bought my first pair just a few weeks ago, a Bose Quick Comfort 15. At little bit more than 300 USD it didn’t come in cheap, but I am quite happy with this purchase — I have tested it on my recent long distance flights. I flew on a trans-atlantic flight with an old US Airways airplane on economy class and boy did that headphone save me! The cabin noise was unbearable and there was no personal entertainment system… good thing my the noise isolation worked really well!
Bose QuietComfort 15 ReviewImage by clintonjeff via Flickr
The noise canceling works well with constant noise like those that you get on planes and trains, if your neighbor or a cabin crew talks to you whilst you are not paying attention, you can still hear their voice because those sounds are not constant.
A word of warning though, the Quick Comfort 15 comes in with a very lightbackground buzz that is almost not perceptible, it didn’t bother me but I guess for those with sensible ears this could be an issue. If you live in the US they currently have a 30 day  trial period– that is a good incentive!  Another issue with the Headphone is that it is dependent batteries, no juice, no music. The specs mention around 35 hour of life span for a triple A battery which is large enough to cover at least 2 long distance flights.

The airport express is really practical if you find yourself in a Hotel offering internet access with an Ethernet network plug : no wifi. Plug in t

Apple Airport ExpressImage by La Ignorancia Mata via Flickr

he Ethernet plug to your Airport Express, and voila you have your wireless connection. I still see a lot of old school Hotels with no wifi, so my Airport Express comes in handy.

Aside for travel use, you can use it at home as a wireless hub, you could plug a printer to it for network share and of course with iTunes you could stream music to a speaker plugged in on your Airport Express