Feb 9 2024

Rio de Janeiro 里约热内卢

My first impression of Brazil’s Rio is very green, eye-catching green 养眼的绿. Hills and waters make the city attractive.

We’re there for the carnival after the Antarctic trip, stay for five days: Feb 9-13. Fly in from Buenos Aires on British Air Boeing 777, taking off at 1:56 and arriving at Rio 4:30pm; and leaving the city on the morning of Tuesday Feb 13. It’s their holidays weekend, everyday has carnival crowds by our hotel and on the streets.

From GIG airport to Ibis hotel downtown we use Uber. As soon as we entered the luggage collection area at GIG, there are at least two taxi services, one with Official title, which charges more than double the price of Uber.

We survived entirely on credit card, and getting around with Uber and taxi. Perhaps it was holiday, dressed up and half naked crowds are everywhere. It’s crowded.

Safety: this is an odd topic. Many friends have warned us to be careful … but I feel very safe at Rio. My philosophy is, travel and life in general should be fun and enjoyable. IF I’ve to wear money belt around my waist and use old iPhone to take photos to avoid being snatched, then that destination isn’t for me.

Language: they speak Portuguese and few people in the service industry speak passable English, with my hand signal and Google translates, it works out just fine.

People: these we come in contact, like in restaurants, cigar bars, are friendly and eager to talk.

Food: large portion, and mediocre quality.

Overall, the city feels third world. Copacabana Palace @ Copacabana Beach is their best hotel. But neither the hotel nor its immediate vicinity feels posh, nothing special… the feel is more like 23rd Street in New York.

The carnival: in 2024, is Feb 9th to 14th. The last Sunday suppose to be the cumulation. We’ve ticket on the last Saturday – I’m not too crazy about carnival to begin with. We went only because our Antarctic ends at the right time – Diana disembarks on Feb 8.

Beaches: Copacabana easily the best, grand and pristine in the morning (evening is another story), and Arpoador, Red and Diabo.

I’ve the best Tanquary and tonic @ MDN, the cigar bar.

San Diego, California … what’s the fixation or fascination with SD? Three Brazilian young men claimed their good English came from their American girl friends, from San Diego, CA. Coincident or they just love/know SD?

My itinerary 

    1. Fri 2.09 BA→Rio: Ibis; Uber; Xian @ SDU/Bossa Nova
    2. Sat 2.10 SennaCopacabanaQuiosque; Colombo @ Forte; the carnival
    3. Sun 2.11 PraçaParis; Sunday markettiles & Santa Teresa; Canton; park; Bota @ BR marina
    4. Mon 2.12 cable carSugarloaf; Clássico Beach Club; Praia Vermelha; Chon KouGarota de IpanemaArpoador/DiaboCafe 18 do Fort; paddle board; MDN cigar
    5. Tue 2.13 BA; murals; Amex Centurion lounges

… murals


Rio is very green! 有点灵气 喜欢
Copacabana beach 非常干净 小震撼. 觉得一个国家/地区 不停的讲“素质” 谈 “家风” 那个国家地区一定很糟糕. 这都啥年代了 火箭回收了; AI 大行其道…
小到海滩上的小酒吧都收信用卡 大概是挺不错的城市
娃们真不敢恭维 因为是狂欢节 人人平等男女老幼 各个穿的暴露 啥尺寸 形状都有. 就是没有吉娘娘😂 99% 都不够标准 倒胃口.

坐下来之前 我们逛了贫民狂欢节 – 在马路边上. 那个脏 乱 … 但是人人情绪高涨. 80年代末我的室友和她男朋友来过. 据男友说 巴西穷困但狂欢节是每年的高潮; 几天落幕后 马上开始准备下一年的. 30多年过去了 从他们那时的照片看 没啥变化. 不知道他们的服饰是不是中国定制的 😂 花车还是几条大汉推的.
Me不来看看会觉得后悔 来了 就觉得 浪费时间. 迪士尼比这聪明绝顶多了.


Feb 9 2024

SDU airport, Bossa Nova

Praça Sen. Salgado Filho, s/n – Centro,
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20021-340, Brazil

… more pix n videos on Google Maps

Santos Dumont Airport SDU is the 2nd airport in Rio de Janeiro, named after Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont (1873–1932). It opened in 1973; operates by Infraero since 1986.

Bossa Nova Mall is connected to it, that hosts many shops, eateries, Xian, WeWork, and a hotel. When we got there at 7:30pm for dinner, it was relatively calm. By the time we were leaving around 9:45, it came to live with music and crowds.


Feb 9 2024

Ibis @ Rio, Santos Dumont

Sunday, Feb 11, 8:36am

Av. Mal. Câmara, 280 – 1º andar – Centro,
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20020-080, Brazil

This is a 2-star hotel. It looks nicer online and in photos.

… more surrounding pix on Google Maps, TA

Alberto Santos Dumont (1873–1932) was a Brazilian aviation pioneer. Near the hotel is Rio’s 2nd airport SDU that is named after him.

We booked this in early January and by then, not many hotels were available, due to the carnival, which runs Feb 9th to 14th.

The glitters remain in the lobby, as we’re leaving on Tuesday, Feb 13

It’s in ‘central’ but the surrounding area is rather desolated; except every morning, the dressed up or down carnival crowds gathers by the hotel.

The room is small but functional. The bed and pillow are ok. Shower water pressure is pretty strong, which is good. It provides a mini refrigerator and a safe. Same dirty plates are often left in the hall way for extended time.

  • condensation fm the air conditioner drips, and they never provide an extra towel to absorb it
  • slow elevators
  • room isn’t cleaned every day – no biggie

The bar in the lobby is ok. I didn’t visit restaurant on the first floor. We used Uber or taxi to get around.

the Carnival starts from our hotel – on the mornings of 10th Saturday and 11th, Sunday by our hotel:



Feb 9 2024

Xian @ Rio

Av. Alm. Silvio de Noronha, 365 – Centro,
Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20021-010, Brazil

… more pix on Google Maps, Yelp, TA

Will return.
Pretty surprised to find an Asian restaurant for the Chinese lunar new year eve in Rio. Lunar NYE is when families all gather together to have a huge hearty meal, like the Thanksgiving in the USA.
Xian is in the Bossa Nova mall that’s connected to Rio’s 2nd airport SDU. isn’t far from our hotel Ibis. But it doesn’t seem to be walkable. So we took Uber.
The view out to the Enseada da Gloria is beautiful, especially at sunset. The restaurant is huge, with many sections. We got there at 6:50, must be too early, the restaurant was empty. We sat near the bar, as the sun went down. The service is good. We’ve
  1. The ox rib 
  2. spicy tuna
The big chunk of ox rib is tender but salty. The mushroom rice isn’t fully cooked, and they added some cream. Please pretty please, don’t mess with my rice, just fully cook it with water. (Guess this is hard …). The tuna isn’t fresh. The rice they used is better than the side – the mushroom rice.