A City of Skyscrapers and Difficulties with Dumplings in Shanghai

There exists the ancient, historical China of years past, the elaborate and extensive China we think with our mind’s eye, the rustic and rural China we expect to see when we first visit, and the modern and mechanized China we actually experience; and then there is Shanghai — so different from the rest of China that it can scarcely be said […]

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Cuddly Pandas, Spicy Hotpots, and the World’s Tallest Buddha

Traveling around the world isn’t an easy thing to do — in fact, it requires quite a few skills and talents outside those we would normally utilize on a daily basis.  Beyond the more apparent qualities that first come to mind — adventurous spirit, ability to improvise when plans fall apart, high tolerance for discomfort, etc. — it is […]

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An Earthenware Army, a Holy Mountain, and More Street Eats in Xi’an

Over two thousand years ago, after having braved the dangerous roads, windswept plains, and isolated deserts of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia, the sight that would finally greet the eyes of the weary traders looking to earn their fortunes along the newly completed trade route was that of the city of Chang’an […]

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A Brief Glimpse into Ancient China in Pingyao

The images of an ancient China that many search for, those we commonly see depicted in novels and films – that of peaceful, open courtyards with delicately tiled roofs, narrow, lantern-lit alleyways that snake through the heart of a city, hidden temples and shrines identifiable by the fragrant trail of incense smoke, the simplicity of […]

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Special Note — Posts will likely be sporadic for the next few weeks

SPECIAL NOTE — I’ve left Korea and arrived in Beijing, China, so I am still venturing out into the unknown and exploring the new sights, sounds, tastes, and cultures of the world at large.  One unanticipated problem has arisen, however, in that I’m having great difficulty accessing my blog — or any blog, for that matter — while I’m […]

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Beaches, Lava Tubes, Volcanic Craters, and More Hiking: Busan and Jeju-do

Comprised of surreal, otherworldly landscapes, towering mountains, volcanic craters, and palm-tree fringed beaches, the Island of Jeju – or Jeju-do – lies 85 kilometers of the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula and has become the holiday or honeymoon destination of choice for many Koreans.  Given its popularity and the prospect of sunny beaches, I […]

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Hanji, Bibimbap, Art Exhibits, and Tea Fields

After sleeping off the kimchi coma that resulted from my gastronomic over-indulgences in both Seoul and Suwon, the time had finally come for my to continue my journey South through the remainder of the South Korean peninsula.  The next two destinations on my itinerary were that of Jeonjo and Gwangju: the former being the birthplace […]

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Castle Walls and Galbitang in Suwon

Near the end of the 18th century, in the midst of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, King Jeongjo — ruler ar the time — formulated a plan to relocated the nation’s capital from Seoul to the smaller city of Suwon, located only 30 miles directly South.  The purpose of the move was to take advantage of […]

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Kimchi, Banchan, and Large Quantities of Soju

In contrast to the often hazy, overcast weather, the monotony of endless grey cement throughout the city, and the low-key profile of many of Seoul’s neighborhoods, a culinary journey through the city could never be described as bland or boring, showing that the citizens know what’s most important: the enjoyment of life and its small pleasures.  The flavors and aromas […]

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Artistic Spaces and Beautiful Places in Seoul

At first glance, Seoul, South Korea may appear to be a nothing more than a city composed of millions of concrete bricks laid end to end, stretching across the entirety of the city’s borders — a vast, wasteland occasionally pock-marked by the construction of a new office tower, upon whose mirrored surface reflections only exacerbate the city’s dull, lifeless palette.  Upon further inspection, however, […]

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