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Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)


The Pros and Cons of Hiring A Tour Guide in Siem Reap


Floating Villages, Sinking Feelings

IMG_2703Out of all the activities I had planned for myself on my 5 day adventure in Cambodia, one that I was especially looking forward to was visiting a floating village along Tonle Sap Lake. In my head I envisioned weather-worn bamboo huts skirting the edges of the water, boats that have seen better days sputtering by from time to time, and people living in tune with nature. That’s what I was expecting, and it’s pretty close to what I found. But what I wasn’t prepared for was to feel like the biggest, guiltiest voyeur ever.


Low Blows in Shanghai

Pudong International Airport

Pudong International Airport

It was 9:00 on a Thursday morning and I had just landed in Shanghai, the largest city in China by population and the largest city proper by population in the world. I was ultimately headed to the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. However, before I could bask in the tropical temperatures and dubiously bathe myself in sunscreen, there was one thing standing in my way: a 9-hour layover.


Beomosa Temple Stay

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When I got asked to shoot Beomosa Temple for an upcoming article in Seoul Magazine, I was really excited. Mostly because I love Beomosa and the other reason was that I really wanted to see what goes on at a temple stay which was the focus of the article. Temple stay programs are a unique way to experience temple life. However, most of the people that I asked about these programs either hated them or did them as a one off thing.

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Vlog Entry #7: Busan International Fireworks Festival


Busan, You’re A Firework

busan ffI don’t consider myself a pyromaniac, but I will say I do love me some fireworks. The way they sparkle and shine against the dark night sky. The elongated screech they produce as they’re released into the air, and the extra half second it takes for that final BANG to reach the ears. And there’s something about the collective experience of standing in a crowd with your neck craned high, saying “Woahhhhh!” along with everyone else.


Pyongyang Racer – Having a Gas in Virtual North Korea


An Old Fisherman’s Advice

 

We were walking around Jumunjin Harbour on an early April morning. The sun was warm and the docks were busy with tourists and workers. Underneath the carpark the wharf was busier than usual. Long gone were the fish sellers, moved to another less in the way location of the port, so to see so much coming and going was unusual. While not regulars in Jumunjin port, we would be more regular that most and seeing a flurry activity as such was something reserved for the height of the squid season, and it was not that time of year yet.

We edged closer, hopping over river sized puddles and landing on tiny atolls of uneven concrete, until we came to what was of so much anxiety and interest to the workers and curious visitors. On the concrete were nets and nets full of fish. They were litterally exploding with them. To see nets this full in a small port like Jumunjin, where even in their tourist markets they mostly sell farmed fish, was a delight. There were wheelbarrows full to bursting being shoved past, and nets being stretched long for cleaning and recasting. Of greatest interest though was the a stocky greying man, sitting on a plastic chair pulling the fish from the nets.


The Big Chunky Charlie: Tourist Guilt in Maya Bay

I’D HEARD that the place was going to be busy. The weird moronic western dude behind the desk at our hotel told us as much when we enquired about the place. “It’s even busy during the rainy season,” the words stumbled in slow motion out of his mouth. “We went there in October during the rainy season and there were still, like, 40 boats in the bay.” It was probably his thick birth-control glasses, nervous demeanour, monk-like bald patch, and slow, slightly scouse – but also kinda german – accent that, at least for me, rendered his opinions worthless.

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