Monthly Archives

November 2018

Visiting Seoul for the first time

By | Asia, Korea | No Comments

I visited Seoul for the first time in the spring of 2010. The elaborate gate above is at Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁), a sprawling palace belonging to Korea’s former monarchy.

The pagoda above is at the base of N-Seoul Tower. What the CN tower is to Toronto, so N-Seoul tower is to Seoul.

The ‘Flying Man’ wire sculpture hangs at the base of N-Seoul tower.

Cheonggyecheon (청계천), seen above, is a river running through the middle of Seoul. It used to be covered with freeways, but they have been removed to create a charming public space.

Being a big, bustling city you’re bound to run into a few colourful characters in Seoul.

A view from the top of N Seoul tower at twilight.

The shopping district of Myeongdong lights up at night.

Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village

By | Asia, Korea | No Comments

The city of Jeonju (전주시) in the north Jeolla province of South Korea is considered one of the best places to go for traditional Korean cuisine.

Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.

Jeonju is just an hour and half south of Seoul and can easily be visited on a day-trip from the capital.

A view of the Hanok village in Jeonju, Korea.

The Korean War destroyed large sections of many Korean towns and cities, so a preserved and well maintained area like the Hanok village is quite special.

The Hanok village is a well-preserved example of traditional Korean architecture and culture.

When I visited the city in 2011 there was a gourmet Korean food festival happening, with lots of interesting Korean meals on display.

Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.

While I didn’t get to try most of them, they looked like ‘fine-dining’ versions of many popular Korean dishes.

Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.

There also appeared to be some type of combination of kimchi and chocolate but I can’t be 100% sure!

Judges examining Korean food while being filmed.

Judges were there to test out some of the fancy food.

Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.
Korean food in the Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.

Also on display was traditional Korean rice-cake desserts.

Korean food in the Jeonju hanok village 9
Jeonju Bimbimbap.

Jeonju is famous for it’s bibimbap the local variety is known for having many extra ingredients. 

The Jeonju Hanok Village in South Korea in 2011.

Exploring Busan in 2010

By | Asia, Korea | No Comments

Busan is South Korea’s second city, and I was fortunate enough to get a chance to visit the city for the first time in 2010.

A brightly lit street in Busan, South Korea.

Located on the far south-eastern part of the Korean peninsula, Busan has a salty charm of its own.

A boat in the ocean next to Busan.

Busan is squeezed in between several mountains next to the sea, and one of only a few major Korean cities located so directly on the ocean.

King Kong, Spiderman and Cat-Woman outside a bar in Busan, South Korea.
An aerial view of Busan, South Korea.

Classic American Cars in Cape Town

By | Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

There are generally very few American Cars in Cape Town. Cars from the United States are generally rare in South Africa. Most models from American car brands are only made in right-hand drive, and are therefore not sold in large numbers in South Africa.

A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.

The map below shows which countries drive on which side of the road.

Red = Right-hand drive.
Blue = Left-hand drive.

A photo of an american Ford Mustang car in cape town, South Africa.
A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.
A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.
A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.
A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.
An LAPD Police vehicle in Cape Town. A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.
A photo of american cars in cape town, South Africa.

Hiking Mudeung Mountain in Gwangju

By | Asia, Korea

Hiking Mudeung mountain is a great activity to do in Gwangju. Mudeung mountain (known as Mudeungsan in Korean) is a tall mountain close to the city of Gwangju.

Assuming you’re visiting Gwangju, it’s likely you’ll need to use public transport to get to Mudeungsan. U-Square, the city’s main bus terminal, is the hub for most city buses and you can take a bus from there to the base of the mountain.

Hiking Mudeung Mountain in  Gwangju
A Buddhist temple on top of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
A dog at a temple on top of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
A temple on top of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
Rock formations on top of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
A view from the summit of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
Korean writing on a rock on top of Mudeungsan, Gwangju South Korea
Hely-hutchinson Reservoir, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town

Hiking to the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir on the top of Table Mountain

By | Cape Town, South Africa

The dams on Table Mountain are beautiful, and worth the hike to get to them. One of the most prominent is the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir, which is directly above Kirstenbosch botantical gardens.

The hike to the top of the mountain can take around 1 hour, and usually longer depending on the fitness of the group. During summer it’s best to hike in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching midday heat.

View of Bishops court from Kirstenbosch gardens in Cape Town
A view of the leafy suburb of Bishop’s court from Kirstenbosch gardens.
Hiking through Kirstenbosch botantical gardens Cape Town
Hiking along the contour path through Kirstenbosch botanical gardens.

Skeleton Gorge can be a tough hiking trail, and not recommended for beginners or those feeling unfit.

The top of the Skeleton Gorge Hiking trail in Kirstenbosch
Arriving at the top of the Skelton Gorge hiking trail.
Hely-hutchinson Reservoir, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town
The Hely-hutchinson reservoir, one of the largest dams on top of Table Mountain.
Dark water in the Hely-hutchinson Reservoir, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town
A view of the dark water filling up the dam on top of Table Mountain.
A lizard next to the Hely-hutchinson Reservoir, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town
A lizard soaking in some sun on top of Table Mountain.
A photo of the SunStar sculpture on Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa

SunStar, a sculpture on Signal Hill

By | Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

The SunStar was a huge, illuminated sculpture that was installed on Signal Hill, Cape Town.

A photo of the SunStar sculpture on Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa

Sun International sponsored the art installation, writing on their website that:

Proudly serving as a reminder of South Africa’s greatest story and a shining symbol of hope for the country’s future. Sun International has sponsored the materials used in the design and construction of the structure.

Sun International

The SunStar was not without controversy, attracting some negative attention in the media. 

A photo of the SunStar sculpture on Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa
A photo of the SunStar sculpture on Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa
A photo of the SunStar sculpture on Signal Hill in Cape Town South Africa