Destruction and Rebirth of Gyeongbokgung

Palaces… always built on a monumental scale, at auspicious sites, and embellished with rich ornamentation. Unlike great temples, churches or mosques which were commissioned to mark great rulers’ authority over their subjects (unsurprisingly, religion has been used to rule people for thousands of years), palaces […]

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Buddhist Treasures Beneath A Rock

Close your eyes, and hold them for a few minutes… then slowly open them, only when you feel you’re ready. Do you see the infinite blue skies I’m looking at right now? We were in faraway Japan the last time I took you into a dream like […]

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Sydney or Melbourne? The Reveal

Since I started the post series on Australia in this blog eight months ago, some of you have been wondering which city I like better: Sydney or Melbourne. For those who are puzzled about why one should even bother to pick a side, all I […]

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Banjarmasin: A Flood of Memories

How does it feel to go back to a city you left three decades ago? Will you remember anything? Will you recognize some places? To begin this story let me take you back in time, 32 years ago to be precise. Due to his work […]

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The House of Korean Treasures

Many people travel across the world to see ancient ruins dating back to hundreds, even thousands of years ago to marvel at the ingenuity of masons, sculptors and artisans who lived long before our time. Museums, however, despite housing some of the best and most […]

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Eating Well in Kyoto

Carefully I clamped the round pressed sushi with my chopsticks, trying to figure out the correct way to eat these larger-than-normal rolls of rice and fish. The real struggle though was not about how to eat it properly, but rather how to do everything in […]

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Blitar under the Radar

In an age of mass tourism like today, places with stately, magnificent landmarks that are hundreds or even thousands years old draw people from all over the world to come and visit, marvel at the impressive monuments, and feel that they’ve become part of the […]

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First Time in Seoul

It was supposed to be an easy trip. Back in November last year when my perennial travel buddy, James, and I were planning a short escape from Jakarta in April, we were sorting through places that neither of us had ever been to and would […]

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Radya Pustaka: A Forlorn Museum

Try to gather 100 people and ask them the following questions: “Who wants to go to the beach?” Most of them would probably raise their hands. Then ask, “Who wants to go to the malls?” Maybe only 50 to 60 people are keen on the […]

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Advance Australia Fare

Australia is called Down Under for an obvious reason: it is relatively remote on the world map. Its biggest cities – Sydney and Melbourne – are located on the other side of globe from many of the world’s major cities in Europe and North America, […]

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A Pilgrimage to Purity

Remember the dream I took you into not long ago? Remember that bright vermilion color amid the lush green foliage? Remember Inari and the foxes? That was just the beginning of a journey to a magical realm I’m about to show you. No, I’m not […]

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