All posts filed under: East

Changdeokgung: The Finest of the Five

Donning a dark blue and light pink hanbok (Korean traditional costume), our guide Jae greeted us at the gate to the Secret Garden at Seoul’s Changdeokgung Palace. Together with around 40-50 other visitors, most of them wearing thick jackets with their hands tucked firmly in […]

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Heian Shrine: A Blast to the Past

Hosting the world’s fair has become a means some countries have embraced to promote their economic progress and development agenda to an international audience. Since the event’s first run in 1851, which celebrated advancements in industrial technology in the United Kingdom and other countries, a […]

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Jongmyo: Walking alongside the Spirits

In the past, great temples, shrines and places of worship were often constructed to signify the rise of new kingdoms and empires, or to commemorate significant events, or even to appease gods and goddesses. Normally a great amount of time and wealth was expended, and […]

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Korean Food: Colors and Textures

It was nine or ten years ago when I first had a Korean dish which, unlike Japanese food, was something I wasn’t too familiar with. At a food court in one of Jakarta’s luxury malls, the colorful look of bibimbap piqued my interest the most […]

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Chasing the Sun in Nara

Holidays are usually a time that people use to decouple themselves from the stress of work and reconnect with things they love; this often involves sleeping in and waking up whenever their bodies want. But when that thing you love is related to outdoor photography […]

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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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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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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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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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A Vermilion Dream

Imagine being in a lush forest where two parallel paths are laid before your eyes. The one on the right has seemingly endless rows of torii (a type of gate usually found at Shinto shrines in Japan), and so does the left one, although peeking […]

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