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In the center of the Kathmandu, everyone vies for space.

Surviving the roads in Nepal: a guest post

The following is a guest post by my husband, Albert Smith, about his experiences on the roads in Nepal last fall. [Beneden is de oorspronkelijke Nederlandse versie] My son and I are on our way back from a football [soccer] match between FC Groningen and AZ. We’re in a good mood: Groningen has won a…

Coron, Palawan, the Philippines

Trip of a Lifetime: Bloggers Pick their Must-See Destinations

For this collaborative post, I asked fellow travel bloggers about their idea of a trip of a lifetime: If a person who’s never traveled far from home asked you to name the one place they should visit on their one and only trip ever, what would you say? I got so many different answers! I’ll start…

The busy Akihabara area of Tokyo on a rainy day.

Tokyo, Anime, and My Son

Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post; I received payment for writing it and including a link. All opinions, however, are my own! My 17-year-old son, Robert, is not a traveler. That’s not to say that he hasn’t traveled, however; we’ve dragged him along with us on vacations all his life. Rather, he just isn’t…

general urban sprawl as seen from Tokyo City Hall

Tokyo City Hall: Taking in the View

The classic Tokyo destination for a big view of the city is Tokyo Tower, which looks like a cross between a communication mast and the Eiffel Tower. What stopped me from visiting it was the ¥1600 (€12.50) fee to reach its upper observatory at 250 meters. Alternatively, the newer Tokyo Skytree is taller, but also more expensive: ¥2,060…

This warning side by the side of the road near the DMZ reads simply "MINE."

A Tourist to the DMZ

I’d read about visiting the DMZ a number of times before I arrived in Seoul. DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, which is anything but demilitarized. It’s a wide strip of no-man’s-land that embodies the tension between these two countries, still officially in a state of war. Outside of that…

A hanok interior courtyard in Buckchon Hanok Village

A Tale of Two Seoul Neighborhoods

When I checked into the Hotel Ibis Insadong in Seoul, South Korea, I was immediately fascinated by the view from my window. The hotel overlooks the Ikseon-dong Hanok Area, or perhaps I should say it looms over it. Ikseon-dong Hanok Area The neighborhood looks from above to be about a city block around, and is…

detail of the painting above the shrine in Daeseungwon Temple, Suwon, South Korea

Suwon’s Palace and Fortress

Suwon, South Korea, a city with more than a million inhabitants, is a separate city from Seoul, but it’s been swallowed up in the post-Korean War urban sprawl, so that it’s in the same metro system. Getting to Suwon from the center of Seoul involves a very long metro ride: more than an hour, and…

the cable car with Seoul Tower in the background

Seoul Tower Without a Date

Seoul Tower, perched on Namsan Mountain above Seoul, is visible everywhere, looking like some sort of 70’s version of the future. Built back in the 70’s for radio and television, it was and still is a communication tower. However, it’s also a destination for tourists and locals: a thing to do on a free weekend afternoon….

an x-ray of my neck

Physical Therapy, Korean-style!

On my recent trip to South Korea, my left arm began to hurt. I dismissed it as a muscle ache, probably from carrying my luggage up and down metro stairs. Little by little, though, it got worse. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t find a position in which my arm didn’t hurt. When my arm started…