The last couple of months were very busy, my husband and I moved from our home for the past year in Jamsil to an AirBnB and then to the in-laws. Living out of suitcases, working, catching-up with friends and saying ‘see you soon’ to friends old and new.
In February, we landed in Canada as new PR Residents after a very unexpected change and now we are finding our feet in Canada. We’ve explored the city as much as you can in a short space (say, 8 days!) and even managed to find our new home in downtown, get our paperwork sorted (SIN, cell phone, banking and await the PR card).
Now we’ve got only a few more days in AirBNB before the actual move and concluded that Canadians are insanely friendly, welcoming folks, very helpful and have a neat sense of humour.
Unlike Korea, we can find foods from Korea and the UK all at a good price whereas Korea, foreign food (say British in this case) often over priced and we are shocked by how cheap so many other things can get – if you compare to Korea.
Korea shares first place with China, as my personal favorite place.. can Canada grab that title. Let us see!
It certainly offers some incredible views!
How to end an awesome vacation?
I’ve always been a big fan of all things coming from Shinsegae and their latest product, Starfield is a magical treat. A short walk or a bus ride from Samseong on Line 3, a 20-30 minute ride from north Seoul.
I recommend you arrive early, 6-7am.. and spend a few hours in the mall’s spa and this post will give you a good reason, the spa offers many treats and my favorites were the pools.
The spa is located on the top floor, so once you feel all refreshed you can head downstairs for lunch and then some coffee!
The iconic entrance,
Location: 경기도 고양시 덕양구 고양대로 1955
London will always keep part of my heart, the city is so vibrant and alive.
I love these images and they remind me of a place that is always home, wherever in the world I may find myself!
The journey was amazing, the inspiration drawn from the experience immense.
Wat Pho, the Buddhist Temple complex is just south of the Grand Palace and is famous for the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It was rebuilt by King Rama 1, then expanded and renovated by Rama III.
It is home to the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand.
One of my favourite parks in Bangkok was Lumphini Park, it is a massive park that covers 142 acres, with so many parts to explore.
It is pretty, it is very relaxing and you just never know what animals you may bump into… some were a bit scary!
The park was created in the 1920s by King Rama VI on Royal property, during World War II it served as a base for the Japanese.
It is named after Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal.
Use of the swimming pool requires a medical certificate for foreigners (so you can always try the pool at the Crowne Plaza and get the above view!)
Bangkok is an amazing city, it has so many sides and experiences.
During my visit to Bangkok, I explored the Slum area and it was very surprising and interesting to see the contrasts.
Pudong is across from the Bund in Shanghai, home to the skyscrapers and most likely you will spend a lot of time either looking from the Bund side of the Huangpu River at the beautiful array of modern buildings and looking behind you at the historic range of buildings.
Pudong is home to the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, the Shanghai Stock exchange, the beautiful and iconic ‘Oriental Pearl Tower’, the awesome Jin Mao Tower (that offers a beautiful bar at the top, named Cloud 9 on the 87th), the Shanghai World Financial Tower and many more.
View from Cloud9
Pudong can easily be explored by foot and there is a high risk of a ton of shopping!
This unique street in Shanghai is a chest of history, it attracted the intellects of Shanghai back in the 1920s and 30s with numerous Chinese writers moving in, many key left-wing writers such as Ding Ling, Qu Qiubai, Guo Moruo, Mao Dun, Lu Xun and Ye Shengtao.
Today, the neighborhood attracts tourists and locals, shops and bars attracting people. The history hasn’t been concealed and you will be able to see the past, street signs and statues will point them out to you.
Take a look at this website for a guided tour of the area – before you go!
Some information on one of the major writers whose history is associated to the area:
Lu Xun (1881-1936)
Lu Xun was a man obsessed with curing his country. In his early years, he took the mission literally and decided to become a doctor. Believing traditional Chinese medicine to be a scam and a superstition that had hastened the death of his ill father, Lu Xun began the then rare process of obtaining a Western education, which put him in contact with Western science, literature and philosophy. This eventually lead him to study in Japan, where he would have finished his studies if it weren’t for an epiphany he experienced when looking at slides his teacher brought showing attrocities from the Russo-Japanese War. The pictures showed Japanese soldiers seconds away from shooting a supposed Chinese spy, but what horrified him was that the crowd of Chinese that surrounded the spectacle looked on with complete indifference, or even passive interest, in their own countryman’s death. Lu Xun would later write that this picture convinced him that Chinese society suffered most pressingly from a spiritual sickness that he would try his best to document and cure by returning to China to become a writer.
His first work of lasting fame was a short story “A Madman’s Diary,” published in 1918, some years after the establishment of the Republic of China. The story is an allegory of the viciousness of Chinese society, wherein a man slowly realizes the people in his village and even his family are cannibals. He followed this with perhaps his best known work The True Story of Ah Q, a novella that satirized the many faults Lu Xun saw in his country’s character. In 1927, he moved to Shanghai, where he would live for the rest of his life, and continued to write essays and short stories. He also founded, with encouragement from the Communist Party, the League of Left-Wing Writers, but he would later renounce his membership when he felt the group had become enthralled in leftist doctrine, which valued art only insofar as it promoted leftist politics (you won’t find this piece of information anywhere on Duolun Street, where the League was located). In truth, Lu Xun was disappointed with both sides of the Chinese political spectrum. He believed the Nationalist government to be a failure. He eventually grew to believe China’s problems were beyond the help of politics and probably had something more to do with ineradicable defects of human nature – like Dickens’ diagnosis of his own country.
Lu Xun died with a rather dim view of his own efforts to correct these defects, but Mao Zedong was one person who disagreed. He believed Lu Xun to be the greatest writer of modern China, and his writings have been a part of the curriculum for Chinese students ever since, under the perspective that Lu Xun’s works were a critique of feudal society before the communists changed everything “for the better.” He remains by far the most famous writer of modern China, and many of his most famous books are available in English translation.
For more information on Shanghai please visit
Shanghai Tourist Office
Itaewon has long been one of my favourite parts of Seoul, it is diverse, it is cultural and GAY. As time has passed, it remains firmly in my heart as a place that now feels like a place that I grew up in, I went to parties, I danced away weekends, I met up with friends and ate Indian. Sometimes, I’d wake up there most weekends..
Now, I have moved forward and the city is being viewed very differently. I am fond of Itaewon but fondness has expanded to not just a few more ‘hoods’ but to the many and my love of Seoul has grown even more, replacing many old memories with those of Seoul.
Seoul will for a long time be my number one, shared with Shanghai, Jerusalem, Birmingham and London.
But, I have a few black and white shots that I found on one of my old account of Itaewon so I will give you a glance!