Seoul, Korea is known for many offbeat, quirky attractions in the expat community, but few places are quite as famous as the Cat Cafe. Located all over the city, with new similar businesses popping up all over the country (and internationally, I recently heard that there is at least one here in Bangkok), it exists as a place where urban dwellers that can’t afford or have a cat due to landlord restrictions can go for some feline de-stressing.
Or for cat obsessed people like myself, it’s a convenient place to surround oneself with the most awesome creature to ever walk the Earth … teh kittehs! (clearly, I’m a bit obsessed, but I don’t care 😛 )
After several months of working hard at my day job after having moved back to Calgary, I was overdue for a trip to the mountains to rest and relax. Before my last trip overseas, I had ditched my terminally ill Cavalier (RIP Blue Rocket 1999-2012), so I was without wheels. What to do? Rent one, of course!
Except for one little problem … reserving a car online doesn’t guarantee you the car you select, it’s only a preferred vehicle. In other words, they give renters ahead of you whatever they request, and only hold what’s left over for you.
A deserted waterfall at the end of a hike up a small mountain 40km south of Sukhothai, Thailand … a worthwhile payoff to a morning of hard effort
After receiving a tip from some local Thais at the resort where we were staying in Sukhothai, my travel mates and I rented bikes and set off south of the city, in search of a remote waterfall in a small national park, virtually unvisited by fellow foreigners. Not thinking it to be much more than a walk in the woods, I threw a bottle of water in my day pack, slipped on my well-worn sandals, and set off on the road with my trusty Honda Click.
Steam escaping from pressure cookers make this mandu shop in Hongdae easy to find
Prior to arriving in Korea, I had heard many great things about the food, so I was eagerly awaiting my arrival in Seoul to wander through an infinite selection of Korea’s culinary offerings. A particular restaurant in Hongdae had my rapt attention, after being featured in a video on the K-Pop and culture blog, Eat Your Kimchi.
Rafters float down the Elbow River in Calgary, with nary a care in the world…
In Calgary, summer is a short season. In a part of the world where snow has fallen on the city in August, a warm day is not wasted, nor taken for granted. With its close proximity to the Canadian Rockies, interest in outdoor recreation is much higher than many other urban centres in Canada. As such, one of the favorite activities of locals over the years has been to take a raft, blow it up, and set sail one one of two rivers that flow through the metropolitan area (The Bow and Elbow Rivers) and float along for several hours with friends and family, eventually arriving in the downtown area, where drinks and food are had before packing up and heading home.
The main ruins complex at Sukhothai, Thailand, as seen at High Noon…
Passed over by many travellers and tourists that have already seen the ancient Thai ruins at the more conveniently situated site in Ayutthaya, the remains of the medieval period capital of Siam in Sukhothai can come as a complete surprise to people with no idea what to expect.
Just a short post today, as I’m writing this from a remote tropical island with creaky internet. When you’re in a foreign country (especially when you are living there full-time), you are constantly surrounded with new things to try and sample.
Sometimes, though, you crave a taste of things you know and love from back home. In Korea, not being a major tourist destination on the level of SE Asia, and only opening up majorly to international influences about a decade ago, it can be hard to find things that you take for granted in the West.
Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park – a place of celebration of Canada’s first Winter Olympics. 2013 marked the 25th anniversary of the 1988 Games.
25 years ago, Calgary hosted the first Winter Olympic Games in Canadian history. It seems so long ago, when as a seven-year-old, I watched the world’s best athletes compete against each other in a sporting and competitive manner … in my pajamas, seated on the floor of my living room. It was to ignite a nascent interest in sport for me, which was vital to an adulthood filled with physical activity, seeing how I was raised in a household where athletic activity wasn’t emphasized.
A new simian friend hangs out with me on the bars of the Monkey Temple, in the centre of the Old City in Lopburi, Thailand
It’s easy to breeze past all of North Central Thailand if you don’t have an interest in ruins/temples. Between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are a few cities that have ruins that will interest the archaeology buffs among us, but for those looking for highlights in other areas, inquiries into the area comes up pretty thin.
Truly, a sight for sore, hungover eyes: a pot of bubbling Kinchi Jjigae, with accompanying side dishes (banchan) about to will me out of my moribund state.
Drinking features heavily in Korean culture. There’s no escaping it, anywhere you go. Hofs/Pochas (Korean pubs) are on every corner. Bottles of expensive spirits are on the convenience store shelves next to the potato chips. On the way to school, one has to be careful, lest you step in Kimchi blossoms (that is, red hued vomit, made so by the famous Korean side dish).