Saturday, January 31, 2015

Historic Kyoto Day 1

My brother and I spent 3 1/2 days in Kyoto and were quite exhausted by the end of it. We saw a lot of amazing temples and shrines and ate the most amazing ramen on the planet but as you can imagine all this involved a lot of walking. A little side note, if you plan on hitting Tokyo and Kyoto on your future trip to Japan, do Tokyo first. We were so exhausted and templed out by the time we got to Tokyo that we didn't see as many sights as we could have had we done it first. But I digress, on to the pictures and travel tips.

Day 1:
Quite by surprise, we had run into a fellow Busan EPIK teacher at our hostel the first night we were there. Friday was her last full day and she hadn't done Fushimi Inari yet so she tagged along with us in the morning. As you know from my last post, this was one of my favorite sites. Perhaps because it had just rained, or that we had most of the hike to ourselves, the whole place had an almost mystical quality about it. I took a billion pictures here. There were so many little shrines scattered along the path and of course more than 1,000 gates to take pictures of.

Strings of brightly colored paper cranes hung along a wall before a small temple

Friday, January 30, 2015

Highlights of Japan

I would like to sit down and break down my views on the two cities my brother and I visited while in Japan but for now I will just give a brief overview.

We flew to Osaka from Busan and got there early enough to go check-out the castle. It was kind of rainy so we quickly took some pictures around the grounds and got on a train to Kyoto where our hostel was. While in Kyoto we saw many shrines and temples as you can imagine but my top 3 were the Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) and the Silver Pavilion (Ginkaku-ji).

 Fushimi Inari Taisha

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Malaysia and Durian

Snow days make me so productive guys! Two snow days in a row and I've gotten two blog posts done! I feel so accomplished.

Now that I got the patting myself on the back done with, here is a post on my trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and my adventure in eating durian.

The KL towers all lit up at night.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Photo Sunday: Kawah Putih

My pictures from the sulfur lake at Kawah Putih are some of my favorite from my whole trip. I love the eeriness of the fog and the colorful lake. So today I am sharing my favorite picture from the sulfur lake.

I love this picture because it looks like it could be the cover for some book or movie. Perhaps a scifi or fantasy, or even horror or mystery. The lone tree in the lake with the fog obscuring the view, and the greenish blue colors just has such a presence to it.

I love pictures with a mystique to them.

If you're ever near Kawah Putih, Indonesia, I suggest checking it out.
Maybe you could take some awesome cosplay pictures there, it would be perfect for that.

Have you ever been to a sulfur lake? Have you been to Kawah Putih? Ever cosplayed?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My First Time Not Enjoying a New Country: Indonesia

Before this last trip I'd at least liked, if not loved, every new country I'd visited.
Then I went to Indonesia. I hate to say it, but I hated Indonesia. Well, at least I hated Jakarta. Bandung was okay, and Kawah Putih was stunning, but the sulfur lake was the only thing I liked about the country.

I hate having to say I hated somewhere. But goodness, I hated Indonesia.

I found it hard to like a place that was all either fancy malls, or areas like this with trash everywhere.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Photo Sunday: Clarke Quay

Happy Sunday! Look! I'm actually posting on time.

Clarke Quay is an area in Singapore mainly known for the nightlife. We went during the day, and I'm glad. That way I got to see all the pretty colorful houses along the water.

I love me some colorful buildings.

Have you been to Clarke Quay? Do you love colorful buildings? Are you big into nightlife? I'm not. Way too many people.

Singapore: The Best Vacation Ever

Hello all! Sorry it has taken me so long to post. I've been having a hard time re-adapting to this time zone and starting at my new job. Sorry.

So, here FINALLY is my post on Singapore!

First of all, Singapore is the cleanest city I've ever been to. Hands down. I have no idea how they keep it that clean, it is amazing. There's no trash anywhere. (Which may be due to the $1,000 littering fine) Everywhere feels so clean and safe. Normally when I go to a new country I'm a bit nervous about safety, but I really wasn't in Singapore.

This is one of the first pictures I took in Singapore. It is their 50th birthday this year.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whoopsies, a really late Tteokbokki Tuesday

My apologies friends. The holidays have been a hectic time and I become a bit of a hermit during the winter, so I'm sorry I haven't been very good about keeping up with this. I am still not convinced that I have evolved beyond hibernation, but that's another story. Anyways  I wanted to share some pictures from my last Busan adventure before I head off to Japan for my vacation. I promise to write a nice long post upon my return.

So without further adieu, here are some pictures from my Seokbulsa temple adventure.

Seokbulsa is one of Busan's smaller temples. Starting from Geumgan park we opted to climb our way up rather than take the cable car, and what a climb it was! From the top we continued laterally along the mountain until we reached a small village (follow signs for south gate 남 몬 and naman village) , a collection of restaurants really, for lunch. Beware these mountain top restaurants are pricey! After lunch we left the village and went down into the valley, following the river before heading back up to the temple. (Head to the foot volleyball courts and turn left, continue along the river till you reach a paved road, turn right and continue past the work out park). All in all in took us about 3 1/2 hours to reach the temple. The temple itself is quaint. Walking around the entirety of it, including time for pictures took between 15 - 20 minutes. The images hewn into the rock face were spectacular to behold but felt disproportionately spectacular to the amount of hiking and huffing I had to do to get there. I would suggest the cable car unless you are in the mood for a day long venture. 


Photo Sunday: Sunsets and Sorries

I am so sorry I haven't posted anything about my trip yet. I only got back to NYC on Saturday and got home Sunday night. I've been super jetlagged since then, and got a bit sick again.

I got super sick on my trip, more about that later.

I also just started at a new school today, so I'm more than a bit stressed out. This week or weekend I will write my first long post though. I'm going to do at least three posts on the trip, maybe more. So just wait, posts are coming!

For now, here is a really late Photo Sunday. I am sorry.

This photo is the sunset on my last day in Singapore. YC and I ran all around the Marina Bay Sands trying to find a view of the sunset. The one restaurant on the top blocks the view from the roof. We ended up taking this from a window in the hallway of tower one.

The clouds made the sunset a little less spectacular than I'd hoped, but it was still pretty. I really miss Singapore already.

Mostly I miss being warm, gosh darn winter.

Have any of you been to Singapore? Did you love it as much as I did? Anyone else adore kaya butter toast? My favorite.