South Korea: Gwangbokjeol
Gwangbokjeol means 'Restoration of Light Day', it is the Independence day of South Korea, celebrated annually on the 15th of August. Gwangbokjeol commmorates the liberation of Korea from decades of Japanese occupation and the formation of the South Korean republic. Interesting fact: The actual day of independence was actually on the August 13th, 1948 but for political reasons, first President of the country I Seung-man, chose 15th August, instead of 13th as the official Independence Day of South Korea. This day is celebrated by a vibrant display of traditional Korean arts and performances such as the Korean drum performance (Buk) and traditional fan dance (Buchaechum). A feast would also follow after a day of celebration. Here are some photos I took from a celebration happening in Busan.
View from Mekong River
Settlements in the Mekong River, Phnom Penh
Decorations at a Temple in Cambodia
Cambodia, despite the recent history of political upheaval and mass massacre tragedy of many under the rule of Pol Pot, was a place flourished with arts. Most of the artworks were dedicated for religious practices. Buddhism was and is still a prominent religion in Cambodia and there are many undergoing restorations of temples throughout the country. Click here for photography of Angkor Wat.
Gherkins and Bicycle
This is a sculpture made of metal bicycles by Ai Weiwei, a famous and radical Chinese artist. The sculpture is located outside of the famous Gherkin building in London, United Kingdom. If you happened to pass by the Gherkin or near Aldgate area, it's definitely worth it to stop by and appreciate some art.
For more artworks of Ai Weiwei, please go on my link here:
Ai Weiwei's exhibition.
Nakamura Tokichi, Hong Kong
This is a sweet motchi covered with matcha powder and pair with two different flavour syrups. There is only a limited number of servings per day and if you would like to try this dish, I would recommend you going there earlier than the opening time. No kidding! My friend and I lined up before 10:40am (restaurant opens at 11am) and there were already 15 tables ahead of us. This is a popular place in Hong Kong but it was totally worth the wait.
My friend and I only tried 3 dishes between us (as we do not have unlimited space in our stomach (wish i do) and I cannot wait to go back for more food as well as eating the signature dish again! This is a restaurant/ Dessert place I highly recommend going.
Ruins of St. Paul's is a famous landmark in Macau. This site consist of the front entrance to what was a cathedral. The cathedral was burnt down in 1835 and the entrance of the church and some supporting foundation was what was remained. Behind this grand exterior host a small museum displaying some objects such as cups, chalices, monstrances etc. that was used to conduct Catholic mass services. The museum is opened for visitors from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. This site is also located in a popular tourist area with many souvenir gift shops (mostly food).
For more information click here
After eating lots of yummy food, my friend and I both felt like we need some ways to detox. Luckily, on our way to the ruins of St. Paul's we came across this kind man selling Chinese Herbal Tea. He was friendly and he asked us about our body condition before giving us the right type of tea to drink. He wasn't trying to sell he's product just for making profit but actually cared about us. This is what good customer service is about. :)
Although there is a part of Macau that is very glamorous, filled with hotels and casinos. Poverty still exists. I was shocked when I stumbled across a small area where there were houses built with big metal loading boxes that you would normally see in loading trucks. This reminded me of how lucky I am, and really made the message 'huge disparity between the rich and the poor' real for me.
Contrasting to the picture I shared above, I am so grateful for this opportunity. To be able to travel Macau and was sponsored for it. This was taken on the first night of my arrival, before I went exploring Macau. I was struck by the glamour and luxury of the casino and hotel district. I was unaware of the poverty outside of the walls beyond, but when I saw what I saw as the image above, I was reminded of just how lucky and blessed I am. It made me a bit angry about how poorly we distribute our resources and really motivated me to do good for our society and help those who are in need.
It was so nice to be ale to see my best friend and hang out with her after at least 4 years of not being able to see each other. We taught a dance workshop together, I definitely had fun meeting new people, dancing and celebrating life together. Thankful for God to provide such an amazing, supportive and encouraging friend and opportunity for me.
A Brazilian Wedding
I went to Brazil two summers ago (2013) to a small city called Chapecó, which belongs to the state of Santa Catarina for a six week internship teaching university students English at Unochapeco. I was staying with a Brazilian host family and I had the chance to accompany them to a Brazilian wedding. I was super excited to attend this wedding because I have never been to a wedding from other cultures apart from my own, which is modern Chinese weddings. The wedding was held at Florianopolis, the capital city of Santa Catarina, which is a state in southern Brazil. This wedding, I was told was not a traditional Brazilian wedding because it was held in a hotel next to the ocean instead of a church and had green carpet instead of red for the bride to walk down the aisle with. Nevertheless, I have experienced a wedding different from the western or chinese weddings that I am accustomed to. The wedding was held late in the afternoon instead of in the morning. Guests arrived at around five o'clock in the afternoon but the wedding ceremony did not officially start until six o'clock, early evening.
The groom and bride were a beautiful couple and I could tell how much they love each other by the way they looked at each other. The wedding ceremony lasted around an hour and after that guests were seated for dinner prepared by the hotel. The dinner was buffet style, which is quite different from what I was used to. There were many choices in the buffet and I enjoyed eating seafood that the city is famous for. After the appetizer and the main course, the cake was passed out by the waiters. The cake was in a beautiful aqua colour and on the top of the cake, the bride and the groom was seen kissing while standing on surfboards. The beachy and seashells themed cake reflects the couple's passion for surfing, a sport they enjoy doing together, which also ties in with their beach themed wedding.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
One of the major differences between the weddings that I am used to and a Brazilian wedding is the dancing after dinner. The Brazilians sure know how to party and enjoy each other's company. After dinner, the dance floor was 'opened', so to speak by the bride and the father of the bride. Their duet was followed by the famous duet dance of the groom and the bride. The groom and the bride's duet was one of my favourite part of the whole evening, it looked as though it was from a movie. After their duet, they were joined by their close friends to a humourous dance choreo that celebrates the groom and bride's relationship as well as their friendships with others. After this mini performance, the dance floor was officially open for all ages. Family and friends, youngs and olds danced the night away to celebrate the couple's special day. Overall, this Brazilian wedding was a very pleasant one and I had a blast.
Travel Packing List
Here is a list I have compiled for what I usually pack for my travels, hope it helps.
Click here for Travel 101
Up, Up and Away!
Up, Up and Away was an art installation by French artist Charles Pétillon for Convent Garden Market, London. This installation consisted 100,000 giant white balloons that filled the grand interior of this 19th Century Market Building. The size of this installation was around 54m in length and 12m in width. This installation was a month long. This installation was very impressive and imaginative.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
A year ago, I went to Jeju Island in Korea but on my way home I stopped by Busan for a day. During my stay there I went to a fish market called Jagalchi Market. There were many different seafoods sold there. I love going to markets when I am travelling because I get to learn more about the culture there eg. the locals eat and how they would prepare their food etc. In this market there were many types of sea creatures that I have not seen before, unfortunately I couldn't find out what they were because they were in Korean. Here are some photos I took from this fish market.
Hi Jetsetters, welcome to my blogisphere. I am Esther, your guide for today! I hope you will enjoy this tour of my visual travel diary.
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