Onwards from Kandy

Kandy

I awoke on a mist covered-mountain overlooking Kandy Lake. Sun rays broke through the mist and illuminated the mountain. Someone played “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In” on the trumpet, as girls hurried along in their white school uniforms. They held each other’s hands, their…

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Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

With a melodic name like Nuwara Eliya, which means ‘City of Light’, this small town is obliged to be charming, by default. The cool atmospheric conditions allow for the cultivation of tea. ‘Tea country’ is located in the hilltops (1,868 metres above sea level) and…

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Kandy with a ‘K’

Kandy

A Buddhist and Hindu temple stand next to one another near the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Kandy, in central Sri Lanka. I witnessed a ceremony in the packed Hindu temple. Worshippers were sitting cross-legged with their knees touching, as praise songs wafted outside. It…

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Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple

Buddha’s Tooth Relic

Ticking clocks, beads of sweat, tapping feet, heavy heat. I lived in South Korea for close to two years and while the subway get packed, Buddha’s Tooth Relic Temple in Kandy experiences similar traffic during Esala Perahera. Hundreds of thousands of buddhists make the pilgrimage to…

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Dambulla Caves

Dambulla

The Dambulla Cave Temples are best explored during Poya – the full moon festival celebrated each month by Buddhists throughout Sri Lanka. The majority of Sri Lankans are Buddhist and follow a lunar calendar. The day of the full moon is a national, public holiday and…

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Mihintale: Cradle of Buddhism

Mihintale

The birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka can be traced back to Mihintale and Buddhist monk Mahinda. Mihintale means ‘Mahinda’s Hill’ in Sinhalese and is often overshadowed by its larger counterpart Anuradhapura, which is a twenty-minute drive away. Due to the kindness of the head…

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Water: the world’s primary currency

Water

Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that I am a greenie, a hippie, completely nuts when it comes to environmental issues. Which invention has saved the most lives? No, it’s not a vaccine, as you’d expect, it’s the toilet. 884 million…

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The ancient city of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura

It might take some time and practice for the name to roll off your tongue smoothly. Anuradhapura is an ancient city, which was the capital of Sri Lanka for a thousand years. The Buddhist dagobas, high-rise temples, ponds and ancient palaces are vestiges of the cultural,…

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Sigiriya: Lion’s Rock

Sigiriya

The clock tower in Dambulla graciously welcomed me upon my arrival. Dambulla was to be my base over the next few days. In Sri Lanka main streets carve their way through the middle of town. They are named after the biggest city they lead to,…

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Gangnam’s Luxury Street

Gangnam

Maintaining the lifestyle of the rich and famous may be expensive, but give it a try, even if only for a day. Clicking high heels create a rhythmic soundtrack, which embodies the glamour of Cheongdam-dong Luxury Street. This high-end street aptly captures the true essence…

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Tea: Korean Infusion

Korean tea

Tea was introduced to South Korea from China, around the 7th century — during the late Silla dynasty. Perhaps because it was served on a daily basis it was taken for granted. However, recently there’s been a resurgence of interest in the intricate tea ceremony…

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Santana: Put Your Records On

Santana

It’s not difficult to lose yourself among the titles of the vinyl records and CDs that Mr. Lee has been collecting for decades. I gaze through his extensive collection of music to see what we have in common. I notice a few classics that my…

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Hanji and Insadong’s Stationery Stores

stationery

I gently run my fingertips over the layers of folded hanji and hope the owner will forgive these small delights of mine. When I was younger I desperately wanted to own a stationery store, I think most girls did. South Korea has re-ignited that deep-seated childhood…

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World’s Tallest Art Gallery

63 Building

The 63 Building – which is part of 63 City or 63 Square – is possibly one of South Korea’s most recognisable skyscrapers. You can see its golden glisten as you cross the Han River on the subway. It was the tallest building outside of the…

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Seodaemun Prison

Soedaemun Prison

The sea between South Korea and Japan is called the Sea of Japan, as advised by the United States of America at the International Hydrographic Organisation. South Koreans continue to refer to it as the East Sea because the name change occurred while South Korea…

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Garak Fish Market

Garak Fish Market

I’m the kind of person who could survive purely on chocolate, sunshine, smiles and salmon sashimi – not necessarily in that particular order, but you understand. My friends and I arrived at Garak Fish Market, South East of Seoul Station, in the late afternoon. After…

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Kukkiwon: World Taekwondo HQ

Kukkiwon

I’d really like to think that I have something to do with the fact that some of my friends back home have seriously taken up Taekwondo since I have been in South Korea. But, truth be told, it’s probably due to the rising popularity of…

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Gangnam Cityscape

Gangnam

Marco Polo restaurant is serenely perched above the skyline, on the 52nd floor of the World Trade Centre in Gangnam, Seoul. The glass elevator ride to the top is reminiscent of an amusement park ride as the world shrinks beneath my feet. The glass walls provide…

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