Changdeok-gung

Changdeok-gung, Seoul : Due to it’s position relative to Gyeongbok-gung, this place is known as the eastern palace. Built originally around the early 1400’s and, like most palaces in Korea over the centuries, this one was attacked, raided, sacked, burned and frequently rebuilt. (Even the Americans and the French took a turn at attacking this…

Petra

Petra, Jordan : Built during the 8th century BC and occupied by different peoples until the trade routes changed around the 7th century AD, the location is now a world heritage site. Forgotten by the peoples of the western hemisphere, it only came to their renewed attention in the 19th century. You could spend days…

Hanbok in the palace

A Séoul, il y a plusieurs palais royaux d’un intérêt visuel certain. Ces palais sont encore plus sympas du fait que beaucoup de coréennes et coréens se promènent dans le palais en costume traditionnel (le hanbok). Il n’est pas nécessaire de posséder son costume car de multiples boutiques à proximité louent ces vêtements. Et habillé…

Gyeongbok-gung

Originally built in 1394, destroyed around 1595 during the war with Japan, abandoned until the 1850’s, rebuilt and then again partially destroyed during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 20th century, the Gyeongbok palace has seen a lot of action. Since the 1990s, a major renovation and rebuilding exercise has returned about 40% this…

Road to Baegundae

Bukhansan, on the northern edge of Seoul, is a Korean national park. The terrain is mountainous – even if the mountains are not too tall (max about 800 m). The park is full of things to discover and is a favourite nature getaway for Seoulites. The hiking trails are numerous and well marked and the…

On Baegundae

About 300 m before reaching the top of Baegundae (in Bukhansan national Park, Seoul, South Korea), there is a fortress gate, various signposts and an arrow pointing to the top. I recorded the altitudes for this segment with a GPS device. Over 300 m, the vertical climb is about 230 m. However you calculate slopes,…

Winter patterns

It is surprising what you can see from the window of a commercial aircraft. Here : patterns in the snow : Afghanistan. La vue du hublot d’un avion de ligne surprend parfois : Ici : images de l’hiver : Afghanistan

*Daibutsu

The statue of the Buddha in different guises is a key feature of the Buddhist temple. Sometimes the statues are very big. Here are some examples : Tian Tian Buddha : the biggest statue of Buddha in the world and not very old (built in the late twentieth century). The bronze statue is 34 m…

Masada

In southern Israel on an isolated plateau with steep cliffs on most sides, stands the ancient fortress of Masada. Rediscovered in the 19th century and only excavated during the mid-twentieth century, the site is relatively well preserved. The Roman attack route (an artificial ramp built to overcome the site’s natural defenses) is still visible and…

Nagasaki temple row

Away from the port, backing up steep slopes, lies the Nagasaki temple row. Here is the oldest Obaku Zen temple in Japan, founded in 1635 for the Chinese resident community. Modern buildings share space with old structures, some original, many rebuilt in the 19th or 20th century. Because of their location and the position of…

The smile

Kyoto’s best dressed geishas will gladly pose for you, if you ask nicely, in Japanese. Le sourire des geishas à Kyoto. Pour la photo, il suffit de demander, en japonais.

Genbaku dome

The “A-bomb dome” : One of the few buildings left standing in the area where “little boy” exploded on August 6 1945 in central Hiroshima. The dome was designed by a Czech architect in 1915 and had been used as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Le dôme de Genbaku : Un des rares bâtiments…

470 km of canals

The Edo era town of Yanagawa in Fukuoka prefecture, Kyushu, is famous for its canals, its canal boats and the sagemon (hanging dolls) tour. Visit the town on the flat bottom boats called donkobune and keep your head down to get under the low bridges. If you are lucky the boatman will sing Japanese folksongs…

Streets and museums of Hanoi

Hanoi 2014 : old town : polluted and noisy, congested with scooters and motorbikes, but interesting street scenes, and beautiful museums. A busy, complex, interesting and irritating city. Hanoi en 2014. La vielle ville est polluée et bruyante, les rues et trottoirs sont saturées de motos, et le velo à presque disparu. C’est pour les…

Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road East, Shanghai : Look out Fifth Avenue, Oxford Street, the Ginza, les Champs Elysées, this is serious competition. This must be the street with the highest concentration of luxury brands and products in the world. Rolex, Bugatti, Vuitton… You name it, it’s here. Lots of people looking, but not many (visible) buyers…. Nanjing…

Heart of Shanghai

The Bund, the Oriental Pearl Telecommunications tower, the big boats on the Huangpu. This is the heart of Shanghai. Le Bund, la tour de télécommunications et la rivière Huangpu … le coeur de Shanghai.

Tocho-ji

Tocho-ji : a Shingon buddhist temple in the Gion district of Fukuoka. The pagoda, stunning due to it’s orange colour is only one of several building in this temple. This temple also houses the Fukuoka Daibutsu, one of the biggest statues of a seated Buddha in Japan. Tocho-ji : un temple bouddhiste Shingon dans le…

Hiking

The hike to the top of Eboshi-dake, taking around 90 minutes from the visitor center, is not very difficult. The trail, for which the steepest parts are equipped with wooden step guards, follows 2 ridge lines to the top after crossing the grass covered crater floor of Kusasenri-ga-hama. La balade vers le sommet d’Eboshi-dake, nécessitant…