Korea, Seoul, and the compactness of being
Cheonggyecheon Stream, 11 km long park, Seoul

Korea, Seoul, and the compactness of being

In brief: As with their written language, Koreans pack a lot into a small space...but also understand the need for opening things up as well. Start with the written language: every word is made up…

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Joseon – Korea’s other dynasty
Royal Joseon throne, Gyeongbokgung Palace

Joseon – Korea’s other dynasty

In brief: For centuries, the Joseon dynasty ruled Korean. Its traces are many - in the palaces of Seoul, the ancestral home at Jeonju, and a quiet village at Yangdong.. On a chilly, drizzly day…

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Stoned in bronze: early Korean gravesites
Huge dolmen atop hill

Stoned in bronze: early Korean gravesites

In brief: Across several hillsides, we wandered back 3000 years to the dolmens of the bronze age. Traces of early Korean civilization go back tens of thousands of years. In museums, we could see more…

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A Window on the Silla
Seeing Gyeongju in Silla costume

A Window on the Silla

In brief: The Silla Kingdom of south-central Korea endured for nearly 900 years until 935. Today its legacy comes alive in its former capital, Gyeongju. It's thrilling to discover a history completely unknown to us.…

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Uncrossed borders – Korea’s DMZ
Reunion sculpture, infiltration tunnel 3

Uncrossed borders – Korea’s DMZ

In brief: For South (and likely North) Koreans, memories of war, of division are still strongly emotional and whose hopes for reunion, for peace still endure. We seized the opportunity to visit the DMZ (the…

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Cradle and graveyard: across the Orkhon valley
Ulaan Tsutgalan waterfall, Orkhon River

Cradle and graveyard: across the Orkhon valley

In brief: Over millennia, the valley has nurtured life, empires, art and religion - and seen its share of death and destruction as well. The Orkhon River Valley is the UNESCO-recognized cradle of Mongolian -…

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Restless: Mongolians and the Gobi landscape
Guest ger house

Restless: Mongolians and the Gobi landscape

In brief: Mongolia’s people, homes and even its landscape are naturally on the move. They say that the morin khuur, a traditional ladle-shaped Mongolian stringed instrument topped by a carved horse’s head, sounds like a…

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Something old, something new in Ulaan Baatar
Chojin Lama monastery and the new city

Something old, something new in Ulaan Baatar

In brief: In Mongolia’s capital city, known as UB, old values like the Buddhist faith have found new strength and the new is slowly transforming daily life. Ulaan Baatar – or UB, as the capital…

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Zanabazar – Mongolia’s monastic hero
Zanabazar goddesses, Bogd Khan summer palace

Zanabazar – Mongolia’s monastic hero

In brief: The 17th c. monk Zanabazar has become a fitting hero for the newly independent Mongolian people, one whose legacy has been spiritual, practical and artistic. Born in 1635 in Tibet, Undur Gegeen Zanabazar…

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Iron, water, blood in Yekaterinburg
Ironworks at Museum of Architecture & Design

Iron, water, blood in Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg began in 1723 with a dam made of Ural larch, one never replaced till this day. It was a planned city, named in honor of Queen Catherine I, and organized as a factory town…

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