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Instant musique à Séoul

Musical interlude in Seoul...


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A few months ago, a friend of mine made me discover a amazing musician called Yiruma, a famous Korean pianist. His music is, how I would say? inspiring, and the perfect companion to my long bus journeys through South America and beyond.

And by pure coincidence, when walking in a subway station with the same friend, we spotted a few people setting up a piano and a banner announcing a musician playing a few minutes later. Turned out it was Yiruma! Hope you will enjoy it too! (I will try to get the end of the video translated soon).

Posted by manolo84 09:52 Archived in South Korea Tagged music english Comments (0)

Detour via South Korea

in a Gangnam Style...


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Not originally in my list of places to visit, but after hearing a lot of positive things about South Korea, I decided to make a short detour to Seoul in order to join a few friends I had met along the way and discover the Korean culture. And indeed it was quite a nice surprise, at the exception of the weather with temperatures oscillating between a chilly 5 degrees Celsius during the day and a freezing -5 degrees at night... But with some good gloves and scarf, nothing is impossible.... :)

Although I did not spend too much time there (about two weeks more or less), I absolutely loved the Korean food, was pleasantly surprised about the kindness of Korean people (although their average English level is really not that good, even worse than France if I may say so...) and was really astonished by their culture in general. It would be too long to detail all the little things which made me like this country but I would definitely recommend a visit (maybe more during spring or autumn though, when the temperatures are more mild). I had very little time to visit the countryside but I heard there is lots of hiking to be done in the high season so I will definitely come back one day to explore the back-country.

Therefore here are a few pictures taken during these two weeks, between Seoul, the capital, and Jeonju, a smaller town in the South.

The Gyeongbok Palace, the former king's residency

The Gyeongbok Palace, the former king's residency


Another house from the Gyeongbok Palace's complex

Another house from the Gyeongbok Palace's complex


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The National Folk Museum, near the Gyeongbok Palace

The National Folk Museum, near the Gyeongbok Palace


Little detour via the fish market, near Noryangjin

Little detour via the fish market, near Noryangjin


Inside the Hanok (traditional) village in Jeonju

Inside the Hanok (traditional) village in Jeonju


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The traditional dish of Jeonju: Bibimbap. Rice, meat, vegetables, all mixed in a big bowl... Really good!

The traditional dish of Jeonju: Bibimbap. Rice, meat, vegetables, all mixed in a big bowl... Really good!


Having someone who can translate Korean definitely helps! <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' />

Having someone who can translate Korean definitely helps! ;)


Totems protecting the village (in ancient times)

Totems protecting the village (in ancient times)


In the Korean Folk Village, just outside Seoul

In the Korean Folk Village, just outside Seoul


My friend Bo-ok trying to fit into a Korean gama (litter vehicle)... <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

My friend Bo-ok trying to fit into a Korean gama (litter vehicle)... :)


Horse show

Horse show


Seoul too has its tower with the Namsan Tower, overlooking the city

Seoul too has its tower with the Namsan Tower, overlooking the city


View from Namsan Tower

View from Namsan Tower


The toilets inside Namsan Tower, not bad... <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' />

The toilets inside Namsan Tower, not bad... ;)


That's what I call some a nice restaurant BBQ!

That's what I call some a nice restaurant BBQ!


The side dish...

The side dish...


Seoul by night

Seoul by night


Obviously I couldn't come to Seoul without having a glance at that famous area from the Song! <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

Obviously I couldn't come to Seoul without having a glance at that famous area from the Song! :)


Seoul by night, near the canal

Seoul by night, near the canal


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Seoul by night

Seoul by night


A few month ago, my Korean friend had made me discover an amazing Korean pianist, quite famous here and maybe in the world, Yiruma. And by pure coincidence, I could assist to one of his "concerts" live in the subway, which was part of a promotional event organised by Sony Music. Definitely unexpected!

A few month ago, my Korean friend had made me discover an amazing Korean pianist, quite famous here and maybe in the world, Yiruma. And by pure coincidence, I could assist to one of his "concerts" live in the subway, which was part of a promotional event organised by Sony Music. Definitely unexpected!

Posted by manolo84 17:26 Archived in South Korea Tagged villages food cities palaces music english Comments (0)

Adios Mexico, Hello Belize!


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Here we are, it has been so far more than a month and a half since I have set foot on the Mexican soil. I was originally only planning to spend a few weeks in this amazing country but there were so many things to visit and experience, met so many people along the way that it would have been really hard to go faster. But time is also running fast and if I want to stick to my original plan (September in South America, December in New-Zealand), I now have to go faster and will also probably end up skipping or just crossing some countries like Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. And to be honest, going to one place after an other is quite exhausting, I always prefer staying a few more days in a place if I like it, rather than trying to travel with a checklist and just crossing off names for the sake of it. I am pretty sure already that I will come back one day in this area, so it is probably best to leave some "mysteries" for later.

But still, I had an amazing time in Mexico and was really far to expect that much when I first arrived. I definitely recommend this country to whoever wants to visit it but weren't too sure about safety or language issues. There are true wonders in Mexico and I just only scrapped the surface. Local people are extremely nice and love to talk with foreigners if you have the advantage of speaking a bit of spanish.

That is what I was thinking in the bus which took me from Tulum to Chetumal, the last town before the Mexican border on the east coast. My plan was then to take directly a boat to Caye Caulker in Belize, where new snorkelling adventures were awaiting along the reef. Coming from Mexico, you have to pay the exit fee (about 300 pesos - 18 euros) and also the boat which is not that cheap, but saves you the cost and time to go to Belize City first and then take a boat for one of the islands (islands which are called Cayes - pronounced "keys").

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And although the Mexican authorities will check your bag before you leave the country to make sure you are not taking any drugs with you, the Belize immigration in San Pedro is the best (understand: relax and cool) I have seen so far. They are located on a beach so you just have to go through a little deck to get your passport stamped and at the other end of this deck, there was a little bar with live music... I invite you to check the video below to get an idea.... :)

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The immigration checkpoint in San Pedro

Posted by manolo84 23:01 Archived in Belize Tagged music immigration Comments (0)

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