Kyoto Gallery by Tyler Wood

A quiet city so trendy it's completely retro; from the sea-foam taxi's to the small-town America style diner's and all the bicycles, it felt like a time-warp. Then you turn a corner and enter Imperial Japan and cross paths with a geisha or two walking the narrow cobble-stone streets lined with secretive tearooms and expensive Japanese steakhouses. In a city with double the population of Seattle it seems much less crowded and hectic. It felt eerily like home but in another time and place. I can't wait to get back to experience more of what Japan has to offer!

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National Museum of Korea (국림중앙박물관) by Tyler Wood

The National Museum of Korea is enormous. I have been there three times now, and I still haven’t seen everything. It reminds me of the British Museum in London, except I don’t feel like everything housed here should be in other countries. It is located just a minute walk from Ichon station a little out of downtown. It is really a nice location. You can see the N. Seoul Tower sitting atop Namsan just through the open space of the Museum and the whole area is very open compared to the rest of the city, so it is relaxing to be there.

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Jjimjilbang (찜질방) by Tyler Wood

The jjimjilbang is the Korean version of Turkish baths. I have never been to a Turkish bath, but I understood the idea. I was about to walk into a room full of naked Korean men and attempt to walk while staring at the ceiling. I was expecting to get into the place, get undressed and get in the showers and then put on the outfits they give us and go into the baths in the coed place. That is what I was expecting.

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Land of Amusement - Seoul Theme Park Review by Tyler Wood

Coming to Seoul as a visitor you may not consider going to an Amusement park because you think you will be busy seeing historic and cultural artifacts and architecture - and you may be right - but I am here indefinitely, and I love me some roller-coasters sucka! I am not interested in the outdated ideas of being "cultured". I am interested in the present culture of Korea, and they love their amusement parks. So do I, which makes this part of my acculturation very easy.

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Gyeongbokgung Palace Complex by Tyler Wood

The palace complex is pretty big once you enter. It’s not as big as the Forbidden City or anything, but you could easily spend a few hours here wandering. I decided to take the less crowded side to start and see what I could catch. I went to the right. The back corridors are pretty neat and you can get the feel of really being there at the height of the Josean era. Behind the main attraction (I’ll get to that later) was the concubines quarters. It is just a complex of small rooms and bridges. I was alone, except one girl on her cell phone, while I was back there so that was pretty neat. I wandered all behind the main areas and saw the Princes quarters and the newer buildings, but I had to stop when I got to the middle of the complex.

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63 building and Yeouido by Tyler Wood

The 63 Building is on an island that used to be unused land but recently was the center of some of the major revitalization Seoul has been doing. It was a planned city called Yeouido (can you fit anymore vowels in that word?) The area is new and expensive, but it’s also right on the Han River and freshly designed with the emerging trend in Seoul of planning a lot of public space and park land. When I exited the Yeouinaru subway station (in case you want to visit), I wasn’t sure what to expect. You come out on a street, like many streets in Seoul, until you turn towards the river.

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Sumatra and the Old Man of the Forest by Tyler Wood

Jungle Inn sits just across the river from the Gunung Leuser National Park that rehabilitates Orangutans and reintroduces them into the wild. The Orangs that live close to the river are what they call "semi-wild", meaning they were raised by humans, but live in the wild. They are the ones the park rangers feed once a day. They forage for the rest of their food. Further into the forest the wild Orangs live. There are also Gibbons, Macaques, Thomas Monkeys, Elephants, Jungle Turtles, and many other wild animals. They all live in different habitats, but they can all be seen if you stay there long enough, and hike far enough.

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Cambodia: Side in the Dirt by Tyler Wood

My friend and I walked down the street to get a room at a hotel we had seen earlier with UN and UNICEF trucks parked at it. They were all booked up, but after a little pleading and them looking at us, dirty, bloody, and clearly shaken up, he grabbed a key that wasn't on the board. 

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Canterbury Cathedral by Tyler Wood

“(So nature pricks them and their heart engages)

Then people long to go on pilgrimages

And palmers long to seek the stranger strands

Of far-off saints, hallowed in the sundry lands,

And specially, from every shire’s end

Of England, down to Canterbury they wend

To seek the holy blissful martyr, quick

To give his help to them when they were sick."

                                                             Chaucer

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