Experience the sights, the sounds and, not least, the enticing smells of Asia. Here are a few Asia travel stories for you to enjoy.

Latest Asia travel stories

7 delightful dong in Seoul – and 3 bonuses

Seoul neighbourhoods, known as dong, are diverse and exciting. Seoul, exciting as it is, can be an overwhelming acquaintance at first, though. It takes some time to get one’s bearings in a city of 10 million people, especially if you, as I, come from a place with about half of that in the entire country. But having spent a fun, [...]

By |14 January 2023|Magic of Cities, South Korea|

The Joseon Spirits of Seoul

Today, we'll have a quick look at Korea's last kingdom, the Joseon Dynasty. This royal family governed the Korean peninsula from 1392 until 1910. Furthermore, they are responsible for no less than 3 world heritage sites in the centre of Seoul: the Changdeokgung Palace Complex, the Jongmyo Shrine, and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty Palace - shrine - [...]

By |27 December 2022|South Korea, UNESCO World Heritage|

Visiting the DMZ in Korea

I'm in Seoul with Cat for a little pre-Christmas break, and today we have had a look at one of the most militarised corners of the world: the DMZ – the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea. It is 4 km wide, this buffer, 2 km in each country. You cannot cross the border… except you can, sort of [...]

11 things you’ll love in Bishkek

Most people come to Kyrgyzstan for the majestic mountains and superb scenery. To hike and ride horses and sleep in yurts by high altitude lakes. To begin - or end - that mother of all road trips, along the Pamir Highway. But at some point in your journey, you will find yourself with a day or two in the capital [...]

By |11 December 2022|11 things, Art and architecture, Kyrgyzstan|

Cháng Chéng, the Great Wall of China

If you have a travel wish list, I'm going to wager this marvel of ancient engineering is on it. In 2002, Ali and I spent a few days in Beijing, while waiting for the go-ahead to travel to Fuzhou to meet our new daughter and sister. It was practically a group tour... actually, it was a group tour: six families [...]

By |21 November 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Tiananmen, the Forbidden City

The mysteriously named Forbidden City is a massive palace complex – and I do mean massive – in the centre of Beijing. But the first impression - from this end, at least - doesn’t give away anything about the sheer size of it. A corner tower in the Forbidden City, reflected in the moat  The Forbidden City Forbidden City! Sounds [...]

By |15 November 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Seductive Samarkand

Continuing our journey through Uzbekistan, we've left Bukhara behind, and caught the Spanish-made Afrosiyab fast train to Samarkand. Andrew has cleverly discovered biznes class tickets are a mere 2 - 3 extra €/£/$. We decide to splurge. Bye bye, Bukhara For most of the 2hr-journey, we hang out in the bar wagon. Time whizzes by. Have [...]

By |31 October 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Beguiling Bukhara

Countries that no longer exist - are you as intrigued by that as I am? The melancholic atmosphere of a land forever gone; somewhere ephemeral, glimpsed through a translucent curtain that is the past, just out of our grasp. DDR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union; they have all existed during my lifetime. I think we can agree that some countries [...]

By |18 May 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Melaka and memories of travelling with children

Can't travel. Still. (Where is that damn vaccine?) So again, I've been digging through travel memories old and older, that I've yet to write about here on Sophie's World. Fortunately, there's a lot of those. When Ali was 4, she and I took our first proper trip. (Proper, as in flights booked - winging everything else.) We spent three weeks [...]

Shichahai and the Grand Canal

Beijing can be almost unbearably hot in summer, so getting out of town can be a relief. May I recommend taking the metro out to the scenic Shichahai district in the northern part of the city? From the centre of Beijing, several busses and a few metro lines take you to Shichahai. I took metro no 8 directly. Very easy. [...]

By |26 February 2021|China, UNESCO World Heritage|

Khiva: where water is sweet?

Mohammed Rakhim Khan Madrassah In the last post, I told you about our journey to see the environmental tragedy that is the disappearing Aral Sea. Time to move on. We leave Muynak and the autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and head south into the Khorezm region and its capital, Khiva. Driving along the Turkmen border much of the way. Like Karakalpakstan, [...]

By |20 January 2021|UNESCO World Heritage, Uzbekistan|

Muynak and the dying sea

What does dark tourism mean to you? Do you think of Auschwitz? The fields of Flanders or Cambodia's killing fields? Chernobyl? Robben Island? Pompeii? The Berlin Wall? Places where barbaric acts of terrorism have taken place? A walk in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper or a visit to the sordid sides of Edinburgh of the past? Some might even [...]

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