Boryeong Beach ~ Swimming in October, Noraebang and Seafood

Scraping the last bits out of summer before the Korean fall arrives with chilly mornings and crunchy leaves underfoot, we dashed down to Boryeong. At Daechon beach, we find (as far as I know) one of the only beaches on the West Sea that isn’t just a large tide-pool. Continue reading “Boryeong Beach ~ Swimming in October, Noraebang and Seafood”

San Marino Sunset

A stonemason, running away from religious persecution, founded the smallest republic of the E.U. around 300 C.E. They were under constant threat from armies in the modern era, but with charming diplomacy, were granted the sovereignty of their small union of 24 sq. km. upon a mini-mountain overlooking the Adriatic Sea. I was driving down the winding roads from Ravenna and in the distance, many miles away, I could swear to see a castle on a hill, in the direction where San Marino should be. I was right, you can see this country from at least 100km away.



This was the castle I saw. I had to run up the steep stairs leading to the city entrance to make it for sunset.


I was proud of my quick hike and snapped a selfie.



The town was empty, until I got to the top. Tourists of all shapes, colors and camera lenses were lining up for the opportunity to get this background.


From the other side, you can see the winding streets and large houses of a very wealthy country.


If you look in the distance, that is the Adriatic. I remembered being on top of a mountain in Pyeoncheong, Korea (about 1,000m), brutally shivering in the Siberian winds, and seeing a similar sight of an ocean in the distance. It feels so magical to me to look out upon a land from great heights. Maybe that’s why people climb Mt. Everest. This is far from the highest peak in the world. It is only about 700m high, but rewardingly expansive.





These poor old-timey role players probably make the same smile all day. They were pleasant though. Cute country.


Koh Phi Phi

This is a magical island. It’s got the cute, friendly cats ready to love on your leg. It’s got plenty of shopping, eating and drinking available. It’s got Scuba and snorkeling in the crystal blue ocean you expect of paradise. The Banana Bar has a rooftop bar with several big screen projectors and a dynamite sound system. Watching Kill Bill with excellent sound made me appreciate Tarantino’s movie soundtrack all over again. Although it’s full of shirtless, tattooed post-grad or gap year douchebros drinking to excess and discussing debauchery in loud voices, you can easily ignore them to fully enjoy this fantasy island. Cosmic (near the party area) is a restaurant with homemade ravioli that made me smile. What a place!




Quiet, lapping waves on our semi-private beach with the little kitty who followed us home and slept every night in our room.



View from 3rd floor of Phi Phi Good View Hotel.



The fire dudes before the daily fire show. They showed us all their fire scars.




Sunset soccer at low tide.



The “main” street is full of snack stalls, bars, and traditional tattoo parlors like this one.

I’m Chillin’ ~ Street Scenes in Laos

Life moves slowly in this quiet area of Laos. These are some of the examples:


Men love to pull up their shirt to expose round, squishy, non-segmented bellies, especially during bocce ball time.

Continue reading “I’m Chillin’ ~ Street Scenes in Laos”