Saturday, March 6, 2010

Foreign (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Fact, not boast: The majority of the time that I've been on earth, and definitely most of my adult years, have been spent living outside of my home country. And/but because I've spent a minimum of a couple of years in those foreign lands, they actually start feeling like home -- or, at least, not so foreign -- after a time.

As an example, it's been a while since I've truly experienced "the shock of the new" in Hong Kong -- a place I had visited several times, then moved here to work and live in back in May 2007. So, for this Photo Hunt, I've turned to South Korea -- where I visited last fall and took hundreds of photographs of such as the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hwaseong Fortress and the environmental regeneration miracle that is the Cheong Gye Cheon stream.

How foreign is the Land of the Morning Calm to me? Suffice to say that this recent visit was only my second ever to that country -- and the only one thus far in the 21st century. Also, that I don't know more than five words of Korean -- and so far know its culture mostly only by way of its movies and food.

Even so, when visiting a place like the 18th century Hwaseong Haenggung built in the reign of the visionary -- and famously filial -- King Jeongjo, there was no way that I could not appreciate the palace's spartan (by royal standards!) beauty and feel privileged to have been able to get time to wander around its grounds -- and, in the process, get some sense of what life was like and meant for those who spent time within it in centuries gone by.


Anonymous said...

great foreign post. i wish to someday step on the foreign soil of hongkong :D

Bonggamom said...

I've been to South Korea once, and I remember going to a place like this. It was amazing!

magiceye said...

beautiful peeks into a foreign land!

Carver said...

Great post and wonderful photographs. Your posts are always so interesting to read for me. Happy weekend.

Randi said...

I love reading your posts. I learn so much about HK and I love your beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!
Happy weekend.

gengen said...

That looks pretty pictures for today's theme...Happy hunting...

Maya said...

I find the composition in your first photo interesting. It kind of makes me cross-eyed to look at it, but I love the colors.

YTSL said...

Hi ewok1993 --

I hope you'll realize your Hong Kong wish some day. :)

Hi Bonggamom --

There do seem to be quite a few palaces about in Korea. This one is in Suwon -- a city near Seoul which I highly recommend as a place to visit. :)

Hi magiceye --

Thanks for the nice compliment! :)

Hi Carver --

Thanks for visiting again and again, and reading as well as looking when you visit. :)

Hi Randi --

But this time, it's not about Hong Kong... Still, hope you like what you saw today. ;)

Hi gengen --

Thanks -- and happy hunting to you too. :)

Hi Maya --

Teehee -- know what you mean about the first photo's ability to make you cross-eyed! :D

marcia@joyismygoal said...

That last shot is a beauty your first ones angle is so clever it made me dizzy I love it:)

jmb said...

It sounds like a wonderful place to visit and perfect for this theme. I've been to many foreign places during my lifetime but somehow I chose the land of my birth which has become foreign to me now.

Happy weekend YTSL.

jams o donnell said...

What wonderful photos. I would dearly love to visit some of these places. Thanks for sharing!

Sandra said...

I love your photos and the story you told, both so interesting. I would on day love to see this place.

julie said...

wow, what amazed me was you were able to remember the names of the places correctly :D

happy weekend!

annie said...

Travel is such an incredible experience. Really love reading your memories and seeing these cool photos. Happy weekend.

candi said...

Great take on the theme and beautiful shots. I love the colors in the first photo.

Sandy said...

Very interesting..enjoyed the commentary.
Mine's up, too.

Gattina said...

Very interesting ! I also live in a "foreign" country but since 50 years, lol ! I never lived in Germany as an adult and never worked there either.
Thanks for telling me that I am one week ahead with the photo hunter theme ! I haven't realized, lol !

Scott (AKA Bull Rhino) said...

Again this is one of those themes that can easily take so many directions. I almost put up some shots of Korea myself until I found the one of Venice. Beautiful and perfect for the theme.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and I hope I see you again soon.

Mrs. Mecomber said...

Those photos are spectacular!! I especially love the first two-- such vivid color!

My Photo Hunters is up. I hope you have some time to take a peek. Happy weekend!

A. @ A Changing Life said...

Certainly the palace looks spartan in comparison with French royal standards which, in their excess, continue to look foreign to me!

Marta said...

These are beautiful pictures. The temples in Korea are really beautiful. I also love the decoration on the roofs.

I did post on Korea also - but I went with food since it is so foreign to me. I also have a post planned for later this week on Jogyesa temple in Seoul which we saw on our quick trip.

Lisa said...

That first photo is perfect -- abstract, colorful, yet balanced.

ipanema said...

beautiful post and photos as usual.

happy weeknd! :)

Susanne said...

So colorful. Love the picture of the guards at the gate.

Teena in Toronto said...

Nice angle on the first one!

I played too :)

YTSL said...

Hi Marcia --

Heheh re your reaction to my first shot. You must have spent quite a bit of time gazing at it! :D

Hi jmb --

It's interesting that the land of your birth has become so foreign to you. I'm not sure that Malaysia ever will be for me but sometimes do get that feeling...

Hi jams --

If you ever go to Korea, I recommend going to Suwon -- a small city that's nowhere as famous as Seoul but really lovely just the same. :)

Hi Sandra --

Thanks for reading as well as looking. :)

Hi Julie --

I keep the brochures of places I visit, maps and the guidebook. So... it's easy, actually! :)

Hi Annie --

Yeah, I love to travel too. Going to different places adds variety and variety IS the spice of life! :)

Hi Candi --

Thanks! :)

Hi Sandy --

Thanks for reading as well as checking out the photos. :)

Hi Gattina --

Teehee... and thanks for giving me some ideas re how to tackle next week's Photo Hunt theme! ;)

Hi Scott --

Thought this week's was a very fun theme. Didn't have to rack my brains as much as in some of the previous weeks to come up with a suitable entry! :)

Hi "Mrs Mecomber" --

I'm glad this week's Photo Hunt theme enabled me to put up more Korean photos. Have lots -- and yes, many are indeed colorful -- that I'd like to see the light of day. :)

Hi A. --

Goodness, yes. Some of the French ones, especially those in the Rococo style, really can be ornate! And some of the Chinese ones as well! :)

Hi Marta --

Love your Korea pics and will go visit your blog to check out more. Funny but I actually didn't visit a single temple while in Korea... so little time, too many things to see, etc.! ;b

Hi Lisa --

Thanks for liking that first pic so much! :)

Hi ipanema --

Thanks -- and happy weekend to you too. :)

Hi Susanne --

Yeah, I thought having costumed personnel about did add a nice touch! :)

Hi Teena in Toronto --

Yes, I noticed you played -- and went for something royal too... ;b

Anonymous said...

Love that top photo!

YTSL said...

Hi Azahar --

Yeah, that top photo does seem to be the one people like most among the photos in this blog entry. :)

Lui said...

lovely photos especially the first one! One of my must-visit places. =)

Mine's up - Pinaywife's PhotoHunt

YTSL said...

Hi Lui --

It's definitely worth visiting! :)