Feb 27, 2010

Street Scenes: Food Vendors Seoul

This alley of food vendors is tucked in between the lanes of Seoul’s sprawling Namdaemun Market.

You could probably find most everything you need at the market. This traditional “food court” would be a good place to fuel up in between purchases and sample some Korean cuisine.

Feb 24, 2010

Los Angeles Bound

I’m in Los Angeles through Monday. A cheap flight, good friends willing to put me up and a need to shake off the winter blahs prompted me to book a flight a few weeks back.

Naturally I plan to spend a good amount of time photographing the city. I’m on a night photography mission this time around. As always I’ll have plenty to post when I return.

Feb 22, 2010

Gyeongbokgung, Seoul’s Palace of Shining Happiness

It’s hard to choose which of Seoul’s ancient grand palaces to visit first. Gyeongbokgung, Palace of Shining Happiness, is a great place to start.

Built by the founder of the Joseon Dynasty, King Taejo, in the 1500s it was burnt to the ground when the Japanese invaded later in that century. It wasn’t until 300 years later that the palace was rebuilt by the father of King Gojong. No royalty lives here today and the palace is open to the public every day except Tuesday.

If you time it right you can catch the changing of the guards where soldiers decked out in Josen-era garb put on a regal procession.

Some of the highlights of the sprawling complex include Geunjeongjeon, the main palace pavillion, the Gyeonghoeru pavillion and the Royal gardens.

Pictured above from top to bottom: Changing of the Guards, Geunjeongjeon, Gyeonghoeru, Royal Gardens

Feb 17, 2010

Masaya And A Tale of Two Markets

Masaya in Nicaragua is known for its National Artisans Market, or Mercado Artesanias, but this tourist attraction isn’t the only game in town. While it’s worth a visit to see what’s available don’t miss the Municipal Market or Mercado Municipal located adjacent to the bus station, an enormous unpaved lot of sorts.

Nicaragua is known for its hammocks, wood, leather and pottery and there is plenty to choose from at the Artisans Market. But the Municipal Market has an equally if not better - think less souvenir-ish - section of handicrafts featuring what seemed to be a wider variety as well as some peculiar items.

This is the place to buy the stuffed armadillo you’ve always coveted.

The sprawling municipal market caters to the people who live there of course and walking around it will give you a better sense of this hard working town. You could likely find everything needed here including food, furniture, clothing, household items and rows of cobblers waiting to mend your sole.

Top Photo National Artisans Market, Other Three Municipal Market

Feb 10, 2010

Nicaragua’s Las Isletas

It’s probably safe to assume that most people have dreamed of owning their own private island at one time or another. In Nicaragua it’s possible.

Las Isletas, an Archipelago of 365 Islands near Granada on Lake Nicaragua has many for sale. They sit in the shadow of Mombacho Volcano, which gave birth to the islands 10,000 years ago and because of rich volcanic soil are jungle clad mini tropical paradises.

Nicaraguans own only about 10%. The rest have been sold to foreigners from all over the world who have built vacation homes, some of which are decadent mansions. There are still quite a few empty islands with for sale signs. If buying isn’t in your budget there are a handful of hotels and restaurants on some of the islands.

Taking a boat ride through the Isletas is a classic thing to do while staying in Granada, Nicaragua’s colonial jewel. An hour boat ride will set you back about $10 per person.