South Korea was formed with the creation of the 38th parallel in 1945 to separate the communist north from the democratic south. The Korean War that followed was a proxy for the Cold War between the USSR and United States. Seoul traces this history as well as deep Chinese influence in this long line and words, respectively.
Lifestyles of the rich and religious abound in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the wealthiest of them all: Abu Dhabi. It is dripping in oil with richesse second to few. Home to the UAE’s largest mosque and the world’s first governmental artificial intelligence department, Abu Dhabi invests in both religion and science. In the nearby desert lies gold in the form of fine sand, which hosts dune and camel cruising, Bedouin camps, whirling dervishes and belly dancers. All of it shakes up your mind in the land of sheikhs.
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is a luxurious, surreal city-state that’s home to many of the world’s largest infrastructures. It is literally rimmed in gold and just about any indulgence you can imagine. It also intersects vastly different Muslim and ex-pat cultures. But they are united in living large.
Noah’s Ark purportedly landed in the Caucasus, a region between the Black and Caspian Seas where the Caucasus Mountains divide Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The latter in the South Caucasus includes Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, where fire, earth, water and air are “biblical.” No wonder the ark survived.
While Easter has been a Christian celebration for centuries, it began as a non-religious spring festival. And the Easter bunny hopped to America from another country. Moreover, the first Christian state in the world was in West Asia. Discover a basket of “eggs-cellent” facts …
Thailand is known as a honeymooning paradise for good reason with its white sand beaches, stunning sunsets, bountiful flora and fauna, luxurious hotels, elegant dining, inexpensive massages and outstanding service. It’s a land of hedonism for better or worse.
Remember when film was used in cameras and « Kodak moments » were advertised on television? The moments it celebrated will always exist. One for me involved a digital camera in India. It was amazing how such a small instrument could spread big love.
Turkmenistan is Central Asia’s most elusive country with few tourists, making it also the most fascinating. That’s especially true for a journalist as Turkmenistan has no freedom of the press. But it is well worth visiting … seize the day, just not carpets.
Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, physically located on the European continent but dominated culturally by the Middle East. These worlds collide in amusing ways in Turkish baths known as hammams.