North Korea – A Peek into the Hermit Kingdom

September 17, 2008

Kim Jong-Il
Even in death former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il watches over his people with a stern eye

Speculation is rife over the health of North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung. In a manner befitting all dictators, actual hard facts have been difficult to come by yet it’s quite obvious that something is happening in country. Recall only months ago all the speculation regarding the health of Fidel Castro and what his death would do to Cuba.

Naturally, the topic of North Korea after Kim Il-Sung has been played up in the media. Some suggest that his illness could open the door to Korean reunification. Others are taking a more cautious wait and see attitude.

This is all the more fascinating because the rule of the Il family in North Korea has been marked by an uber-paranoia about foreign influence and subversion. Coined “The Hermit Kingdom“, access to the approved non-tourist parts of North Korea (of which there are few) is incredibly difficult to obtain. Jerry Guo shares his experience of travel through North Korea with Chinese tourists: Read the rest of this entry »


Seeing Berlin by Rooftops

August 15, 2008

Weekend Club
Berlin’s The Weekend Club

In North America Berlin seems to get a bad rap (Europeans know better). When listing off the best European capitals to visit, people will usually start off by naming the holy trinity of European travel destinations: London, Paris and Rome. Beyond that you’ll usually hear Prague and Budapest and maybe Vienna and Copenhagen shortly thereafter.

It’s really quite too bad since Berlin has to be Europe’s most underrated city for tourism. A tectonic fault line worthy of San Andreas during the Cold War, the city manages to balance the old (Unter den Linden) with the new, tradition with technology, art with finance. The city has long been a centre of the arts and especially a nucleus for architecture and design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hotel Palafitte – Neuchatel, Switzerland

July 21, 2008

Hotel Palafitte

Located on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel, the Hôtel Palafitte has 40 suites housed on stilts across the shallows. Designed by Kurt Hofmann for the Sandoz Family Foundation, the hotel is a haven for those visiting nearby Le-Chaux-de-Fonds.

Quite an original design :) Click on the link to take you to the website: Hotel Palafitte.

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