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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Experience Traditional Markets in Korea


Exploring the loud hustle and bustle of the markets in Korea is a great way to get a taste of the local life. With some markets being up to 700 years old, they offer visitors a glimpse of the history and culture that has taken place to establish what they are now.

Through the labyrinth-like streets, the markets have everything from electronics, fresh produce to steaming stalls selling all kinds of food. These markets are tucked away throughout Seoul and gives visitors a chance to escape the modern city life and experience traditional Korea. So, here are few of the must-see markets when visiting.

Starting with the largest and oldest, Namdaemun market has over 10,000 stores and is constantly buzzing with locals and tourists alike. The market offers shoppers a comprehensive array of clothing, fabrics, jewellery, toys, housewares and appliances all at affordable prices. A crucial part of visiting any market would be trying out the famous street foods. At Namdaemum market you can visit two famous food alleys kalguksu alley (Korean handmade noodles) and galchijorim alley (braised hairtail fish). Both alleys are only a few metres long but specialise in their signature dish and is a popular option for lunch. The lively atmosphere and the warm generosity of these street vendors are guaranteed to leave you satisfied and full.

 

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Next up, Gwangjang market was established back in 1904 and is said to have over 65,000 people visiting each day. This market is most well-known for its large variety of food stalls and is a must-visit for any foodie travelling in Korea. All the dishes are freshly made with local produce and visitors can watch the action happen as the meals are prepared right in front of them. The market particularly prides itself on its famous bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), dumplings and bibimbap (mixed rice). But a trip to Gwangjang markets wouldn't be complete without trying its 'Mayak Gimbap' which translates to 'narcotic rice rolls'. Although this is not a literal translation it gains its title from its addictiveness and returning customers. For the brave-hearted, a walk down yukhoe alley (raw beef) is another must. Buchon yukoe is a Michelin recommended restaurant (Bib Gourmand 2018) that serves up fresh beef tartare topped with sliced pear, sesame oil and a raw egg.

 

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If the food wasn't enough reason to go, on the second floor you'll find one of the largest collection of fabrics in Asia and an opportunity to custom design your very own traditional Korean outfit known as Hanbok. This is a perfect way to bring a little bit of Korean culture back home with you from your trip. Moreover, palaces in Seoul give free entry to anyone wearing a Hanbok, so it might be a good idea to visit the nearby Changdeokgung Palace after exploring the markets.

 

Last but definitely not least, rapidly rising in popularity is Tongin market. Compared to Namdaemum and Gwangjang market it is smaller in size but has been drawing attention with its interesting 'Dosirak' Cafe (lunch box system). Here you can trade in your wons (Korean currency) for olden day Korean tokens and a plastic lunch tray, which will allow you to explore the markets like a buffet. 5,000 won (approx. $6 AUD) will get you 5 choices and is a convenient way to try a little bit of everything. A popular dish among locals is the "Gireum teokbokki"(oil rice cake), this is a dish that has been unique to Tongin market since the 1950s and is a must-try when visiting.

 

3010070201803001k_Tongin+Market3010070201610029k_Tongin Market

 

To see a more comprehensive list of markets in Korea visit: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_1_6_3.jsp

Email: visitkorea@knto.org.au 

Web: www.visitkorea.org.au

Web: www.visitkorea.org.au

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SeeKorea


Monday, October 1, 2018

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Uganda's Oldest Forest


The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers more than just gorillas in the mist.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in the southwest corner of Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Uganda's oldest forest, it boats a truly theatrical landscape of volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes and dramatic mountain ranges and is internationally famous for its endangered mountain gorillas. Less well known, it's also a haven for bird watchers, home to an astonishing array of endemic bird species that are rarely found in any other part of East Africa. And the star attraction? The globally threatened African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) aka Grauers Broadbill.

Only found in south-west Uganda (Mubwindi Swamp), Itombwe Mountains (Democratic Republic of Congo) and mountains west of Lake Kivu, Bwindi is by far and away the safest and most accessible place to catch a glimpse of this beautiful leaf green bird. But be prepared to work hard for the privilege as its preferred habitat, at an altitude of around 2,300m, ensures sightings are the preserve of a chosen few.

Located deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is an ideal base for encounters with both gorillas and the African Green Broadbill. Featuring just eight luxuriously appointed tents, the Camp is one of the most secluded and atmospheric in Africa and is the only luxury camp within the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Offering birdwatchers an unrivalled location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area, the camp often receives regular visits from the gorillas themselves, delivering guests a chance to engage with these awe-inspiring primates without even leaving the Camp!


Monday, September 24, 2018

Five of the Best Winter Wilderness Lodges in Canada


Australian travellers are making the most of early bird specials to experience Canada's untamed wilderness from December to March, when it transforms into a quintessential winter wonderland.



Read on for five of Canada's best winter lodges, offering an idyllic, immersive experience, from wildlife encounters and outdoor adventures, to log fires, charming villages and fine dining.

Blachford Lake Lodge, Northwest Territories
Fly on a bush plane – equipped with skis in winter– and land alongside Blachford Lake Lodge, an oasis of rustic luxury in the Northwest Territories' wilderness near Yellowknife. Skate on the frozen lake, mush huskies, stomp off on snowshoes or hop on a snowmobile and experience the wide-open northern backcountry. Sit down to fresh, local cuisine like bison and pike, then slip into the hot tub and watch curtains of colourful northern lights shimmer and loop across the horizon like fireworks on a cosmic scale.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta
Bedding down in a remote wilderness lodge doesn't mean you need to rough it. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge maintains its 1920s appeal, with its cozy communal lounge area and cedar chalets, and combines it with award-winning cuisine, a luxury spa and all the trimmings you'd expect at a prestige Fairmont resort. Wrapping around the shores of pristine Lac Beauvert in Jasper National Park, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to epic winter adventures. Ice skate on the lake, go cross-country or downhill skiing, or simply stroll the snow-covered forest and say hello to the elk, goats, big-horned sheep, wolves, and moose, who call this beautiful place home.

Tagish Wilderness Lodge, Yukon Territory
 Tagish Wilderness Lodge in Yukon Territory in north-west Canada, is an authentic wilderness retreat. With no road access, you'll arrive by dog sled or ski plane and be treated to crackling campfires, howling wolves, winter adventures and, of course, the unforgettable aurora borealis. Learn how to mush your very own team of sled dogs, witness the magnificent northern lights, try your luck at ice fishing, relax in the herbal sauna, or just curl up with a book by the wood-burning stove. It's your very own magical Narnia.

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, Manitoba
The sheer remoteness of Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge in Canada's central province of Manitoba means you'll be treated to some of the most pristine wilderness in the world. Strategically located on the Hudson Bay in close proximity to polar bear dens, and directly under the aurora oval, it's one of the only places on Earth where you can encounter polar bears and other Arctic animals by day, and unobstructed views of the shimmering northern lights at night.

Featured in the prestigious National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge serves up the ultimate winter wilderness experience, with large picture windows overlooking the coast and passing wildlife, as well as incredible food, prepared from the lodge's famous cook book series, Blueberries & Polar Bears.

Skoki Lodge, Alberta
High in the alpines of Banff National Park, at the end of an eleven-kilometre trail from Lake Louise, Skoki Lodge is the gateway to breathtaking mountain ridges, valleys and crystal lakes. This backcountry Lodge is only accessible by hiking or skiing and has a true back-to-nature mentality. Just ask Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, who stayed at the rustic lodge in 2011. Chef, Katie Mitzel, hovers over the wood-fired creating gastronomical masterpieces from local ingredients and seasonal fare. Think seafood chowder, Alberta beef, Canmore coffee, cheese and wine.

GETTING THERE

Air Canada offers daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and Brisbane, with direct flights from Melbourne available three times per week. Year-round direct flights from Melbourne to Vancouver are also available, with connecting flights to the eastern provinces. Direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are also available on Qantas.

www.keepexploring.com.au

Monday, September 17, 2018

Five Tips to Enjoying Switzerland for First Timers






In order to help first-time travellers to Switzerland make the most of their stay, Switzerland Tourism has shared five hot tips.

Use the Swiss Travel Pass

The Swiss Travel Pass gives users unlimited access on all of country's public transportation including buses, trains and boats; up to 50% off mountain rail and cable ways and free access to more than 500 museums. Also, children under 16 years of age travel for free when accompanied by an adult using the pass.

One of the most incredible experiences one can have in Switzerland is to take in the sights via a panoramic train journey. For example, the Bernina Express goes from Chur to Tirano crossing 196 bridges and through 55 tunnels; the GoldenPass Line goes from Interlaken to Montreux; the Gotthard Panoramic Express links Lucerne with Ticino via a boat and train journey; and the Glacier Express is the world's slowest express train ride between Zermatt and St Moritz. Swiss Travel Passes come as e-tickets and can be purchased from www.myswitzerland.com/rail.

Take a Hike!
The Swiss love their nature surrounds and all sorts of outdoor activities, especially hiking. On any given day, be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, there will be locals hiking along the endless trails around the mountains, lakes, hills and pastures. To really get a sense of this local hobby and appreciate the natural assets of the country, a hike or walk will expose first time visitors to some of the most spectacular sights of the country that may otherwise be missed. There is more than 65,000 kilometres of waymarked trails across the country catering to all levels waiting to be explored.

Visit a Museum
In a country two-thirds the size of Tasmania (yes, Switzerland is pretty small), it's home to more than 900 museums! That's one museum per every 7,500 inhabitants. Luckily for Swiss Travel Pass holders, more than half of these museums are free to enter. Unlike many museums around the world, most of the Swiss museums are interactive, featuring the latest high-tech innovations that help to better engage with and educate their visitors. From art, history and textiles to sports, transportation and technology, there is a museum for everything. The most visited museum in the country is the Swiss Museum of Transport located on the shores of Lake Lucerne. Castles can also be accessed using the Swiss Travel Pass.

Keep it Local
Switzerland has four distinct languages regions serving up equally distinct flavours - Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansch; and even within these regions, dishes will vary between towns, cities and villages. That goes for cheeses and wines, too. The Emmental and Gruyeres cheeses, for example, come from two different language regions and feature very different textures and flavours. As with wines, most cantons produce their own wines, so accompanying any local traditional dish with some local drops will give one the full experience. Apart from these top restaurant picks, Taste my Swiss City, a series of foodie trails designed by locals, is the latest initiative that will suit the urban explorer.

Know When to Visit a Mountain
Visiting a mountain peak might be a must-do, but knowing when to go is key. The best time to ascend any mountain is early in the day preferably by mid-morning, before clouds form obstructing the views.

The highest mountain railway in Europe is the Jungfraujoch, Top of Europe at 3,454m asl, accessible via Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg. Mt Titlis, home to Europe's longest suspension bridge and the country's largest igloo village (only available in winter) sits at 3,062m asl and is accessible via Lucerne and Engelberg on the world's first rotating cable car, the Titlis Rotair. And over in Zermatt, getting up to the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise which is home to Europe's highest cable car station at 3,883m asl takes 45mins in the cable car.

For more information on Switzerland, visit www.myswitzerland





Sunday, September 2, 2018

English Earl wrote off six Jaguars






David Ellis

CLASSIC car buffs in the UK are eagerly waiting to see what will be paid for an "ultra-rare" 1966 Jaguar E-type when it goes to auction in mid-October.

Because it is one of just three E-types to feature a unique "quad headlamp, shark gill bonnet" created by Abbey Panels that specialises in premium car body re-panelling for well-heeled bespoke customers, plus it also has a competition-capability engine and racing wheels as well.

And more bizarrely, it is the only remaining E-type of no fewer than seven owned by the Sixth Earl of Cawdor, who unbelievably crashed and wrote-off every one of the other six.

Which was such a good effort that His Lordship's daughter, Lady Liza Campbell wrote of it in her autobiography 'A Charmed Life: Growing up in Macbeth's Castle,' a book in which she told of living with her father in Scotland's Cawdor Castle, the centuries-old family seat of the Campbell's and which featured in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

And of how her father "fuelled by drink, drugs and extramarital affairs after being overwhelmed by the enormous responsibilities associated with owning and running Cawdor Castle," managed to write-off those six Jaguars - and yet miraculously survive all half-dozen prangs.

"Pa typically crashed at night, after dinner," she wrote. "His philosophy being that obeying a red light after midnight was a waste of precious time.

"And instead of spotting any correlation between drinking and the crashes, my father came to an altogether different conclusion: That E-types were rubbish. and after the seventh crash he took to driving Ferraris."

His family had that last E-type repaired after his death in 1992, and eventually sold it in 2003.

Now those circa-2003 buyers are putting it to sale again on October 17 through H&H Classics Auctions, with expectations that with its colourful history, it could fetch up to 50,000 British pounds (around AU$88,000.)

PHOTO CAPTION:

[] THE only remaining Jaguar E-Type of no fewer than seven owned by the late Sixth Earl of Cawdor - who crashed and wrote-off all other six - will go to auction on October 17. (Image: H&H Classic Auctions)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Popular Vegan locations around the world


TOP 5 COUNTRIES FOR TRAVELLING IF YOU'RE VEGAN

Veganism is growing in popularity, and if you're new to the dietary movement, it can be a scary prospect for when you're travelling.

Trying to find delicious, nutritious and easy vegan food can be a struggle at the best of times. Add in a totally different culture, new language and different cuisine and it can be enough to make anyone want to pack their passport away and stay at home.

Exodus Travels is passionate about exploring the world in a way you've never seen before – this means immersing into cultures and experiences that are true to the region you're discovering. Thankfully, a lot of countries have been borne on vegan and vegetarian fundamentals, which means travelling and exploring these regions is a breeze.

Here are our top vegan destinations:

INDIA

Even though all these spots are great for vegans, India takes out the number one spot with flying colours. With more than 500 million people (nearly half the population!) being vegetarian, it's no wonder the region is a bustling hotspot for vegetarian and vegan travelers. Get your fill of spicy rice dishes and mouthwatering curries, or snack away on dosas as you make your way through tiger safaris, Taj tours and cycling through Kerala. India's cuisine is naturally gluten-free and packed with lentils, chickpeas and rice. Which makes India easy and tasty for celiac travelers to indulge in the food scene.

Discover Highlights of Northern India – 9 days from $1,285

THAILAND

From quick street food to world-class restaurants, there are plenty of Thai vegan options for any budget. While Thai food abroad is very different to Thai food at home, you can still get wonderful options that are sure to whet the palate.  In Thailand the local language is your friend - ensure you learn the words 'jay' for vegan and 'mangarawirat' for vegetarian. Thai dishes like phad thai phak (fried noodles with vegetables) will keep you going between temple-hopping and jungle safaris.

Explore the north and south of Thailand – 14 days from $2,405

BALI

What is best known as a paradise for honeymooners, beach lovers and adventurers alike, Bali is also the home to some of the best vegan food you'll find abroad. The whole island has a very strong plant-based diet, so you'll find yourself in an abundance of scrambled tofu, hummus, smoothie bowls and tempeh at every turn. We're even seeing a trend of local chef-created, mouth-watering cashew cheese! Perfect with a chilled glass of rosé if we do say so ourselves.

Try our Bali Coast to Coast tour – 13 days from $2,195

COSTA RICA

Costa Ricans are known for their healthy, all-natural lifestyle. So it is no surprise that Costa Rica is a haven for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free eaters alike. Traditional dishes consist of rice, plantains, beans, fruit and veggies. This means that anyone and everyone can enjoy the local flavor. Costa Rica is a mecca for gut health gurus from around the world. You'll find plenty of restaurants specializing in a vast mix of cuisines, all vegan-friendly.

Enjoy your days surfing on iconic beaches, soaking in thermal baths or trekking through the Costa Rican rainforest. Then hit the local markets and restaurants worry-free.

Discover the natural highlights of Costa Rica – 8 days from $1,935



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Safari glamping comes to the Barossa



Roderick Eime

You've seen them in the high-end African safari camps and the remote Australian eco-outposts, but now you can enjoy a 'safari' glamping experience right in the middle of South Australia's Barossa Valley – albeit without the megafauna.

Discovery Parks – Barossa have just launched their own mini safari camp in a secluded section of their Tanunda park. The private enclave within the park contains 12 eco-friendly safari tents set 'outback style' among mature native redgums. These are no 'pole and peg' tents either. Steel framed and wrapped in galeproof tarpaulin, they are permanent, sturdy structures.

The central firepit is a natural meeting point in the common 'hub', adjacent a resort-style lap pool and undercover picnic and BBQ area with dedicated equipment.



When Vacations visited, we were quite likely the first guests in our tent, already pre-warmed with reverse cycle air conditioning against the brisk mid-winter weather. Inside there is a couch, occasional table and narrow sideboard. Meals are best enjoyed on the covered patio where there are folding director chairs and a sturdy wooden table.

There's a full hotel-style bathroom with quality amenities and a decent galley kitchen to prepare your own meals complete with microwave, fridge and all the utensils. At the moment the tents are without TVs (and may well stay that way) and are best suited to singles, twin share or couples. The expansive park has numerous quality accommodation options for families and those seeking more modest digs.

So while you're daydreaming about your African safari experience, whet your appetite at this authentic 'glampsite' just a short walk from Tanunda's main street.

For more information and to book visit www.discoveryparks.com.au or call 1800 356 801.

What’s for lunch?



Even in the Barossa Valley, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better lunch spot than Elli Beer’s new ‘the eatery’ located in her mum’s ‘The Farm’ on Pheasant Farm Road at Nuriootpa.

Opened last October, Elli has teamed with and renowned chef Tim Bourke, formerly of Kangaroo Island’s Southern Ocean Lodge, to create a bright new dining experience in what was the function centre.

Tim’s daily menu derives from his favoured charcoal grill and is open for lunchtimes only, 7 days a week. There’s a wood-fired oven on the decking turning out super pizzas too. Plus you can book a private dining experience for up to 24 guests with an ever-changing ‘Feed Me’ menu.

Get stuck in!

Pheasant Farm Road Nuriootpa 5355
Monday - Sunday: 12 pm - 3 pm
tel:+61885621902
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