South Korea

Flat like a grass pancake

So far, my favorite part about making movies is location scouting. I love exploring and any opportunity to do so, I’m on it.

And so I put on my explorer hat, cranked up the John Denver tunes, and visited sites around the country.

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Japan

Just in Front

In Kyoto, Japan, I noticed four things.

1. The city is immaculate. I’m convinced that even cars wear indoor slippers in order to prevent from dirtying the bright, crisp lines in the streets. In Korea, if I walk the streets with sandals, I have come to terms with the fact that my feet will be black and there is nothing I can do about it. Caveman feet don’t exist in Kyoto. I walked the city for hours, and when I returned, my feet were cleaner than if I had rinsed them off from a shower in Seoul (but that’s because of dust bunnies– more explanation later on that).

2. After coming from Seoul, roughly 1.5 million people seemed like nothing. When I first arrived, I wondered if we came during a holiday. I felt like the city was empty most of the time and hardly witnessed or experienced a traffic jam. Although that last claim isn’t actually fair since I only rode in a taxi once. Just ignore that bit. But it was pretty quiet most of the time.

3. Kyoto has maybe one of my favorite city color palettes I’ve ever seen in real life. I like Hong Kong, too. But Kyoto had a lovely burnt orange, warm bisque, and cyan accented with black and dark brown beams — almost like framing a masterpiece.

4. Lastly, wifi is not as accessible as it is in Seoul. It was nice to be unplugged, even for just a moment. Commuters spent their time reading books, while people at restaurants actually ate their food and chatted with their dining companion.

Just the holiday I needed.

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kinnyflies by niki de witt

Kinderhearts

Marshmallow Powered Plane

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Hong Kong

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Somewhere tucked away deep in my heart is a precious place called Hong Kong.

After a three and a half hour flight, I was surrounded by pastels and plenty.

Plenty of food, people, signs and buildings.

Prior to this trip, I felt that three days would be sufficient. But as I began to plan, I knew I had miscalculated some things. I must return to Hong Kong. It’s raining today, which reminds me of my three days in Hong Kong. This also explains the lack of pictures I took on my trip–rain and cameras don’t mix well. What you see here is pretty much all I have. Instead I was more involved in my trip.

I’m still craving the dim-sum from Tim Ho Wan. I found refuge from the downpour at a cozy tea shop called Hollywood Tea Gallery. I was hosted by Virginia and treated to a lovely taste-testing session. I haven’t found anything like this experience in Seoul. When I was researching for this trip, I asked the Twitter travel community via Lonely Planet for some advice on where to get tea. Many suggestions led me to try Hong Kong’s famous pantyhose milk tea at Lan Fong Yuen. I also recommend trying their yin yeung (tea+coffee).

Aside from stuffing my face (a sign of a good trip, in my opinion), I got lost, I went up to the peak for a very foggy city view, found the giant rubber duck, and imagined being part of the cast in Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express when I explored the famous Chungking Mansions.

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As Promised

I built you this map in case you recently watched my entry for My Destination’s competition and are in Seoul, planning to be in Seoul, or are just curious about Seoul, and wanted to visit any of the places I showed.

seoulmapvideo

And if you haven’t the video, you can watch it here:

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