Jagalchi Fish Market

Where the skate on your plate is never out of date!

The Jagalchi fish market in Busan is South Korea’s largest fish market and one of Busan’s top attractions. Busan is South Korea’s second city.  Situated on the South Eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, it is the country’s biggest port and the fifth largest in the world. The city is known for its beaches, mountains […]


Founded by gods, loved by tourists

The volcanic island of Jeju lies to the south west of the Korean Peninsula.  Known for its warm climate and beach resorts, it is South Koreans’ favourite domestic holiday destination.  Yet with a dormant volcano towering nearly two kilometres over the middle of the island, a landscape of volcanic craters and a multitude of museums, […]

South Korea

Land of the Morning Calm, Country of Contrasts

What springs to mind when you think of South Korea?  Top brands such as Samsung, LG, Hyundai and Kia?  Korean barbeque?  K-pop with its synthesised music, dance routines and colourful clothes?  Or perhaps Gangnam, the stylish upmarket district of the capital Seoul, which gave its name to the K-pop global hit ‘Gangnam Style’?  These are […]

Discovering the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Culture and Happy Horse Riding

The Dominican Republic is renowned for its white sandy beaches, palm trees and sparkling blue seas.  For visitors from North America and Europe it can offer the quintessential Caribbean experience. Yet, as I discovered, there is much to see and do beyond the confines of the all-inclusive resorts for which the country is renowned. My […]


A rich heritage in science, arts and commerce

The Dutch city of Leiden is only 180km away from Brussels, where I live, but it took me many years to finally get round to visiting the picturesque city.  Even then, it took a proposal from a group of friends in the UK to go to see an exhibition on the ancient Persian city of […]


Europe's last surviving primeval forest

Once upon a time I visited a magical, snow-covered forest.  It is the sort of forest one imagines in fairy tales and that could easily be mistaken for the Lantern Wood that features in the Chronicles of Narnia. In fact the forest is in eastern Poland.  Its name is Białowieża. I am a forest fan, […]


Holy Mountain Village of the Yazidis

One of the highlights of my latest trip to Iraq was the opportunity to visit Lalish, the holiest village of the Yazidis some 60km northeast of Mosul. The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking group.  Most live in Iraq, though there are also populations in Syria, Armenia, Georgia and Russia.  The Iraqi Yazidis live in the north […]

Egypt on Horseback

From the Nile to the Red Sea

Think of Egypt and images of pharaohs and pyramids probably spring to mind.  Like many people, as a child I was fascinated by Ancient Egypt, an interest spurred by the 1972 Tutankhamun exhibition at the British Museum in London. (Scroll down to see the photos) I never got to see the exhibition and in fact […]