Jonathan Kramer teaches English as a foreign language in Seoul, South Korea and also does freelance writing and photography. A youth of traveling the Caribbean would be the seed that led to living in London, at the foot of Mt. Fuji in Japan and at a ski resort in the backwoods of Yosemite. In addition to blogging for Gadling, he also runs his personal blog krmr.com.
Seoul and South Korea as a whole are undoubtably modern. But less than a century ago, much of what makes the country so modern today did not exist and people lived much more simply. Farming was by far the most common occupation and people lived in villages, not cities.
A view from a ridiculously good vantage point can forge a lifelong memory. This spot above Lake Atitlan
in western Guatemala
, shot by Shuo Huang, really sets the standard for others to be compared to. This volcanic lake is what adventures are built around and make weeks on the road, battling loneliness and cramped conditions in cross-country buses completely worth it.
Shuo submitted his photo to us through Instagram by mentioning @GadlingTravel
and using the #Gadling tag. If you'd like your exciting travel photography to be featured as our Photo Of The Day, do the same or submit it to our Gadling Flickr Pool
. Be sure to check out more of Shuo's phenomenal photos on Instagram here
and don't forget to give us a follow too!
[Photo credit: Instagram User shuotography
In many corners of the world, winter offers nothing but a biting cold that demands we stay indoors until the flowers start to bloom. But with spring stretching its legs, it's time we start to do the same. The best way to mentally prepare for spring and summer is to reminisce about trips from the past and to plan a new travel adventure built around shorts and sandals.
Here in Korea
, Jeju Island
is one of the first places that come to mind when seeking warm weather travel. A popular honeymoon destination, Jeju Island is a small, volcanic isle just south of the Korean peninsula, famed within Korea for its beaches, seafood, unique mountains and tangerines. It'll be hard to miss the tangerines; they are sold everywhere on the island and are in anything that you'd consider edible.
A sparsely populated, laid-back island, Jeju is the perfect escape from the Seoul
With daytime getting longer and longer each day, spring is soon approaching. But winter doesn't feel like it's going anywhere anytime soon – especially in places like this one, featured in this photo by Flickr user Bernard Siao
taken in Harbin
, a city in northeastern China
The frozen Songhua River freezes hard in the winter and people commonly cross it on foot, but as you can see in this photo, there's another option to dart across the frozen river on a horse-drawn carriage. Harbin is a city of interesting and unique history. Originally founded by Russia and inhabited by Jewish immigrants, it also hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
, which goes on throughout January.
If you have some great photos just sitting there, fragmenting on your hard drive, share them with us on Instagram or in our Gadling Flickr Pool and they can be featured as our "Photo of the Day."
[Photo Credit: Flickr User Bernard-SD
Possibly the most famous thing to ever come out of Seoul
, "Gangnam Style" has become one of the few things most people in the world know about South Korea
. Judging by the more than 1.3 billion views Psy's music video currently has on YouTube, the most viewed video on the site, I can assume that if you haven't seen it multiple times, you have at least heard of it. I'm only just now, able to walk around my neighborhood without hearing it emanating from some convenience store, restaurant or clothing stand, almost 7 months after its first release.
Seoul itself is trying to capitalize on the song's quickly receding viral takeover and convert it into tangible tourism money. This can be seen quite obviously with the ridiculous sign that they have installed outside of Gangnam Station with "GANGNAM STYLE" in huge letters for all to see and take pictures with. However, when I was there, more people seemed interested in the big Nike ad immediately next to it.
Today's Photo of the Day
comes from our Gadling Flickr Pool
, submitted by Luke Robinson
. This image perfectly captures the endless, iconic aisles of torii gates in Kyoto
. These vibrant, vermillion arches are located in Fushimi Inari Taisha
, a shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Tens of thousands of the gates form a path that winds through a forest and up Mount Inari.
The gates themselves are typically donated by businessmen – who pay upwards of thousands of dollars – with hopes that it will bring them good fortunes. The further you venture along the trail, not only do the torii become less dense, but so do the people, making the journey quite peaceful. Towards the end of the hike is a clearing with a fantastic view of Japan's ancient capital.
As cliché as it may sound, I truly believe that no trip to Japan is complete without a visit to Fushimi-inari Taisha. It is impressive, beautiful and absolutely serene.
If you'd like to see your own travel photography featured here on Gadling, upload your shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool
, or tag your Instagram photo with @GadlingTravel
and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day
[Photo Credit: Flickr User Luke Robinson
Last week, the Seoul city government announced a plan
to offer up to a 500,000-won (USD $456) reward for anyone who has information on taxi drivers that rip off foreign tourists.
While charging more than the standard metered fare is against South Korean law, sometimes taxis can forget
this, in additional to other rules. Red lights get run, taxis find themselves going the wrong direction on the road to save time and meters are accidentally
not turned on and the final prices are made up on the spot, slightly inflated.
It isn't uncommon to find taxi drivers walking around tourist hot spots late at night, such as near Seoul Station or in the foreign district of Itaewon, hounding tourists and locals alike for their business. Many ask tourists where they want to go and offer a price upfront, off the meter. This upfront price is almost always more expensive than what the actual metered rate would have been. If you try to barter with them, or insist they just use the meter, they will often retort back that it is late and you are unlikely to find any other taxis (often said while they are standing directly in front of a dozen other taxis). They take advantage of the fact that many tourists don't know average fare for their destination and are willing to accept whatever a cab driver tells them.
Today's Photo Of The Day
comes from Lawrence Wang
, who captured this astounding image of the Shanghai Tower
currently under construction. After its completion, the Shanghai Tower will be the tallest building in China and second tallest building in the world, after the almighty Burj Khalifa
. This image perfectly captures the chaotic landscape of Shanghai, dominated by glass, steel and concrete.
, the district of Shanghai that the tower resides in, is a central financial hub of China and has undergone an extraordinary amount of development in the past two decades. Going from nothing but grass and trees to having some of the tallest buildings in the world
. It is nothing short of spectacular and indicative of the economic progress that China has seen in the modern age.
As always, if you have a great photo you'd like to share with us, upload them to our Gadling Flickr Pool
and it may be selected as our Photo Of The Day
[Photo credit: Lawrence Wang
Exiting Sadang Station in Seoul
, you can immediately tell it is one of the busiest stations in South Korea
; throngs of people are everywhere, pushing and shoving their way in and out. Outside the station are dozens of alleys with neon lights going up four stories, advertising barbecue restaurants, bars and karaoke rooms. Lines crisscross the sidewalk for buses that will take people home to the suburbs. It's near unimaginable that not far behind the station, up an unassuming hill, is a tranquil Buddhist temple.
This colorful door panel is one of many dragon pieces on the temple doors.
Today's Photo of the Day
takes us on a hike overlooking the Alta Garrotxa
in Spain from a vantage point across the border in Pyrenees-Orientales, France. Flickr user hern42
stunningly captured the layers of clouds in the valleys.
There is a certain feeling that you get when you complete the hike. This photo reminds me of the times I made it to the top of a mountain and looked back at where I started from an entirely new perspective. This landscape of blues certainly could not have been appreciated as much from the ground level.
If you'd like to see your work featured here, upload your best photos to the Gadling Group Pool
on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as a Photo of the Day
[Photo credit: Flickr user hern42
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