I’ve Moved!

Well, I have and I haven’t moved. My blog is still located at anjviola.com, but it’s now self-hosted instead of hosted by wordpress.com. If you subscribe by email, I think I’ve managed to migrate those subscriptions successfully. If you subscribe through the wordpress.com reader, you won’t see new posts anymore unless you subscribe in some other way.

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Bhutan Overview

The Land of the Thunder Dragon


Our itinerary: 2 nights in Thimphu, 2 nights in Punakha, 1 night at a home stay in Haa, 2 nights in Paro; travel blogs to be published this week Continue reading

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Bangkok Food Tour

A 30-hour layover in Bangkok on our way to Bhutan? Sounds like it’s time for another food tour! Unfortunately, this tour was one of the more lackluster ones that we’ve done. There was some good food, but no real feeling of immersion, no real cultural or sightseeing stops (we briefly paused to look at the exterior of one wat), and no single food that really blew us away. I’m still glad we did it, as it got us out of our hotel and into the city center for a couple of hours, but it can’t hold a candle to the food tours we’ve done in Rome, Seoul, and Chiang Mai. Continue reading

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Food Coma in Hongdae

Last week, I met a friend for lunch at Ciuri Ciuri, a fantastic Italian restaurant in Hongdae. It’s run by a Sicilian couple, and the owner himself waited on us and told us about all the dishes. I can’t wait to go back and try more of the menu! We shared an arancine to start, which is Sicily’s version of this fried rice ball that is found all over Italy (I had a version called suppli in Rome and first fell in love with this food). The rice mixture was a creamy risotto, fried perfectly, and the inside was a prosciutto and béchamel sauce. Ridiculously good!

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January 2017 Books

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Naksansa Temple

We visited Naksansa Temple on Friday after our time at Seoraksan. This Buddhist temple is located right by the sea, and boasts a 1300-year history.

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Seoraksan National Park

Last Friday, we signed up for a small-group tour on a small shuttle bus to Seoraksan National Park and Naksansa Temple. It was a very long day – we met up with the bus at Myeongdong Station at 7:30am and arrived back at Myeongdong at 7:30pm, but it was well worth the journey, despite the early start and the very, very cold temperatures.

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Strawberry Picking

On Saturday, I went strawberry picking at an organic farm (Haneum Farm) outside of Seoul with several other band spouses and a few of their kids. We had a fabulous time, and Korean strawberries are so delicious! We met up at Yongsan Station and took the train for about an hour to Ungilsan Station. From there, we took a local bus, but we missed our stop and ended up walking about 10 minutes until we found the farm. Luckily, we had our awesome friend and band spouse Sejin along, who had taken care of the reservations (Korean only) and translated for us once we were at the farm, since all the instructions were in Korean.

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Snow Day in Seoul

Last Friday, we had a lovely snowfall here in Seoul. I decided to forgo a hot-chocolate-and-pajamas day in favor of getting a few shots of snow at a couple of palaces. In the morning, I headed out to Gyeongbokgung (along with what seemed like thousands of other Seoulites) and captured a few nice shots before my phone decided to die on me at 75%. I have to take my phone in to a service center, as it’s actually eligible for a free battery replacement because it’s part of a small batch of faulty phones. But I definitely never expected it to quit on me that quickly! I’m sure the freezing temperatures accelerated the issue. I am definitely getting it fixed before the Bhutan trip as well as always carrying an external battery with me from now on. But anyway, snow photos! Continue reading

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River Market Restaurant

Our last day in Thailand was pretty quiet; I spent most of it cleaning up my photos and starting to write up my blog posts, but I have to give a quick write-up to the fantastic River Market Restaurant, a beautiful property located just south of the Iron Bridge on the Mae Ping River.

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Chiang Mai Food Tour, Part Two

Next up: another sticky rice treat wrapped in banana leaf, and then fresh coconut ice cream that tasted like it just had fresh coconut and ice in it – it was incredibly refreshing and light.


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Chiang Mai Food Tour, Part One

On our last full day, we did a food and walking tour of Old City Chiang Mai with my parents. We met our guide Day at Wat Chiang Man, and a young Australian couple joined us on the tour; it was nice to have a small group of six total. Before getting to any food, we toured the Wat Chiang Man. It was built in 1297, and one of the temples had murals all around the inside depicting Buddha’s life both as Prince Siddhartha and then post-enlightenment. Day was a very thorough guide, explaining everything we were looking at and answering all of our questions. Continue reading

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Wat Sri Suphan

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Market Tour and Mae Ping River Cruise

We had signed up for a tour of a local flower market and a longtail boat cruise up the Mae Ping River to a local farm. Our guide Montree met us at Smith Suites and walked with us up to the main road to catch a songthaew to Wararos Market.

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