Dunhuang (敦煌): A Silk Road Oasis

“If you are going to visit only one Silk Road site, make it Dunhuang.”

Valerie Hansen, Yale history professor

With the high-rise skyscrapers and growing population in the East, China’s economy is booming at an unprecedented speed nowadays. Nevertheless, before the Song dynasty, the core of the Chinese civilizations lies in the western part of the country. Two trade routes of the ancient Silk Road, that sprang up along the edges of the Taklamakan desert to reach far west, all intersected in the oasis town of Dunhuang, where Mogao Cave, the world’s most spectacular cultural site, calls home.

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A Glimpse into Seoul’s Past and Present

Located in the middle of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul was a strategic location in bygone centuries where the three kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla (BCE 57 – CE 688) all targeted to conquer it. Whoever captured Seoul reflected its extraordinary military power. To gain a firm foothold there, the Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910) even declared Seoul its capital, a role that Seoul is still playing.

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Doi Inthanon: A mountainous paradise in Thailand

Speaking of Thailand, our first impression would be sandy beaches, tropical coastlines and its humid and boiling weather. However, don’t be surprised that there lies the highest mountain in Chiang Mai that is blessed with lush green landscapes, breezy weather and a high-rise peak that reaches 2500 metres above sea level. It becomes a perfect paradise for the locals and tourists from all walks of life to spend their holiday to escape from the all-year heat and embrace nature.

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The Long-neck Kayans: Restricted, Unprotected and Their Unsolved Plight

Those ladies, with sunken chest and ribs wrapped with gleaming brass, are dressed with full traditional clothes with detailed stitching. They seemed to be representing a tale from a faraway culture that only existed in the written content of a National Geographic magazine or an episode of a TV documentary. Behind those flipping pages and the TV screen, could it be possible that they still exist in this contemporary society and are living their simple way of life?

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