Archive for the ‘China’ Category


It is time to say Ahn Nyeong Hee Gyea Se Yo to South Korea. I say goodbye to all at Bong House (which is a reference to its owner Bong rather than any illicit smoking habits) where I have been staying and head for Incheon airport once more.

I am pleasantly surprised when Cathay Pacific do not charge me for daring to travel with a surfboard, but am less impressed with the results of their work when my surfboard looks like it was involved in the Axe Murder Incident upon arrival in Hong Kong. There were five huge holes in it.

Hong Kong AirportIt was only a few hours on the plane to Hong Kong airport, which is located on a vast man made island within the harbour area.

From the express train I catch to Hong Kong Island I can see that there appears to be a great deal more terra-forming going on close by, although I have no idea what else they are building. The cargo container port is breathtaking in its scale too.

Hong-kong-skyline-from-victoria-peakSpeaking of construction though, you cannot help but be impressed by the skyline here in Hong Kong. Land has clearly been in such short supply historically here that everything has just stretched skywards.

Every inch of space seems to have another skyscraper built on top of it, with anything below twenty stories high being dwarfed by all the other towers. The development model that started here, has now been followed in the developing cities all over Asia.

WP_20131014_010I will be up in the clouds myself whilst staying on the 17th floor of the Ibis Hotel in between the Central and Sheung Wan areas of Hong Kong Island.

The first thing I do upon arriving here is establish a ding repair shop in my hotel room to repair the damage done to my surfboard by the airline. I suspect that the hotel will not be very fond of the smell of curing fibreglass resin and I have decided to play dumb on that if asked.



North-and-South-KoreaThe Korean War was primarily the result of an agreement of the victorious Allies at the end of World War II. The Korean Peninsula had been ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910, and following it’s surrender in 1945 the peninsula was divided the along the 38th parallel, with USA forces occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half.

The North established a communist government, while the South established a right-wing government and the 38th parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Korean states. Tension in the area intensified as cross-border skirmishes and raids persisted until North Korean forces invaded South Korea in 1950.

The-United-NationsThe USA and other countries passed a Security Council resolution in the United Nations authorizing military intervention in Korea, which was able to be passed because the Soviet Union was boycotting the council at the time.

The USA provided most of the soldiers which aided South Korean forces, with mixed results until the People’s Republic of China, keen to assert itself on the world stage, entered the war on the side of North Korea forcing the Southern-allied forces to retreat behind the 38th Parallel. The Soviet Union had no boots on the ground, but provided material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies.

Korean_dmz_mapThe fighting ended in 1953 when the armistice agreement was signed by all involved, apart from the South Koreans, which means the two countries are still technically at war today. However the agreement restored the border between the nations near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). None of the countries involved are entirely fond of the others some sixty years later.

The DMZ is a 4km wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean countries, which is a powder keg that always seems ready to go off, so it sounds like just the sort of place you should go to on holiday! I’ll send you a postcard.