Photos - Asia / Pacific

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  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 1 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Travel Weekly contributor Nadine Godwin recently participated in a tour hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization with support from the Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism. Besides covering Seoul's highlights, the itinerary included an overnight at a Buddhist temple and a visit to the former capital, Gyeongju. Seen here, Gwanghwamun, which means Enlightenment Gate, is the entry point to Gyeongbok Palace. The mountain at left is indicative of the capital city's surroundings. Photos by Nadine Godwin; posted July 30, 2014

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 2 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Costumed reenactors demonstrate the traditional changing of the guard ceremony at Seoul's Gyeongbok Palace.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 3 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Interior of the king's audience hall at Seoul's Gyeongbok Palace, with brightly painted wood ceiling elements and very red pillars.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 4 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Part of the royal residential area in Gyeongbok Palace, with a bit of mountain scenery in the background.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 5 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Some of the more than 2,500 figures that appear on a 630-foot ceramic painting, the world's largest, in downtown Seoul. The painting represents King Jeongjo's Procession, an eight-day 18th century journey to his father's tomb, and adorns a wall on one side of Cheonggye Stream. The city recently created a park with the below-street-level stream, a former drainage canal, as the centerpiece.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 6 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Figures, made of traditional Korean paper, floating on Seoul's Cheonggye Stream. Effectively oversized lanterns, these floats were part of a temporary special exhibit.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 7 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A courtyard in the model house that tourists visit in Seoul's Bukchon Hanok Village. The raised floor leaves room for under-floor heating.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 8 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A modern high-rise, an example of recent architectural endeavors in the South Korean capital.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 9 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Seoul's still more futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which debuted in March. Meant to foster and showcase creative Korean and international products, the DDP is expected to help make Seoul a go-to design center.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 10 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A staircase in Seoul's futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza. While its design has been controversial, the DDP attracted a million visitors in its first month.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 11 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    The brightly painted Daebiro Hall, seen in the foreground, at Haeinsa Temple in the mountains south of Seoul. The main hall for services, seen in the rear, carries this name: Daejeokgwangjeon.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 12 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    The twin Buddhas for which Daebiro Hall at Haeinsa is famous. These are described as the world's oldest wooden Buddhas (now covered in gold).

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 13 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A Haeinsa monk, using a very large hanging drum, calls fellow Buddhists to an evening service.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 14 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A Haeinsa monk captures his colleague's drumming skills on film, for training purposes.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 15 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    A Haeinsa monk hosts outsiders catching a glimpse of the Tripitaka Koreana, the world's most complete collection of Buddhist writings. The Buddhist canon was carved on 81,258 wooden blocks nearly 800 years ago, and these blocks are now on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage list.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 16 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Exterior of the wooden storage complex accommodating the 800-year-old Tripitaka Koreana.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 17 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Grass-covered burial mounds seen in the Daereungwon Tomb Complex in Gyeongju, a former capital of Korea. There are 155 such mounds in the city's downtown.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 18 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Guardians at Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, South Korea. Artist-created guardians are sometimes paintings, sometimes very colorful statues.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 19 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Members of the recent KTO press trip to Korea created rubbings -- pagodas rendered in black ink -- while visiting the Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju. Creators of this rubbing were Denise Houlihan, consultant, GET International Tours, Melbourne, Australia, left, and Gigi Inigo, national sales manager, Majestic Vacations, Los Angeles.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 20 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Monks await the start of Seoul's night parade, which concluded this year's Lotus Lantern Festival, the annual celebration of Buddha's birth.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 21 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    Celebrating with lanterns, marchers hold the pieces aloft during the Lotus Lantern Festival's closing night parade in Seoul this spring.

  • Past, future meet in South Korea - 22 of 22

    Past, future meet in South Korea

    In a surprise for tourists, reenactors begin a slow Walk of the Royal Family through Seoul's Incheon International Airport. The walk is described as typical of the last Korean royals, the Choson (or Joseon) Dynasty (1392-1910). Posted signage said the walk occurs three times daily and takes an hour -- plenty of time for many passengers to get an eyeful and a great way to end a trip to Korea.

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