Taipei, Taiwan: Wait, are we back in China?

As I continue catching up on our trip back in February (yikes!), it’s time to talk about Taiwan.  There’s really no reason this post got so far behind as it was actually the shortest part of our trip – we were only in Taipei for about 36 hours!  We had decided to stop here because to get from Tokyo to Vietnam you could either take an expensive flight with a long layover, or a cheap short flight to Taipei and a second cheap short flight onward to Hanoi.  We decided on the latter and got a tiny taste of Taiwan.

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Seoul, South Korea: History in the Making

After Xi’an and Harbin, it was finally time for us to leave China!  After spending the past 5 months in the same country, we’d forgotten how disorienting it is to deal with new language, currency, and cultural norms.  We were a little embarrassed to not even be able to say “hello,” “sorry,” or “thank you.”  Still, we were excited to dig into the new culture and explore as much as we could in our limited time.  While the city of Seoul was amazing, the highlight for us was definitely our day trip to the Joint Security Area (JSA).  This is part of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates North and South Korea.  We learned so much about the politics between North and South, and came away feeling like we had just visited a part of current history – who knows how long the JSA and DMZ will be present, and what the future holds for the formerly unified country?  Keep reading to hear more about this eye-opening experience, and to find out what else we did in Seoul!

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