Cologne: In Search of the Legendary Scent

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I guess most of us have seen the words Eau de Cologne at least once. But have you ever wonder where these words came from? Over time, the original meaning of the words has been slightly altered. But it is still used to describe a scent that has become a legend. And Cologne (Köln in German) is where that legend began.

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Lake Como: The Jewel of Lombardy

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Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling Milan, you will find yourself in an idyllic scenery where deep blue lake set in the shadow of snow-covered Alps, hemmed in by steep, wooded hills and dotted by colourful houses, exquisite villas and palaces. That is Lago di Como (Lake Como) – the jewel of Lombardy.

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The Colours of Hong Kong

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Bright and colourful, Hong Kong has never failed to impress first-time visitors. They are often overwhelmed by the rainbow of colours seen in the brightly lit shop fronts, in the delicious food and on the dazzling skyline. Some would say that this mixture of colours characterises Hong Kong as the melting pot of culture. And each colour represents an aspect of the bustling life that thrives amid towering buildings.

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Viennese Coffee Culture: A Way of Life

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Apart from the imperial palaces, Vienna is also globally known for its coffee culture. Through centuries, the Viennese has elevated the hot beverage into art and its consumption into a delightful way of life. And a traditional Wiener Café (Viennese cafe) is more than an ordinary coffee shop. It is a cultural establishment in which the Vienna’s dolce vita is reflected.

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Gangnam District: From Zero to Hero

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Expensive, exclusive and elite are the most appropriate words to describe Seoul’s Gangnam district. It’s indeed a place to see and be seen, filled with high-end real estate, luxury boutiques and glimmering skyscrapers. But fifty years ago, this area was nothing more than a vast countryside; home to rice paddies and pear farms. And everything you see today has been built since then.

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Saint Gall: A Cultural Gem in Eastern Switzerland

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Having neither a stunning blue lake like Lucerne nor impressive snow-capped mountains, the town of Saint Gall in eastern Switzerland might not be high on the list of the country’s top destinations. However, if you walk inside the Abbey of Saint Gall with its unmistakable twin towers, you can discover a true cultural gem.

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Oslo: A Culture Trip to Norway’s Capital

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Speaking of Norway, it’s not difficult to imagine a picturesque landscape with dense green forests, impressive fjords and mountains. Against such wonderful scenery, it’s easy to forget that man can be artistic as well. That’s why many visitors were left surprised to discover that Oslo’s cultural scene is so abundant, with museums and galleries rivalling any metropolis in Europe.

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Arashiyama: A Beautiful Retreat near Kyoto

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Resembling an ink wash painting, Arashiyama in the western outskirt of Kyoto has long been a favourite escape of the Japanese elites. Since the Heian period, the nobles came here to unwind from the hustle of the city. Today, foreign and domestic tourists flock here to see the evergreen bamboo groves of Arashiyama, as well as to find serenity at Tenryūji – a temple with a stunning mountain backdrop.

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Nijō Castle and a Spectacular Kimono Exhibition

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With wide moats, massive stone walls and imposing keeps, Nijō Castle demonstrates the power of the Tokugawa shoguns who ruled over Japan for more than 260 years. Hidden behind this intimidating facade are, however, dreamy gardens and a magnificent palace where an exquisite collection of kimono was on display.

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Fushimi Inari: A Stroll through Thousands of Torii

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Best known for its endless trail of vermilion torii, Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. It is dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, and has attracted pilgrimages and merchants for centuries. These days visitors from all over the world pour into this place to have a stroll through the beautiful holy gates, as well as to pray the deity for luck and business success.

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A Culinary Journey to Korea: Korean Barbecue

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The sizzling sound, the irresistible aroma and the savoury meat, Korean barbecue has never failed to impress hungry visitors. This dish has extended beyond the borders of its home country, becoming the favourite of many people around the globe. And certainly, a trip to South Korea will never be completed without this grilling experience.

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