Helsinki July 2017

Leaving Copenhagen, we flew to Helsinki, the capital of Finland.  Helsinki was established as a trading port by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 but was plagued by poverty and wars until Russia defeated Sweden in the Finnish War and annexed Finland in 1809.  The Russian Czar moved the capital from Turku to Helsinki … Continue reading Helsinki July 2017

Muscat Mar 2016

We flew into Muscat, the capital of Oman, from Dubai and since it was a Friday, we just lazed around the Grand Hyatt Hotel where we stayed.  Muscat has always been an important trading port between the east and the west and was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreigners such as the … Continue reading Muscat Mar 2016

Fujian Tulous Part 2: Tianluokeng, Hegui Lou, Yun Shui Yao, Huaiyuan Lou Dec 2015

Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster (田螺坑土楼群) translates to “Snail Pit” is one of the better known tulou clusters in Fujian.  It is nicknamed “Four dishes with a soup” in Chinese because of the four round buildings surrounding a center square one.  These tulous were built between the Yuan Dynasty and the 1960s.  We were first taken to … Continue reading Fujian Tulous Part 2: Tianluokeng, Hegui Lou, Yun Shui Yao, Huaiyuan Lou Dec 2015

Fujian Tulous Part 1: Chenqi Lou, Yuchang Lou Dec 2015

A 3-hour drive from Xiamen, in southeast China, takes you to Nanjing County where you will find the largest concentration of Fujian Tulous (福建土樓), or Hakka earthen roundhouses.  Not until the 1950s did people, both within China and around the world, even know that tulous existed.  Many of these large enclosed and fortified buildings were … Continue reading Fujian Tulous Part 1: Chenqi Lou, Yuchang Lou Dec 2015