North Korea has attempted three times to establish special economic zones, where foreign companies can establish production facilities and enjoy special benefits and concessions, in order to attract foreign investment […]
Last time I visited Yánjí, in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Jilin Province, the city was blanketed in a carpet of snow and buffeted by freezing winds sweeping […]
Last month I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon in Beijing’s famous 798 Art District. The precinct is located within a refurbished industrial estate, deriving its name from Factory […]
Pictures taken by the author, July 2012 and June 2013.
BY BEN HABIB.
BY BEN HABIB. This photo gallery documents my trip to the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea in July 2012.
BY BEN HABIB. In July 2008 I had the pleasure of a two night stopover in Taipei, on my way to South Korea. My visit was fortunately timed during a narrow time window between two typhoons, both of which caused significant damage on the island and killed dozens of people. While I was in Taipei, however, the weather was spectacular. The following diary and photo gallery is a snapshot of my day out in Taipei.
BY BEN HABIB. On Wednesday 7th March 2012 I made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Albury entitled Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea. In this presentation I gave a brief chronology of my experiences in and around Korea, touching on some of the interesting things I learnt along the way about Korean history, culture and the North Korean state.
BY BEN HABIB. All North Korea watchers inevitably get to Yánjí at some point in their careers. Yánjí is a small frontier city of approximately 400,000 people, capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, China. It is like a “little Seoul” in northeast China, with a large ethnic Korean (Zhonguo Chaoxian minzu) population navigate dual identities as Chinese citizens of Korean heritage. Many Chaoxian minzu have relatives living in North Korea. Yanbian is nestled in the important strategic border region where the Chinese, North Korean and Russian frontiers meet.
BY BEN HABIB. Some unusual places in the world are magnets for geopolitical intrigue. Fángchuān is one of these places, nestled at the convergence of the Chinese, Russian and North Korean borders on the Tumen River.
BY BEN HABIB. In August 2011 I had the pleasure of visiting the city of Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. The old city of Porto, on the north bank of the Douro River, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) world heritage site that is home to some breathtaking architecture harking back to heyday of the Portuguese empire in the sixteenth century. Today, Porto is a bustling tourist centre catering to visitors predominantly from cooler climes of northern Europe and the home of FC Porto, one of European football’s most successful clubs. The beauty of the city is matched by the charm and sophistication of the people who live in it.
BY BEN HABIB. I’ll be honest, Fiji was not a place I had much interest in visiting. I had always thought it rivalled Bali as the destination of choice for Australia’s least adventurous travellers. However, Fijian society is diverse, culturally rich and ensconsed in beautiful natural wonders. We spent most of our time on Nacula Island (pronounced “Nathula”) in the Yasawa archipelago, northwest of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. This photo essay is a diary of our experiences in this culturally unique and picturesque place.
BY BEN HABIB. South Korea, what an interesting country! I have had the opportunity to visit fascinating nation on three occasions between 2002 and 2008, spending most of my time in Daegu, South Korea’s third largest city, as well as the capital Seoul and the southern port city of Busan. The following is a photographic documentary of my travels in the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’.
BY BEN HABIB. In February 2005 my wife and I travelled to the northern Chinese city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, in the region historically known as Manchuria. Braving temperatures reaching […]
BY BEN HABIB. In 2007 my wife and I travelled to the former Portuguese colony of Goa, on the Arabian Sea coast of India. Goa is both India’s smallest state and richest state, an accolade that arises from its popularity as an international holiday destination. It may be a cliche often repeated of India, but Goa is truly a feast for the senses. I hope this photo gallery can capture, in some small way, the magic that is Goa.
BY BEN HABIB. While not actually visible from space as the urban myth suggests, the Great Wall is nonetheless a breathtaking piece of architecture that stretches over six thousand kilometres from Bohai Gulf in the east to Lop Nur in the Xinjiang Autonomous Prefecture in western China.