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One of the biggest joys of visiting Thailand’s capital is trying some of the world-famous Bangkok street food. Every neighborhood in the city smells delicious because there is always someone cooking around each corner. From heavily-trafficked tourist areas to quiet residential neighborhoods, Bangkok certainly serves up some exquisite street food. Here are a few of my favorites:
There are 40 royal tombs honoring members of the Korean Joseon Dynasty throughout South Korea. The scenic tombs are scattered in about 18 different clusters — most of which are located near Seoul.
One such cluster, housing Seolleung and Jeongneung, is located in modern-day Gangnam. Seonjeongneung is the burial grounds of two Joseon Dynasty kings and one queen.
An entry fee of 1,000 KRW grants you access to the expansive, gorgeous park.
The first structure you encounter at most royal tombs is the Jeongjagak shrine — the site where memorial services are held and offerings are presented.
Two paths called “chamro” lead up to the T-shaped shrine building. The sinro path is slightly elevated because this is the spirit road. You are not allowed to walk on the spirit road unless, of course, you are a spirit or a god of some sort. The eoro path runs parallel to the sinro — this is the path of the king, and this is the one you are supposed to take when visiting the tombs.
There are also two sets of separate staircases leading up to the shrine. The spirit stairs are larger and more ornately decorated with stone swirls along the sides. The king’s stairs are simply stacks of bricks (with a helpful little “you may step on” sign guiding the visitors’ way).
Beyond the first Jeongjagak building at Seonjeongneung are the tombs of King Seongjong and Queen Jeonghyeon. King Seongjong is the ninth king of the Joseon Dynasty, and he ruled from 1469-1494.
Queen Jeonghyeon was his second wife who outlived him by 35 years. She is most notable for her interest in reviving Korean Buddhism. In 1498, she had the nearby Gyeonseongsa Temple refurbished and renamed as Bongeunsa.
The grave mounds are protected on three sides by walls and are flanked by great stone statues of scholars, soldiers, horses and other animals that watch over the tombs.
In addition to the tombs, the grounds offer a very beautiful chance to escape the bustle of Seoul to stroll through thickets of trees, see wild pheasants and fall down in the mud. Trust me: I did all three. The air smells fresh and woodsy, and there are apricots and grapes growing around every corner.
But, don’t worry; you’re not really, really in nature. I am such a sucker for that silvery city skyline visible just above the groves of red pine trees.
On the other side of the site is the Jeongneung tomb — the burial ground of King Jungjong. He was the 11th king of the Joseon Dynasty and King Seongjong’s second son. King Jungjong is known for succeeding his tyrannical half-brother, Yeonsangun, to the throne after the latter was overthrown in a coup in 1506.
I don’t usually like to do things that could be considered “a step in the right direction” at the beginning of the year because I don’t want people to get the impression that I’m the kind of person who resolves to better myself. Nah, I plan to be terrible for a long, long time to come.
Still, I couldn’t help taking advantage of the opportunity to challenge myself with a three-day juice cleanse. And I did it, with the help of Pressed Juicery, who delivered the 18 requisite beverages (six per day) that comprise “Cleanse #2” to my doorstep at 4 a.m.
So, I drank my juices throughout the day as instructed. But I was hungry. Real hungry. And I did not feel energized, nor did I “glow.” And I’m sure I’ve since erased any progress I made “resetting” my body with all the Wingstop I’ve eaten since the cleansing ended. I guess some people are not cut out for that cleansing life.
I do, however, feel like I relate more to my fellow Angelenos since the completion of my juice cleanse. I feel more susceptible to Scientology and quinoa salad, too. Maybe I’ll try another cleanse in the future when I’m more mentally prepared to stock up on kale and organic guacamole afterwards. Anything could happen. 2015 is full of possibilities.
Greens 2: kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon
The first juice of the day is your standard green juice. This is what juicing is all about. It definitely tastes like it’s healthy — that is to say, it’s not super delicious, but it’s not bad. After a day or two, it begins to taste like you’ve been weeding the garden face-first. Make of that what you will.
Citrus 2: apple, lemon, pineapple, mint
I really expected this to be more delicious than it is. “Citrus” sounds tasty, the ingredients are all appealing, and the color of this juice is one of the most attractive. But the apple and mint are the most overpowering flavors in this one. It’s not the best.
Greens 3: kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, ginger
They didn’t actually give me any of these! Instead, they sent me duplicates of the Greens 2, which is fine because the only difference is that Greens 3 is supposed to contain ginger. And who needs ginger? Nah, not me.
Roots 3: apple, lemon, beet, ginger
I had high hopes for this because I feel like red juices are usually delightful. Clearly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Roots 3 tastes like garbage. This is probably the roughest juice of the day. All beet with the distinctive, overwhelming zing of ginger in your face. It’s a chore to swallow. Do not recommend.
Lemon H2O: lemon, cayenne, filtered water
I expected this lemon water to taste more like lemonade. So naïve. It tastes like spicy, lemon garbage. I just had to close my eyes and drink it quickly, praying that it was actually doing something beneficial for my body. Supposedly, it preps your digestive tract for absorption. But it’s so awful, y’all.
Vanilla almond: filtered water, almond, dates, vanilla bean, sea salt
Well, I think this is the only juice that was genuinely enjoyable for me. I so looked forward to it at the end of each increasingly difficult day of the cleanse. That’s because it tastes like a milkshake and provides protein and healthy fats. My kinda drink. It’s more filling and satisfying than the other juices. Would definitely drink again.