As a photography enthusiast, I love the ‘golden hour.’ It is the precious time around sunrise and sunset when sunlight diffuses evenly, leaving a warm golden blanket over the Earth. It is tempting to simply hold up the camera and snap infinite shots in the embrace of honey-sweet light rays.


It leaves you vying for escape, makes you want to rush to the countryside or climb up the highest building to savor the finest beauty

Not all places allow you to observe the golden hour though. With cities growing and pollution rising, sometimes (or most of the time) the sun simply refuses to be seen. All that is left to see is the dying amber sliding briefly over pollutant-ridden clouds or a flickering sunbeam behind skyscrapers. It leaves you vying for escape, makes you want to rush to the countryside or climb up the highest building to savor the finest beauty that our burning ball in space has to offer.

So you can imagine how absolutely moved I was when I set foot in San Francisco: it was beautiful. Despite the homelessness, the inequality, the dystopian economy, I still fell head over heels in love with the enchanting soft yellow glow of the city every late afternoon. Light bounced off glass buildings and giant towers of Financial District, glided over the leaves in front of the City Hall, and climbed up the high roads of Nob Hill to cast golden magic over the City by the Bay.

When I packed up and left San Francisco for my (seemingly) perpetual travel with Minerva, I thought there would be no place like it again. And yet, I met Seoul. As gentle as the city and the people of Seoul itself, the afternoon sunlight brought a flow of honey-sweetness creeping throughout the city, caressing everything in its calming embrace. And now, more and more do I wish for the snow to come and bring even more softness and glamor to the golden sunlight of Seoul.

In San Francisco (by Cyrus M22):

In San Francisco (by Anh M21):

In Seoul (by Anh M21):