Edit Blog Post
Published: June 16th 2009
Happening only a couple of times a year in the South of Korea the tide allows a massive sand bank to be uncovered in Jindo which quite literally forms a bridge that you can walk across from the main land, 2.8km, to Modo island. I had seen a documentary about the Jindo parting of the sea even before I knew anything about South Korea so I was super excited at the thought of physically experiencing this rather random and miraculous event.
So on Friday night after work I headed down to Suwon station to meet a bunch of mates and at 10:30pm we were off on a train trip down South to see this Jindo miracle for ourselves. The train ride was interesting. Since trains are a very well used mode of transportation they are just about always full. We were very fortunate to get sitting tickets, there are often only standing ticket left which means that you either stand for 4 hours or you seat hop between stops, totally not cool. Since we got some of the last tickets it meant we were all sitting spread out randomly throughout the train. Justine and I were in the same cart
though so we made our way to find our respective seats together. Making our way down the cart looking at the seat numbers we came across Justine’s seat first, to our surprise however, sprawled across both seat, was an ajuma fast asleep! Made debate ensued about how we were going to reclaim Justine’s seat and who was doing to be the one to have to shake her awake. To our relief, the commotion woke the sleeping ajuma were going to reclaim Justine’s seat so neither if us had to entertain the awkward task of shaking the woman awake.
For someone who had just been jolted awake by a couple of western faces, she was surprisingly friendly. Justine politely showed here her train ticket to indicate that actually she was going to be occupying one of the seats. The lady happily took Justine’s ticket, looked at it, gave a broad smile, a nod and then said ah Jindo yes and with that motioned to resume her sleeping position, , it was classic she was completely oblivious the fact that she may actually be occupying someone else’s seat. Lucky for us the people around us interjected and explained to the funny
lady that her slumber party was over and she then very sweetly moved over. Apparently she used Justine’s shoulder as a pillow for the rest of the trip. Nothing like getting up close and personal with a snoring 60 year old Korean woman .
While I wasn’t met with quite the same scenario, when I did find my seat I did have to engage in some ticket showing and negotiation since my seat was also occupied by someone. Train riding in general is very interesting cause there are all kinds of interesting people but what is truly unmistakable is the smell of ojingo, what I call Korean biltong (dried or steamed cuttlefish). I have to say it gives a whole new meaning to opening your lunch box on the train!
Hour later and a whole bunch of fish stench inhalation later we were delivered at Mokpo station. After a few hours sleep in a nearby motel the group arose ready for a day’s adventure. I quick stop at the nearby natural history museum (a really worth while stop in if you have time) and the time for the bus ride to Jindo. In this case The operative
word if you have time cause the trip to Jindo is hardly done on and express bus service, it sure takes time.
A Natural History museum visit and two crazy bus rides later we finally made it to Jindo only to find that the sea had already started parting. We had to really quicken the pace from the bus stop since we didn’t want to end up having come the whole way only to see the event from a distance (the sea only stays open for 90minutes), 1st searching for a set of very cool stalk leg rubber boots. 30mins of mad running around later donned in a pair of rubber shoes and we were officially walking on the sea. Man it was so cool and completely weird to think that in just under an hour the water would be completely covering the walk way again.
It’s so hard to really depict the whole even in a photo but its truly amazing, 1000’s of people walking the walk and just as many harvesting black bags full of sea weed (The Jindo seaweed is apparently the best). It was really incredible!
After spending our time on the ocean
Men in Uniform
Julie-Anne, Julie-Anne and the Seals...
floor we took our freezing selves off for some much needed chow. While devouring some very yummy, unidentifiable, soup we suddenly realized that we were officially stranded in Jindo since all the busses had stopped running. Miraculously in the middle of getting a very inebriated ajeshi to try and call the local taxi service to get them to send thee taxies to fetch us two taxis appeared out of nowhere, little negotiation later and 10 of us squeezed into the two taxies which had agreed to a set rate to take us all the way back to Mokpo. It’s just not an adventure if there isn’t a little drama or negotiation.
Safely back in Mokpo the group of us hit a pub, a whole bunch of service later we figured it just wouldn’t be a good night out without a trip to the nurae bang. I have to say I love South Korea cause we not only managed to get a whole bunch of service at the pub but we were serviced with a free hour at the nurae bang too good old bansela may be waning in South Africa these days but it most certainly exists in
the form of a service in South Korea where ever you go out!
I’m not 100% sure that getting home at 3am and then having to be awoken only a couple of hours later in order to make the 8:30am bus trip home isn’t the best idea but hey lucky for me I managed to land myself on a luxury bus with a fully reclining seat so I managed to get a proper 4 hour sleep in all the way back to Incheon. I have in fact decided, since this trip, that perhaps bussing around Korea is better than training cause its 100% more comfortable!
Jindo was well worth the visit and a whole bunch of fun and if you get the chance I recommend a visit!
Tot: 0.519s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 10; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0077s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb