Blogs from Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea, Asia


Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu March 12th 2016

Gwanaksan is a popular hiking spot in Seoul. There are many trails and it is easily accessible from various subway stations. I started from Sadang station and came out of exit six. I took the same route I had done previously, when walking the Seoul Trail, and headed up through the streets of small apartment buildings to reach the start of the trail. Last time the steep driveway up to the temple was a killer, but this time it wasn't too bad. I headed past the temple and instead of heading around the base of the mountain headed upwards. The mountain is only 629 metres high, so the trails aren't too long. The trail we took up was quite steep and rocky. However, it wasn't too bad. There were some cool rocks that had a lot ... read more
Army Bunker

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu January 24th 2016

Today's trail would take me from Sadang Station to Seoksu Station around the base of Gwanaksan Mountain. The trail is 12.7 kilometres and would take around 5 hours and fifty minutes to complete. The trail is rated as medium difficult. It is split into two sections Sadang to entrance of Seoul University, which is 5.8 kilometres, and then Seoul University Entrance to Seoksu Station, which is 6.9 kilometres. I exited Sandang Station at exit four and walked past the various shops and bus stops. I must be made as I think I pickedthe coldest day of the year to hike on. It was -18 degrees Celsius. I had put on a few extra layers to try and fend off the cold, I hoped that they would work. I spotted a Seoul Trail sign that told me ... read more
Temple Gate
-18° Celsius
Gwaneumsa Temple

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu March 5th 2013

Well, my time in Korea is rapidly coming to an end. I thought I was ready to leave, but as I sat with my students on my final day of work, I felt myself welling up. The kids were being extra kee-owa (meaning "cute," the first Korean word I learned,) and I started thinking about the daily routine of my life in Seoul that I had grown so accustomed to. How had it become normal for me to receive daily hugs from adorable little Asians as they said "I love you Yenny teacher!"? How was dancing with a group of kids to "Summer Lovin" and singing at the top of my lungs part of my daily life? How was walking into a classroom with twenty pairs of eager eyes staring expectantly up at me, just an ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu April 17th 2012

Today I went to watch a singing brodcast recording at Inkiyago.I got to see some og my favourite Korean singers and band perform. This was the first time I ever saw Korean singers live and I was super happy and excited. I'm still happy thinking about it now. The recording started at 11:00pm and I got there at 9:30. Even then there was lots of people there already waiting in the line. There were many fans there holding up signs with the name of their favourite singer or band. Everytime a car drives in people would cream and cheer... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu July 7th 2011

Ok, so classes are going well, I'm learning a lot about Korean culture and how the education system works. In politics I'm learning so much about Chinese philosophical thought and how it relates to modern government. Today we discussed Laozi in comparison to Mencius and Xunxi. Pretty deep. The impression I'm getting, from the students in my class, is that if you're not smart and if you don't work hard, you're a nobody. We were discussing the grade B+ - I didn't say anything but they implied that if they got a B+ it would be a pretty poor grade. Maybe that's because I'm attending a pretty good school in Korea, but the stress that's put on these students... wow I don't envy them. Saying that though, they're all super cultured and into international politics. From ... read more
tea house
more tea
snacks: rice cakes, almonds and cashews

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu July 17th 2010

2 years 2 months...737 days. That is the culmination of time spent in the land of the morning calm. I can't say all of it has been great, but I can't say it's all been terrible either. It is what it is. It was my routine. It seems strange and almost scary to leave the 10 by 25 shelter I call home. That doesn't mean I am not ready to leave. I feel like I have accomplished more than what I was expecting to when I first came over. I have made great friends and shared happy and sad memories with all of them. I have seen what is like to be a minority for once in my life, and grapple with different cultural values on a mundane level. There is not much more to ... read more
ride alone
bus views
North Korean building

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu February 23rd 2010

Here it is. The gradual step towards leaving a country that I have called home now for almost 2 years. When I say gradual I mean just that. I have signed a 6 month contract with my company that will keep me in the land of the Morning Calm until August 5th 2010. I am staying with the same school and company that I have been with for the past year, and teaching relatively the same kids. It has been hard to really sit down and hash out a new blog, since most of life around Korea is staying pretty constant. The big trip I took recently was back home to Portland, and well I saw a good majority of you all and you know how the trip went. It was great to see family and ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu December 19th 2009

20th December 2009 Okay, I’m now on my way to South Korea, got a lift to Heathrow Terminal 4 by lovely Jodie, left at 5am, due to the cold weather in England, it’s been very bad snow around London for the past 3 to 4 days so leaving early was a good choice. First time in Terminal 4, and it was very clean and tidy too, good lay out, many people as you would expect at any international airport. Lots of queues to book in, but lucky for me Jodie spotted that I was at to check in at desk 74, and would you know it, it was free, how cool is that, no queuing, I was so pleased. Said my goodbyes and headed for the security check-in. Got on the plane and then we were ... read more
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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu June 25th 2009

The title speaks for it self of how hot and humid it has become. It seems that the weather here in Korea is just as sneaky as our short tempered neighbor to the North. Well last time I wrote, North Korea hadn't detonated a nuclear missile, and we were just beginning our heat wave. This is where I will begin, there has been a lot happening lately, including yours truly's 26th birthday. So I woke up one morning (as I usually do) and opened the computer to check the news and emails. As NPR loads, I notice the head line..."North Korean Detonates Nuclear Missile". Well I sat there for a second taking in just the headline and what that meant. Then I went on an adventure in my head of what happened. What played out was ... read more
Back balconies

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwanak-gu May 13th 2009

A lot has changed for me, and I wrote about that in the last blog. I am now settled down into my job and new house. Money is coming in and not in partial payments, and I have friends that are feeling the same anxious warmth on our minds and hearts. The warm weather arrived and so did Swine flu along with it. I am lucky enough not to have contracted that wonderful gift, but tempt my fate throughout the week eating health amounts of pork in forms of galbi, samgapsal, dongcass. I did happen to get a minor cold which I am in the process of battling now. It has allowed me to slow down my schedule and sit down and do some reading and writing. Earlier in the month we had a national holiday ... read more
cool idea
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