Blogs from South Korea, Asia


Asia » South Korea » DMZ April 17th 2015

Hyundais ready for shipment filled the Port of Incheon as we arrived in South Korea this morning. It was a little chilly when we walked to our bus this morning for our tour but the sun was shining and there was no smog from China. When we arrived at the DMZ area we were surprised to see rides and gift shops near the Freedom Bridge. We used the restroom facility there and then reboarded the bus to go to the DMZ third tunnel. We were warned by our guide to take pictures only from behind this yellow line on the observation deck. The line was four feet from the wall and had view finders that were in the way. After taking our photos we approached the wall and obeyed the rule until a huge group of ... read more
Third Tunnel Monument
View of North Korea
Hard Hats for Hard Heads

Asia » South Korea » Seoul April 16th 2015

Here I am, sitting at a public computer in Seoul's infamous Gangnam district south of the Han River. Behind me a noisy group of Koreans and Americans are playing card games and make me wanna send them straight up to Pyongyang for "relax and recreation". I have been in the capital for the last 4-5 days or so, touring pretty much everything that I wanted to see. Unfortunately on my first day here I got a cold so I was a little limited, but a Korean friend of mine showed me around. Always helps to have friends around the blue ball! Anyway, let's focus a little on the title of this post: The faces of Korea. While some people might argue there are many (surgered ones), after my trip I would like to argue that there ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju April 10th 2015

"Our suicide rate is the highest in the world and our birth rate is the lowest", he said. "He" was a middle-aged Korean office clerk, going by the name of Mr. Ryan. I met Mr. Ryan in the lobby of the hostel in Busan, the ROK's second biggest and slightly gritty harbor city in the south of the country. "I have an interest in democracy", he said to a young Hong Kong girl working on her laptop. Recalling the recent umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, he explained his view of similar issues in the ROK. "There is no freedom here" said Mr. Ryan. "Every day we have protests and you never hear about them. Jeju Island, for example, is being sold out to the Chinese and people complain. Nothing happens. There is no democracy in South ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Busan April 7th 2015

Easter Sunday, April 5th, I visited Lotte shopping mall. This place doesn't compare to anything I've seen in the U.S. It is 12 floors of awesomeness. I took the metro/subway to the mall and exited and Nampo-dong, which fed me into the first floor of the mall. It has tons of seating and so many different places to eat that you cannot choose easily. I kept turning my head from one side to another and was so overwhelmed with the options I decided to get right to shopping for what I needed. Each floor has different items to shop for. For example, one floor has young women's fashions, another floor has men's fashion, home furnishing, and so on. One floor is dedicated to shoes and purses- I almost had a heart attack. I saw so many ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do » Yangsan April 6th 2015

Good morning from South Korea! Today is April 6, 2015. I have officially survived 4 months living away from home in South Korea. In 4 months, I have spent my first holiday season away from my family... and discovered that family doesn't always have to be blood. I have watched my niece and nephew grow up via social media from the other side of the world... and realized how thankful I am for the technology I have access to. I have watched as several of my friends count down to and make huge life changes: engagements; weddings; babies... and, once again, I can only be thankful for things like Facebook giving me the ability to keep in touch with a simple click of a button. In the past 4 months, I have made many new friends ... read more
Emma and Viktoria in Hong Kong
Christin and I in Manila
Wes in Manila

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Seodaemun-gu April 4th 2015

Gaemi Maeul means Ant Village, and is located in northern Seoul. The village is in the foothills of Inwangsan Mountain. It is very easy to get to. I took the subway to Hongje Station and came out of exit one. I walked along the street for about 5 minutes and came to the bus stop. This area of northern Seoul is more traditional, since it was a Saturday, loads of adjummas had set up stalls along the path, selling fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This neighbourhood is a contrast to the modern, polished areas of Gangnam and the like, south of the river. I waited a little while at the bus stop, there were plenty of buses coming and going, but not the number 07, which I needed. The journey on the minibus took about 10 to ... read more
Trail to Inwangsan
Gaemi Maeul
Gaemi Maeul

Asia » South Korea » Jeju » Seogwipo April 4th 2015

The arguably most unpleasant of these 3 famous characteristics of Jeju I am experiencing right now: I am stuck on a 12 hour boat ride from the South Korean Jeju Island to the coastal city of Busan and a storm is rocking me literally up and down. The crackling vessel is only topped by the relentless whistling of the wind on my cabin window and the rain pouring on the deck. Although I am a born but reluctant mountaineer I have always had a fascination with the sea, opting for the ferry over a 30 minute flight... It all started 4 days ago. For this easter break I decided to head to Jeju Island in the extreme south of South Korea (ROK) and travel my way up to Seoul. I have never been very interested in ... read more
Jeju Island
Jeju Island
Jeju Island

Asia » South Korea » Jeju April 3rd 2015

In the spring of 2009 I got my first real taste of living away from home, in another country, and my first real dose of the travel bug. I spent a semester living in Derby, England and studying at the university there. I got to visit places that had been on my bucket list for years - I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and visited the Louvre, climbed Notre Dame and saw Sacre Coeur; I went inside the Colosseum and climbed to the top of the Vatican / St. Peter's Basilica; I made my way up the winding staircases of the Leaning Tower of Pisa; and got to visit Germany, Switzerland, and Spain to boot. As a university student I lived in university housing. Our flat consisted of 6 people - 3 boys ... read more
Japanese shelter
Beautiful views all around!
After the first "hike"

Asia » South Korea » Busan April 1st 2015

Penis is popular in Korea! Yes, you read this correctly. I haven't been 'schooled' on this yet BUTT (see what I did there?) I am assuming it has to do with fertility and virility. Anyway, I saw this statue outside of a restaurant/eatery on my way to school and on the 3rd day I have into my inner child. I took a photo. I did it quick so that I wouldn't offend anyone. Of course, I giggled as I snapped the photo. If you think this is interesting then check out photos of Haesindang Park (해신당 공원), also called Penis Park, is a park located on the east coast of South Korea, in a small town called Sinnam. Guess where I will be visiting as soon as I can?! Hahah! Can you imagine how proud my ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Busan April 1st 2015

One of the things I wanted to see in South Korea was the Cherry Blossom trees. They are not native to United States and I don't know if they are anywhere there. (Perhaps in Japanese Gardens). They are the national flower of Japan, not Korea, but they are everywhere in Korea. Right now spring has blossomed thousands of Cherry Blossom trees here and I am so happy to be able to see them. I cannot express, in words, how beautiful they are what a sweet aroma they give off. It is amazing to walk down the street and see rows of these trees. There are large mountain/hillsides around my town and in between the green are the delicate pink trees. Absolutely stunning! Lucky me.... read more

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