Blogs from South Korea, Asia - page 16


Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Sokcho June 28th 2014

28th Jun: We left Suwon around eight. The bus journey was long and tedious, it took about four hours. The only highlights were the conversation and passing by the beautiful Seoraksan. We were deposited at Sokcho bus station around midday. Bathrooms are rank. We got a caffeine fix and took a taxi to Naksan beach. The journey took around 15 to 20 minutes and cost around 15,000 won. We were deposited at our motel. We checked in and got the keys for the two rooms. We went and checked them and the room with the extra bedding was for the four of us. We were confused as the rooms were meant to have a kitchen, but we couldn't see it in the room. We scoffed at the size of the wardrobe, it was huge for beach ... read more
Naksan Beach
Naksansa Temple
View From The Temple

Asia » South Korea » Incheon June 24th 2014

Many years ago I had my first sampling of Korean food back in my home country of Myanmar, and found it very much to my liking. Since then, I've always wanted to see South Korea, officially called the Republic of Korea. I had my chance when a Korean friend whom I had known briefly in Thailand when he was working there, invited me to visit his country. It was the first week of May in Bangkok, Thailand. I had just returned from visiting my daughter and her family in Los Angeles, USA. The new academic year at the college where I worked was due to begin in 10 days time, but I still had the travel itch in me. So, on a sudden impulse I shot an email to Mr. Kim in Seoul saying that I ... read more
S Korea 8 May 2008-3
S Korea 8 May 2008-8
S Korea 8 May 2008-11

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju June 21st 2014

21st Jun: Our train left Suwon station around ten to nine. After a quick sandwich and coffee for breakfast and planning what we would do while we were in Gyeongju, we napped away the rest of the journey. The KTX station Sin-Gyrongju is not in a great location. It's about a twenty to thirty minute bus journey from the city centre. Armed with the bus times to Yangnam for tomorrow, we hopped on to a bus to the city centre. There are loads of buses coming and going from the station, so even though it is in the middle of nowhere, it is well connected to the city. The bus journey was fairly quick and painless. We got off at the regular train station, and located our hostel, that was a five minute walk away from ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Yongsan-gu June 14th 2014

A night out in style! We had made a reservation to have dinner at the posh N Grill in Namsan tower. Our reservation was for seven, so we all met around 6:30 in Myeongdong and headed over to the cable car to be whisked up to the base of the tower. Well, disaster struck, we got to the cable car and it was heaving. The queue was huge. We tried to hop into a taxi and get them to take us up, but no taxis can't go all the way up to Namsan Tower. So we had to call the restaurant and tell them our predicament. It must happen quite a lot as they said they would send us a text message, so that we could jump the queue. The text message arrived and we headed ... read more
The View
Appetizer of the Day
Appetizer of the Day

Asia » South Korea » DMZ June 11th 2014

While intense and intimidating, I did not find the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) the scariest place on earth so called by former President Bill Clinton. I took a USO sponsored tour to the DMZ a few days ago and was actually kind of surprised how calm it appeared. After a US Army briefing, we were escorted on a bus from Camp Bonifas at the DMZ boundary right through to Panmunjeom which straddles the military demarcation line (MDL). Each country has 2 buildings right across the MDL (called the Joint Security Area, or JSA, here) and we could enter one of the South Korean's where there were 2 South Korean soldiers on guard: one standing across the MDL; the other was entirely in North Korea. We then proceeded to checkpoint #3 which, through a demarcation oddity, is ... read more
Specialist Woods at the JSA
North Korean Soldier Checking Us Out
North Korean Building at the JSA

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do » Jinju June 7th 2014

While the title may sound like my last 2 years on the road, it is actually part of the teachings of Buddha that I tried to absorb during a temple stay in Jirisan National Park. Hwaeomsa Temple is one of many offering temple stays that can be reserved over the internet. Several are in or close to major cities but Hwaeomsa is in the national park (near Gurye) where there are several hiking trails including an overnight trip to Ssangyesa Temple. Hiking wasn't really part of the program at Hwaeomsa but is at a few temple stays. Almost the entire program was in Korean but there were a couple of Korean ex-pats who took me under their wings. Aside from waking up at o'dark thirty (a.k.a., 3:00 in the morning), the toughest part was the purported ... read more
Hwaeomsa Temple
Hwaeomsa Temple
Hwaeomsa Temple

Asia » South Korea » Jeju » Mount Halla June 1st 2014

It didn't take long to tackle the highest mountain in South Korea, Halla-san, located on Jeju Island. The mountain, actually a volcano, possibly extinct, is not that high, only 1,950 m (6,398') but the summit trail is 9.6 km making for a fairly long day. Halla-san is not the highest mountain in Korea as there are a couple of higher peaks in North Korea neither of which I will be tagging on this trip. The highest there, however, can be reached from China according to a South Korean peak bagger whom I met on the trail. Even though I only arrived in South Korea Friday evening after a very long trip from Seattle, I've been feeling pretty, pretty good and went for the summit on my second full day here. Glad I did as rain has ... read more
Next Break at Jindalaebat Shelter
Summit in View

Asia » South Korea » Chungcheongnam-do » Taean May 31st 2014

31st May: First beach weekend of the year! We left Suwon around 10 am on the bus. The traffic was good and we arrived in Taean just before midday. We bought our return bus tickets and chilled in the Dunkin' opposite the station waiting for the others to arrive. I had the most god awful doughnut, it was meant to be a savoury one, or at least that's what the name implied. But no, it was coated in sugar, I really hate Asia's obsession with sugar at times, and they say us Westerners have a sweet tooth. We had a look around the station area for a restaurant to eat at. We couldn't find anything we liked so we headed deeper into downtown Taean. We found a pizza place and got a couple of pizzas to ... read more
Pretty Flowers

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 30th 2014

When I set out for The Trip To End All Trips (TTTEAT) back on May 1, 2012 it really was meant to be the ultimate trip. However, about ¾ of the way through TTTEAT I realized it was not going to be long enough to accomplish my travel goals. It could be argued that TNTTEAT is really just a continuation of TTTEAT as I only passed through the US for a few weeks and barely sat still long enough to grow any roots whatsoever. I arrived in Seoul, South Korea a few hours ago after an 11 hour flight from Vancouver, Canada which was preceded by a 50 minute puddle jump from Seattle. There's a 16 hour time difference between Seattle and Seoul so needless to say I am wiped out and eager to hit the ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 24th 2014

Prologue Heading back to Honolulu from Singapore, I had planned an 11-hour layover in Seoul (reduced to 9 hours because of a flight delay) to explore a new city. I had researched in advance and I planned to take the airport train to Seoul Station and from there explore Gyeongbok Palace, Insadong, the controversial Cheonggyecheon Stream project and a couple more places if time permitted. Landing in Seoul at around 10.45am, I got through immigration quickly and was in the arrivals hall by 11.15am. Despite the delay and the 3.15 am departure out of Singapore, I was well-rested thanks to Asiana's comfortable Business Class bed seat. While looking for the left luggage facility to deposit my roller bag, I chanced upon a counter for their free city tours. I picked up a brochure and saw that ... read more
Tacky Curtains on Tour Bus
Dongdaemon Design Plaza
Changdeok Palace

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