Blogs from South Korea, Asia - page 344

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Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 9th 2006

So, in the fall Yonsei has a huge sports day. It is so big that they have a fairly large sort of pep rally to celebrate several months before the big day. This event it called Akaraka. Over 20,000 students pour into an arena dressed in all blue and white (Yonsei colors). They let out their school spirit through songs and cheers. Since Yonsei is one of the most prominent schools in Korea, school spirit is something they definitely have, unlike Maryville. It is so big in fact that some of Korea’s most famous and popular singers come as the entertainment. People brought blue towels to swing in the air; they wore red, light-up devil horns; they set off sparklers and when all of the sparklers went out, turned on their cell phones and waved them ... read more
Akaraka Arena
Sun setting behind the stage
Sparklers, glowsticks, and cellphones

Asia » South Korea » Gwangju May 8th 2006

I will be leaving to Gwangju, S. Korea around June 12th, and I need advice on what essentials to bring and what I should leave behind. So far, I have gathered that deodorant, toothpaste, and other toiletries are very expensive there, and I should pack a year's supply...true? I've also been reading a lot of blogs that say the weather is very unstable...one day it's hot, the next day freezing. If I don't pack a lot of clothes, are there places that sell clothes at a decent price, or should I pack as much as possible? I don't have a lot of family here, so I am pretty much selling most of my things. I can get by with pretty little, but I also don't want to end up paying $20 for a simple product I ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Jeollabuk-do » Kunsan May 8th 2006

This is not really a travel entry but a move entry. See I moved (my 3rd time since I’ve been here) into a new apartment last week. Which is weird because I had a lease until August, but the owner decided to sell? Well I found a place by Eunpa Lake were I run and were the Cherry Blossoms are. It is a true 3 bedroom apartment, and one of the bedrooms actually has a built in closet. The view is kind of better, if I look to the right there is a hill with some trees and if I look to the left I can see Eunpa Lake, if I look straight I look onto another apartment complex. Parking is worse here. You Tennessee park (back into your spot), when all those spots are taken ... read more
Veiw Looking Straight
Veiw Looking Right
Parking 1

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 8th 2006

Well, I haven't actually added a blog for a loooong time...so I guess I'll cover Buddha's Bday, as well as the 3 day weekend and the latest saga at the Hogwan. Maybe I'll forget about the Hogwan saga...don't feel like talking about work at the moment. Anyways...didn't too much for Buddha's Bday. Anna and I went to Insadong and saw a bunch of lanterns and stuff set up for the parade, but we had moved on to Gecco's by nightfall...we're never ones to pass up a nice margarita! hehe. This weekend we had 3 whole days!! YAY! No Wishing Well English School for 3 days!!! Anyways, Thursday night we went out, Friday we hung around outside and basically did a whole lot of nothing..but it was a beautiful day so who cares! Saturday it rained cats ... read more
Teahouse
Lanterns
soccer!

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju May 8th 2006

For one thing, it is an adventure in and of itself to travel with 12 co-workers, co-inhabiters for a weekend long single room stay. OK, in all fairness, the first night we had two rooms....one housing our Korean administrator, her friend, and 3 female foreign teachers. The other, the rest of us. You learn in a hurry who snores...and if you are reading this, you know who you are. Let's admit it, everyone in Gyeongju knows who you are. But it was all part of the fun, watching the drama unfold as 13 people that already get quite enough of one another, attempting a weekend of fun and togetherness. No fists were thrown, no pillows anhiliated, no hearts broken. There was a little tension, but all things considered, the weekend went off without a hitch. Aside ... read more
The bus
Bulguksa Temple
Three story stone pagodas

Asia » South Korea » Panmunjom May 6th 2006

This past weekend I went on the DMZ Tour with the Korean Conflict class. Even though I had already been to North Korea, I thought taking advantage of this opportunity would be educational. We woke up bright and early and left on the 1-hour bus ride to the Joint Security Area (JSA). It was cold and rainy, but over 90 people still showed up to go. At the JSA, both North and South Korean armed forces co-exist in the same work environment. Though it is common to see troops from the North in the JSA, this by no means takes away from the seriousness and constant threat that exists between the two groups. There is no harmony, only the necessary respect that comes with wanting to keep peace and doing one's job. Both sides are allowed ... read more
South Korean Soldier
JSA
Panmungak of North Korea

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 5th 2006

Lotus Lantern Festival The city of Seoul and the entire country of Korea has been preparing for Buddha’s Birthday for several months. The streets have been lined with neon colored lanterns that are lit at night, and so are the temples. The festivities started off with a Lotus Lantern Festival that took place the Sunday before Buddha's Birthday, in downtown Seoul near Insadong. Earlier in the day, Jogye-sa (one of the temples in the area) hosted a large lantern-making event for foreigners. The places were quickly filled and since it was the day after Meredith and I got back from Seoraksan, we missed out on the chance to participate. In Korean Buddhism, the Lotus Flower stands for purity, perfection and spiritual enlightenment. Other than the lanterns, you will see halls filled with paintings and sculptures containing ... read more
Lantern Cieling
Woman with lotus lanterns
BUddhas

Asia » South Korea May 5th 2006

The honeymoon continues….and more in the standard honeymoon style. No more yaks, dust, ice and horse milk for us…this time it was the proper sunshine, white beaches and palm trees. By volunteering to work 8 days in a row, we managed to swindle a 6-day break. Well worth it, especially considering we’re now in the middle of our third day back, and the extra work has been almost a holiday in itself. Meaning that you get to hear about our latest escapades (on company time…shhhh). So, as soon as we scored these days off, we became quite taken with the idea of the semi-tropical paradise that is Jeju Island . It’s been many months since we’ve seen anything resembling warm sunshine, so we booked up some flights and spent the night at our favourite 5-storey jjimjilbang ... read more
Buddha - always a favourite with the kiddies
Korea's highest peak - Mt Hallasan
We thought we'd escaped such scenes

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 5th 2006

This will be a very short entry since I just got home from shopping at 3 in the morning and is in terribly need of some sleep! Yes, the shopping centres here are open till 6am...and just as full as always I guess. Go clubbing and then straight to the shopping lanes...why not?! Anyway, I wanted to inform everyone that I have two more job offers to consider the next couple of days as both Bosch departments in Stuttgart, with which I had interviews last week, apparently want me. I guess I'll have to thank some people for putting in a word or two for me along the way. Ok, sleep tight, I will! /Magnus ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 4th 2006

The trip to the Bukhansan national park was an adventure in many ways. I made it there by subway and bus and was met by lots of Korean hikers carrying walking sticks and the very latest in hiking fashion. What I had heard about Koreans being into hiking seemed more than true. After walking along the road through one of the still remaining gates of the old fortification wall, build to hold off intruders from the north, I got into the valley. Lots of locals selling lots of food to tourists. I got off the main road and on to the trail. My goal was Baekundae, a peak of 836m. As I went on it got rockier and rockier and steeper and steeper. The second part of the hike was actually tough and I'm glad I ... read more
Rocky
On top!
My photographer




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