Our Romantic Nami Island (남이섬 종합휴양지) Getaway! Just a couple of hours outside the city center of Seoul sits Nami Island. This small, half-moon shaped island in Chuncheon, South Korea is a great place for friends, families, and couples to visit year-round. It was even a magical day in the rain! We got up around 8 AM and…
The blogs I read before coming to Korea all had one particular common post that kind of irks me now that I live here. The majority of them stated that a single, straight woman over the age of 21 or 22 would have a tough time dating.
Let’s Run: A case where going “Off Track” is a good thing.
The new facilities at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel in Seoul, which opened Friday June 3rd, 2016, are clean and quiet. This is a far cry from what I would have imagined having been to some of the casinos throughout Asia. A few juicy details to note before jumping into the nitty-gritty.
In a country the size of Indiana, you would think that the two largest cities would have similar lifestyles. After spending a year in Busan I thought I have conquered Korea enough to hit the capital. Could I have been more wrong?
On Saturday I participated in a press tour organized by the municipality of Seoul in collaboration with the Korean Food Foundation. Seoul Bloggers and Photographers went for a meet, greet, walking tour of the old city, and lunch. I’m so incredibly honoured to have been invited. We had a wonderful day with a great tour guide and I managed to cross off even more places I had been hoping to visit. Having lived in Korea for a year, I’d like to present Round II of my Bucket List, this edition being all Seoul. As I’ve already managed to visit many of the places on my initial list, I’ll give a little information and/or an opinion on each, and then list the remainder at the end. One thing’s for sure – it’s never a dull time living in Seoul!
Korean couples love to get dressed up and wander around the old, traditional towns, as well as the Palaces and the Temples. All this was amplified by the hoopla of Buddha’s Birthday Weekend which has been celebrated as a festival since the Unified Silla era over 1,300 years ago. Yep – he gets the whole weekend, the festival, the parade, and all the beautiful lantern displays at nearly every temple the month leading up to his birthday and for for many, the weeks beyond (at Jogyesa they’ll be around until May 22nd). I guess it’s like leaving your Christmas lights up on your front porch all year long, just a lot less honky-tonk and a lot more beautiful!
After a very relaxing day meandering around Sincheon, we ventured up to the subway and along the green line to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park. This area is one of my favourites already, even though I’ve only explored it for the Indian food (well, Nepalese), and for Seoul Fashion Week. The area is particularly modern because of the architecture surrounding the big Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Dame Zaha Hadid.
Whenever I let people know I live in Sincheon, I usually say Jamsil instead. Sincheon is located in between Sports Complex (where the LG Twins and Doosan Bears play, where tons of music festivals and concerts are held, and where what I believe is the second tier soccer team calls home) and Jamsil. In Seoul there is “Sinchon” and “Sincheon”, so it’s easiest just to say Jamsil. The reaction is usually “Whoa! You live so far away!”.
Late last Friday night a mish-mashed group of new and old friends and I boarded a tour bus and took the red-eye nearly 6 hours South of Seoul to spend a weekend in Jindo: the site of “The Miracle Sea Parting” and the accompanying festival. The real miracle was that someone was able to wake me up for our 4 AM briefing and departure from the bus. Once I was up and at ’em, however, I was happy as a clam. We’ll get to those later!
When talking about things vacationers must see and do in Korea, I always suggest a baseball game. This is a great way to see a little K-Pop (they have K-Pop dancers as cheerleaders for the baseball team) and the theatrics and displays typical of every day Korean life.
I’ve heard about a number of people getting lost en route to Seokbulsa, a temple in Busan, South Korea. Here are directions and some footage on getting there from Mandeok Station. I think this is the most straightforward route (as you can also hike from Hwamyeong or Oncheonjang). [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti5oGJ-yxZU&w=640&h=360] Most directions to this temple…