Every year artists from all over the world gather in Daegu, South Korea to compete in the Daegu International Bodypainting Festival. The entire festival is so fascinating because you can watch the models’ bare skin transform into gorgeously painted canvases in a matter of hours.
The festival is broken up into two categories: Bodypainting and Fantasy Make-up. In the bodypainting competition, the models are nearly naked; most only wear underwear and tape over their breasts. The artists are given six hours to complete their masterpiece. The participants are judged on technique, originality and overall completion.
The Garden of the Morning Calm has been on my list of places to see for a long time, but I’ve never had a chance to get there because it’s pretty out of the way. Having a car in Korea can be really liberating so when we had a three day weekend we decided to make the most of it and explore some of the northern parts of Korea that we hadn’t previously visited.
I love traveling around Korea! I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for the best places to visit and because of that my list of places to see in Korea is a mile long. When I saw that there was a hydrangea flower festival going on in Busan last weekend I immediately told Dave we had to go. Luckily for me, Dave usually just goes along with my crazy ideas and spends most of his weekends driving us all over Korea (he’s a keeper!).
I used my irresistible charm to talk Dave into waking up verrrrry early so that we could get to Taejongdae in time to watch the sunrise. That’s a pretty big ask considering the sun comes up around 5am and we live an hour and a half away from the park. Not only that, but once we got to the park it was a bit of a hike to get to the lighthouse.
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about Korea just being a concrete jungle with no green spaces. These people must never get out of their small little bubbles because Korea is such a beautiful country. Summer in Korea can be hot and humid, but it’s still one of my favorite seasons because of how all of the trees and plants perk up and turn a stunning shade of green. It can be really breathtaking driving through the countryside this time of year.
Another great thing about summer in Korea is that the lotuses bloom! I’d never actually seen a real lotus until I came to Korea. I was so excited when we found the lotus ponds in Gyeongju two summers ago.
When most people think of Ulsan, one word usually comes to mind: industry. Ulsan is home to a giant car manufacturing plant, shipyards and even chemical plants. Not everyone knows about Ulsan’s rich history. Migratory whales have been swimming in the waters near Ulsan since the prehistoric times, long before Hyundai moved to town and turned this area into the major city that it is today. Whale hunting was a large part of the livelihood of the early inhabitants of Ulsan and because of that, the people of Ulsan are very proud of their history of whaling. The city mascot is even a whale.
Gyeongju is my absolute favorite city in Korea. It was the ancient capital of Korea so it’s extremely rich in history. There are tons of things to do in Gyeongju so I recommend taking at least a few days to explore as much of this amazing city as possible.
When I’m in Gyeongju, I always love driving by the Gyeongju Tower. It’s a 30-story tower with a giant pagoda cut right out of the middle. It’s really impressive, and it’s an observation tower so you can go up inside of it! Continue reading →
This weekend we were among the thousands of people to attend the sand sculpture festival in Busan. Artists from all over the world came to create amazing sculptures out of the beautiful sand from Haeundae Beach. Continue reading →
My first experience at the Busan Fireworks festival was back in 2011. I remember thinking we had really lucked out with the weather. The temperature was nice during the day and even though it was cloudy, it wasn’t raining. I must have been feeling really optimistic when I left my apartment because I didn’t even bring an umbrella. Continue reading →
This past weekend Dave and I didn’t have any plans so my Korean tutor recommended we go to a two places: Jusanji (주산지) and Juwangsan (주왕산). She said she goes every autumn and it’s really amazing. She couldn’t have been more right!
We woke up at 3:00am and drove 3 hours to get there. I knew it was up in the mountains so I took a motion sickness pill before we left. During the drive I tried to stay awake as long as possible, but around the halfway mark, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and I slept for the rest of the drive. I felt terribly guilty, but Dave was such a good sport about driving while I snoozed. Continue reading →
The Busan International Film Festival started back in 1996 and now it’s one of the best film festivals in the world. Up until 2011 it was called PIFF, but they finally changed it from Pusan to Busan. They also changed the location from PIFF Square in Nampo-dong to the Haeundae area (Centum City/Shensegae). They built the new Busan Cinema Center especially for BIFF. It is really spectacular!
The festival runs every year in October and the opening film sold out in 7 seconds this year! Weekend tickets are also hard to come by. Your best bet might be trying to go to a film during the week. Getting tickets can prove difficult for foreigners so it’s helpful to have a Korean friend buy tickets for you.