Only a couple of scenic hours by bus from Seoul is the east coast town of Sokcho. Most famous as the gateway to the phenomenal Seoraksan National Park, Sokcho actually has lot more to offer to the discerning traveller with a little bit of time on their hands.
Three and a half years ago I was obsessed with Pinterest (who hasn’t been at some point, right?!) and spent hours searching for things to add to my Korea Bucket List pinterest board. One day I found a pin about rail biking in Korea and immediately my heart was set on doing it. Unfortunately, the southeast corner of Korea where I live doesn’t have a single place to rail bike so it took me a very long time before I could make my dream a reality.
A few months ago we discovered we had booked a hotel close to a rail bike after doing a facebook check-in and seeing 레일바이크 (Korean for rail bike) in the list of choices. We went and I have to say that rail biking was just as fun as I had imagined… I loved it! As soon as I posted a photo of my experience on my blog’s facebook page, I immediately had people wanting to know how they could rail bike too. Continue reading →
Getting engaged is a pretty big deal and hopefully it’s something I will only experience once in my lifetime. It was really important to me to tell as many of the extra special people in my life in person, which is why I went through great lengths to keep my engagement private. Until now. Dave and I met in Korea a few years ago and I’ve known he’s the man for me since the beginning of our relationship. Besides being an exceptional human and treating me amazingly, he puts up with me and actually finds my quirks (putting it kindly) charming. We have a pretty dreamy life together. I’ve actually known a marriage proposal was coming. You see, buying an engagement ring in South Korea isn’t an easy task so I knew that Dave was buying a ring when he went on his business trip to Texas in October. Dave had also already spilled the beans that the proposal would be in 2014 so my mind was working overtime to try to figure out the when, where and how. Fortunately, Dave was feeding me all sorts of false information to throw me off the scent. Continue reading →
Seoul. One of the largest cities in the world. It is easy to become lost in such a sprawling metropolis. With seemingly endless things to do and see, it’s hard to know where to start. Simply searching through top 10 lists will bring you the usual tourist stuff: Namsan Tower, Namdaemun Market, and so on. If, however, you are looking for something unique or off the beaten path, you’ve come to the right place. We have compiled a list of places that are sure to make your trip to Seoul memorable. We also know that everyone likes to travel differently so we tried to cover all the necessary bases!
We recently went on a major road trip on a mission to visit Nami Island, which is in the far northern part of Korea and very far from Ulsan. The night before leaving we booked the Benikea Hotel (short for Best Night in Korea) in Wonju. Because we waited until the last minute, we had to book a “luxury” room for 10,000 won (about $10) more. When we got up to the rooms, we both had a laugh because the room looked like someone from our grandmothers’ generations could have been the decorator. Most hotels in Korea go for the ultra modern look, but this one had a giant vintage sofa, antique wooden furniture and to top it all off, there was a full desktop computer set up in the room. If I didn’t already know that Korea has the fastest internet in the world, I would have expected to hear the shrill sound of a dial-up modem when trying to connect to the internet. Continue reading →
Jeju Island is said to be the paradise of Korea, and the number of tourists that flock here only supports that sentiment. Seogwipo-si sits on the southside of the island, less than an hour’s drive from the main city of Jeju-si. It has a small town feel with the amenities of a larger city, making it an awesome place with something for everyone. Although there are plenty of museums and indoor attractions in the area to keep anyone entertained, the best spots to visit are definitely the natural wonders. Below is a guide to the best outdoor spots to hit when visiting the south side of Jeju-do.
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’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.