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.
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 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 →
Namhae is a beautiful island off the southern coast of Korea. It is known as the Treasure Island of Korea and is famous for farming so don’t be surprised if you get stuck driving behind a tractor or two.
Here are a few of my tips on what to do if you spend a weekend in Namhae.