So far, this winter in Korea has been very generous to us. The weather was unusually warm this year with above average temperatures and only a few snowy days. Highly unlikely for this time of the year. But last weekend happened to be the days that the cold struck back and snow hit many parts of the country. So what better days than the coldest day of the year to hike the mountain 1,915m above sea level?
Jirisan National Park(지리산 국립공원) is the first national park in South Korea which was established in 1967. It spans across the southern part of the peninsula from east to west over three different provinces. The highest peak is Cheonwang-bong(천왕봉) and it is almost 2,000m above the sea. The weather at such altitude is unpredictable especially in the middle of winter. For a leisure hiker like myself, a 3-day hiking trip in the winter mountains was definitely a challenge of lifetime. Continue reading →
I remember my first long-distance bike trip in Korea. It was the Lunar New Year holiday in 2016 when the air was still cold and snow hasn’t melted on some of the bike trails. My friend and I rode our bikes from Daejeon to coastal city of Gunsan following about 140km of Geumgang (river) bike trail. The newly constructed bike-only path was well managed and goes through historic sites and attractions in cities such as Buyeo and Gongju. Towards the end of the trip, the path also led us through Ganggyeong, a small town famous for its fermented fish products.
Duration: July 1~3, 2016 Distance: About 80km
Sokcho Bus Terminal -> Gangreung Express Bus Terminal Bike Path: Donghaean bike path (동해안 자전거길)
On the first day of July my sister and I took our bikes to Sokcho, a small city on northeastern coast of South Korea. It is now famous for being one of the only few places in the country where you can catch a Pokemon. Thankfully, we got to enjoy the coastal city as it is before all the digital hype took over the place. Our trip began on a Friday morning of Canada day. The intercity bus bound to Sokcho leaves from Yuseong Intercity Bus Terminal at 10:30am.
I do not consider myself a skilled bike rider. I got my first cycle only last spring as a mere means of transportation after I returned to Korea (I did not want to get myself into a tragedy of driving on Korean roads). However, as I grew more comfortable on two wheels I became more ambitious and began dreaming about traveling around Korea on my new favourite toy. At least that was the plan before I got hit by a car while I was crossing a street on my bike in one August afternoon.
My body recovered quick but my mind could not escape free from the traumatic moment when I was forcefully separated from my bike in a split second that seems much longer in my memory. I was afraid to grab onto my bike handles for almost 6 months and it came to a point where I’ve had enough. I needed to face my fear and defeat it. Approximately 140km in below zero degree weather was my challenge. A perfect way to get back on the road.
The sun finally came out on a lovely Thursday and I decided to take a stroll along Gapcheon – one of the three streams of Daejeon that cuts through the center of the city. Just like there is the Han river that provides recreation and relaxation to citizens of Seoul the stream of Gapcheon is a vital element for people of Daejeon from spring to winter.
I started my walk from Wolpyeong Station and headed down to a small neighborhood park called Yurim Gongwon. The place was a little jewel as the tiny park unexpectedly had so much to offer.
Being an art school graduate I enjoy visiting galleries and art schools whenever I visit a new city. I had an opportunity to travel to Seoul over the weekend and with the few hours of spare time I decided to stop over at Hongik University for a short walk. I dreamt that if I had never left Korea I would have hoped to enter Hongik University and become an art student living and breathing the creativeness of Seoul. Well, that never happened for me but I can still walk the campus of Hongik and take a peek at what the life of a Korean art student is like.
On my way to work today I decided to take a detour and walk along the Government Complex of Daejeon. The building and its ground occupy a large portion of land in Dunsan-dong and part of it is open to the public. As I was power-walking my way through, I had to stop and take a few photos as the park ground of the building was blossoming with spring flowers and the best part – no crowd at all.