Monday, June 28, 2010

서울이 좋아요! (Seoul is awesome!)

My plan for this past weekend:

Saturday: Get visas for China trip next month
Dinner at the lovely Miss Mel's
World Cup (Korea vs. Uruguay)

Sunday: Trip to Ocean World

Things that failed this past weekend:

Saturday: Wrong pictures meant no China visas this time

Sunday: Weather was crap so no Ocean World

Things I never planned to do this weekend but happened anyway:

* 2000 won burgers in Gyeongbokgung
* visit to beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palace - the best palace in Seoul in my opinion!
* visit to an awesome exhibit, "The Story of King Sejong" in Gwanghwamun - seriously, check it out. Boyfriend and I got to write our names in hangul with Korean calligraphy brushes!
* 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean war photo exhibition in Gwanghwamun
* walking up and down Namsan and a visit to Seoul Tower
* Indian feast in Dongdaemun

I didn't have to make reservations or plan ahead to do any of this. I found all these activities just from wandering around. It cost me 3000 won to enter Gyeongbokgung Palace. The Sejong exhibit, Seoul Tower, and the photo exhibition were all free!


Monday, June 21, 2010

불암산 수락산 (Buram Mountain Surak Mountain)

I know. I know. I'm a bad person. I'm sorry! Every time I say I'm going to keep up with blogging, but somehow I always get distracted with something else. Anyway, I'm back again with two months worth of updates and another empty promise that I'll keep updating!

First up, mountains! Spring has come and gone here in SK, not surprising since it was only about two weeks long. Spring and fall are my favourite seasons in Korea. The weather is warm, but not stiflingly humid as the summer. In spring you can witness the transient beauty of the sakura trees. In fall, the colours give a close competition to the Cabot Trail. It's also the best time to go hiking. Boyfriend and I did Buram Mountain in late April and then Surak Mountain in late May when my dad came to visit. These are two peaks of the same mountain range north of Seoul by Nowon.

It must be obvious by the amount I talk about studying and movies, that I'm not the most athletic gal on the planet. Actually I'm not even an athletic girl on the planet, but I do enjoy a good hike Korean style. Deck yourself out in over the top hiking gear, fill your giant backpack with snacks, soju, and makgeolli, find a pal and you're ready to go.

I'll leave the rest of the explaining to the photos. The Buram hike is more challenging, but if I can do it, you definitely can. We didn't actually make it to the peak of Surak because of a shoe malfunction, but the path did seem a little more friendly.

To get to Buram, take line 4 to Danggogae and then walk for 15 minutes to the park. For Surak, simply get off at Suraksan Station and then follow the signs to get to the park.