Jeollanamdo

Friends Like These

Friends Like These

I love the part that friendship and camaraderie plays in Korean society, even well into old-age. This particular band of merry men were sat enjoying the crisp fall weather in Gwangju's Pureungil Park. 

Morning Mists

Morning Mists

After hitchhiking to Daehan Dawon during the early hours of an autum morning, I set up and captured the fabled mists of Boseong. This wasn't my only attempt at the shot, the weather let me down on the other occasions; and so it was incredibly gratifying to finally get the shot I envisaged.

S-bend Sunset

S-bend Sunset

The sun sets over the Suncheon Wetlands, as seen from Yongsan Observatory.

Away from the Tourists

Away from the Tourists

Lugging my gear out of the park and off into the serenity of the surrounding hills of Boseong, South Korea was the perfect decision. Much as the tourist-friendly section of Daehan Dawon Green Tea Plantation is beautiful in its own right, eschewing the well trodden track meant I could watch the light fade out uninterrupted.

Southeast Asian snacks at Jangheung's Jeongnamjin Saturday Market 정남진토요시장


Yeongchwisan Azalea Festival 2014 in Yeosu (영취산 진달래축제)

On a beautiful spring day, I headed to Yeongchwisan (영취산), a  couple of days before the official start of the Azalea (jindal/진달) festival, which is from April fourth to sixth. There are several ways to enter the mountain, but if you come by public transportation, you most likely will have to walk through a small farming village to get to the hiking path.


Gurye Sansuyu Festival (구례 산수유꽃축제) 2014


Play Coffee/플레이 커피 in Gwangju

This little café was introduced to us by our good friend H. It is situated in a side street in Gwangju’s dong-gu, where you wouldn’t expect to find a cute building housing a café that serves fresh coffee, tea, mojitos, and homemade cakes.  The interior is playful and features toys, cute lamps and seats.  It also has a small classroom that teaches people how to make cake and rooftop seating. When you enter the café, you will be greeted by their friendly staff, adorable furry friend and a giant Lego doll.


Jong-ga Dining at Jeonju's Hakindang House

It's rare, if not impossible, that you will find yourself having a bad Korean meal in Korea.  It just doesn't happen.  But every so often, usually when it's least expected, you will experience culinary nirvana.  It will be a meal that proves to be unique from any other you've had in the past, one that changes you, one that finds you awake the following morning wondering if it was all just a dream.

It might be a plate of steaming mandu made with fresh kimchi at a street stall on a frigid winter day. Or a perfectly cooked jeon, served up with a bowl of homemade makgeolli in a back-alley hangout.  It might be consumed alone, with a new lover, or a group of old friends.  The meal might be a new gastronomical concept, unfamiliar and exciting, or may be Grandma's secret recipe, instantly recognizable and comforting.


Haedong Yonggungsa and Gwanyang Maehwa Festival

With another bitter and icy dry winter over in Korea, the emergence of the short but pleasant spring season is being warmly welcomed by people across the peninsula. With all my vacation days used during the winter breaks, trips are now limited to within the country until my contract ends in June (I won’t be renewing, but that is another blog story, one I’m not sure I will write…). With the football season in Korea having begun it is a little difficult to find the time for more cultural trips, but so far I have managed to make two rather pleasing, and interesting ones.

Several weeks back, when I wasn’t quite sure if spring had arrived and the sky was a deceptive bright sky blue, I went to Haedong Yonggungsa with Miju. Whilst most Buddhist temples in Korea can be found in the mountains, this one is perched precariously on the rocks that greet the East Sea, just north of Busan.


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