Things to Do in Korea
Before I came to Korea, I thought that I would blog regularly while in Korea. But now that I am here, I've been so lazy and my daily life consists of eating, sleeping & watching Korean drama (Hotel King, anyone?).
The only day I look forward to is Sunday. Because on Sundays, I go on dates with Kimchi boy.
It's been so long I almost forgot I have a blog. I only have half of the summer program left, Kimchi boy just celebrated his 29th birthday, the news have been depressing with all these reports of air disasters (I have a serious fear of flying now but the fact that my maternal family is from Taiwan and my boyfriend is Korean is not helping)...
Which is why I was happy to learn on on my most recent visit with my blogger buddy Ken
that the park is actually delightful during the week. In fact, we weren't even bothered by the scorching summer temps, as there were practically no lines for the rides. This allowed us to see a lot of the park comfortably and at our own pace. Additionally, the shuttle bus we booked with Funko
made getting there easy as pie.
Everland is, without a doubt, Korea's best amusement park. Modeled after Disney World- albeit on a much smaller scale- the theme park consists of plenty of fun attractions that draw in more than 7 million visitors a year. With those attendance numbers, one can only imagine what the weekend crowds are like, particularly at peak times, such as summer vacation.
Exploring the Bamboo Forest is one of the must-dos in Ulsan City. I've been in Ulsan for almost a month and in my opinion, Ulsan is nothing but mountains & lakes.
Today, I spent the whole afternoon with Kimchi boy in the Bamboo Forest. Bad choice because it was scorching hot (~33degrees) today. I would have enjoyed this place much better if the weather was cooler.
All the happy faces.. not knowing what they will be facing the next morning...
As part of the summer programme (SPIKE) at UNIST, we went for a 2 day 1 night temple stay in Gyeongju City. Temple stays are getting more and more popular as a tourist activity in South Korea. We did not get to sleep in a real temple but we had to eat vegetarian food for the two meals there and we had to attend the evening and morning prayer sessions.
Ulsan really looks different from other cities in Seoul. The university that I am staying in is surrounded by mountains. I think we ARE on a mountain.
NUS is not a partner university yet, so we have to pay for school fees and dorms. Students from partner universities like Uni of Michigan, HKUST etc do not have to pay for this programme.
It is a growing university so most of the facilities are still new. It is conveniently located less than 30minutes away from Ulsan KTX Station and there is a bus inside the school.
I am currently in Ulsan city, participating in a summer programme called SPIKE at Ulsan National University of Science & Technology, UNIST. I never thought that I would participate in any summer programme because I am already in my last semester.
On one sunny day we decided to go camping with my friend from my university. She came to Korea because we are participating in a summer programme at UNIST (Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology). Kimchi boy's father fetched us to the camping site, helped us set up the tent and left. He is a really sweet father! The camping site (Gyeryong Auto Campground) is not far from where we live.
Maybe it's just me but the weather has been especially pleasant here in Korea for this time of year. The rainy season is starting a bit later than usual and the temperatures, particularly in the mornings and evenings, have been enjoyable. Hope I'm not jinxing anything here.
A couple friends and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and planned a weekend camping trip to Muuido, a small island located near Incheon International Airport. The peninsula's western coast often catches a lot of flak for its less than impressive beaches and lackluster views. As we soon learned, however, Muuido is just as enjoyable as the country's better known coastal destinations and is the perfect place to waste away a lazy summer weekend.
Over the past decade, Korea has gained a reputation for being one of the top beauty destinations of the world. Anyone who has strolled the streets of Seoul would probably agree that Koreans are some of the most beautiful, well put-together people on earth. It seems that just about everyone- including the men- has flawless skin, perfect hair and an impeccable sense of style. The world has come to realize this through the globalization of Korean dramas, movies and music and as a result, the Korean beauty business is booming,
We went to Jangtae Mountain, located in Seo District, Daejeon, South Korea. It was not a convenient location for hiking as the public bus (only bus 22 goes there) comes once in every 2 hours and all signages/information were in Korean.
Yesterday I did something adventurous. By adventurous I meant.. hiking. I am not an outdoor person, I don't enjoy being under the sun or doing sports. But I really wanted to get out of the house instead of just lazing around and doing nothing. I told Kimchi boy that I wanted to go out.. to a mountain. I don't know where the idea came from, maybe I just wanted to get out, but I don't regret it one bit. Besides the insects, sunlight and heat, I had a great time hiking up the mountain.
In January, I had the pleasure of hosting a film crew from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' iFly Magazine as they filmed a travel documentary on Seoul. When they first contacted me, they requested that I compile a number of destinations that I felt best represented various aspects of the city including great views, interesting local hangouts and landmarks that showcase the contrasts between old and new.
After much deliberation, I came up with a list of places that I felt captured the very best of my Seoul... a Seoul that may or may not be the same city that other expats and locals here experience. But it was the one I wanted people to see.