Date: Sunday, September 6th.
Time: 9am – 6.30pm
Place: Pocheon City, Gyeonggido.
What: Transportation, Lecture, Guided Tour, Lunch, Unlimited Tastings
, excursions to see the fall foliage. Yet there is one autumn activity that has particularly taken off in Korea in recent years that sets itself apart from every other seasonal activity -- glamping.
Fall has officially arrived in Korea. The season may not be the longest, but it is, without a doubt, the most beautiful. The country's autumn colors, crisp air and cool temperatures beckon its inhabitants to don their sweaters and head outdoors for festivals, mountain hikes and
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.
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.
The penis. As unattractive as it may be, it has remained to be an important symbol of strength, fertility and power in cultures all the world over since the beginning of time. From ancient Pompeii to Egyptian hieroglyphics to the costumes of modern day tribesmen of New Guinea, phallic imagery has been used unabashedly. Unsurprisingly, the penis has played just as an important role in Korean culture.
I finally got around to making the trek out Pocheon, a city located about an hour northwest of Seoul, last autumn. Immediately upon my arrival to the park, I felt a sense of eeriness come over me. Perhaps it was the sight of the armed soldiers and military vehicles on the bus ride over- Pocheon is just a few miles from the North Korean border- or the creepy music box-like melodies looping over the loudspeakers or the sheer lack of people. I refused to turn around after an almost two hour trip, however, and ventured further into the park.
I had been meaning to make it out to Herb Island for quite some time. The photographs intrigued me. The images I came across on the internet portrayed the theme park (which, confusingly, is not an island at all) to be the home of enchanting guesthouses, colorful gardens, charming decor and beautiful mountain scenery, seemingly emulated from the pages of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.
For multiple years, Incheon Airport has been ranked the best airport in the world
for its impeccable service, staff, and infrastructure developments, and while I agree that the airport deserves high marks in each of these categories- seriously, the efficiency and service is unmatched- I feel that what really makes it stand out from the others is that passengers are able to get the sense that they're really in Korea without ever leaving the airport. Also, the sheer amount of facilities available make the airport an attraction in itself. It's impossible to get bored at Incheon International and on my most recent visit, I decided to do some research to prove it.
Just the mention of the word delay, cancellation, or layover is enough to make even the most laid back passenger cringe. Such occasions usually equate to extended hours spent in oft-hated, geographically-indistinguishable airports, facilities that rarely provide the amenities to entertain or comfort the weary traveler. Fortunately for those connecting in or traveling to Seoul, Incheon International Airport is an exception.
The Rainbow Island Music and Camping Festival
was started in 2011 and past lineups have included international headliners like Jason Mraz, Christina Perri, and KT Tunstall. In just two short years, the festival has gained a reputation for being one of the country's best outdoor celebrations of music. One-day and three-day tickets are available for purchase each year.
In addition to promises of amazing music, the festival is one of the only weekends of the year when camping is allowed, as to preserve the island's ecosystem. Festival-goers holding three-day tickets can opt to reserve camping spots, either by renting the festival's tents (which include sleeping bags, lanterns, and mats) or bring their own tents. Both options include access to a number of showers.
Nami Island is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite Korean attractions. Sure, it's touristy, but with good reason. The island's stunning scenery and artistic atmosphere make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and design enthusiasts alike. Because Namiseom is a bit of a journey from Seoul, I'm not able to get out there as often as I'd like; so, when the Korea Tourism Organization offered me tickets to the island's annual music and camping festival, I jumped at the opportunity and figured it was the perfect excuse for making the two hour trip out to Chuncheon.
Once a resting shelter and vacation destination for kings, the grounds of Hwaseong Haenggung in Suwon, South Korea are now a site where locals and tourists can learn about Korean royal history and culture. Despite recent renovations, every inch of the palace has a story to tell. So much so, in fact, that when I visited there recently, I could almost sense the spirits of Korea’s dynastic leaders luring me back in time for a glimpse into the country’s captivating past.
One of the first things I noticed about Hwaseong Haenggung was that it was quite small compared to other royal structures I have visited throughout Asia. I soon learned, however, that what the palace lacks in size, it makes up for in grandeur.
Incheon Station is located at the very end of Line 1 of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Because of its location, the writers of "Korea Top 10" on Arirang TV thought the city, specifically Chinatown, an ideal destination to be included on "Railroads", an episode I am filming with them now. I had visited Chinatown last year and was immediately smitten with the atmosphere of the beautifully maintained neighborhood, so I was looking forward to returning with Arirang to see even more of it. This time, I was better prepared, bringing along with me an empty stomach and a big appetite.