Archive | May, 2015

Adventures in South Korea: Bonghoasan Samcheok and the Rose park

10 May

I should have posted back when the cherry blossoms were blooming but I didn’t (either way you would have to wait until next year to see a hill full of cherry blossoms).

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This is right next to the hill where my house is at the moment except I could not tell you the street of where this hill is (mostly because street don’t work quite the same or at least I have not gotten the hang of them yet).

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Mean while just look at the surroundings so you can make it thee.

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The walk was beautiful and the loose cherry blossoms made great hair accessories.

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Now we did not go up this path we took the other side of the fork on the road (however this side is supposed to take you to a gazebo that overlooks the city).

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We made it all the way to the top of the path and then began to make out way down the other side of the hill. And it felt like a quest in a fairy tale.

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Eventually you make to the other end of the city and can go to the rose garden (the roses haven’t made it in yet).

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Great hike and worth taking plus there is a nice little coffee shop in the rose park called Daily Coffee.

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Adventures in South Korea: Ocean Rail Bike, Samcheok

10 May

This weekend, I ventured out to the ocean rail bike trail! How do you get there? well you take bus 24 or 24-1 (price is 1800 won cash or 1690 with a cash bee card) to Gungchon, say it just like that to the bus driver and they will probably tell you where to get off (I showed a picture of the rail bike trail in the tourist pamphlet just to be safe).
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That is what the stop looks like (if you do not make it you can also get off at the Yongha stop which is the other end of the rail bike station). Now, this is very important you must make a reservation because people take this seriously and you can often be left without a bike cart. The tours leave every hour at ten past the hour and take 50 minutes to complete.

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As far as making reservations you can count on the tourist information center near the bus station and they can call in a reservation for you any day or at least let you know there are seat available in any of the tours for that day. Once you get off the bus just get your tickets and you can go explore which is what I did.

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Luckily the tomb of

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You see the red arrow? That directs you to the tomb of King Gongyang (well sort of, you see the king used to be buried here but then they moved him so…).

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You can choose if you want to climb the steps to these empty tombs or not.

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Random moth? (butterfly maybe I just thought there was a lack of animals in this post)

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The view is nice from here….

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Look pretty flowers! you can see them if you go up the steps to the empty tomb with sentimental value.

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A small walk down the road and you get to the ocean part of the ocean rail bike.

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The weather could have been better but the smell of the ocean and the soft breeze made up for it.

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Finally it was time to get on the rail bike trail. We picked a four people rail bike (oh yeah you can pick a rail bike for two or four people).

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We took some pictures while people were being loaded up into the other bikes. As soon as that happened though we were off! Speed was our game.

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and we got to the part of the trail were a creepy doll takes your picture mid way. The Rest of the way you get to see hotels and houses on one side and the beach at the other side.

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Bathroom and side restaurants are readily available just a few seconds away from the rest stop.

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The rest stop is filled with sculptures so just take in the sites.

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A word of caution for those with long legs the security bar is rough on the knees, so make sure to use your seat belt (you have to I kept slipping of the seat).

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A couple of tunnels are in the path and well they improve…..

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So then we reached the end of the tour and we got out pictures and waited for the return bus to Samcheok

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Over all it was a fun experience, and as most of the other people seemed to have hit the soju and were having tons of fun (so if you can get a bit tipsy do so).

Adventures in South Korea: Dakgalbi street

9 May

So May 5th is Children’s day in South Korea and as a teacher I benefited from kids not going to school on children’s day. I took this opportunity to go to Chuncheon a two hour bus ride away from Samcheok. Chuncheon is the place where Nami Island is located (I was unable to go this time because it rained), it is also the place where dakgalbi was first ever made (if you have been to Korea and have not tried dakgalbi you have been robbed of an awesome gastronomic experience).
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This is one side of dakgalbi street (it is actually more like an alley, but it is filled with dakgalbi restaurants so we will let them be a street). I would like to point out that right next to this sign is the entrance to a large underground shopping center that people should experience.

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There is a map of all the restaurant available and well we only tried three this time but we will go back.

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Also they like to have chicken themed things which why-not just take a picture with it all.

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The first place was a different type of dakgalbi i have never tried before and by looking at the picture you will notice the difference. This type of dakgalby is just chicken marinated in (an impossibly good) sauce (how do they make it I would like to know the secret to this sauce) and grilled over coals just like bulgogy.

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As side dishes you have a greens salad of sorts which contains green onions, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and other herbs (I just don’t know the names of them in English or Korean to be honest).

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Lettuce is provided to wrap the chicken you grill and cut (with scissors) and other things like your salad, kimchi, radishes, garlic, and gochujan sauce (it is given with almost any type of grilled food here and I am not entirely sure on the romanized spelling of it). What ever you put in your lettuce wrap depends on the place you go to because side dishes will always change.

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These are thinly sliced picked radishes and are an acquired taste but you won’t know until you try them won’t you?

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While that was not the dakgalbi we were expecting it was good and for only 11,000 won it is well worth going to try it.

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this the other end of the street and there are many advertisements for following festivals in Chuncheon, which include puppet and mime festivals (look them up).

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We also found a desert place near the street. it is a waffle on a stick with icream and whip cream on it and it is delicious for 3,500 won you get two waffles on a stick for an extra 1000 won you get four (your call from then on).

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Chuncheon is also the site of the very first super popular drama, Winter Sonata which launched Korean dramas as the leading dramas to watch in South east Asia and all over the world (just look at crunchy roll or drama fever most of them will be Korean dramas).

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SO that is that on Korean Dramas back to the food!

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Second dakgalbi place, this time it was more like we had experience before. The cabage, dok (rice cakes), sweet potato, sesame leaves and chicken in the awesome sauce cooked right in front of you.

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Sorry for the food porn.

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The side dishes inchoded kimchi, cold radish vinegar soup?, garlic, gochujan, and lettuce.

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at the end of the first part when you eat the chicken and the vegetables you leave some of it behind and order noodles or rice. We went for cheesy rice because it is always a good choice.

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and it was the best ever.

The next day a dakgalbi restaurant had this and I just had to go in it.(woomi dakgalbi).

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is a hungry nerd’s dream!

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They are also dakgalbi purist so no cheese here but the sauce has a ginger feel to it so if you like ginger come here.

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next after circling a couple time because we got too full of dakgalbi we found an ice cream fish place!

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They take a fish shaped cone and fill it with ice cream and fruit. Try it!

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