Kootje Dijkstra | Chuseok Roadtrip
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12 Oct Chuseok Roadtrip

During the 28th of September until the 9th of October, we had 10 days off from school and figured this would be the best time to explore the country. This week is a public holiday in South Korea, since various special events are being celebrated. To start with Thanksgiving, which lasts three days (this year the 4th, 5th and 6th day of October) and Hangeul Day, which is the Korean alphabet day. Shortly said, the purpose of these days is to bring families together and celebrate life. No wonder why there were lots of traffic jams, as there was expected that over 7 million inhabitants of Seoul would be leaving the city! We had been planning to book tickets for the KTX train in advance, but we actually didn’t (no shit) and only found out about the hassle to get these tickets at the Seoul Train Station 😉

During the last classes of that Thursday, in which my mind was already elsewhere, I booked a guesthouse for us to stay in via Booking.com, located in Gyeongju. We arrived pretty late because all trains were occupied and we were just really unprepared.

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The Huewon Guesthouse we stayed in! // The Robs mapping out our day trip. We visited the city centre of Gyeongju, that had lots of cultural activities such as statues and tombs.

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-12 om 09.37.47The Huewon Guesthouse. Korea has lots of guesthouses available for tourists, and it is comparable to a hostel. Actually more luxurious because you get to sleep in a private cabin. In the morning, we were able to bake some eggs, make toast with jam and make coffee in the public kitchen.

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In Gyeongju, we rented some sort of tricycle and drove around a park in which this place was located. Léon, Robin and Job rested for a bit with of course a beer. // Bibimbap with sobu noodles, one of my favorite dishes in Korea 😀

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At the end of the day, we took the train to Ulsan. Job booked an Airbnb apartment with seaview. We went out in the evening to some club and were hungover the next day. And where to spend such days better than at the beach.. 🙂  // During our next stop, a coastal city called Busan, we visited the temples of Beomeosa.

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Beomeosa temples in Busan.

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On the second day in Busan, we visited Gamcheon Culture Village. It is one of the most popular attractions in Busan, which was clearly visible by the amount of tourists wandering around here. Though it is a very artistic place to visit, but only for an hour or so, because it is crowded and lotsssss of people are making selfies everywhere.

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It was once a neighborhood to house refugees from the Korean War. In 2009, this area was transformed into a creative community by mostly students, painters and sculptors. Nowadays it is a very colorful area that stores a lot of galleries, small restaurants, souvenir shops and local food stands.

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Nice views on our way to Busan/Tongyeong/Gyeongju/Ulsan (???) // Gangguan Port in Tongyeong.

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The harbour in Tongyeong, Gangguan Port, next to Dongpirang Village! Apparently, this city is famous for the fresh seafood, such as squid and shrimps, and one of the most famous Korean dishes, gimbap (looks like a sushi roll, but don’t you dare calling it that), seems to be deriving from this city. Also, they sell some sort of local specialty, a sweet dough ball stuffed with sweet potato, red beans or peas.

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On to the next destination: Tongyeong! We stayed here for two days, mostly because we wanted to visit the Bijindo Island by ferry. Due to some circumstances, I wasn’t able to. Instead I headed to Dongpirang Village, another cultural area comparable to Gamcheon Village in Busan. Through the small alleys and cobblestoned streets I walked my way through this neighborhood and drank some coffee on top of the hill.

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The Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation in Boseong was on the schedule for Friday. We stayed in a motel in Gwangju and took a cab to this site. The weather was a bit vicious and foggy, but that made it an interesting place.

Beautiful view though over the fields! Though it would have been more impressive during spring or summer time, as the area is then more open and clear. During that time it is also possible to actually drink the green tea as there are teahouses open. Down the road, there is a small shop with (overpriced) green tea leaves, ice, cookies, drinks and more for sale.

Last day of our Chuseok roadtrip: heading to the last destination Seryang-Je. Job found this reservoir on the internet and stated we should really visit it, so off we went. It was a quite remote area that we had to reach by taxi, because there was no bus heading in that direction (or at least we didn’t find one).

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Calm and quiet. Thought it would have been a bitttttt more impressive, but it still was a cool place to visit. With this spot, the roadtrip came to an end. We went back to the motel to pick up our bags and headed to the trainstation in Gwangju. In the evening, we arrived back in Seoul.

This week is only filled with the last classes before the mid-terms. Life in Seoul is getting chillier and it is about time to start shopping for a wintercoat. Not too bad 🙂 I came to the realisation that having mid-terms = being halfway through the semester. Only 10 more weeks!

 

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