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Trips

Taiwan4
March 5th - 1 April 2017


Japan6
October 16th - November 11th 2016


Europe
May 22nd - June 13th 2016


Japan5
November 2nd - November 26th 2015


Korea2
March 3rd - March 26th 2015

Even
More
Trips

HongJapWan
March 6th - March 28th 2014

Sichuan
March 23rd - April 10th 2013

Tokyo weekend
October 25th - October 30th 2012

China again
August 27th - September 13th 2012

Japan and Taiwan
March 1st - March 22nd 2012

China
November 1st - November 18th 2011

Korea, mainly...
September 3rd - September 17th 2011

Taiwan / Hong Kong / Singapore / ?
March 25th - April 11th 2011

London, for the third time
June 25th - July 17th 2010

Japan and Hong Kong
May 2nd - May 18th 2010

London again and Hong Kong
February 26th - March 25th 2010

London
September 5th - 22nd 2009

South East Asia
December 3rd - 18th 2005

Korea for the second time - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - March 2015 - Page 2

Day 4 - Friday, 6 March 2015

Multipeak

Nothing like following up a day of climbing up and down things by doing it again.
Today there were multiple peaks involved, I dont really know what they were all called, just that to get there I first had to get to the Incheon Grand Park, which was indeed grand.
My plan was to walk from my hotel, to this park, then climb over multiple mountains which I assumed would be connected by hiking tracks, and pop out somewhere in the adjoining province near a subway station.
This took about 6 hours and was very enjoyable.

First of all, to get to the park, was further than I thought, and took me through various neighbourhoods of people doing numerous things with kim chi.
Eventually I rejoined the main road, and found a public convenience in a gas station, it was touch and go there for a while, a public urination event was on the cards.
The gas station rest room was surprisingly luxurious, with an attendent, in pink overalls with a cartoon duck.

I then found out that I was basically at the park, the road gave way to a nice path full of 90 year olds jogging or using the various exercise machines dotted along the path.
There were also streams and lakes, frozen over, probably not enough for me to walk on though, as the bigger lakes were not frozen.
A bunch of people with tripods and big cameras were excitedly taking photos of ducks or geese, or maybe just the different types of swamp grass, as there were signs explaining that there are different types to see.
I like to think I had stumbled onto the Korean swamp grass photagraphy appreciation society of Korea.
Eventually, I made it out the back of the park, to a large car park area, but still no mountain.
Even though everyone in Korea hikes a mountain daily, the entrances to the trails are sometimes quite hidden, however I could hear a compressed air gun being used, up what appeared to be a driveway, and sure enough this was the entrance.
I now know that the compressed air guns are used for cleaning your boots, and not bursting the lower intestines of unsuspecting passers by.

The hike to the first and biggest peak was great, I could see below a live firing range of the Korean army, and they were firing machine guns. The serenity of the cool mountain air with machine gun fire is not to be missed.
Once at the top, a very confused Korean had 20 questions for me, this is becoming a habit. He asked why I would come to this place as a tourist, its not very well known, why not go to imperial palace or lotte world.
I couldnt tell immediately if he was annoyed or thrilled I was there, but eventually I must have won him over as I pointed into the distance and explained where I had walked from to get here, conveniently theres a football stadium near my hotel that stands out on the horizon.
Random Korean guy explained to me that the Gold Coast in Australia is the greatest place on the face of the earth, he went 15 years ago and dreams of returning. He also explained to me that his Australian friends told him that only the very wealthiest of Australians are allowed to live on the Gold Coast, and that we do not allow Koreans to live there.
Yep.

I then continued on my way over some other peaks, enjoying the barbed wire that fences off various training course things for the Korean army to use. After some time, and some serious mud (now need to wash boots in sink again) I arrived back in the city.

The fun for the day wasnt over, as it turns out Bucheon is a bustling area of excitement, with much to see, and eat.

Finally, I boarded the subway, transferred to the other subway, contemplated if it would be quicker to walk back instead (no), and I arrived back at my room, ready for my 2nd shower for today (see yesterdays rules for travel).
Unfortunately, or amusingly, the Korean cleaning lady on my floor saw me coming, and launched into a tirade. Yesterday they tried to clean my room at 4pm, when I was in it, and I told them to come back tomorrow.
Today she was having none of that at all, and literally yelled at me without taking a breath. I tried all I could to calm her down, hand signals, chinese, english, eventually I just turned around and went down the street for another coffee, hoping that when I returned to my room it would be cleaned and scary Korean cleaning lady would be gone.

In the backstreets I found an IGA. They present themselves as Australian in Australia, advertise as though they are the local grocer compared to the big 2. In reality they are a huge South African (I think?) owned corporation, now in Korea.
I went in and observed that their meat was of a poor quality compared to their competitors, just like at home!

Look closely, this lady must be German.

I didnt know how far to go to the park, so I climbed up an overpass to look. I could look on google maps, but its hard to get my phone out of my pocket without removing my gloves.
Those hills in the distance, thats where I am going, on foot.

Look closely again, and you will see what appears to be a fire engine ladder, but its not. This is how you move house.
Couches and tv's and whatever else are put onto a tray, unsecured, to be lowered down this ladder to the street.

Frozen lake. I wanted to go ice fishing. Not really. They seem to do that a lot on crap tv shows.

I think this is an artificial ski field. Only I cant work out where you stop. The bottom is a fence, I guess you stop by hitting the fence.

Welcome to Korea, where clean public toilets exist on the hiking trail. With Wifi.

Now for some photos from the small mountain. This expressway tunnels under it, the powerlines however go over it.

Todays paths were mostly like this. However every now and then there were mud pits, and sometimes rocks to scramble over.

I was totally out nerded by these guys, I believe I came across them just as they were starting their remote control car race.
About an hour or so later, as I was coming back down, they were almost at the top, presumably after multiple battery changes.

The top.

Heres a panorama from the top, looking back in the direction from where I had come. At about this time I was again subjected to 20 questions by a random Korean man wanting to practice his Engrish.
This never happened in the past. My appearance and demeanour must be mellowing in my old age, I need to work on that.

Non panorama photo from the top.

And one looking in the other direction. The haze generally gets worse as the day goes on, at dawn it always seems very clear. I guess factories are to blame. Or chemtrails from the many jets going overhead. Or the Korean army is letting off too many smoke grenades.

Here I am, again. Much warmer today, a balmy 4c I believe. Had to take off my hat and unzip my jacket. Lucky I didnt buy a big thigh length winter coat.
I now have buyers remorse for spending money on the hat. Although I have been informed I look like a gumnut baby, which is a bonus.

Theres fenced off areas everywhere for the army to use. Lots of pill boxes, flying foxes, rope courses, waterboarding tanks.

And now I return to civilization. I am lucky I didnt try and find the path from this side, as its literally out the back of a church. I had to go through a closed gate to get back onto the street.
There are also no sign posts from this side.

Heres another panorama, this time of a random street in Bucheon. Korean cars come in multiple pieces.

This is a traditional market, very much like one you would find in Japan. There were wet areas, I should have taken a photo, but a feature is coagulated pigs blood, which looks pretty awesome.
It is used mainly to make pigs blood sausage, but also a kind of soup. I also heard a lot of dogs barking, then, nothing!

Todays lunch was quite Japanese. Chasu don, with udon. Nice and damn cheap.

After being denied access to my hotel room, I had to go find another expensive coffee, this time from Paris Baugette. Coffee was terrible, but their cakes and sandwiches look nice.
An old lady and an even older lady came in, the ancient woman was in a wheelchair. They wanted to sit but the only spare chairs were at my table, old lady didnt want to sit next to me, but ancient lady insisted. I gave my best creepy smile at her, and she showed me her remaining teeth.
She then used those teeth to chomp through an assortment of iced baked goods.
They were very thankful when they left that I let them sit near me in my muddy boots.

My reward for multiple peaks, neapolitan pop corn. Very good!

Where did everyone go?

Its Friday night and theres no one around.
Is Korea playing in a world cup final I didnt know about? Perhaps the direction I headed in, to the port, is just wrong.
Or perhaps its too early, and everyone waits until later.
No matter the cause, I did find it to be eerily quiet, even Incheons number 1 tourist attraction (apprently) the authentic (not really) Chinatown was all but abandoned.
I managed to find a guy selling meat filled buns, which I had as my kind of dinner, no photo as it was a street food and I needed both hands to eat it.

Other things I saw on my 2 hour walk included -
Numerous hidden underground shopping passages, huge, with endless shops selling fake clothing, much of it camo tracksuit pants. These are the kinds of shops that poor people frequent.
Love hotels, one street back from the main road, more of them than there are houses. Koreans got a lot of secret love to be giving out it seems.
Churches, so many churches, you have to go somewhere to beg forgiveness after vising the love hotel.
Convenience stores, apparently Taiwan has more per capita, but here they spring up in the most unexpected locations, on the roof of a petrol station, in the middle of the road, down a set of stairs, inside the train station toilet. There is no escaping them, theres one in my hotel room, the guy looks particularly bored reading his phone waiting for me to go to bed.

Tomorrow I make the relatively long journey to Daegu. Relatively long because I have to get to the main Seoul station, locate my tickets somehow from the ticket exchange office, then take the relatively short 2 hour train ride to the South of South Korea.
Not the extreme South, that would be Busan, but the South South. Theres also Jeju which is an island off the coast of the extreme South. I am not going to Jeju but I am going to Busan.

I honestly just thought it was an underpass to cross the road, turns out its a really crappy shopping arcade under the road. I know I exaggerate, but I have halved my mental estimate and still think it was 2km long.
Then later I found another.

This is a bus stop. Nothing special about it. No one waiting at it, yet it manages to have a big color screen showing where all the busses are on the street right now.
This is relevant because I just read in Adelaide (I sometimes live there) their shitty website that tells you when the bus might come thats never been able to detect where I am stopped working a week ago because they are 'facing some issues with their ISP'.

The entrance to Chinatown. I have been here before! Last time there were people.

The restaurants are mainly open, but theres no one in them. They specialize in only one dish, black bean noodles. All the restaurants sell just this. Its a very strange setup.
The only other choices were street food, which I had, a kind of mystery meat pie in a charcoal cooked bao.

Last pic, not many tonight as I thought my hands might fall off.
This is the Incheon port, 2nd busiest in Korea, after Busan.
There was a neon lit pagoda on top of a hill, with people up there seemingly partying. I wandered up. The party stopped suddenly, everyone left.
I have that effect on all parties.

adriana on 2015-03-06 said:
I want to see train pics tomorrow.

JT Fan on 2015-03-06 said:
It's a good thing that Pythons like hot and wet climate. No need to test your new found skill to avoid getting devoured by Pythons.

I'm also guessing that in all these hikes that you haven't charged your phone yet since it lasts for a gazillion years.

I know it's against your rule to buy anyone anything but I really think you should bring home some authentic kim chi.

adriana on 2015-03-06 said:
We were wondering where you were all day. Thought you might be on the way to your next destination.

Day 5 - Saturday, 7 March 2015

The hilarious hotel room

Welcome to Daegu.
To get to Daegu was a number of trains, of which I took a number of photos, many of which will look the same, so I will explain that briefly in boring detail in each photo.
I will however talk about the American couple behind me on the train.
They were probably in their late 50's, and reading a magazine together, loudly. Like perhaps he was hard of hearing.
Anyway, I was then treated to a 117 minute description (the exact time it takes to go from Seoul to Daegu) of how the lady needs to take a hair straightener and a hair curler with her everywhere.
She described to her husband in great detail that whilst her hair is naturally curly, its the wrong kind of curly, so to get the right kind of curls, every morning she first has to straighten it completely, then curl it.
This caused quite a bit of debate, the husband thought perhaps the straightener wasnt needed, as the curler would remove the wrong curlation and apply the new curlation (word he used) when it was used.
He offered up to his wife that he was an engineer, and he would know more about how these darn things work than she would. To which she responded, but you dont know about hair, cause you have none.
It would seem that in however many years of marriage that the guy didnt know what she got up to each morning, until they shared a hotel room, and now hes hoping for death.

Now onto my hotel room!
This is the most hilarious hotel room I have ever stayed in.
It has multiple kinds of wallpaper, a full PC with monitor, a VHS VCR, DVD player, blur ray player, 2 set top boxes, a water dispenser, an air purifier, a giant floor fan, computer speakers glued to the wall, no window, and various bottles of lotion and aftershave strategically placed around the room.
Checking in was hilarious, first I had to find the actual check in floor, theres no English, eventually I found a hole in the wall, and a very old lady through the hole.
I think she may have been filling in, as she seemed very panicked that I wanted to check in, absolutely no English, not even numbers.
I tried talking to her in Chinese, which she recognised as Chinese, but that seemed to anger her, perhaps she remembers the war.
She then tried to call various people on the phone, an old rotary dial phone, and after 9 tries, got someone on the line.
The thing is, I saw my reservation on a clipboard, with my name and details, in Korean, and I pointed at it through the hole, but she wanted to make sure I guess.
Eventually we came to an agreement that I could check in, she then chases me to the lift with bottles of water. I have no idea how she got out of her cage behind the hole as I saw no door!
So I find my room, turn on the tv and am greeted by Korean porn. About 100 channels of it.
It would seem the set top box I have gets just about every tv channel in the world, I still didnt scroll through them all but have found some news in English to keep me company.
I expect to get door knocked in this hotel at some point, and since the old lady at reception has no English, I doubt I can go tell her I dont want company.
They will have to knock loud though! My room has multiple doors to gain entry, each with chains, and the fridge in here sounds like a 2 stroke lawn mower.

Dont think for a moment I dont appreciate the situation, I love it. All for just $40 a night.

This is the first station, its actually a station on the airport train line. Nothing special.

Normally dogs hate me. This one wedged between this girls excuse for bosom seems to like me a lot. He seemed very happy down her shirt.

This is the mighty Han river. I think it comes from North Korea, where they have a dam just over the border rigged with explosives that would wash away half of Seoul in one go.
Except I think maybe Seoul caught onto that plan and has built various dams on their side to contain the raging torrent should it occur.

And this is the KTX bullet train station. Very modern.

Overlooking the tracks...pretty boring but I was requested to provide train pictures, so I delivered.

The outside of the KTX bullet train....

Inside the bullet train. Quite dated. However they have 3 different carts going up and down all the time, free wifi (like everywhere), vending machines, good toilets.
I think it only went about 250kmph, but South Korea is small, it doesnt need to go faster.
Spent most of the time in tunnels. I think of all the bullet trains, China is still the best. Taiwans one line is awesome, but its just one line.

Dongdaegu station. About 3 subway stops from central Daegu where I am staying. I was a bit early to check in so I walked it, with my suitcase, which was pleasant.
Thats enough train pictures for today!

A river running through Daegu. Very clean. Quite a few people exercising. This is a quiet part of town though, where I am staying is chaotic closed off pedestrian only streets.

My hotel is basically attached to this station. But on the other side.
This means I have to find a way to the other side, with my suitcase, and many, many, many stairs. I made 3 attempts before succesfully find a way to the other side!
What is it about asian train stations and preventing you from crossing to the other side? Is it some sort of class divide, am I now on the wrong side of the tracks?

Hotel photo number 1. Note the awesome wallpaper. The bed is a board with a thin layer of granite on it for padding.
Those windows open to a wall. As in, the actual wall in my room.
The wallpaper with trees and the fake window is to give the illusion that you can see outside.

Some more kinds of wallpaper, various electronic devices.
I have succesfully got behind the desk to find the network cable to use with my laptop.
I did turn the in room PC on, but it booted to a desktop of animated gifs, mostly semi naked girls and phone numbers.

Im amazed this is in my room. With the high prevalance of fan death in Korea, surely its too risky to allow them in a hotel room?
Google fan death if you dont know what it is.

Bathroom photo number 1. Some sort of space age shower with maroon fixtures, no shower curtain so the entire floor will surely flood. Also its a spa bath.
I especially like the half used tube of toothpaste kindly provided.

Bathroom photo number 2. This toilet has a rotary dial for various settings, use at your peril. The description of what the settings do has worn off.
Also, that thing on the wall is the toilet paper dispenser.

Interestingly, there is a car park for hotel guests, which currently contains a Lamborghini. So either this is a great hotel, or the local pimp is here to collect.

I was starving, the nearest food was the usual, I wanted something close so I could hurry back to look at my cool photos and upload them!

Overwhelmed

I am happy to admit, I am overwhelmed by Daegu. Sounds a bit sentimentel I know.
When I walked to my hotel from the train station, everything was as I expected, a 2nd tier city, lots of concrete, roller doors in front of closed shops, a few convenience stores and restaurants with plastic tables and chairs.
A lot like the neighbourhood areas of Taiwan.
My hotel reinforced my view, around the proximity of my hotel theres a bunch of old guys sitting about, people selling fruit on rugs, the occasional suicidal scooter rider ignoring the oncoming truck, shops selling random lengths of pipe.

Well all that changed.

As soon as I crossed the road from the main side of the station, it became apparent that this place is a giant retail mecca. I dont know how the population of 2.5 million can sustain it all.
The further I went the brighter and busier everything became. By my estimations its a bigger denser conglomeration of Neon than Myeongdong in Seoul or Shibuya in Tokyo.
I didnt walk down many of the streets, but occasionally I walked underground, and then found myself 5 levels underground, disorientated, only to surface somewhere completely different.
Despite 2.5 hours walking, I never really found the end. At one stage I found an actual road, the entire centre of town is pedestrian only, apart from sneaky scooter riders, or assholes in Lamborghinis or similar who think driving through masses of people at walking pace is a fun night out.
Anyway, I crossed that road, only to find more of the same. It is not just one street, much like Myeongdong its a grid of pedestrian streets, with a ridiculous amount of expensive coffee shops full of people.

Sorry the above rant had very little humor, I have returned to my strange hotel room, and all my stuff is still here, so thats a bonus.

The start of it all, at this stage I was thinking, cool, I can surely find somewhere here to feed me.

Starting to get busier as I go further, the whole place is also very clean.

Not entirely sure what was going on here, a line of people waiting to try their luck at whatever that skill tester game is doing. When some girls got something to come out of it, a surge of people tried to snatch the prize out of the chute before they could get it.

The Hyundai department store resembles the borg cube. I believe it goes 3 levels under ground, with at least 40 places to eat. Very modern fit out.

Truth in advertising at its finest.

In amongst all the shiny modern, there were still some winding tunnels of old markets too. Each of them smelt like a different dead sea creature.

Have only been eating bananas lately, so needed to add some different fruit to my diet. What better than some candied strawberrys.
Surely this snack would prove popular in Australia?

Segways are still a thing it seems. Despite the death of the owner of the Segway company, in a Segway accident. Check it out on wikipedia!

I decided to risk my life and rented a segway and rode over to Sexycookie, got to get me some chocolate chip.

This plae is Sichuan fusion. If you are familiar with a Sichuan hotpot, basically chillis floating in chilli oil with bits of meat swimming in it, this is exactly that, but then coated in cheese.
I breifly considered having it, but its more a meal to share.

Instead for my dinner I had a leek pancake. More like an omlette, but with a lot of filling. The filling whilst primarily leeks also contained random crustaceans and associated sea creatures.
I must admit, it was delicious! The ordering process required a trip outside to point at the pictures, but the lady taking my order seemed well practiced in this routine.
As I was nearing completion the old guy who cooked it came out with a beaming smile and looked at me for approval. I gave him a thumbs up, which seemed to make his day.

For my mother, heres a 3 level mister donut store. Also, please note, Daegu has public toilets everywhere, and signs on most street corners showing the direction and distance to the nearest one.
Thats your 2 criteria for visiting Korea ticked off I think?

For my dessert I decided to have one of these giant macaron ice cream things. I elected for taro macaron with durian ice cream.
Just kidding, I wanted one of these but am way too sensible.

This is a korean junk candy shop. Grab a bucket, fill it with the boxes of chocolate and whatever piled on the floor, then weigh your bucket.
I filled 2 buckets.
The brilliant white light acts as a mind control beam, clouding your judgement, you then leave wondering why you have a bucket full of crap you now have to eat.

All of this, plastic.
Everyone needs a plastic display octopus for their store window.

On my way back now, and a local baseball team ran on stage to receive the key to the city or something.
Their coach then tried his best to humiliate them, by screaming orders which the team had to follow, either singing a stupid song, doing a dance, slapping each other on the ass, doing push ups, robot impersonation, this all showed no signs of ending soon when I had lost interest and moved on.

Just one of many streets I didnt go down.

Adriana on 2015-03-07 said:
Nice Mister Donut and lots of dunnies, but are they clean? Adelaide public toilets are disgusting!!!Ready to go back to Japan just for the toilets.
What is the temperature now that you have gone south?

David on 2015-03-07 said:
Its a plastic floor that looks like wood.

Adriana on 2015-03-07 said:
Nice room! Is that a wooden floor? I wanted photos of the front of the train, so I can see what Korean bullet trains look like.

Phil Newton on 2015-03-06 said:
I hope you sell your hat before you return.
Travelling to Timber Creek to scope Ben Hur Next week.

Day 6 - Sunday, 8 March 2015

Getting down to business

Brace yourself for photo overload, or more likely, prepare to scroll past many boring photos.
Today I made a rough plan to go to some mountains in the South. All I had to go on was a bus route, the bus started at the last subway station.
I thought I was onto the right plan when there were people with hiking poles waiting at the same bus stop.
A quick google confirmed that I wanted bus number 5, but then everyone else got on bus 600, except they looked apprehensive about it. The oldest loudest guy walked on with purpose and the others all followed.
Sure enough about 3 minutes later they all came running back towards me, waiting for bus number 5.
Hilariously, it arrived just before they could get on, and I had the whole bus to myself. Except the driver did make a stop in between stops to let them all on. A brief argument ensued, top dog has been relegated to the back of the pack.

The bus was supposed to take about an hour before it got to where I thought I should go, a temple of sorts.
The problem with that was, everyone else got off at various mountains before then, so many mountains! I decided to stay the course, and was rewarded with an epic 6 hours of hiking, with plenty of ice, mud, slush, rocks, rappelling down rocks. You get the idea. I will tell the story in pics.

I had my face pressed against the window on the bus ride, we went past lots of cool things, reservoirs, a large very modern industrial area, which I worked out was making cakes, new cities being built with the promise of a future empty megamall, and amazingly high quality wide smooth roads.
Korea has spent up big on roads, people here love to drive it seems. The smog in the air today was testament to that. Ruining my view. I need to tell President Park (a woman, so theres your problem, it IS internaion womens day...) to shut down industry and order cars off the road so I can get a clear view.

After my extended adventure through the ice, I will probably not go out for long tonight, so although theres too many photos here, there wont be enough later, got it?

My bus stop, with a few of the intrepid hikers, who ended up going some place else. Here I enjoyed a sweet red bean bun, my only food, and a can of convenience store coffee.
I assumed that at the start of the trail, there would be a convenience store, wrong.
My only water for the day came from the temples spring using the shared plastic bucket.

On the bus, the girls in front of me got off mid journey, but at the end of the day they were waiting back on the bus to go home. I assume they didnt walk it. Closer inspection of the Korean route map for this bus shows its a circular route.

Imagine my surprise when we pull into the bus companies car park, and the driver cleans the entire bus. Another driver / supervisor got on to yell at him for a while.
It turned out to be only a 10 minute stop. I really should have used that time to go to the convenience store for water...

I thought this was my mountain. No. Tomorrow maybe. Yes, more similar photos tomorrow, my feet are still fine!

Pretty sure these were my mountains. Note high quality road as mentioned above.

This is where I decided was the furthest point in the bus route, and where I should get off.
You would think there would be a store of some sort here selling water and snacks. No, just a grandma selling ginseng root.

The temple was nothing special, except it did have a natural spring and some plastic things to drink from it with.
I saw other people drinking it, so assumed it to be safe, all good so far!
The only issue was, I then saw a guy drink from it, and then have his dog drink from it.
He has to keep his dinner hydrated I guess.

Much of the grounds around the temple were under construction. There was actually a cafe under this building, but since its Sunday morning, they were all in prayer.
Prayer lead by loudspeaker systems.

And then the ice started. I sure was glad I invested in some good water proof boots.

That ridge would be my eventual destination. However I am taking the looooong route, looping around 3 other peaks to the top.
Why? Because I was having such a great time.

I was a little concerned that the ice covered any kind of path for a while.
The only way to find where to go was to look for ribbons tied in the trees.

Other sections had ropes to pull yourself up.
I was hot by now, and had removed my jacket, but gloves were required to prevent rope burns.
My arms are more sore than my legs, as they arent used to doing anything other than swinging about as I jog around every night (my main activity in my home country).

I think this is about half way up, looking back down from where I had came, and the unnamed new city under construction in the distance.
I have pushed the clarity and colors on this to show detail through the haze...

This is all thats left to get to peak number 1 of 3. I was very excited by now! Running when I could. However the ice would turn to deep mud at times, I had to walk through it with a very wide stance, straddling the centre of the path.
I looked like I had been riding a very wide horse.

And the view from peak number 1. Korea has kindly provided a viewing platform. The path along the ridge to the next peak seemed to be of exceptionally good quality.
This was surprising given the lack of signage, path, steps so far. Why spend all your money just at the top?

Panorama number 1 for the day.

Here I am, with my cool new backpack. Its actually a water bladder, but I dont have the bladder. I should have got it! I planned to just carry bottles of water and chocolate in it. That didnt happen.

Along the now well maintained path, I spotted a weather observation point / satellite spy station.

Wait, what the hell? Is that a road, and a tour bus? Yes it is. Turns out you can drive up from the other side and walk around the top.
This whole ridge area is famous in spring as it turns into a sea of pink flowers. There were observation decks and picnic spots everywhere.
Too early in the year to enjoy the pink flowers, I am well known for my love of pink flowers.

And here I am on peak number 2, with all the people that caught the bus to the top and walked a good 5 minutes to get here. I wanted to push them off.

Over the back of peak number 2 theres a temple. I thought I might get some water here. No. Looks like it will have a little shop eventually but it still had the protective plastic on the glass in the windows.

A view in a different direction, just for something different. Look at all those mountains back towards Daegu. I could have walked here!

I left all the bus people behind, and continued along the ridge towards the main peak. Here it is off in the distance. Remember it from the ground about 300 photos earlier?

And now here I am at the very top, feeling delusional due to dehydration, thin air.

Panorama time. I am certain I am standing on the highest peak, although some of those others like higher, might be because I am angling the camera downwards.

Peak number 2 was back where that observatory is. I had walked all that way along the ridge to get to here. The view was awesome the entire time.

Yeah, pretty happy with how this photo came out.

Now to go back down to where I started and find the bus home.
The route down was shorter, but treachorous. Lots of ropes. I had to go down backwards hanging onto a rope a lot of the time.
For safety, my camera went in my backpack, so no photos!
I highly enjoyed my day on what I think is called, Bisuelsan.

Bonus non mountain picture, a small town the bus went through on the way back.

Shabu xiabu jiabu

As promised, I didnt do much tonight.
I did have Shabu Shabu, which in China is called Xiabu Xiabu, which in Korea is called Jiabu Jiabu. More on that later.
I also saw a homeless person, I think, Havent really seen any here until now. This guy was dancing for money, and he was bad, and didnt look like he had his full mental faculty working for him.
Last time I was in Seoul, I do remember people sleeping in the subway station in cardboard fortresses, so they do exist in Korea, perhaps they stick to Seoul.

One thing you see a lot of is people having beauty treatments performed on them, in the front of shop windows behind glass. I saw a girl getting her legs waxed, complete with screaming, and a lady who had cucumber over her eyes and various creams made from crushed molluscs spread on her whilst someone drew on her eyebrows.

I did read at one point that some shops have to shut on Sundays, but I saw no signs of this. The city centre seemed almost as busy as last night. It is also much warmer, almost no need for my jacket.

Finally, I have to ration my jeans to make it to washing day that will come at some point in Busan, so that I only have to do one wash on my journey.
The jeans I wore today got some mud on them when my shoes dissappeared into the mud. I discovered that the toothbrush I stole from the last hotel is an excellent tool for cleaning dried mud off. Just brush furiously.
I probably shouldnt have done that over my bed, oh well, guess I am sleeping in dry mountain mud this evening.

Oh yeah, I also managed to get burnt. I have avoided needing sunscreen the entire Australian summer, so I go some place where its winter, and get burnt. Maybe I need to go get something smeared on my face whilst I sit in a shop window myself?

Not a lot happening down this street. Its on the wrong side of the tracks.

The prevalance of coffee shops in Korea is to the point where there are dedicated recycling bins for coffee cups.
The only issue with this is, I dont think theres any way to recycle them.
Somewhere in Korea there are huge sheds of used coffee cups, waiting for someone to invent a way to recycle them.
Or perhaps they reuse them!

Male or Female? Bad quality photo, but thats a blonde wig on top of its head.
I heard it sing and I still dont know

A crowd formed to see who might get out of this. I opted not to wait. Maybe it was Psy.
You would think Korea would hate that song, but no, I hear it everywhere.

Tonights random Neon. Limited to one per night.

I was particularly impressed with this shiny red round cake.

Agreed.

I once had a heated argument with someone whos closing remark was 'go sit on a screw'. Totally did.

And here is my jaibu jaibu.
Quite flavourless, but so very healthy.
The pumpkin was the best part.
The real issue with this is not burning yourself. Metal chopsticks add to the challenge. Eating in Korea in general is an opportunity to burn yourself with every bite.

David on 2015-03-09 said:
Air quality got worse today, but it is mainly sand from the gobi desert rather than pollution, if the internet can be trusted.
Ground level, the place is very clean, everywhere. The mountains in particular are spotless, theres a movement to collect rubbish each time you visit, but I havent spotted any.
There is a strong focus on recycling everywhere, starbucks for example has separate chutes for lids, cups, plastic, paper, food waste.
All food waste seems to get recycled, homes have these things in sinks that crush it into blocks, and it then gets collected and goes to a waste to energy plant.
Yeah, I have been looking that up whilst here, cause I am working.

Jumbo Thai on 2015-03-09 said:
Certainly great pictures on the trip. Country side looks amazing what is air quality and overall pollution like?

Jumbo Thai on 2015-03-09 said:
Is it just me or are you starting to look like a young David Carradine after he finished filming Kung Fu.

There's an alternative. There's always a third way, and it's not a combination of the other two ways. It's a different way.

adriana on 2015-03-08 said:
Thought you might have learnt by now to take provisions with you before you get on public transport. Scenery looks wonderful.

Now there is a page 3. There are 3 days per page. I cant put it all on one page it would take forever to load.

Contents

Hi Resolution Panoramas

Latest Update

Day 1 - Tuesday, 3 March 2015
  Sydney is nowhere near Korea
  As per schedule
Day 2 - Wednesday, 4 March 2015
  My ears are cold
  I bought a hat
Day 3 - Thursday, 5 March 2015
  Both ends
  Get Pho
Day 4 - Friday, 6 March 2015
  Multipeak
  Where did everyone go?
Day 5 - Saturday, 7 March 2015
  The hilarious hotel room
  Overwhelmed
Day 6 - Sunday, 8 March 2015
  Getting down to business
  Shabu xiabu jiabu
Day 7 - Monday, 9 March 2015
  Recovery mountain
  Random nonsense
Day 8 - Tuesday, 10 March 2015
  Wrong buddha
  Last night in Daegu
Day 9 - Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  Short train ride
  Peak neon
Day 10 - Thursday, 12 March 2015
  Great wall of Korea
  Subway retiree fight
Day 11 - Friday, 13 March 2015
  Both beaches
  Worlds biggest
Day 12 - Saturday, 14 March 2015
  Mine zone
  The docks
Day 13 - Sunday, 15 March 2015
  Pirate cove
  I shrunk my pants
Day 14 - Monday, 16 March 2015
  Last mountain in Busan
  Barbecue zoo
Day 15 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015
  On the bus
  Ridiculous hotels
Day 16 - Wednesday, 18 March 2015
  Rain panic
  Rain annoyance
Day 17 - Thursday, 19 March 2015
  Rain gone, mountain time
  So many socks
Day 18 - Friday, 20 March 2015
  Last stop
  Tourists everywhere
Day 19 - Saturday, 21 March 2015
  Going to jail
  Almost the airport
Day 20 - Sunday, 22 March 2015
  Yellow sand day
  Much fashion
Day 21 - Monday, 23 March 2015
  The other half
  No dinner
Day 22 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015
  Rockfall
  Fashion food
Day 23 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015
  Boring stuff - part 1
  Boring stuff - part 2
Day 24 - Thursday, 26 March 2015
  The end of boring stuff



Hi Resolution Panoramas