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Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Page 5

Day 13 - Sunday, 15 March 2015

Pirate cove

As I type this I am doing my washing and watching the grand prix, which has about 3 cars going around at half pace waiting to blow up.
Because of my need to do washing, I had to be back to the hotel early, so I decided to go on a stroll around a seaside park.
This turned out to be longer than expected, and in the end I had to jog to get back to my hotel in time.

I got up early, and left early, thinking I would get a coffee once I was at Busan beach number 3 in all Busan, Songdo.
Songdo beach is not on the subway line, so you either take a bus or a taxi, or walk for an hour. I walked.
This was quite an interesting walk, past people selling cabbage, bean shoots, seaweed and coagulated pigs blood on the pavement, but I was ready for a coffee.
There are about 46 cafes at Songdo, but on Sunday none open until 10am. This is something I cant understand.
So I bought a can of coffee from the pie warmer at the convenience store, burnt myself on it, juggled it from hand to hand until I could get it in my coat pocket, and a bag of kimchi flavoured bagel crisps and set off.

First there was a walk along the beach, which features things in the ocean to climb up and jump off, or perhaps hit your head on, things such as a giant whale.
Then there is a nice ocean walk, along jagged rocks one might get washed off of, I think there were plenty of signs warning people, but a few brave souls decided it was worth the risk to collect some molluscs to turn into face cream.
Then finally you get to Amnam park, which has some spectacular views, lots of gun battery mounting points, and is an excellent place to visit.
This is the frontline on the war against Japan, on my way back I tried to go over various mountains, but they were all closed off for use by the military, and all along the walk there were spots to mount big guns, pointing at Japan.
There is also a big radar on top of one of these hills, pointing at Japan, in case Japan and Korea both decide to launch some U.S. made missiles at each other.
In short Japan and Korea despise each other, and Shinzo Abe is making Koreans very nervous.

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Along my walk to the beach, there were numerous markets selling partially living creatures, and mandarins. Lots of mandarins.

Along my walk to the beach, there were numerous markets selling partially living creatures, and mandarins. Lots of mandarins.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - I dont know if this is poor people housing, rich people housing, or holiday homes. They are however destined to one day slip into the ocean in a lands

I dont know if this is poor people housing, rich people housing, or holiday homes. They are however destined to one day slip into the ocean in a landslide.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This is a different bridge to the other day. Busan loves to build bridges that save you about 19 seconds on your commute. Theres a huge amount of very

This is a different bridge to the other day. Busan loves to build bridges that save you about 19 seconds on your commute. Theres a huge amount of very noisy ships in the bay, burning their fuel oil and collectively producing more co2 emissions than all the cars in the world (look it up!)


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Songdo beach, comes in at #3 presumably because of the lack of subway proximity. Very nice beach though.

Songdo beach, comes in at #3 presumably because of the lack of subway proximity. Very nice beach though.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Magic mountain! I found it! Adelaide sold off magic mountain and it has been moved here to be a fake waterfall. Adelaide replaced its magic mountain w

Magic mountain! I found it! Adelaide sold off magic mountain and it has been moved here to be a fake waterfall.
Adelaide replaced its magic mountain with a smaller, less magic version of the same thing in the same place, and wondered why even less people visited.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Just another view of the beach and the thousands of happy people building sand castles and splashing in the cool South China sea.

Just another view of the beach and the thousands of happy people building sand castles and splashing in the cool South China sea.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Now I am on the ocean side boardwalk, made of steel plate.

Now I am on the ocean side boardwalk, made of steel plate.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Ocean boardwalk affords a great view of the local oyster farms. Their delicate flavour is accentuated by the shipping frequenting the worlds second bu

Ocean boardwalk affords a great view of the local oyster farms. Their delicate flavour is accentuated by the shipping frequenting the worlds second busiest port.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - My perilous journey involved a swing bridge with glass bottom, will I plummet to my grisly death? Only the appearance of another photo below this one

My perilous journey involved a swing bridge with glass bottom, will I plummet to my grisly death? Only the appearance of another photo below this one will confirm my survival.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Eventually you get to an area with lots of recreational fisherman. Jokes aside, the water looked very very clean. No algae, no rubbish, very clear. I

Eventually you get to an area with lots of recreational fisherman. Jokes aside, the water looked very very clean. No algae, no rubbish, very clear.
I dont really understand how. Lasers perhaps.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Safe at last.

Safe at last.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Pirate cove in the distance. Now on high alert for invading kawaii army.

Pirate cove in the distance. Now on high alert for invading kawaii army.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - There were people on this island, but there is a police boat with loud speakers yelling things. So I decided to not walk all the way down there to see

There were people on this island, but there is a police boat with loud speakers yelling things. So I decided to not walk all the way down there to see if I could get arrested.
In hindsight, probably should have tried it on.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - According to my map, this is the overseas fishing harbour. Different harbour from last night, this one has all kinds of customs facilities, jails, pol

According to my map, this is the overseas fishing harbour. Different harbour from last night, this one has all kinds of customs facilities, jails, police, very noisy place.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Todays best photo. The walk over, around, along and under the cliffs was very picturesque. Probably about 90 minutes to complete the loop. Most people

Todays best photo. The walk over, around, along and under the cliffs was very picturesque. Probably about 90 minutes to complete the loop. Most people could make this one without too much effort, theres a few public toilets and vending machines along the way.
You can also stop and do your exercises, I like the big steering wheels.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - I decided to try and go over some small mountains on the way back because I just cant help myself. This gave another view of the rumbling ships.

I decided to try and go over some small mountains on the way back because I just cant help myself. This gave another view of the rumbling ships.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - However, thwarted, South Korean Army says no to my plans to go over the top of this mound / hill / mountain.

However, thwarted, South Korean Army says no to my plans to go over the top of this mound / hill / mountain.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Oh well, have to descend back down to the beach and get back to my room in time for the grand prix. I did however spot some mountains for tomorrow!

Oh well, have to descend back down to the beach and get back to my room in time for the grand prix.
I did however spot some mountains for tomorrow!


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Bonus photo of some more colorful houses going up a hill, the furthest peak here, I might be there tomorrow. Right now I am doing my washing which is

Bonus photo of some more colorful houses going up a hill, the furthest peak here, I might be there tomorrow.
Right now I am doing my washing which is costing me the grand sum of $2.
Since I am washing ALL my clothes, I am sitting here in my running tights, a pair of hotel slippers and a neoprene high technology singlet with ventilation mesh on the back.
This had the desired effect, as one lady walked into the washing room, took one look at me, and performed a perfect 180 degree pivot and left.


I shrunk my pants

I think using a dryer on my clothes earlier has shrunk my pants. At least I hope thats whats happened, otherwise I really need to step up my mountain climbing because my girth has expanded.
I have put on weight on such holidays before, now I am deeply concerned. Perhaps on Tuesday I can walk to Gwangju. Perhaps Korea needs to understand skim or on fat milk, or aspartame. I have so many reasons, none of them seem to involve overeating. Now I sound more like a woman than ever.

Anyway, enough about my pants. Today I decided to go to the station where there are 3 universities, because the internet said its a very exciting spot. The internet lied.
There is only 2 streets of shops and restaurants, and a whole heap of cheap looking pubs selling fried chicken. The streets here were also filled with rubbish. Because students are filthy, and eating chicken and drinking beer I paid for. Yes this applies to Korea, because there was a shop called Aussie burger which I am just going to assume is staffed by Australian students on a permanent holiday in Korea at my expense.
So instead I walked back to a busy area, and got lost. I kept crossing the road using the underpasses, some of the junctions had 12 exits. Each time, no matter how I tried, I came out in the wrong place, then walked the wrong way. At one point I ended up somewhere I had been previously.
An hour or so later, I managed to climb up the stairs and get to the area I wanted to be. Despite it being Sunday, it was really very busy.
I think I saw a flash mob, does that still happen? 2 People were walking down a busy street and all of a sudden people came from everywhere, linked hands in a circle around them and ran in the circle as fast as they could yelling something. A bus obscured my view, and camera. The crowd then ran off in every direction.
Then I saw a guy who had something similar to the waffle sandwich, but 4 times as thick, so thick it wouldnt fit in his mouth, so he squeezed it, and cream flew out of it all over his girlfriend.
She then ran up and down on the spot stamping her feet and yelling, and got her phone out to look at herself, whilst her little white dog went crazy. The guy thought it was hilarious though!

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Because there wasnt anywhere to eat at the University area, I had to have a pre dinner snack. In many subway stations there are places called Yam Cafe

Because there wasnt anywhere to eat at the University area, I had to have a pre dinner snack.
In many subway stations there are places called Yam Cafe, selling things made from yams, whatever they are.
They have lots of signs telling me how healthy they are, for long life and wellbeingness. I dont really know how a cake can make such claims.
What was surprising is that its completely flavourless. A waste of calories, further pants issues as a result.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Also near the universities is Gunmart. Now everyone knows that Korean students always go on shooting sprees in U.S. and Canadian schools. Its a fact.

Also near the universities is Gunmart. Now everyone knows that Korean students always go on shooting sprees in U.S. and Canadian schools. Its a fact.
So they need to get their guns from the gunmart.
Presumably they post them to themeselves in the U.S.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - LG shops, which have a song playing that goes something like LG SHOP, ITS BEST SHOP, BEST! always have one of these british fluffy hat guards out the

LG shops, which have a song playing that goes something like LG SHOP, ITS BEST SHOP, BEST! always have one of these british fluffy hat guards out the front.
If you look closely, you can see its standing on a black bucket thing, its inflatable. When I arrived in Incheon a week and a half ago, I thought these black buckets were all recycling bins.
No, they are inflatable advertisements, and they are everywhere.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Busan has a casino. A real casino. I dont know if the rules have changed, but when I was in Korea in 2011, there was a casino in Seoul, but Koreans ar

Busan has a casino. A real casino.
I dont know if the rules have changed, but when I was in Korea in 2011, there was a casino in Seoul, but Koreans are not allowed to go to it, only foreign passport holders.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Tonights random neon, slightly different, just one building.

Tonights random neon, slightly different, just one building.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And then for dinner, I had delicious ramen. Very good quality noodles and pork. This was inspired by my mother, who asked me if they have gyoza in Kor

And then for dinner, I had delicious ramen. Very good quality noodles and pork. This was inspired by my mother, who asked me if they have gyoza in Korea, yes, but only in the thousands of Japanese restaurants.
They do of course have mandoo, Korean dumplings, but thats not the same thing.
As nice as this was (and cheap), I actually tried to order something else that looked like it had a lot more vegetables, but the girl wouldnt let me order it, she spoke in Korean, I think she was telling me it was soba not ramen and I wouldnt like it.
No amount of me telling her in English that I just want to try it anyway would convince her, so eventually we compromised on item #1 on the menu.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

David on 2015-03-15 said:

as far as I know, all your comments are here


mother on 2015-03-15 said:

Have you banned my comments?


adriana on 2015-03-15 said:

Still can't recognise anywhere I've been - maybe the dilapidated buildings photo from today. I think the port area where I stayed in a hotel was walking distance from the Japanese embassy. maybe you can look it up on Google maps and tell me if you have been in that area at all. Beaches look amazingly clean as does the water.



Day 14 - Monday, 16 March 2015

Last mountain in Busan

Today is my last day in Busan, so today will be the last day of seemingly endless mountains to climb in Busan.
Unfortunately, the view today is obscured by pollution, I feel it would have been equivalent to the views on the other days in Busan had there of been less chromium-13 in the air.
Todays mountain is called Gudeoksan, and there is very little info on it in English available on Google. I spotted it yesterday, from the coastal walk, specifically the weather radar on the top. That would be my goal today.
However now I have Korean Naver maps, with hiking trails. This showed a continuous trail over other peaks from the western most subway station, so to the west I went.

Unfortunately, the start of the trail was very obscured. I had 5 goes at finding it, each time requiring steep streets, stairs, and me peering in windows of buildings.
Just imagine you are a Korean 5 year old finger painting, and my ugly head is pressed against your window to see if theres a way through to the trail.
Finally I was able to go quite literally through a Churches fire escape, climb a small wall, and hop over a vegetable garden. Naver maps needs some work, I stood on that spot, made sure I had many GPS satellites, and it was certainly where the green arrow showing the start point was.
So maybe you are supposed to go exactly the way I did.
Todays path was strenuous, very steep in places, and on the way down I slid on my ass twice, one time sending a sizeable boulder down hill, not the first time I have done this.
Gravel with pine needles is dangerous. I dont know how the old folks arent all dead in a pile at the bottom.
It was also hot today, hot enough for me to just go with a t-shirt most of the time, and to be covered in sweat, then dust, then a kind of grey slime thats a mixture of dust, sweat and sunscreen.
Shower time I think!

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - One of the many staircases I ascended thinking it was a way to the start of the trail, only to have to come back down again. Seriously, 45 minutes was

One of the many staircases I ascended thinking it was a way to the start of the trail, only to have to come back down again.
Seriously, 45 minutes wasted looking for a path.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - But I was determined. So using this church as a springboard into the wilderness was my best option. It worked. I tried not to walk on their vegetables

But I was determined. So using this church as a springboard into the wilderness was my best option. It worked. I tried not to walk on their vegetables.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Now we start with photos of the view. Due to the pollution today, the lower down shots will have better detail. This one is quite low.

Now we start with photos of the view. Due to the pollution today, the lower down shots will have better detail. This one is quite low.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - A little further up the hill.

A little further up the hill.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And still getting higher. Looking west towards the area known as Gimpo.

And still getting higher. Looking west towards the area known as Gimpo.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And the other west. The airport is out there somewhere. I could see planes descending, but they vanished into not so thin air before I could see them

And the other west. The airport is out there somewhere. I could see planes descending, but they vanished into not so thin air before I could see them land.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Summit number 1 today.

Summit number 1 today.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This panorama has been included in the panoramas section you can access from the menu at the left.

This panorama has been included in the panoramas section you can access from the menu at the left.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And now a view along the various ridges to the next peak. You can clearly see the weather radar. I dont know why there isnt more info online about thi

And now a view along the various ridges to the next peak. You can clearly see the weather radar. I dont know why there isnt more info online about this excellent hiking location, perhaps because its a whole extra 10 minutes on the subway to get here?


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Its me, sweating in unusual areass. I think because I was wearing my jacket for some of the way, but had it unzipped, showing off my manly chest hair

Its me, sweating in unusual areass. I think because I was wearing my jacket for some of the way, but had it unzipped, showing off my manly chest hair / girly blue t-shirt.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Now I am somewhere along the ridge, looking back at the peak where the selfie was taken.

Now I am somewhere along the ridge, looking back at the peak where the selfie was taken.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Annnnd, I realise these all look the same, but I am at the next peak. The main one for today.

Annnnd, I realise these all look the same, but I am at the next peak. The main one for today.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Cool weather radar, today its measuring a pm05 level of probably somewhere around 200. Greater than 100 is end of the world. Most of the world average

Cool weather radar, today its measuring a pm05 level of probably somewhere around 200. Greater than 100 is end of the world. Most of the world averages 150. The scale needs work.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - 2nd, superior panormama for today...link at the left...you get it by now.... ........

2nd, superior panormama for today...link at the left...you get it by now....
........


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And now its time to head down. These oldies are enjoying the view and their picnic.

And now its time to head down. These oldies are enjoying the view and their picnic.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Wild dogs! They didnt seem bothered by me at all. Perhaps they are in the final stages of rabies and delusional, so delusional that they forgot to att

Wild dogs! They didnt seem bothered by me at all. Perhaps they are in the final stages of rabies and delusional, so delusional that they forgot to attack me like every other dog in the world.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Random stone mounds started to appear everywhere, but theres no temple in site. Are they graves? I dont think they are, perhaps its just an old person

Random stone mounds started to appear everywhere, but theres no temple in site. Are they graves? I dont think they are, perhaps its just an old person game like reverse Jenga? Jenga is that tower of stick pulling game isnt it?


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Blossoms have appeared. I am about a month too early for peak blossom hysteria, and since tomorrow I head north, where theres probably still ice, way

Blossoms have appeared. I am about a month too early for peak blossom hysteria, and since tomorrow I head north, where theres probably still ice, way too early.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Until then, most places plant cabbages instead of flowers for decoration. A tasty snack as you are going past following your awesome day in the mounta

Until then, most places plant cabbages instead of flowers for decoration. A tasty snack as you are going past following your awesome day in the mountains fueled only by a calorie balance bar.


Barbecue zoo

My legs are stuffed from todays hike, they feel fantastic, going up stairs 2 at a time I can just get to the top of the subway exit before total muscle failure.
Awesome.

So I thought I better give them a rest due to more mountains to come in other locations. I headed to a familiar part of town for dinner, and then never left the Lotte department store.
The roof area afforded some great views of the ports and part of the city. So I took some more boring panoramas at dusk.
There is also a rather sad zoo, the other day their competitor, Shinsagae had a fake zoo with dinosaurs, Lotte decided to have some farm animals, birds, snakes and lizards, as well as a starbucks, and an art gallery, all on their roof.

I still dont really know how to get to my destination tomorrow, go to the bus station, hope its the right one, try to explain the city I want to go to, hope I can get a seat.
Most Korean cities have multiple bus terminals, generally, they dont all have buses going to all locations, you have to go to the right one. Generally they are on the edge of the city to keep the buses out of the city, generally.
I am dubious that I want to head west but apparently I should go to the north bus station, not the west bus station.
Then when I get to Gwangju, it could arrive at a bus station far from the subway, and lugging my bag on a bus wont be too much fun.
Its all part of the adventure.

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Panorama number 1, not shot from a mountain, but a roof. Not sure what those barges are.

Panorama number 1, not shot from a mountain, but a roof. Not sure what those barges are.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Panorama number 2, I chopped the top of the Busan tower off....

Panorama number 2, I chopped the top of the Busan tower off....


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - So here is a photo of the tower on its own. You can pay to go up it if you want. Alternatively you can come to the roof top zoo of the Lotte departmen

So here is a photo of the tower on its own. You can pay to go up it if you want. Alternatively you can come to the roof top zoo of the Lotte department store for free and be just about the only person up there.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Left to right we have sheep, deer, baby pig. But they were all hiding in their stalls. All these animals are served in the food court 2 floors below.

Left to right we have sheep, deer, baby pig. But they were all hiding in their stalls. All these animals are served in the food court 2 floors below. I personally think they are swapping them out periodically.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And you cant tell me these chickens arent put to better use should someone order one.

And you cant tell me these chickens arent put to better use should someone order one.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Its a nice spot just to wander about and enjoy the view. I did. For a long time.

Its a nice spot just to wander about and enjoy the view. I did. For a long time.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - A pile of tug boats? I think they are tug boats.

A pile of tug boats? I think they are tug boats.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Yet another random bridge.

Yet another random bridge.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This guy is the most famous player on the Busan team. Baseball is not a sport that values fitness.

This guy is the most famous player on the Busan team. Baseball is not a sport that values fitness.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - For dinner, I finally had Korean bbq. But then the girl insisted on cooking it for me. I feel as though I pay a premium for getting to cook it myself.

For dinner, I finally had Korean bbq. But then the girl insisted on cooking it for me. I feel as though I pay a premium for getting to cook it myself.
Fairly certain she assumed I did not know what to do.
Also, it was very plain and boring, the side dishes were more flavoursome. A new one on me, there is a selection of potatoes in the small brown bowl.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Next I went and hung out at the Gundam Base Satellite store.

Next I went and hung out at the Gundam Base Satellite store.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And finally, I bought a new car, and got to test drive it on the track. This store really does have everything.

And finally, I bought a new car, and got to test drive it on the track.
This store really does have everything.


There are currently 5 comments - click to add

Dragon Hunter on 2015-03-17 said:

My iphone takes better panaroma shots than Incheon - Bucheon - 6 March 2015.

The rest of those are first class photo's.


David on 2015-03-16 said:

Here or Daegu are both nice.
Busan probably has more to see and do in total, but its quite spread out due to the mountains separating different parts of the city.
Daegu was much more like Adelaide or Melbourne, everything is in the city.

Incheon was not so nice, its too much of a suburb of Seoul, even though it has a larger population than Busan or Daegu, theres less to see and do there.


adriana on 2015-03-16 said:

Well, I have to say that Pusan seems to have developed a lot in the last 14 years. How did you like it? Would you consider living there for a while? Favourite place in Korea so far?


David on 2015-03-16 said:

Gwangju.
Small place, only 1.5 million people.


mummy on 2015-03-16 said:

Hello, nice blue t shirt. Nice photos. Where are you off to tomorrow?



Day 15 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

On the bus

Today I caught a bus to Gwangju, the smallest city I will be visiting with a population of only 1.5 million people.
As discussed above, I had no ticket, and no certainty I was going to the right station.
So I turned up, saw a sign clearly saying Gwangju 10:10, walked to the window, said GWANGJU, paid my $14, went and stood at bay number 4, and got on the bus.
3.5 hours later on a very luxurious bus, I arrived in Gwangju.
There were only 4 other people on this bus, so I dont think the service is breaking even, not that I care, its the only bus I need on this trip, so if they go broke right now, so be it.
The bus had wifi, scultpted seats like my car with a spacious 2x1 configuration, and a TV that showed where you are and how long to go.
It also had a tv showing Korean tv, which you could plug your headphones in and listen to, however the show featured girls trying on glasses, then laughing, followed by a studio audience cheering and applauding and giving a score.
I dont think the sound was going to add to that too much.

The bus stuck to the freeways, so no towns were visited, we stopped at roadside services which were numerous and of a high quality, reminded my of the ones in England.

Arriving in Gwangju, unfortunately the bus station is far from the subway, and far from my hotel, so I had to walk to the subway for about 30 minutes, past the Kia car factory.
My bag is quite heavy, and the wheels on it are not great, the bricks on the road I took were uneven, and the curb to cross each street was not roller case friendly, so it was quite the expedition. Still I avoided the taxi system which is a bonus.

For my hotel here, I had booked a single room, in one of only 2 hotels I could find that would take online booking in English. The photos had a single bed against a wall. To my surpise I have a huge room, much like the one in Daegu, only bigger, and with a window.
The hotel only has 40 rooms, but despite that, it has 2 levels of day spa, a German beer hall, 2 coffee shops, a Japanese restaurant, a Karaoke bar with private booths and a Korean nightclub of sorts. I will use none of these features.
They also have only 1 lift, and a concierge who is annoying in that he insists on opening every door and pushing every button for you. I walked in with a bottle of water just now and he took it off me and carried it for me to the lift, and handed it back to me.

Now for some fairly boring photos.

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Before I set off to the bus station, I had a walk around the local market at 7am. Its enormous.

Before I set off to the bus station, I had a walk around the local market at 7am. Its enormous.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This is a train station near my hotel in Busan, that is now very rarely used. Theres a very sad looking dunkin donuts store in there, and no people. I

This is a train station near my hotel in Busan, that is now very rarely used. Theres a very sad looking dunkin donuts store in there, and no people. It is for the old trains, and even then I think its a spur line only.
I thought it was a great photo though, through dirty glass.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - The other side of the unused station is another market, just as huge, just as busy. I saw an argument between 2 men pushing trolleys full of strawberr

The other side of the unused station is another market, just as huge, just as busy.
I saw an argument between 2 men pushing trolleys full of strawberries who met head on. One would have to reverse to let them pass. This situation was unresolved as I left.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Now the ticket hall of the bus station. I thought I was in the wrong place, its too small and uncrowded. I was expecting chaos.

Now the ticket hall of the bus station. I thought I was in the wrong place, its too small and uncrowded. I was expecting chaos.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - There were at least 100 busses lined up outside waiting for people, but no people. Very strange.

There were at least 100 busses lined up outside waiting for people, but no people. Very strange.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - My bus however was there.

My bus however was there.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Spacious, clean, quiet, comfortable and most importantly, cheap. I bought snacks for the journey, but ate them all before the bus pulled out of the st

Spacious, clean, quiet, comfortable and most importantly, cheap.
I bought snacks for the journey, but ate them all before the bus pulled out of the station.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - We stopped at the roadside services, which was great, because I could urinate, and buy more snacks. I leave out no details. The key point here, there

We stopped at the roadside services, which was great, because I could urinate, and buy more snacks. I leave out no details.
The key point here, there are no toilets on the bus.
I would have liked to eat something better, but I had no idea how long we would be here, the driver shouted something out in Korean, and I kept an eye on one of the 4 other passengers to make sure I wasnt last back on.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - The Gwangju bus station is huge, and very modern. They only have one. Too bad they have placed it nowhere near anything useful, like the subway. There

The Gwangju bus station is huge, and very modern. They only have one. Too bad they have placed it nowhere near anything useful, like the subway. There were over 9000 taxis though, I taunted them by wheeling my suitcase past them all.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - A crooked shot of the local Kia car factory. Impressive looking, but no cars in the yard waiting to be exported.

A crooked shot of the local Kia car factory. Impressive looking, but no cars in the yard waiting to be exported.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This is the outside of my hotel. It advertises that it has a rowdy Pocha, which is a beer hall tent. Awesome.

This is the outside of my hotel. It advertises that it has a rowdy Pocha, which is a beer hall tent. Awesome.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Now, room shot number 1. The bed manages to be harder than granite. It is now made of pure carbonite.

Now, room shot number 1. The bed manages to be harder than granite. It is now made of pure carbonite.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Bathroom has a plethora of shower controls.

Bathroom has a plethora of shower controls.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And room shot number 2, with lotions, potions, and many remotes. One of the remotes controls the lights, air con, do not disturb sign, disco ball.

And room shot number 2, with lotions, potions, and many remotes. One of the remotes controls the lights, air con, do not disturb sign, disco ball.


Ridiculous hotels

My hotel is in the business and financial area of Gwangju apparently.
It is an area with very wide streets, a lot of things are under construction. The whole area looks like its being refreshed. It kind of has the feel of a newer Chinese city.
During the day time, there was hardly anyone on the streets. Those who were on the streets all looked lost.

So anyway, I headed off to the subway to go to the pedestrian shopping area, which is a few km away.
This area is very much like the rest of these areas in Korea, huge, busy, confusing. Even on a Tuesday there were people everywhere.
A few streets away there is an area called Arts street. Along here were lots of places where people were painting, sculpting, doing woodwork and whatever else, then expecting tourists to pay a fortune for it. It did look genuine, the dutch drip style coffee shops nearby selling single origin rift valley Ethiopian coffee in cups made from ancient clay for $12 a thimble would attest to this.
I fled back to the neon area.
Gwangju prides itself on being arty, edgy, youthful and rebellious. Stemming from the Korean version of the Tiananmen square massacre, and the large number of universities in the area.
Rain is forecast tomorrow, so I may not be able to do a mountain, so instead I might have to go see the massacare monument garden museum or whatever it is.

After dinner, I headed back to the subway to go back to my hotel. This city, being different, does not accept the same transport card as all the rest of Korea.
So armed with the name of the Gwangju card, a picture of it on my phone, my existing card that works everywhere else, and the right amount of money to buy the Gwangju one, I wandered from convenience store to convenience store to try and buy one. The website says they sell them.
No one spoke any English, they were all young people, but no one could understand what I wanted, or even speak a word to me, just looked at me with a dumb look on their faces until I went away.
I had to go to 5 stores and repeat this pantomime until I found a guy, who knew exactly what I wanted, pulled all the cards out from two competing card systems (like suica vs icoca in Japan), in multiple styles of each. All I had to do with him is say the name of it. Not sure what the other store clerks problems were. If a Korean guy walked into a store in Adelaide and said 'metrocard' I am fairly certain I could help him.

Card in hand, I now rode the subway without having to line up to buy a stupid token. I arrived back in the area of my hotel, which had undergone a total transformation as darkness had descended. It was now a bizzarre world of ridiculous enormous hotels and bars.

Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - In daylight, this was the most busiest area near my hotel in the CBD area, an outdoor mall with no customers.

In daylight, this was the most busiest area near my hotel in the CBD area, an outdoor mall with no customers.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Not to worry, in 10 minutes I was back in the pedestrian zone, people watching. I never buy anything, I just stare at babies until they start crying a

Not to worry, in 10 minutes I was back in the pedestrian zone, people watching. I never buy anything, I just stare at babies until they start crying and make the locals feel uncomfortable when I walk behind them.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - One of many many sock ladies, this one has picked herself a prime spot.

One of many many sock ladies, this one has picked herself a prime spot.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - A temple celebrating shopping and eating.

A temple celebrating shopping and eating.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - This statue has no shame.

This statue has no shame.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - My dinner was interesting tonight. This is one of the side dishes. Its lettuce, with a strange pink sauce, and corn flakes.

My dinner was interesting tonight. This is one of the side dishes. Its lettuce, with a strange pink sauce, and corn flakes.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - All this food for $8. The dumplings (mandoo) were excellent. The main dish is vegetables on noodles in spicy bean paste. You cant see the noodles here

All this food for $8. The dumplings (mandoo) were excellent. The main dish is vegetables on noodles in spicy bean paste. You cant see the noodles here, but the serving lady wanted to cut them up with scissors for me.
I didnt want to cut them up as I wanted to leave half but eat all the vegetables. The noodles were also ICE COLD, bits of ice were on the bottom of the bowl.
So ice cold noodles, mystery meat dumplings and cornflake salad. A great night out.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Weeny beeny is just a giant store selling jelly beans.

Weeny beeny is just a giant store selling jelly beans.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And now we are back near my hotel, at first I was amazed that the wide boring streets were now lit up and interesting, but then....

And now we are back near my hotel, at first I was amazed that the wide boring streets were now lit up and interesting, but then....


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - I noticed all the amazingly brightly lit ridiculous hotels.

I noticed all the amazingly brightly lit ridiculous hotels.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Each one was more impressively garish than the last.

Each one was more impressively garish than the last.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - There are at least 100 of them, and thats after I subtract my usual exaggeration factor.

There are at least 100 of them, and thats after I subtract my usual exaggeration factor.


Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - And then this is the street my hotel is on, its completely transformed itself. Might be a bit noisy for sleeping.

And then this is the street my hotel is on, its completely transformed itself. Might be a bit noisy for sleeping.


There are currently 10 comments - click to add

David on 2015-03-18 said:

Not going to Chrisian. Too far from anything. If I had of planned to be there today, I would have been stuffed due to rain. Better to stick to cities and day trip to mountains based on weather and how I feel when I wake up.


mummy on 2015-03-17 said:

Are you goiing to go to Chirisan which is between Pusan and Gwangju?
I am reliably informed that it is one of the two most popular moutains for hiking and there are bears!!!


David on 2015-03-17 said:

It is easy to get around without speaking english. I havent really needed to speak to anyone apart from yesterday to buy the travel card specific to this city.
However not much English is spoken in the smaller cities even by the young.
When checking into the hotels I have stayed at, 3 out of 4 had no English at all, so you just hand them your reservation and passport and they work it out.
In restaurants, you point at the menu, or go outside and point at pictures.
A few children have yelled at me as they go past, HELLO! and I will respond, Good morning, how are you? and they will say HELLO! again and keep walking.


Dragon Hunter on 2015-03-17 said:

Is it easy to get around? Do the locals speak any English?


Pyrmont Greek on 2015-03-17 said:

Would be interested to understand if the Koreans eat Curcumin?

Is their an opportunity for a Greekrepreneur to make some money selling the solution to all.


David on 2015-03-17 said:

I think it just looks like scrub because its all dead from winter.
The city streets all look the same as well.
I can remember how green everything was on my last trip though, which was in August, so the end of summer.
I think winters are just a lot harsher than Japan here.

I am also aware of the Gwangju massacre, if it rains hard all day tomorrow as forecast, I guess I will be in museums looking at dead students.


mother on 2015-03-17 said:

OK, I've done some research too. Now I know all about the Gwangju Massacre in 1980. General question re all the hiking trails. Doesn't Korea have any primeval forests? You seem to be hiking through scrub all the time. Agent Orange during the Korean War maybe?


adriana on 2015-03-17 said:

Is a pile of tugboats the same as a pride of lions or a flock of geese?


David on 2015-03-17 said:

No specific attraction other than a nearby mountain.
I just picked locations by list of cities in Korea by population.
I am researching what the attractions might be right now.


adriana on 2015-03-17 said:

Nice hotel room, buses uncrowded like in Japan and also roadside service centres. Why can't we have them in Australia? What is the attraction of Gwangju?



On page 6 its raining

Contents

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
  The end