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Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Page 2

Day 4 - Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The great new ancient Seoul wall of Korea

More mountains! Actually more of a large hill, but an important hill. Todays mountain is called Inwangsan, and it is right in the city itself, overlooking not only the blue house where the president lives, but also the main palace. That will become an important bit of info shortly.
Because of its location, this hill was closed to the public until a few years ago, and there is still a large military presence on all the hills all around here, just in case. This particular hill is now open to everyone and the entire wall is lit up at night, there is another hill a bit closer to the blue house that you can apply to climb up, but its a lot of red tape and forms and passports and no photos are allowed. Anyway, once I climbed up this hill, there was an old man, who wanted to practice his English, then things got weird.

Our conversation started off as they all do, first he tells me he speaks English, then he asks me where I am from, then I am delivered a lecture on how as a westerner I would not possibly be able to climb up the hill without dying, only a real Korean senior citizen would possess the physical stamina to attempt such an amazing feat. I told him I would give it a shot anyway, you know, since its about 15 minutes to the top.
Then he told me that until recently, the mountains were closed due to the failed assassination attempt of the South Korean president by American CIA operatives pretending to be North Koreans. He also added that he wish they had been successful. I pretended to be in agreeance with his theories.
Then after another long pause, he decided a different strategy was required, and asked me if I knew about the tigers that still roamed this hill. Oh really? I asked him if he meant 200 years ago perhaps. No. He assured me that I must be very careful or I will be eaten by a tiger. I again pretended to be interested, and said I would keep a close eye out for tigers. He told me to not be so confident, his brother was eaten by a tiger in this very spot, last year!

Obviously because I have typed this, I made it back without being eaten!

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I have a made a conscious effort to not just take mountain photos. So here is a public toilet to start the day. It is a nice public toilet, heated, sp

I have a made a conscious effort to not just take mountain photos. So here is a public toilet to start the day. It is a nice public toilet, heated, spotlessly clean, and playing music.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Now its time to get climbing. Although this hill is easy to climb up if you use the main path along the wall (which you shall see soon), I had selecte

Now its time to get climbing. Although this hill is easy to climb up if you use the main path along the wall (which you shall see soon), I had selected a route up over the back to make it a bit more challenging. I tend to do that, then complain that I get lost.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Korea loves to make their buildings out of bright white concrete. Today was a very high contrast day, tricky for photos.

Korea loves to make their buildings out of bright white concrete. Today was a very high contrast day, tricky for photos.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Up there is my destination, it is really not far.

Up there is my destination, it is really not far.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Of course, because I am in Seoul, theres another mountain in every single direction, leaving me to question if I had chosen the best one, or was the n

Of course, because I am in Seoul, theres another mountain in every single direction, leaving me to question if I had chosen the best one, or was the next one over better? Mountain FOMO, its a real thing. I am raising money for it. Actually later in the day I got attacked by some guys from South America collecting money to save Mongolia.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The path up was actually really challenging. Generally I dont find going up to be too dangerous, but I was glad I would not be coming down this path.

The path up was actually really challenging. Generally I dont find going up to be too dangerous, but I was glad I would not be coming down this path. A couple of times one of the rocks came loose and caused a small landslide, destroying the nice public toilet below.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Semi redundant photo, although here is the first view of the great wall of Seoul.

Semi redundant photo, although here is the first view of the great wall of Seoul.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Lots of trees around here have consumed the plastic bottles left by other hikers. Actually I dont really understand this at all, I assume its to water

Lots of trees around here have consumed the plastic bottles left by other hikers. Actually I dont really understand this at all, I assume its to water the tree, but how did they get in there, and wouldnt drilling into the tree do more harm than good?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - And here it is, the new ancient wall, complete with LED lighting, and a lot of power lines and military observation posts. Its white color makes for a

And here it is, the new ancient wall, complete with LED lighting, and a lot of power lines and military observation posts. Its white color makes for a blinding experience, both for my eyeballs and my cameras digital eyeball.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Despite being a more polluted day than yesterday, the view was great, and easily accessible to all if you are lazy. Since they have installed lighting

Despite being a more polluted day than yesterday, the view was great, and easily accessible to all if you are lazy. Since they have installed lighting I believe you can come up here at night....maybe I will? You cannot go all the way to those far off mountains because of military check points.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Great view of the city, and more wall, and the Seoul tower where I was last night. There is actually an ancient city wall under this new wall, and it

Great view of the city, and more wall, and the Seoul tower where I was last night. There is actually an ancient city wall under this new wall, and it forms a loop around the city, including up to the top of the Seoul tower in the distance. Maps suggest you can walk the whole loop, but the internet tells me parts are off limits.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Here is a bit more wall, and Bukhansan National Park in the distance. A lot of the time today I couldnt decide if my photos were too dark or too brigh

Here is a bit more wall, and Bukhansan National Park in the distance. A lot of the time today I couldnt decide if my photos were too dark or too bright, which means too much contrast. I read about light and color a lot lately, it is a really boring subject.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Time to head back down the main route, along the wall, keeping an eye out for the tigers. Maybe this is photo of the day?

Time to head back down the main route, along the wall, keeping an eye out for the tigers. Maybe this is photo of the day?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I decided now was an opportunity to stick my big ugly head in the frame, hair blowing across my face, nostrils flaring. My nostrils are pre flared at

I decided now was an opportunity to stick my big ugly head in the frame, hair blowing across my face, nostrils flaring. My nostrils are pre flared at all times for maximum breathing efficiency.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Somehow this part of the wall was less brilliantly white. There were a lot of signs around warning me not to photograph any military stuff, and a lot

Somehow this part of the wall was less brilliantly white. There were a lot of signs around warning me not to photograph any military stuff, and a lot of cameras on poles. I made it out without being stopped and questioned, probably for the best since I do not carry my passport with me.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The lower parts are a lot more colorful! I still dont know if blossoms are coming or nearly gone.

The lower parts are a lot more colorful! I still dont know if blossoms are coming or nearly gone.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Strangely right next to the main palace is an old suburb for homeless folks. Some of these buildings look like they would actually fall down if I brus

Strangely right next to the main palace is an old suburb for homeless folks. Some of these buildings look like they would actually fall down if I brushed against them as I went past. Also the road is ridiculously steep, a scooter coming up the hill delivering packages nearly flipped over backwards, the front wheel came off the ground!


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Back at the main street, an area from where I have taken photos on previous trips. You can see the palace in the distance, and the seated statue of so

Back at the main street, an area from where I have taken photos on previous trips. You can see the palace in the distance, and the seated statue of some sort of deity who brought Jesus to Korea. Also a crane.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - This statue celebrates the samurai, and the positive impact Japan has had on Korea.

This statue celebrates the samurai, and the positive impact Japan has had on Korea.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Here is the North Korean cheerleaders as seen at the winter Olympics. I do not know what they are doing in town.

Here is the North Korean cheerleaders as seen at the winter Olympics. I do not know what they are doing in town.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Along the main road there are a large number of crazy people looking for ways to not work. I think there are both pro and anti American military movem

Along the main road there are a large number of crazy people looking for ways to not work. I think there are both pro and anti American military movements setting up tents and riding ridiculous bikes such as this one.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The key to getting support for your message is to have as many flags as possible, and the lowest quality yet loudest volume loud speaker. Last time I

The key to getting support for your message is to have as many flags as possible, and the lowest quality yet loudest volume loud speaker. Last time I was here the street had been barricaded off by students for a few weeks, who were copying the Hong Kong students. They all decided to end their protests when school holidays were over.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Now for a quick walk along the main sewer. Many Asian mega cities have decided to make their outdoor sewers a tourist attraction.

Now for a quick walk along the main sewer. Many Asian mega cities have decided to make their outdoor sewers a tourist attraction.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I remember it being greener and having more trees on previous trips? The lunch time crowd was enjoying their lunch while hanging out at the sewer stre

I remember it being greener and having more trees on previous trips? The lunch time crowd was enjoying their lunch while hanging out at the sewer stream.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Final pic of the day is my lunch. Because Seoul is so close to the mountains I can get back to town in time for lunch, on foot! Theres no need for a 2

Final pic of the day is my lunch. Because Seoul is so close to the mountains I can get back to town in time for lunch, on foot! Theres no need for a 2 hour plus train ride to get to a mountain. Anyway, todays lunch was cold noodles soaked in a sour red sauce, topped with random weeds and mystery meat. Those yellow pickled things served as a side dish are probably the highlight, I dont know what those are either but I like them.


Dong Demon

I am almost certain last time I came to Seoul I went to Dongdaemun and called it Dong Demon. Because I am childish. But also does it really mean Eastern Demon? Dong means east. All I know is that it is the suburb with all the huge clothing markets and fashion malls that stay open until 5am, every night. It is also where the amazing architectural wonder of the culture park is, and even before I google that, I am certain it will have been designed by Zaha Hadid, who continues to design new buildings despite dying a few years ago. Surely her greatest ever achievement? I guess Jimi Hendrix manages to put out a new album every year so why not.

After visiting the alien invasion craft I found another bit of the ancient great wall of Seoul, they should just go ahead and reconstruct and light up the entire thing, the bits that do exist are all quite new looking, they arent fooling anyone, just make it a great tourist walk with ice cream shops and cafes all the way around. I loved the one in Xian, China.

After a predictable dinner, I found myself in a very nice part of town, called midtown I think, very clean modern and Japanese looking. I suspect it is a newly constructed youth orientated area to make the adjoining University more attractive. I further suspect that until recently it was a kind of red light district, but the christian parents of University students successfully petitioned the government to knock it all down and build over 900 coffee and cake shops instead. Now that I finished that story I realise I didnt take any photos of the actual area. Oh well.

I am back early tonight, so I can go to bed early, and get up early tomorrow, and go up a mountain a bit further away, that means I have time to channel surf the 100 or so tv channels in my hotel room. There are a few English language movie channels, but they are all extreme violence. This leaves baseball, golf, or k-dramas. So far when scanning the k-drama channels I am 10 from 10 of close ups of people crying in slow motion with sad piano music playing. Great stuff.

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Its a street full of motorbikes and blazing sunshine. Actually its a street full of factories making paper and paper related products. Forklifts const

Its a street full of motorbikes and blazing sunshine. Actually its a street full of factories making paper and paper related products. Forklifts constantly reverse out into traffic without looking, trying to kill pedestrians. I am not a fan of forklifts driving on the road, how can the driver see over his payload?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I passed through a large market, very clean and modern looking.

I passed through a large market, very clean and modern looking.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - It may have been clean and modern, but there were literally millions of dead fish staring at me. It had absolutely zero smell though, not sure how the

It may have been clean and modern, but there were literally millions of dead fish staring at me. It had absolutely zero smell though, not sure how they have managed this trick, perhaps all the dead fish are plastic? Perhaps I have lost my sense of smell?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - There it is, the Dongdaemun culture and art fashion park. Which really was designed by Zaha Hadid. Theres a guy taking a photo of that huge statues as

There it is, the Dongdaemun culture and art fashion park. Which really was designed by Zaha Hadid. Theres a guy taking a photo of that huge statues ass.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I took plenty of photos of the place last time I was here, so no need to repeat that. Admittedly that was years ago with a far inferior camera, but ba

I took plenty of photos of the place last time I was here, so no need to repeat that. Admittedly that was years ago with a far inferior camera, but back then it was Seoul fashion week and there were models parading about.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - This time I learned that the whole place is built on an ancient palace and part of the ancient city wall. They left a few piles of rocks, grew some ni

This time I learned that the whole place is built on an ancient palace and part of the ancient city wall. They left a few piles of rocks, grew some nice trees, and then decorated it with a huge red suitcase.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - These are all plastic flowers with an LED light in them. It is a temporary exhibit, and ends soon. I probably should have checked it out after dark to

These are all plastic flowers with an LED light in them. It is a temporary exhibit, and ends soon. I probably should have checked it out after dark to see if all the lights were working, I think it made for a nice enough photo at dusk.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I had a predictable dinner in the basement of a fashion mall open until 5am. The place has been modernized since I was last here, it is a very nice fo

I had a predictable dinner in the basement of a fashion mall open until 5am. The place has been modernized since I was last here, it is a very nice food court now. Anyway, my predictable dinner was bibimbap, some kind of wild mushroom variety, it was delicious and so was the miso. I eat bibimbap at least once a week in Melbourne also. In other news, once again my camera seems to have taken a flash photo without a flash?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - DOOTA is the name of the place with the good food court in the basement, if you are ever here at 4am wanting dinner, this is your place.

DOOTA is the name of the place with the good food court in the basement, if you are ever here at 4am wanting dinner, this is your place.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I passed over this sewer in the afternoon, but I am back again at dusk with these weird clothing wholesaler buildings each side, so I decided it was w

I passed over this sewer in the afternoon, but I am back again at dusk with these weird clothing wholesaler buildings each side, so I decided it was worth another photo.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Unfortunately I missed photographing this hill by a few minutes. A few minutes prior the sun was shining on it making it red with all the reflections

Unfortunately I missed photographing this hill by a few minutes. A few minutes prior the sun was shining on it making it red with all the reflections off the windows. It reminds me of a Japanese regional city for some reason.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - And just in case you did not get enough great Seoul wall earlier, here is a bit more! You can never have too much wall in a day.

And just in case you did not get enough great Seoul wall earlier, here is a bit more! You can never have too much wall in a day.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The last photo of the evening comes courtesy of an overpass, which allows for a long exposure to get some STARBEAMS. Good times. Tomorrow... more moun

The last photo of the evening comes courtesy of an overpass, which allows for a long exposure to get some STARBEAMS. Good times. Tomorrow... more mountains!


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

mother on 2019-04-03 said:

I'm liking Seoul very much - modern with interesting art + old derelict areas. You have not provided a hotel exterior and interior shot yet. This is required with a review.


David on 2019-04-02 said:

The wall is just a re-creation of the ancient city wall. I did not photograph the soldiers with machine guns and the razor wire.


jenny on 2019-04-02 said:

Please explain what the purpose of this new wall is? Is it for keeping people out of the palace grounds? If so, why is it so low? The bottles in the trees probably contain some chemicals to either kill the trees or some disease or bugs in them.



Day 5 - Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Great hike with a crap view

Another day, another day of hiking. I have to make hay while the sun shines. Who knows when the sun might stop shining and be replaced with a flood, or I might succumb to swine flu, or North Korea might invade, or the USA might dress up as North Koreans and invade to get funding to attack Mexico.

Todays hike was actually one I had penciled in for when I am back in Seoul in a few days time, but due to the above reasons, I brought it forward. It is South of the city, and I will be staying in the South of the city when I come back, but right now I am staying in the North of the city. Regardless of your grasp of basic yet completely redundant geography, the important thing is that the place was called Cheonggyesan. Koreans love words with double g's. The new Korean era is called Reiggwagg. Right now I know because it is timely that the previous sentence is making fun of the new Japanese era called Reiwa, but I doubt even in 6 months time I will remember what that means, so I added this sentence for explanation purposes. If you have to explain the joke, its not funny.
While I am questioning the sanity of the Romanization of Korean, I should make special mention of the double t, this occurs even at the start of a word, such as tteokbokki (which is delicious), but no, you dont pronounce it with a stutter so it makes zero sense. I have gone off on a pretty large tangent here.

The hike was actually fantastic. Once I got to the main peak called Maebong, I had to decide if I should back track or press on into the unknown. That was an easy decision. This being Korea there were lots of people, even on a Wednesday, and lots and lots of trails, too many choices. I did not pay too much attention to which one to follow, I just decided to stay on the ridge until I decided it as time to head back down, knowing that I would find a road and then follow that to a station. And that is precisely what I did, although I came out right in between two stations and had about a 3km walk along a road.

The hike itself was great, but the scenery was brown, grey, obscured by trees, obscured by pollution and generally reminiscent of a nuclear winter, something that may yet become a reality in Seoul!

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Wherever you go hiking in Korea, you will always experience the same, first there will be stalls such as these set up by the local Ajummas (Aunties),

Wherever you go hiking in Korea, you will always experience the same, first there will be stalls such as these set up by the local Ajummas (Aunties), who will be trying to sell you things no one has needed for the last 20 years, and also flavorless rice crispy squares they made some time last year.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The next thing you will see is an entire street full of hiking stores, more on this later, the main street to the start of the hike has all the big br

The next thing you will see is an entire street full of hiking stores, more on this later, the main street to the start of the hike has all the big brands, and these are the only actual shops anywhere in Korea that open before 11AM. I started todays hike completely naked and purchased everything I needed from these stores, very convenient, my new trousers even have a dedicated rice crispy square pocket.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - For the start of this hike, they have rolled out a carpet. Seriously, large parts of todays hike had this hessian carpet. I love it! The parts that di

For the start of this hike, they have rolled out a carpet. Seriously, large parts of todays hike had this hessian carpet. I love it! The parts that didnt were sometimes a muddy bog where my entire foot became submerged and I was worried my shoe would come off.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Because of the mud, Korea has kindly provided some shoe cleaning stations at the entry/exit point of every major trail. Generally everyone has brand n

Because of the mud, Korea has kindly provided some shoe cleaning stations at the entry/exit point of every major trail. Generally everyone has brand new shoes they purchased from one of the stores leading to the start of the trail, you are expected to wash them properly before throwing them out so that they can be recycled into hessian hiking carpet more easily. Is more easily correct English? Correctt Engglish?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The lower sections of this hike had some nicer looking forest and purple flowers to appreciate, it would not last.

The lower sections of this hike had some nicer looking forest and purple flowers to appreciate, it would not last.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - This forest cat was not interested in waking up to attack me.

This forest cat was not interested in waking up to attack me.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - In addition to the surprise carpet, parts of the trail had a manicured hedge, although it looks largely dead here at the start of spring.

In addition to the surprise carpet, parts of the trail had a manicured hedge, although it looks largely dead here at the start of spring.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Another feature of mountains in Korea, the helicopter landing areas, to rescue the old folks who's hearts have given up mid hike. I see a lot of helic

Another feature of mountains in Korea, the helicopter landing areas, to rescue the old folks who's hearts have given up mid hike. I see a lot of helicopters and could hear them most of the day, but those were military Chinook double rotor death traps.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Near the main peak there were some nice rocks to look at / climb over / urinate from.

Near the main peak there were some nice rocks to look at / climb over / urinate from.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - And there it is, Maebong peak. The clearest view I could get of it anyway.

And there it is, Maebong peak. The clearest view I could get of it anyway.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Right by the peak is a memorial for an airborne trainee paratrooper unit who all died (55 of them) in 1982 when their plane flew into the mountain. I

Right by the peak is a memorial for an airborne trainee paratrooper unit who all died (55 of them) in 1982 when their plane flew into the mountain. I think that is about 5 mountains in total I have climbed up that planes have flown into.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Seoul, beautifully framed by dead brown leaves and a layer of brownish smog.

Seoul, beautifully framed by dead brown leaves and a layer of brownish smog.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The view in the other direction has a bit of green, and plenty of smog.

The view in the other direction has a bit of green, and plenty of smog.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - A surprise at what was perhaps the most remote part of the hike, a sun lounge. I sunned myself for a while.

A surprise at what was perhaps the most remote part of the hike, a sun lounge. I sunned myself for a while.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - If you squint really hard at the middle of this shot you can see the Lotte tower, where I went on the morning I arrived here after not sleeping on my

If you squint really hard at the middle of this shot you can see the Lotte tower, where I went on the morning I arrived here after not sleeping on my flights. If you believe you can see it, you will!


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - This is a clearing by the gate of a mountain top military base. I would continue along those ridges.

This is a clearing by the gate of a mountain top military base. I would continue along those ridges.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The path went along the fence of the military base, there were actually a lot of soldiers inside this one doing stuff, I passed 2 others that seemed t

The path went along the fence of the military base, there were actually a lot of soldiers inside this one doing stuff, I passed 2 others that seemed to have no one.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Remember this faded plastic child from the other day? Here he is again, at a random spot on the trail. I have no idea why!

Remember this faded plastic child from the other day? Here he is again, at a random spot on the trail. I have no idea why!


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - This part of the trail was particular nucular wintery (nuclear spelled incorrectly deliberately, and god dammit (damnit) I want to say spelt not spell

This part of the trail was particular nucular wintery (nuclear spelled incorrectly deliberately, and god dammit (damnit) I want to say spelt not spelled). Hey hey! Brackets within brackets, achievement unlocked.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - By this time I was being water boarded by grey and brown scenery, so the first sign of color I pounced on. Behold, YELLOW! I switched my camera to man

By this time I was being water boarded by grey and brown scenery, so the first sign of color I pounced on. Behold, YELLOW! I switched my camera to manual focus for this so you better appreciate it!


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - As I got down a bit lower, a bit more purple returned.

As I got down a bit lower, a bit more purple returned.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I think that clump of buildings is where I want to be, but I have descended far from there, oh well, I like walking.

I think that clump of buildings is where I want to be, but I have descended far from there, oh well, I like walking.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I presume the owner of this stall went to the forest.

I presume the owner of this stall went to the forest.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Its a police car! Actually I took this photo to show the various peaks I had been over. Not a great shot of them but everywhere else the view was comp

Its a police car! Actually I took this photo to show the various peaks I had been over. Not a great shot of them but everywhere else the view was completely obscured.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - If you recall the hiking gear shops earlier, here is another, on the wrong side of the highway. Thats why its a knock off brand 'the red face' instead

If you recall the hiking gear shops earlier, here is another, on the wrong side of the highway. Thats why its a knock off brand 'the red face' instead of 'the north face', they even stole their basic logo design.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - And for my final pic of the day, something special. This is a small house you lock your dog in, with a special microwave emitting blue light that slow

And for my final pic of the day, something special. This is a small house you lock your dog in, with a special microwave emitting blue light that slowly cooks your dog to the point of killing all the fleas and dust mites he might be harboring. What a fantastic idea! Also as with all Korean advertising, they have chosen to use a non Korean model. Seriously I never see a Korean modeling Korean products.


All the usual neon and curry

Tomorrow I am going to Daejeon, for 4 nights. I have not been there before. I think it is the smallest city I have ever been to in Korea with a small population of about 1.5 million people. But fear not Seoulites, Seoulophiles, Seoulsologists, after spending a few days in the central small city of Daejeon I will again return to Seoul for another 3 nights, but I will be staying on the other side of Seoul.

My journey to Daejeon on the bullet train will take all of an hour, I have taken Korean bullet trains before, the advantage they have over Japan is you can book tickets, and print them out in advance, no need to go to a station in Japan in person and hope they are still available, I printed my Korean tickets in Australia.

For my last night of my first half of my Korean trip which is the first half of my overall holiday I stayed fairly local. I had already walked over 30,000 steps today, and I like to go to bed early. Early to bed and early to rise makes me a dull old man. Something like that.
Anyway, I dont have too much else to say other than update myself that its damn cold, colder than last night, maybe because its windy, wind chill is like magents, no one knows how it works.

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Nice light in Myeondong, might as well take another shot of the food cart things.

Nice light in Myeondong, might as well take another shot of the food cart things.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - There is only one fashion brand in Korea now, Supreme. It is Supreme or nothing. Samsung actually did a deal with what was labeled a fake 'Supreme' wh

There is only one fashion brand in Korea now, Supreme. It is Supreme or nothing. Samsung actually did a deal with what was labeled a fake 'Supreme' which was an Italian fake version Samsung wanted to stamp on their phones, only to be heavily criticized by the New York 'Supreme' for doing so and canceling the deal. Soon after it was revealed that even the New York version had stolen the design from someone else and there is now ongoing drama over that also. But all that is MOOT. Look at the stupid design. Why is it popular at all? It literally says Supreme in a plain font.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Still not having recovered from my supreme Supreme rant, I decided to take out my anger on this guy wearing a cat suit advertising for the cat cafe. H

Still not having recovered from my supreme Supreme rant, I decided to take out my anger on this guy wearing a cat suit advertising for the cat cafe. He never saw me coming.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Now that I practiced on a human sized furry animal, I decided to take on the mega line and friends teddy bear. I lost.

Now that I practiced on a human sized furry animal, I decided to take on the mega line and friends teddy bear. I lost.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Here is a typical Korean snack stand. A lot of what you see is parts of fish, often turned into a sausage, or some kind of wax fish sheet.

Here is a typical Korean snack stand. A lot of what you see is parts of fish, often turned into a sausage, or some kind of wax fish sheet.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I like this building, I especially like it from this angle.

I like this building, I especially like it from this angle.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - All of a sudden, I was absolutely starving. I tried 2 places that turned me away as all their tables were giant bbq grill things and they didnt want t

All of a sudden, I was absolutely starving. I tried 2 places that turned me away as all their tables were giant bbq grill things and they didnt want to waste one on me. There was only one last choice, coco curry. Yes, you can get coco curry all over Korea, and I think they pay a bit more attention to it than they do in Japan. My omurice was delicious. The other night I found somewhere in Melbourne making it, and it was horrible. How can Australia still not have Omurice? The Adelaide central market had a good place for a while but it closed down. OK thats 2 rants in one night.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Wherever I was, and I am not quite sure, it turned into a Neon city after it got dark. Not quite Shinjuku levels, but not bad. Now I must go to sleep

Wherever I was, and I am not quite sure, it turned into a Neon city after it got dark. Not quite Shinjuku levels, but not bad. Now I must go to sleep early so I can get up early and be too early to go to Daejeon to get to my hotel too early. The early dork gets the worm. I feel the word dork is underutilized in 2019.


There are currently 3 comments - click to add

adriana on 2019-04-03 said:

my comment disappeared so will have to start again. Line your camera up with the side of tall buildings to get your photos straight. Those are the ones I'm talking about. Most people tend to hold their camera on a slight angle without being aware of it. How cold exactly is cold? We need regular temperature updates.


David on 2019-04-03 said:

I actually crop the photos straight, but most of them have no straight horizon because the horizon is also mountains

I dont think thats the reason the plastic kid is there, it looks like the screen hes holding is supposed to light up and he also appears to have speakers built into him. Maybe its in case of a fire.


adriana on 2019-04-03 said:

nice blurred background manual shot of yellow flowers. Can see tower quite clearly though a lot of your photos tend to be on a bit of a lean. do you think the plastic kid is holding his arms out with the solar light to stop people from falling over the edge of the path at night?



Day 6 - Thursday, 4 April 2019

No ticket no passport no talking

Now I am in Daejeon, in central southern Korea. No one has heard of Daejeon before, not even people that live here.
A few unusual things happened on the way to get here.
First of all I was not entirely sure if my printed train ticket that I printed in Australia was the actual ticket or if I would have to exchange it for an actual ticket at the station. I googled, and was told you do not even need a ticket at all, there are no gates or barriers of any kind, no one checks tickets, the only time anyone has ever been questioned is when someone else was sitting in their seat and would not move. The internet seemed to suggest its entirely free to travel on Korean high speed trains if you are a French backpacker / beggar. Sure enough that all turned out to be true! There were no gates at either end, and no one came to check tickets at all.

Next up I caught the Daejeon only one line in the whole city subway to my hotel, it was a few stops away from the train station, and neither the station or my Hotel are in the centre of the city (I think / hope). Anyway, checking into my hotel was very weird, I walk in, theres a guy at reception who never seemed to even look up, he is playing an online game, with a headset, and yelling commands to his team mates. He hands me a room key. I look at him, thinking I might need to pay or sign something. But no, he did no look up at all. So off to my room I went, the key let me in, hopefully its my room, hopefully (or not?) they know how to charge me for it at some point.

So now for a few really crap pics of my journey from Seoul to Daejeon.

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I found another corner of the Seoul city wall on my morning contemplational march through the city. I hereby declare contemplational to be a word.

I found another corner of the Seoul city wall on my morning contemplational march through the city. I hereby declare contemplational to be a word.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - My walk took me through the Nnammdaemmunn market, which is the fabric market. I have been here and shared pictures of this place before. It is enormou

My walk took me through the Nnammdaemmunn market, which is the fabric market. I have been here and shared pictures of this place before. It is enormous.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The fabric market is like a tier 9 China city, full of fire death traps.

The fabric market is like a tier 9 China city, full of fire death traps.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The only other thing of note that I noted was this line down the street of people lining up in a line for Kaya toast. Kaya is a mixture of butter, sug

The only other thing of note that I noted was this line down the street of people lining up in a line for Kaya toast. Kaya is a mixture of butter, sugar, egg and coconut, that you spread on toast. So basically cookie dough before you add flour. It is very popular in Singapore....and Seoul.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I am certain that I have taken exactly this photo from this spot before, the Seoul KTX station.

I am certain that I have taken exactly this photo from this spot before, the Seoul KTX station.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Just before boarding time, a snap strike broke out. Would it impact my travel? No. They did yell a lot and shake their fists in anger, for about 3 min

Just before boarding time, a snap strike broke out. Would it impact my travel? No. They did yell a lot and shake their fists in anger, for about 3 minutes. Just long enough for the riot police to arrive before they dispersed.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - And now, here is my hotel in Daejeon. THE RAINBOW HOTEL. There are basically zero hotels available in this city on booking.com, by basically none I th

And now, here is my hotel in Daejeon. THE RAINBOW HOTEL. There are basically zero hotels available in this city on booking.com, by basically none I think I mean 3. Despite that there are at least 30 hotels on this street alone, yet they do not list on English language websites. My hotel backs onto Korean wal-mart, I went in briefly to buy a drink but it was all bulk quantity goods only.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The inside of my room is a little weird. Half log cabin, very dark, the biggest television I have ever seen in my life.

The inside of my room is a little weird. Half log cabin, very dark, the biggest television I have ever seen in my life.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The bathroom also has a full size bath and a really flash Japanese style toilet, but instead of rolls of toilet paper it has A4 sized embossed sheets

The bathroom also has a full size bath and a really flash Japanese style toilet, but instead of rolls of toilet paper it has A4 sized embossed sheets in a book. Now to work out where I am in relation to anything.


Pancakes?

I had no preconceptions of what to expect in Daejeon. All the other cities I am visiting on this trip are mega cities, Daejeon is 1.5 million people. So I guess I was expecting it to be very quiet, no people, only place to eat is the train station, kind of like Nagano in Japan. Well Nagano is about 300k people, which is a lot less than 1.5 million, so comparatively, Daejeon is a megalopolis.

Also, I can now give a definitive blossom update, Daejeon is in peak blossom, Seoul is yet to blossom into blossom. Perhaps when I am back in Seoul on Monday it will be in blossom. Thats enough blossom.
So my initial thoughts of Daejeon are positive, the area around my hotel is mainly bars and karaoke lounges, but also calling cards of in room massage services littering the footpath, so maybe I will get a knock on the door later? But on that note, my room has a double door, the door you open with the keycard leads into a little entranceway where you can take your shoes off, and then there is a second door with another physical lock that seems to only lock from the inside, just in case someone with a room key tries to break in and hold me hostage.

Now I must remember 2 things from the train earlier that I forgot to mention before. I could go up and edit the above story but thats not my style, no editing! At one point a train employee girl walked past, and an old man yelled at her, I had no idea what about, she went to the end of the carriage, opened a locker and came back with a pill / tablet and gave it to him. Having seen this occur 3 other old folks decided they also needed a tablet. I Watched them carefully, they all took the tablet, and 5 minutes later, they were all fast asleep, snoring. So I think if you ask for it on a Korean train they will give you knock out pills.
The other silly thing that occurred was right across from me, a young couple had their feed boxes (bentos), and for the entire hour of my trip, they fed each other piece by piece of blood sausage and garlic sliced pig ear delicately using chopsticks. They never broke eye contact except for a few seconds to select the next dead thing to feed each other for the entire hour.

Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Korea does not have the same level of vending machines as Japan, sure there are drink machines everywhere, but one thing they have a stupidly large am

Korea does not have the same level of vending machines as Japan, sure there are drink machines everywhere, but one thing they have a stupidly large amount of is flower vending machines. Generally in subway stations. I guess this is for the businessman coming home late and drunk to apologise on arrival.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I got off a couple of stations in advance of where I was headed to extend my walk, the journey ahead doesnt look too bad?

I got off a couple of stations in advance of where I was headed to extend my walk, the journey ahead doesnt look too bad?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Eventually I got to this awesome bridge. A nice spot.

Eventually I got to this awesome bridge. A nice spot.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - As mentioned above, Daejeon is in peak blossom. Do I suffer from hayfever? Last year I thought I did. I dont know. Is it real or a state of mind? Is i

As mentioned above, Daejeon is in peak blossom. Do I suffer from hayfever? Last year I thought I did. I dont know. Is it real or a state of mind? Is it contagious? Is it reason for people to not go to work and stay home to watch reality tv?


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I like the bridge enough to take another photo.

I like the bridge enough to take another photo.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Its a love heart, some sort of satanic moon symbol, and cherry blossoms. Oh and someone has put a bag of rubbish on it and two girls are taking selfie

Its a love heart, some sort of satanic moon symbol, and cherry blossoms. Oh and someone has put a bag of rubbish on it and two girls are taking selfies with the rubbish.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Between the bridge and the main station is the old market, its enormous, I barely scratched the surface. It wasnt all fish, there were clothes, places

Between the bridge and the main station is the old market, its enormous, I barely scratched the surface. It wasnt all fish, there were clothes, places to eat, book stores etc.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I saw these all over Seoul and now I am seeing one here also. At first I thought it was for the mail delivery, it is motorized. But in Seoul I saw one

I saw these all over Seoul and now I am seeing one here also. At first I thought it was for the mail delivery, it is motorized. But in Seoul I saw one which I think was delivering soy milk to peoples homes in those old falling down suburbs with steep streets. Now I am seeing this one which is just an iced coffee van. So there you go, in Korea everything gets delivered in a little robotic motorized cart thing.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - Thats a very interesting sign.

Thats a very interesting sign.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - I crossed the road and realised I was on the wrong side of the road. Actually I exaggerate, all of Daejeon that I have seen is quite nice, very clean,

I crossed the road and realised I was on the wrong side of the road. Actually I exaggerate, all of Daejeon that I have seen is quite nice, very clean, modern, apart from this one building.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - The main shopping street has a very impressive, very high, fully animated LED roof. I recently (this time last year) saw a similar one in Zhengzhou. E

The main shopping street has a very impressive, very high, fully animated LED roof. I recently (this time last year) saw a similar one in Zhengzhou. Eventually the whole sky will be animated like this, delivering horizon to horizon tampon ads to us all.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - There are many many streets like this one, tomorrow night or one of the other nights I will show the similar but different neon nearer my hotel, which

There are many many streets like this one, tomorrow night or one of the other nights I will show the similar but different neon nearer my hotel, which is less about shops and cafes and more about karaoke and beer.


Korea - HK - China - KORKONG! - For my dinner I had some street food things, some mandoo (dumplings) and tteokbokki (rice stick in chilli sauce). These were impossible to photograph

For my dinner I had some street food things, some mandoo (dumplings) and tteokbokki (rice stick in chilli sauce). These were impossible to photograph as I needed both hands just to hold it and had to eat standing up. I realised I couldnt possibly go to sleep without having posted a photo of food, so I stopped and had some pancakes. They were ok, quite flavourless. At f/2 my focal plain is very thin. Ponder that. Thats all for now, tomorrow I might go to a national park.


There are currently 2 comments - click to add

jenny on 2019-04-04 said:

i like the bridge too, and the technology. All makes Australia look very backward.


jenny on 2019-04-04 said:

Fabric market yay!. Interesting hotel. must look it up.



There is now a page 2, with fog in Daejeon, hit next to go there immediately.

Contents

Day 0 - Sunday, 19 May 2019
  Retrospective
Day 1 - Saturday, 30 March 2019
  The 3 worst photos of this trip
  The 3 next worst photos
Day 2 - Sunday, 31 March 2019
  Train to city too tired two photos
  Everything is grey
  Blue makes it less grey
Day 3 - Monday, 1 April 2019
  The first of many identical mountains
  3rd times a charm
Day 4 - Tuesday, 2 April 2019
  The great new ancient Seoul wall of Korea
  Dong Demon
Day 5 - Wednesday, 3 April 2019
  Great hike with a crap view
  All the usual neon and curry
Day 6 - Thursday, 4 April 2019
  No ticket no passport no talking
  Pancakes?
Day 7 - Friday, 5 April 2019
  Fog shots
  Sunny river city
Day 8 - Saturday, 6 April 2019
  A day of rest and walking
  The real actual city
Day 9 - Sunday, 7 April 2019
  All day clay
  By special request
Day 10 - Monday, 8 April 2019
  First of two loops completed
  Its all a giant slope
Day 11 - Tuesday, 9 April 2019
  Seven and a half years later
  Wet mall
Day 12 - Wednesday, 10 April 2019
  Not slippery when wet
  Palpable Shininess
Day 13 - Thursday, 11 April 2019
  A tale of two airports
  I have found my salvation
Day 14 - Friday, 12 April 2019
  To hell with the rain
  Grimey goodness
Day 15 - Saturday, 13 April 2019
  Surprise no hiking day
  Weird stuff happens
Day 16 - Sunday, 14 April 2019
  Surprise waterless hike
  One sided
Day 17 - Monday, 15 April 2019
  Procedural challenges
  Dark and mysterious
Day 18 - Tuesday, 16 April 2019
  Flood warning
  Shangxiajiu
Day 19 - Wednesday, 17 April 2019
  AAAAA tourist mountain experience
  The river that becomes a delta
Day 20 - Wednesday, 18 April 2019
  The industrial wasteland of Foshan
  The quiet river stroll
Day 21 - Thursday, 19 April 2019
  Trapped in a thunderstorm
  More of the same
Day 22 - Saturday, 20 April 2019
  The darkest of places
  Final Guangzhou dampening
Day 23 - Sunday, 21 April 2019
  Back to daylight
  Photos of the mundane
Day 24 - Monday, 22 April 2019
  A peak up the morning path
  Along the waterfront
Day 25 - Tuesday, 23 April 2019
  The cloudy dragon beach trip
  Pictures from a moving tram
Day 26 - Wednesday, 24 April 2019
  Looking down on the airport
  More pork more neon more harbour
Day 27 - Wednesday, 25 April 2019
  Only one airport photo
  The end