Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Korean Review: Day 4 – Weekend Playtime

Everyone looks forward to the weekend. It’s an opportunity to relax, do something fun, and forget the troubles that the work week brings. When living in a foreign country, it’s also a chance to travel and take in new sights and sounds.

South Korea is a treasure trove of travel opportunities. Mountains adorn the eastern side of the country, along with plenty of climbable peaks around Seoul. Beaches dot the southern coasts, drawing thousands of sun seekers each weekend. Islands lie only a ferry ride away from the entire coast line. My year here has allowed me the opportunities to visit many of these wonders. Even though there are still a few left to be desired (and will remain unexplored), here are the top ten trips that I took within Korea during the past year.

10. Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival – located in southern Seoul, the cherry blossoms were a beautiful sight to behold

9. Suraksan Hike in Seoul – the one and only hike that I did with the hiking group SHITY (Sunday Hikers Interested in Trekking Yet-again) proved to be a challenging mountain with some gorgeous views overlooking Seoul

8. Sokcho City and Seoraksan – First long weekend was spent on the east coast, accompanied by a fun hike in the largest and most famous national park in all of South Korea.

7. Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour with Adventure Korea – One of the first trips that I took while here was to the famous area that serves as the division between the North and the South and is still an active war zone today

6. Incheon Island Hopping – Ferried out to some islands off the coast of Incheon and almost got stranded overnight

5. Yeongdeok – Headed to this city on the southeastern coast of South Korea with the running club for my final 10K race in Korea and had an unforgettable time with my fellow runners

4. MudFest – The one activity that I wanted to do before coming to Korea was accomplished with my brother and other friends

3. White Buddha Adventures – What started out as a spontaneous search turned into a multi-day mission that was finally accomplished, along with many cuts, bruises, and everlasting memories and friendships

2. Samcheok – Explored this city on the eastern coast with Alex and had an absolutely amazing weekend walking the beach, riding the rails, and enjoying phallic looking sculptures (Oh Korea!)


1. Jeju Island with my parents – the definite highlight of my time here was my parent’s visit and subsequent trip to the Hawaii of Korea, complete with waterfalls, lava tubes, and quality family time

The one place that I really wanted to go to was Busan, the second largest city in Korea and home of some of the most popular beaches on the peninsula. Time did not allow for this trip to happen, but that does not mean that I didn’t see the country. This year has been full of surprises and these trips and weekend excursions definitely provided their fair share of unexpected events!

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