Seonyudo

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Memorial Day weekend came a week late for this American this year, as Korea’s version of the holiday is June 6th. Luckily, it’s still celebrated with a Monday off of work, and I decided it would only be fitting to usher in the spirit of summer with some camping – on a small island off the west coast of Korea. Seonyudo caught my attention way back in November, when I stumbled across some random blog raving about the islands’ beauty and enticing combination of bike paths, scooter-rentals, and lack of cars. I didn’t want to get my hopes up or anything, but online reports made it sound like our trip would be nothing short of an epic adventure.

About camping: I am by no means an experienced camper. Luckily for me, hiking and general outdoorsy-ness are incredibly popular in this country, so cheap gear is everywhere. I picked up the cheapest tent I could find – 30,000 won at Lotte Mart (Korea’s Wal-mart). Combined with a 10,000 won waterproof picnic blanket from Home Plus and the cheap sleeping bag left behind from the previous tenant of my apartment, I hoped I’d be set.

Getting to the islands from Ulsan is no easy task, to say the least. It required 3 buses, 1 train and 1 ferry, starting on a late Friday evening KTX to Daejeon. Travel wisdom from the weekend: book trains well in advance on a holiday weekend in Korea. In Daejeon, we stayed at my favorite love motel (my favorite for its name – the Bijou Motel, close proximity to the train station, kind ajumma who runs the place, and being the only place I’ve stayed in Daejeon). After one stop at a chicken and beer hof, we called it an early night in anticipation of waking up to catch a 9:30am bus to Gunsan.

Gunsan is a small port city in the middle-ish of the west coast. There were a surprising number of foreigners milling about the bus station for such a small city; apparently we weren’t the only ones taking a weekend island trip. We had a bit of trouble tracking down the #7 city bus to the ferry terminal, which we never would’ve found without the help of a very friendly young Korean woman. After a 30 minute wait for the bus and a painfully slow 45-minute ride all through town, we finally made it to the ferry.

Seonyudo & Gogunsanislands map

Waiting in the ferry station, we found a rather intriguing English map of the islands, featuring what appeared to be several small villages, some beaches, no fewer than three ‘Mud Flat Experiencing Fields’, and the mysterious Golden Rain Tree Colony. Oooooooh.

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The ferry ride was a pleasant but rather unexciting hour and a half. Apparently it’s also possible to ferry to China from Gunsan, which – considering the speed of our ferry – must take about a week! But something fun to think about nonetheless.

And finally! We were on Seonyudo. Many golf cart-taxis waited around the port, taking people to pensions or on island tours. We walked over to the beach to set up our tents. On the way, we came across a big group of scantily-clad, already drunk foreigners, and decided to set up our tent far, far away.

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The camping area was a small strip of beach separating the sea.

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Tent set-up successful, ready to tackle the wilderness.

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Our camp-site. Perfect! Except for the lack of showers…

By the time we got our tents set-up, we were hungry and eager to sample some of the island’s seafood. We chose the most inviting seafood restaurant on the main road and ordered three of the cheapest things off the menu – raw fish with rice, seafood noodle soup, and 산낙지. For those unfamiliar, 산낙지 (san-nak-ji) is live octopus. It’s not actually alive, but just recently chopped up so that the legs are still wriggling about. Like how chickens run around after their heads have been chopped off. This more or less made the dish look like a plate of live worms. Yummmm! But it actually tasted great – much better than worms, I’d imagine. By far the freshest tasting octopus I’ve had in 8 months!

Here they are in action:



Eating live octopus can be a bit of a challenge. The tentacles still suction to the plate, and also the insides of your mouth. Apparently they can also suction to your throat on the way down, which is a potential choking hazard (but mainly only if you’re really drunk). The tentacles very conveniently wrap themselves around your chopsticks, which makes picking up the thin little ends much easier. All in all, considering my rather recent 4.5-year stint as a vegetarian, I wasn’t nearly as grossed out as I expected. I’d even do it again!

Our energy sufficiently replenished, we decided we couldn’t be there another minute without getting on some scooters. I was pretty anxious about getting them, as the walkways were pretty packed with golf carts and people walking and biking, but the excitement of driving a scooter quickly triumphed over any anxieties.

The process for renting a scooter went like this: find bike/scooter rental stand. Wait while the owner tracks down five scooters/borrows one from random guy riding past. Pay 15,000. Get a 30-second demo of how they work, and a quick reminder not to drink and drive. And go!

No license? No ID? No insurance? No problem. Seonyudo is perhaps the easiest place to rent a scooter anywhere. I guess the scooters aren’t allowed on the ferries, as they didn’t seem at all concerned with us running off with them. They also didn’t seem particularly concerned with anyone’s safety, but I guess people don’t really sue each other so much over here.

Aside from a near-crash trying to avoid a golf-cart-taxi on a steep hill approximately 45 seconds after starting, I found scooter-driving to be pretty easy, and very fun. There’s nothing quite like zooming along the coast, wind blowing through your hair, nothing but ocean as far as the eye can see to either side…

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Scootering around, we passed many groups of touring Koreans, the older and drunker of which thought it was very funny to wave and shout hello! and cheer us on. The people we met on the island all seemed to be on vacation, and much friendlier than normal.

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Seonyudo connects to two other islands by small bridges, which are bikable, and pose an interesting challenge when full of other tourists.

In an hour, we found we were pretty much able to explore all the island paths reachable by scooter. The islands are beautiful, but certainly not very big. As far as the strange sights listed on the map, I’d say Korean Tourism advertising has a tendency to give a name to every little spot that doesn’t necessary merit such a significant title. There was unfortunately no “Golden Rain Tree Colony” to be found (although perhaps there was and we just didn’t spot it). There were plenty of mud flats open for experiencing, but we did not partake.

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Returning to our beach at dusk, we were surprised to find this land bridge connecting the beach to a small island. Many people were out with flashlights, seemingly scavenging for something. Oysters? Seaweed? We weren’t sure.

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I quickly realized I had forgotten to bring bug spray, a potentially very hazardous mistake. Apparently unavailable anywhere on the island, we settled for some bug-repellent incense and hoped for the best. Burning that while hanging out in the evenings, and staying inside my tent for the rest of the night, I came away from the weekend with only 4 mosquito bites – a record low for me and camping weekends! Maybe I’m not as attractive to Korean mosquito, or there’s something in this bug-repellent incense – either way, I like it.

We spent our evenings on Seonyudo making our own entertainment on the beach with some drinks, some music (in particular this one), and a deck of cards. At one point we were joined by some jolly, drunk and bicycling Seoul National University professors, who I was surprised to find had recently moved back from Ohio. Apparently, the pensions back in the main part of town provided more entertainment – bonfires, drumming, fireworks and noraebangs all night. But I was much happier to have some peace and quiet on the beach.


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Is there anything better to wake up to? I think not.

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And on the other side of our tents: some mud. Prime for experiencing!

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The morning sun blanketed the beach in mist. Many people were out on the sand in the low tide, digging for more things. You could actually rent little shovels for 1,000 won to dig for things, right next to the bike rentals.

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“The ghosts of Seonyudo”

After a rather ridiculously long breakfast/lunch at the single restaurant we could find that served something other than seafood (which we all agreed we couldn’t stomach before noon), where we met a few more groups of vacationing foreigners – including one from Birmingham, my neighbor! – we rented some bicycles from the scooter guy.

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“We are on a tandom bicycle.” Cute.

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I was stuck on a small ridiculous bike for some reason, completely inept at handling the island’s steep hills. It’s name was “The Raging Dwarf”, as given by us.

On our bike ride, we found many interesting things:

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A lighthouse shaped like two praying hands.

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Being reclaimed by nature.

Some big rocks beckoned us off-trail for a while, where we found many giant gross bugs. Luckily, they were quick to scatter wherever we were walking. There were so many running over the rocks, it reminded me of the masses fleeing from Godzilla or some such.

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They ranged in size from 1-3 inches. Really. Eeeeewwwww.

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Our private beach on the other side of the buggy rocks.

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A refreshing foot bath in the sea.

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A view of our beach, or what would be a view of our beach if you could see it through the mists.

Midway through our second day on the island, we were all feeling a bit in need of a shower. But without any sign of a jimjilbang or public facilities anywhere, the only option seemed to be the ocean. The water wasn’t very warm – quite freezing, actually – and it was a rather gray day, but we could not be deterred. Bathing in the ocean in your clothes is a surefire way to attract a lot of attention, by the way.

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The islands rise out of the mists…

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…and into more mists.

Our bike tour ended with the steepest hike in my life, which involved going both up and down on (mostly) all fours.


More island eats”

The most popular seafood on the island appeared to be cuddlefish, sea slugs, and these giant, flat, crazy-eyed guys–

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Mmm…looks…delicious?

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These kinds of fish were hanging up drying everywhere. I think they look super gross all mangled together in that bag. Blech.

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Our last night on the island got really cold. Unfortunately, the camping area doesn’t really have anywhere to build a fire, or much to use to make one. Some guys had one going in a big oil can, but unfortunately we hadn’t come so prepared. We gathered what sticks and dry things we could find and were given some charcoal by nearby picnicers. Alas, pine needles only last for so long, and so I spent the night shivering in my sleeping bag. Next time, I’ll be better prepared!

The only other thing we needed to complete our American-style Memorial Day weekend was some barbeque. Lucky for us, bbq is ridiculously omnipresent in this country. While searching for a spot, we found some older Korean men who insisted on giving us all shots of whiskey and some raw fish. It was extremely fresh, as they were taking the fish still wriggling from a bucket and slicing them up right in front of us. I’m not sure why Korean people tend to be so willing to share their food with strangers, but that’s one cultural difference I’m a pretty big fan of.

Our last morning on the island, we had a very nourishing breakfast of Korean-twinkies and Doritios, quickly packed up and went for one last walk. Where we came across a rather startling sight:

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It’s difficult to see, but this is a group of ajummas, high up the side of a mountain, climbing a sheer rock face sans any harnesses. I wish I could describe this scene better. They were cackling away as their friends scrambled up to join them. There seemed to be some ropes you could hold on to for support, but from our view down below it looked like a climb better suited to climbing harnesses and ropes. Crazy ajummas.

Seonyudo had a whole nother breed of ATV-riding, rock-face-scaling ajummas, really not to be messed with.

On the ferry home, many people had water bottles and containers filled with things from the sea – small crabs, shellfish, some animal that looks like a little stick. It was interesting. We sat next to a woman who kept offering us shrimp-flavored snacks. She didn’t want anything to do with our Doritos. Again, I’m a big fan of the Korean food-sharing culture.

And thus began our somehow-11-hour journey back to Ulsan… Book train tickets ahead on holiday weekends! Lesson learned. A 3-hour delay in Daejeon can be improved by checking into a Love Motel for a shower.


Quite a long post for such a small island, I realize. While they’re a bit touristy, the islands are a ton of fun and I’m definitely glad I made the trek out to visit!

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Cheers to Buddha, Children and Days Off

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Tongdosa, nestled in the Yangsan mountains.

When we were little, my sister and I used to ask our mom why there wasn’t a “Children’s Day.” Mothers and fathers and grandparents all had their own holiday; it only seemed fair that children should get one as well. But (being lucky enough kids) Mom would always reply, “Every day is Children’s Day.” Little did I know, Children’s Day is actually celebrated in many countries in the world, including South Korea.

The way it’s celebrated in Korea is parents give their kids a present, and the government gives everyone a day off of work. Woo! A few friends and I decided to spend the responsibility-free, beautiful spring day at the the nearby Tongdosa for some hiking, exploring, and good beer drinking.

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Children’s Day also happened to be five days before Buddha’s Birthday, and Tongdosa – being a Buddhist temple – was all decked out in paper lanterns in celebration.

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Pretty pink lotus lanterns.

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Some special Buddha’s Birthday lanterns. Buddha’s never looked so cute.

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A lot of the lanterns had pictures on them. This guy seems to have a question.

Of the many temples I’ve visited in Korea, Tongdosa is one of my favorites. There’s something about the dustiness and wooden buildings that reminds me of an American western. Maybe that’s just me…but I like it.

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The ceiling of the main gates is particularly impressive:
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An elephant and tiger! There should be more ceilings like this.

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A bunch of onggi pots. Do you think they’re all full of kimchi?

The area around Tongdosa is rather pretty.
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We decided to hike up around the hills around the temple.

And so we embarked on a bit of an adventure:

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This is a bridge. It’s the coolest. Our adventure started here.

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The last time we were at Tongdosa, we remembered taking a very step and precarious route up this hill, after which we discovered a set up steps leading up. This time, we opted for the stairs.

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Not long into our hike we stopped for lunch: two triangle kimbaps (sweet minced beef and tuna kimchi) and a free Pepsi next, which I discovered tastes like bubbly Splenda-water.

We hiked for quite a while – up a hill overlooking Tongdosa, down the hill and onto a road. Across the road, up another hill, and back down onto the road. Then up one more hill in what we deemed was the most interesting direction…

…where we decided we had reached the end of our hike:

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Those white buildings in the distance is Tongdo, where we started. They looked quite far away and made us feel rather accomplished, so we decided it was about time to turn back and find that microbrewery.

But taking a different route down from the mountain, we came across more paper lanterns…
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(According to my limited Korean ability, this rock says “death people rock.” Hmmm.)

…that led us to another temple.
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Nestled quietly into the hillside behind a small pond, surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees, it was like we had stumbled onto Narnia. Or at least, it was a nice contrast to the crowds at Tongdosa.

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Imagine: no sound except a small breeze gently passing through some wind chimes overhead, the hat swaying back and forth with the wind. So peaceful. I felt I could’ve have stood there for hours.

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Getting back to Tongdosa turned out to be just a quick walk down the road back towards town, making our hike seem entirely un-epic. But it’s good to know that just down the road past Tongdosa are some quieter, less crowded temples – I’m sure I’ll be back for another visit.

Back at Tongdosa, we bought some ice cream, were given paper lanterns from some monks, and saw an ajumma in a sparkly dress performing some disco-y old Korean pop.


And finally, it was time for beer!

The last time I was in Tongdo, back in October, I was taken to a microbrewery way back in the hills somewhere, and was pretty determined to find it again. Luckily, there isn’t a whole lot out in Tongdo and between the memory of me and one of my friends we were able to find our way there pretty easily. The place seemed to have changed ownership, as their giant red light-up sign had been replaced by this little ginger guy. Apparently this restaurant has some very fancy ginger, which was offered on the menu, fried, for a pricey 100,000 won. 진짜??

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A quick note about this microbrewery: It’s mostly a Korean restaurant, that happens to brew its own beer. And it certainly has a different vibe than what I’d expect a “microbrewery” back home to be like. While we were there, another couple of foreigners came by and seemed incredibly disappointed by the lack of microbrewery-ness. So just thought I’d clarify.

The women working there seemed very accustomed to foreigners coming by looking for beer, and quickly seated us outside with a beer for each of us before we could even get out our elementary Korean. They only brew one kind of beer: it’s on the light side, and I’m no connoisseur but to me it’s like the bitterness of a pilsner meets a bit of the fruitiness of a heffeweisen. Not usually my favorite kind of beer (I generally prefer the stouts or the reds) but after 8 months of nothing but Hite/Cass/Max/the occasional Budweiser, it tastes nothing short of absolutely wonderful.

In addition to serving this oh-so-hard-to-come-by-in-Korea delicious beer, the place has some nice outdoor picnic table seating in a beautiful garden full of flowers. And a tree swing! The inside decor reminds me a bit of a northern Michigan ski-lodge meets 70’s cruise ship. Which is a bit odd, but irrelevant because the outside is so nice.

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Should anyone stumble across this post in trying to find the microbrewry in Tongdosa, and/or so I can find it again in the future, this is how to get to the brewery from the temple:

Come out of the temple and make a left, cross the gravel parking lot, and pass Tongdo Fantasia. Keep walking past some farm fields, towards the houses in the distance.

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(What an odd place for an amusement park, in the middle of all these fields…)


Once you’re on the other side of the fields, make a right on the next street.

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Follow the street alllll the way up the hill, and take a right at the dead-end. You’ll start to see signs for a ginger restaurant. This is the “microbrewery”.

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I’m glad Tongdosa is so easy to get to from Ulsan, it’s a nice place to escape the crowdedness of the city for some peace and quiet. The microbrewery, beautiful temples and hiking make Tongdo one of my favorite spots in Ulsan.

Andong and DVD Bangs

On a weekend in early November, I traveled to Andong with my Ulsan friend Paul to visit some friends from our EPIK orientation.

Andong is famous for its traditional folk village, folk museum, and annual mask festival.

Traditional Korean masks at the Andong Mask Festival

While we didn’t take in any traditional Korean culture on our visit, we did take in a lot of fall colors and fruit makgeolli.

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Afternoon stroll around town

Setting out for a morning hike
Heading out for a mini-hike…

…up a hill to this pagoda…
Pagoda by Ellen and Savannah's

…where we posed for our future K-pop album cover.
Boy Band Album Cover, take 3

Sharing a moment with a dragonfly. Ulsan doesn’t have any wildlife, so this was pretty exciting.
Befriending a dragonfly
Apologies to my sister for stealing her headband and taking it to Korea.

The highlight of the weekend, for me, was my first trip to a DVD Bang. For those unfamiliar with DVD rooms (bang = room, pronounced bahng), they’re places where you can go with a few friends to pick out a DVD and watch in your own private viewing room. The rooms generally come equipped with a large flat screen (or, if you’re lucky, a projector), surround sound, and some couch-like seating that can fit 2-4 people. And, not to be a nerdy film school student, but the good ones provide a pretty awesome cinematic experience, as I discovered watching Paranormal Activity in Andong with a truly all-encompassing sound system that gave new meaning to the term ‘surround’ sound.

But first, one point must be addressed: In Korea, DVD bangs have a certain reputation. Most people aren’t going there just to watch movies. They’re very popular with young Koreans looking to get away from their parents for a few hours for some ‘alone time’ with their special someone. With this bit of information in the back of your mind, it can be a bit difficult to get completely comfy on the bed-like couches and pillows the place provides (and probably never washes). Checking into a room with more than one friend can get you some weird looks from the guy behind the counter. Telling your co-teacher you went to a DVD bang over the weekend will get you the same weird looks, and some snickers.

That evening we opted for Paranormal Activity, which three of us had somehow never seen. And the reason this is blog-worthy is because of how awesome it was to watch Paranormal Activity at this particular DVD Bang in downtown Andong. First of all, it was a small, completely black room, just large enough to fit all four of us comfortably on the reclined, bed-like couch. A projector filled the opposite wall of the room with the image. And the surround sound was so all-encompassing that the subwoofer was in the couch.

This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but the effect it created so enhanced the viewing experience I’m going to elaborate on it more. The sub-woofer only kicked in at the scary parts, like every evening when the couple went to bed, and it created an ominous rumbling vibration underneath us. Every loud noise was accompanied by a shake from the couch. It certainly enhanced the suspense and scares, and kind of reminded me of being in that Alien movie ride/experience in Disney World.

I have since been to other DVD bangs, but this has been the only one with sub-woofer-laced seating. And as they can be kind of expensive (4-6,000 won per person, which is about $4-6 USD), it doesn’t really seem worth it…unless you really need somewhere to get away for a few hours. But if you’re ever in Andong and in the mood for something scary, this DVD bang is highly recommended.

BB gun shooting range
Besides the DVD bang, downtown Andong was pretty cool. Amongst the expected bars, restaurants and convenience stores was a BB gun shooting range, outdoor batting cages, and small outdoor arcade. I’ve since discovered these things in the eastern part of Ulsan and a few other cities, so I guess they’re not uncommon.

The teaching situation of my friends Ellen and Savannah in Andong is unusual for EPIK, the program that brings many of us English teachers to Korea. Generally EPIK places foreign teachers in a public school, where you teach with a Korean co-teacher. They weren’t placed in a public school, however, but a “research institute.” Upon our arrival in October, the research institute wasn’t quite ready (how ‘Korea’), so they taught third grade for a few months. Now that they’ve moved into the research institute, they each have a tiny cubicle-sized office with a computer where they give private lessons to students over the internet 1-9pm every day. It’s not really what they signed up for when they thought they were coming to Korea to work in a classroom, but applying through EPIK you don’t really have any control of where you’re placed. It sounds like their new situation is growing on them, but just a word of warning for anyone who may read this and consider coming over to be an English teacher (not that you’d have the chance for much longer, anyways).

Andong is a much smaller city than Ulsan (it’s pop is 184,0000) and so the network of English teachers seems pretty close-knit. My friends live in a brand new building in a brand new, just-being-developed part of the city, with a bunch of other teachers who work at the same research institute. It felt a bit like being back in the dorms, but everyone has their own bathroom. And heated floors.

While it’s a bit of a hike from Ulsan – about 3 hours on the bus when you have to plod through Ulsan traffic – I’ll definitely be back when it gets a bit warmer to check out that traditional village. The city also supposedly makes its own super-strong soju, which I unfortunately did not have the opportunity to sample. Next time…

A Day at Tongdosa: pretty views and micro brews

On Saturday, I went to a ‘meet-up’ at Tongdosa Temple. The reason ‘meet-up’ is in quotations is because this was an event planned through the website meetup.com, which makes the meeting-up-ness a bit more official and requires the use of quotations, apparently. For those unfamiliar with the website, it’s essentially a social networking site where you join groups based on mutual interests and plan events for things to do in real life. As my friends’ and my adventures with our meet-up group had more or less made my summer, I was excited to go out and meet some more people on this side of the world.

The plan for the day was to hike around the temple, eat some Korean BBQ and then head to a mountainside micro-brewery. A micro-brewery!!! After three weeks in Korea drinking the national brews (Cass, Hite, and Black Beer Stout), which are universally agreed upon to be far from spectacular, a micro-brewery sounded quite wonderful.

And so tempted by hiking in scenic mountains, and the tasty brews that would follow, I headed out of the city with three fellow native teachers from my EPIK orientation. Tongdosa was only an hour bus ride south-west of Ulsan, reachable by inner-city bus (numbers 817 and 1713, in case anyone from Ulsan stumbles across this and is curious).

The walk to the temple from town is lined with colorful paper lanterns….

Walking to Tongdosa

At a cemetery, several tombs are mounted on the backs of giant turtles. I believe turtles symbolize long life, but what about turtles with dragon heads?
Turtles and dragon-turtle hybrids

Now entering Tongdosa…
Heading into Tongdosa

Tongdosa was full of people selling things in white tents for some sort of fall festival.

Paintings for sale at Tongdosa
(pictures ‘borrowed’ from my friend Vania’s facebook)
Paintings at Tongdosa

Monks
The temple is one of the biggest in the country, and we saw many monks wandering around. Which was quite a novelty for me, quite new to the world of Buddhism.

I don’t think Buddha is usually this fat, right?
One Fat Buddha

Here are those four temple guardians again:
Tongdosa's guardians

Tongdosa's other guardians

Tongdosa

Tongdosa is a bit crowded

Stepping through the gate and into the temple feels like entering another world. Cement gives way to dirt pathways. Colorful paper lanterns are everywhere. The place is packed with tourists and monks alike. A small choir is singing (probably religious) songs accompanied by electric keyboard, creating an interesting contrast to the ancient architecture.

Tongdosa

Tongdosa

Tongdosa
In the background, of course, are beautiful mountains…

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Hanging out in the midst of some paper lanterns with my friend Paul

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In Tongdosa

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Paper Lanterns, Tongdosa

Paper Lanterns, Tongdosa

I was really excited to finally have an opportunity to discreetly snatch a photo of this phenomenon:
Matching couple at Tongdosa
Couples frequently dress in matching outfits around here. To me, this is kind of disgusting. But also kind of cute, I suppose.

How I'd like to redo my ceiling
Why can’t the ceiling in my apartment be like this?

After exploring the temple, we did a quick hike up a nearby hill. The view was rather magnificent…
Overlooking Tongdosa

Overlooking Tongodsa

On our way down, we came across this guy:
The coolest spider I have ever seen
The coolest spider I’ve ever seen. Decently sized (for a girl from the Michigan suburbs) – about the size of my palm with all its legs. Here’s to hoping I don’t come across any of these guys in my apartment…

Around Tongdosa
Leaving Tongdosa.

From the temple, we headed into town to get some Korean BBQ.

mmmmm! raw meat!
The scissors may make it look less fancy, but serve a very useful purpose.

Grill master

Newly reformed from 4.5 years of vegetarianism, I have to say this tastes kind of awesome.

BBQ

Korean meals generally come with a vast array of side dishes. It’s all very exciting to me, as I’m still at the point where I’ve never seen or eaten most of the things that show up. But these guys were very unexpected…
a delectable side dish
…and I just couldn’t do it. Especially after seeing other people pull them out of the shells, and how soft and squishy their little bodies looked. Maybe next time…

Proof of an awesome dinner
This what I mean by ‘vast array of side dishes.’

Finally! It was on to the micro-brewery:
The evening concludes with a visit to a local microbrewery

The place had a very ski lodge-y feel about it, and felt just like home. We were the only people there, although it was pretty early for a Saturday.

They had one beer on tap – an IPA. It was poured out of these adorable little wooden kegs…
The bartender pours our drinks out of a small keg

…and it was wonderful.

A perfect ending to a perfect day.
The best beer I've had in weeks

Gum bae!