korea 2016

Know Korea

Hello my lovely friends!

So as you know, I spent the month of July in Korea, visiting family and friends, and taking a well needed vacation. I had an incredible time eating amazing Korean food, catching up with my extended family, and sightseeing. Although I tried to include every place I went to, and all the things I did, this post was wayyyyy to long, so enjoy this very shortened version of my trip 🙂


We arrived at the Incheon Airport, late at night and stumbled our way to my grandma’s building in Seoul. *Pro Tip* If you ever decide to head over to Korea, make sure to take Korean Airlines, as their service is phenomenal, and if you take the day trip, they’ll make sure to give you great selections on food every hour.

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This is the view from my grandma’s rooftop. This was taken early in the morning, when the air was still cool, and the city was already awake.


After getting caught up with my grandparents, and some sleep, our family drove about two hours to Gangnam to visit my Dad’s parents. Gangnam is quite rural, and there are actual houses and these houses have backyards. (I only found this exciting because Korea is tiny and living space limited.)

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Here is the front of my grandparents house, although it’s cut off, to the left, there’s a second story and the inside is decorated in a very quaint and lovely manner.

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This is a tiny pond my grandparents had in their backyard filled with fish and frogs!

Mini history lesson: Koreans use to store their Kimchi and other goods in these clay barrels called 장독대. Everywhere I went, there were some of these huge pots that people still use!

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I love how green, lush and fresh every morning here was.

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Also in my grandparent’s back yard, a lovely stream in which we lost a towel in.


After about a week, we headed to Daejon where the Kaist University is located. That is where my dad attended, and we met his friend to have dinner in a very fancy restaurant.

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This was the view when we first arrived. There was a lovely stream running just below, and the decor of the room was very elegant.

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This was one course of the seven course meal we had. Each dish was presented beautifully/ (Although this is half eaten, you sorta get the idea, right?)

And while we’re on the topic of food, it’s important to realize that in Korea, there are numerous side dishes that come free of charge with your meal. And that normally, there are several courses that you will be presented with.

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This is about 1/3 of the actual table…


Next, we headed to Geongbokgyung to explore the historical sights of Korea. There were many burial sites, Buddhist temples and museums we visited. One of the phenomenal sights were each grave, as they were all well sized hills. After a person was buried, rocks would then be stacked, then dirt, then grass would be planted.

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Here is a wooden statue of one of the God’s protecting the Buddhist temple.

 

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Prayer lanterns on one of the yards. There were thousands of these in every space possible.

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This intricate detailing was done by hand, and found on every rooftop on the temples. And I can’t even color in the lines.


Next, we headed to Sol Beach to relax and spend time together exploring the beach and playing at various water parks. I had the privilege of staying at two different resorts. Both were very spacious, and comfortable (each coming with three rooms, a kitchen, dinig area and living room) while enjoying arcade rooms and karaoke rooms each night. Oh, and did I mention that the view was incredible?

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A picture I took standing just outside our room.

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We had amazing, fresh seafood for about every meal. My grandma also would head to the beach and pick up various shellfish to put in our breakfast.

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Here are a lineup of boats at the dock. We saw a man almost fall off a boat, and two men fighting over some goods. It was quite an eventful day.

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My family then stayed at a pension with a couple of my dad’s friends and their families. This was one of the best times I had because all of my cousins are significantly younger than me. I was able to learn and understand the Korean culture better through girls that were the same age as me.

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A Japanese style pension.


The last week was spent in Seoul, where my family visited with other relatives, and I was able to sightsee. We also visited Insadong, which is a tourist heavy site. There you can rent hanboks and walk around with your friends.

We also visited my mom’s college Ehwa’s Womens University, and I got to experience the amazing architecture and atmosphere that college offered.

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Some bubble tea we snagged at a cute cafe.

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I really got a great tan going to multiple water parks, including Carribean Bay! Shopping was so enjoyable, and I spent considerable time in stationary shops, subway stores, and the mall (which is very overpriced). Remember, that what you see above ground is not all, there is a whole new world underground as well.


So there’s my 2016 summer adventure in which I visited seven places, ate incredible five course meals everyday, saw the most breathtaking views, and spent time with people I hadn’t seen in seven years. All in three weeks time. And I couldn’t even include all I did in one post! What are your travel plans this summer? Where have you gone, and what did you learn? Let me know in the comments below 🙂