well rounded.

I cannot drink alcohol for a month (don't really want to either, only 4 months left and still so much left to do!) so I have been filling my weekends with plays, festivals, dinners, shopping and sightseeing. Last weekend was the Vagina Monologues, (which I had never seen and it was amazing) and this weekend a friend is starring in Macbeth in Myeongdong so we will spend our Saturday night getting a little culture. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom now so Sunday will be spent outside on Yeoi-do (do=island, this being a small one in the middle of the Han river, connected on the subway line) enjoying the trees and fresh air.. or nuclear fallout from Japan, whatever.

Jangsan Hiking, Busan Daytripping

The top of Jangsan rewards those who reach it. The very tippy top of the mountain is chain-link fenced off, a relic of the Korean War, but from where we stand the views are wide. We summited the Haeundae area Jang Mountain after about four and a half hours of hiking, and from here, we can see Haeundae Beach, Centum City, Sajik Stadium, and a small wildfire with a helicopter making a beeline towards it with its load of extinguishing chemicals. A bit unsettling, but it looks under control. 

Busan Daytrippers New Year's Day Hike

This Saturday the Daytrippers will be taking a short hike to the top of Baekyangsan in Busan. We will begin at 10AM at the entrance to Children's Grand Park (a cheap taxi from Seomyeon) and we will finish around 2PM in the same place. It will be cold and windy at the top so wear what you would be comfortable to hike in at the bottom and carry an extra windproof layer. A liter of water and some snacks are also recommended. This is not a technical climb although it is mildly strenuous. Please RSVP and/or contact Joe with any questions at BusanDaytrippers on Facebook. 

Hiking Geumgang Park to the South Gate

Two steps off the cable car that brought us halfway up the mountain in Geumgang park in Busan, we realize this sprawling city is even more sprawling than previously suspected. Looking down, we see tiny buildings and bridges and metro tracks. Looking around ourselves, it's hard to remember we're in the middle of the city at all. 

South Korea Adventure #17- Jirisan National Park 지리산

I have wanted to go to Jirisan for awhile now. I had marked it as a trip tp do for awhile. My original plan was to stay a night out there and make it a weekend. That did not workout, but we managed to get to the mountain by just after 1pm. We has stopped in Uiryeong for lunch. there was an election going on. So there was canditates everywhere, people dancing and the cow. Later we saw the cow in the market, which is the opening of the video. The hiking was great. After leaving Jirisan we rode to Jinju. On the way I stupidly ran out of gas. We had to go back and get some gas. From Jinju we got back to Busan in an hour and a half. We really rode fast. It is about 120km. With a couple spot through some towns. We go lucky with some green lights and only hit one traffic jam, which lasted for about 5km. I also know a shortcut. There is a bridge that lets you cut around Masan. You are not actually supposed to go over by motorcycle.

Destination: Ulleungdo (part 2)

If you haven't read part one yet, read it first before continuing!

Where we left off, I had gone back to my hotel to relax and freshen up. After awhile, I headed down to the harbor for some dinner (PROTIP: don't bother - it's overpriced) and see what sort of night life the locals enjoyed:

While I couldn't tell they do this every night, the trio of saxophonists seemed pretty comfortable on the harbor's stage.

Destination: Ulleung-do (part 1)

One of Korea's most distant islands, Ulleungdo retains a certain mystery and exoticness held by few other destinations in Korea. Perhaps it's because of its distance from the mainland, or perhaps it's because of the unusual difficulty of actually getting there. From Seoul it's a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to Donghae, a short taxi ride to Mukho ferry terminal (묵호 여객선 터미날), then a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride - not exactly a day trip. If you do make the trip out, there's more than enough to make the trip worthwhile.

Pancake breakfast and hike to Chungyulsa

Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 10:00

Pancake Breakfast /Hike to Chungyulsa : May 30, 10am-1pm (We've had to delay it from the 23rd many places are forecasting rain for Sunday). Please RSVP so we can make sure there is enough for all to eat :)  Our location is near Myun-nyun-dong subway station/Dongnae area.

We'll have a pancake breakfast with blueberry syrup, hash browns/eggs/veggies with Cajun seasoning, juice, etc. at 10am that will for sure fill you up (basically all you can eat within reason) for our scenic hike to Chungyulsa Shrine stopping along the way a couple times to enjoy the nice views of Busan, see a small park with demonstrations of ancient Korean scientific innovations and end at Chungyulsa which is one of the most interesting memorials in Busan Along the way is also one of the best rock climbing walls I've seen in Busan (see it here here: http://www.koreaontherocks.com/climbing/gallery.php?area_id=159&view=1). It's free, but climbing shoes are required.)

Destination: Pagyesa (Daegu)

As part of Palgongsan Provincial Park, Pagyesa is one of many destinations spread out across the mountain. First built in 804 by a priest named Simji (not Simba, you Lion King obsessed reader), it was renovated in 1605 by priest Gyegwan and 1695 by priest Hyeoneung. With several Daegu Tangible Cultural Properties, 17 buildings and a lot of karma, it's worth the uphill trek to reach. Just don't bring a backpack full of stuff with you - even after the bus reaches the parking lot it's a hike of 1.1 kilometers. Uphill.

Destination: Jeju, part 1

After a very nice Christmas vacation, it's taking some time to get back into the swing of things. Let's rewind back to Christmas Day, where after signing up for an Adventure Korea trip this adventuring traveler and his fearless girlfriend met our guide at Gimpo Airport. Note: For the sake of those with slower internet connections or shorter attention spans, I've split up the three-day trip into three parts - one for each day of the trip.

After a smooth plane flight we headed towards a chartered bus from Jeju International Airport.

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