traveling

Soswaewon Garden (소쇄원)

On my second day in the lush green city of Damyang I decided to head into the mountains to see the Soswaewon garden. Somewhat of a famous landmark and I figured I would try and venture around beyond the city limits.


expat

Expat: v. - To give up residence in one's homeland.
adj. - Exile. A person who is voluntarily absent from home or country

Silleuksa Temple Resort: Yeoju


Alongside the Yeoju Ceramic festival lies the Silleuksa Temple. Out of all the temples I have visited in Korea, thus far, this one proved to be very illuminating. I think what makes this one stand out from the others is that it resides next to the Namhangang river. But you will will also see that there are many treasures to be found on your visit, which add to the uniqueness of this place.

I started off by purchasing my ticket and taking a stroll by the river and through a shaded tree-lined path.

Performance Art in the Subway Cars: Dongdaemun to Incheon

Performance Art is one of those areas of the art world that you either like or dislike. As for myself, the more zany and out of this world the more I am intrigued to watch. But I know for those uninitiated Performance Art can look like just a bunch of crazy people acting nuts. However, it is a medium of art that is so close to the human experience, that a painting or sculpture just can't radiate.

The Tate's glossery page describes the medium like this:
 


On restless Americans, living in a foreign country and settling down

If I had read this New York Times article before I had thought of teaching English in a foreign country (circa late 2007), I would have found the premise implausible at best. Americans voluntarily leaving their soil indefinitely? Americans don’t do that. Maybe they go off for a holiday in Australia, or they backpack their way across Europe. We get a little jealous of people taking a ‘working holiday’ It’s a rite of passage, or perhaps a way to postpone Master’s degrees and starting families. They always come back to the states however… don’t they?

From the aforementioned article:

Driving from central Pennsylvania to Massachusetts, for example, you see an American heartland slowly emptying of opportunity: roads and bridges crumbling even without the recent spending cuts, once-confident businesses shuttered, “now hiring” signs eerily absent.


Good morning Viet Nam

Just a quick thought on this hot evening in Viet Nam while the whole country is celebrating their National Independence day from France, we just returned from the Central Highlands where it was cold and rainy. We drove scooters over 300 km (I drove my own, my first time driving in over a year and first time ever on a motorbike, I did pretty damn good if I do say so) and it was a beautiful drive through lush, green jungle. I love this country and love traveling slowly through it. Soon we will head away from the beach to Saigon, then cross into Cambodia through the Mekong Delta. SE Asia is my heaven.



Joy in Jeju: A Day at the Beach

One of the major reasons I wanted to go to Jeju was to spend a day at the beach. It's summer and I for one enjoy the hot weather because it pushes you to want to jump into a cool pool of water. However, Seoul seems to lack in this concept of public places to swim. Sure there are several along the Han river, but just a simple local place to go take a dive is out of the question.

Deciding which beach to visit on Jeju presents itself as quite a task. According to JejuLife.net there are about 13 to choose from, some of which being secluded, others with different color sand and some that are near local attractions. However, since we were close to Udo island I decided to head over there and enjoy the white sand it had to offer.

my life = ♥

Sitting stooped on footstool, surrounded by hundreds of laughing locals sipping lemon ice tea and spitting sweet sunflower seeds that compliment each other perfectly, its a perfect hot and sticky night in Hanoi. I knew as soon as I arrived I was going to love it here. The busy streets with motorbikes weaving in and out like swarming bees, the honks from people trying to make their self known, the tall thin buildings towering the travelers and conical shaped hats below. I don't think I am in Korea anymore. 


Joy in Jeju: Manjanggul

I woke up the next morning ready to go out and have my first adventure on the island. Jeju offers many varieties of things to see and do, and it is as if every part of the island has something on the map. You can choose from kitschy museums like the "Trick Art Museum" or the "Chocolate Museum", but I steered more towards the natural wonders of the island, since I feel this is what made Jeju a unique place to visit. One of these special natural artifacts are lava caves, especially the Manjanggul site.

I will get into the details later, but know that I was very excited for this as I have never been inside a lava-tube cave.

Joy in Jeju: Arrival

I left Gimpo, Seoul last Tuesday and headed to Jeju island. Gimpo airport is significantly smaller than it's Incheon counterpart. There were a few shops and restaurants but generally it is a lot more simple.

As I waited to board my plan, Jin Air, I thought about how this vacation was going to go. I refreshed my memory of essential Korean I would need to use and got to know the layout of Jeju via a map on my Android phone.

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