Traveling South

Last weekend, we took our first organized tour with Goh Travel Korea. We headed south and had a great time exploring new places! This post is chock full of pictures, so I hope you enjoy! Additional photos will be posted to Facebook in the coming days.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The tour left from Seoul but we got to take advantage of a Daejeon pick-up. Our first stop was Jeonju, famous for its bibimbap (mixed rice), its hanok village (traditional Korean village), and the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, which houses a famous portrait of King Tae-jo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. We had to enough time to take a tour of the Shrine area and eat some delicious bibimbap.

Gyeonggijeon Shrine

Gyeonggijeon Shrine

Inside the shrine - the photo is inside that structure.

Inside the shrine – the photo is inside that structure.

This building holds the archives of the Joseon Dynasty, and is listed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Registry.

This building holds the archives of the Joseon Dynasty, and is listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry.

We saw many women wearing the traditional hanbok clothing in Jeonju. Just beautiful!

We saw many women wearing the traditional hanbok clothing in Jeonju. Just beautiful!

After lunch, we didn’t have time to explore Jeonju as we were originally scheduled to do. We would love to make a trip back because there’s so much we didn’t see and it seemed like a really interesting place.

Our next stop was Gwanghalluwon Garden in Namwon City. This garden is famed as the place where Lee Mong-ryong and Chunhyang met. These are 2 characters from a Korean folk tale not dissimilar to Romeo & Juliet. It was originally built in 1419 under the Joseon Dynasty (King Sejong).

Wonwoljeong Pavilion – designed to allow visitors to get a good view of the moon.

The Shrine for Chunhyang

The Shrine for Chunhyang

The Shrine for Chunhyang

The Shrine for Chunhyang

Gwanghallu Pavilion - Treasure No. 281

Gwanghallu Pavilion – Treasure No. 281

Bangjangeong Pavilion

Bangjangeong Pavilion

Our final stop of the day brought us to Suncheon Bay Wetlands, which was a beautiful – if not too buggy – site to behold.

Welcome to Suncheon Bay!

Welcome to Suncheon Bay!

Smiling - with Yongsan Mountain (Dragon Mountain) behind me, but also making sure no bugs fly in my mouth or up my nose.

Smiling – with Yongsan (Dragon Mountain) behind me (see the dragon head?), but also making sure no bugs fly in my mouth or up my nose.

My muse

My muse

Don't get too crabby!

Don’t get too crabby!

The view from the top of Yongsan Mountain - beautiful! So glad we came here.

The view from the top of Yongsan Mountain – beautiful! So glad we came here. We never would have thought of it without the tour.

After the wetlands, we had some kbbq for dinner and called it a night in the biggest pensions ever. Well, some people did. Others went to a noraebong (karaoke room) and drank too much soju. 😛

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The main reason we signed up for this tour was because it was going to Boseong Green Tea Plantation! It’s been a plantation since Japanese occupation and is where half of Korea’s green tea is produced. If you know me, you know I absolutely love green tea, so this was an exciting treat!

This man taught us all about the production of green tea, beginning with the picking of the plant!

This man taught us all about the production of green tea, beginning with the leaf picking!

First, you must pick green tea leaves!

Should we quit our day jobs and switch to tea roasting?

Then, you roast the tea, continuously rotating it for 4 hours. Don’t worry, they have automated this process.

Then you roll it around in a ball on the table.

Then you roll it around in a ball on the table.

And you smell it before roasting it again! (Ok, not really, but kind of cool pic, eh?)

And you smell it before roasting it again! (Ok, not really, but kind of cool pic, eh?)

I got to buy some loose leaf green tea here, but I didn’t buy the roasted kind. Alternatively, you can ferment the tea, which is just sun-dried tea. Tastes delicious, too!

The slightly more automated way to pick the green tea leaves.

The slightly more automated way to pick the green tea leaves.

Posing with the green tea

That green tea really reflects in my glasses.

Grave sites and green tea = Korea

Grave sites and green tea = Korea

Finally, our last stop of the trip included an amazing visit to Byeonsanbando National Park, and more specifically, the Cheseokgang Cliffs.

This park is located on the west coast of Korea and features beautiful sedimentary rocks, breathtaking cliffs, and a popular beach (Byeonsan) on the East China Sea.

Kevin on the rocks

Kevin on the rocks, overlooking the East China Sea.

View toward the beach

View toward the beach 

Chaeseokgang Cliffs

Chaeseokgang Cliffs

Serenity.

Serenity.

Ah, a beautiful trip indeed! We are so happy we went and had a marvelous time. We saw places in Korea we had never even heard of and feel lucky we got to experience them!

But after 3 weekends of travel, I’m excited to sit tight for the next one!

Until next time~

3 thoughts on “Traveling South

  1. Pingback: Hwayang River & Jeonju over Liberation Day Weekend | The Daily Snap

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