Friday, August 14, 2015
Since school was closed today thanks to Korean Liberation Day, we wanted some reprieve from the heat. It has been crazy hot here lately. The humidity blasts you as soon as you walk outdoors. The AC at school is sub par so I’m literally hot and sweaty all.the.time. Solution: A trip to the river!
Kevin, a couple other friends and I took a day trip to the Hwayang-dong Valley and River. It is located in Songnisan National Park, about an hour and a half away from Cheongju. We got dropped off at the 7/11, stocked up on some snacks, drinks and ice-cream for the road, and began our trek toward the river. It’s not too far to the main part of the river that offers some deep swimming. This is where all the locals go. We don’t mind swimming near other people, but, you see, Koreans wear many clothes when swimming! If we jumped in wearing just our bathing suits, the death glares would be imminent. We might also be yelled at by rangers, so, we kept walking along the river until we came to a secluded area.
We had to hike down a leafy hillside and climb around some rocks, but we found a great spot away from everyone else! It felt like we were on our own private island.
Here are some photos from our refreshing afternoon!
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Ever since our brief trip to Jeonju on a tour in June, Kevin and I have wanted to return. Jeonju’s famous hanok village is a more traditional Korean experience than you find everywhere else. We are so glad we went!
The first thing we did was check out the Jeondong Cathedral, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in all the country. It did not disappoint!
Next, we walked through the plaza where many local artisans sell their goods. We came across a gentleman who hand carves dojangs (도장), or personal stamps. In Korea, official documents are signed with a seal/stamp. Kevin and I each got our own personalized stamps with our names carved into them in Hangul. This is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, souvenirs from Korea.
After this, we explored more of the Hanok village. Here are some photos from our walk:
Jeonju is a lovely city and if you haven’t been, I definitely recommend that you visit! No need to spend the night, a day trip will suffice!
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! I wish every one consisted of 3 days. I think it would lead to more productivity both professionally and personally, but that’s a debate for another blog. 🙂