When you think of Korea, I realize that ‘tourist destination’ isn’t exactly the first thing to cross
your mind. And why should it? Before I moved here I had people asking me if I was moving to a
third world country or if I was scared that North Korea was going to attack. Korea doesn’t exactly
have the best travel reputation in the states. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a reason to go.
Since living in Korea, I have continued to find more and more unique and exciting things to do.
Some of my favorites from my short time here have been:
Festivals: Korea is always having different festivals. There are festivals for practically everything
including kimchi, kites, lanterns, ice fishing, rice, flowers and bamboo. Part of this is because
of Korea’s size. Since it is so small they want to make sure there is always something for people
to do. Out of the dozens of festivals I have been to, my favorites would have to be the Boryeong
Mud Festival and the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival.
it’s mineral rich mud. The festival started as a way to promote the towns own mud cosmetics
and since then has grown into an event where in the span of nine days, hundreds of thousands
of people travel from around the country to roll in the mud. There are different events over the
course of the week from mud obstacle courses, mud wrestling and getting painted with colored
Cherry Blossom Festival
the streets and covering the plentiful mountains. So of course, there are several festivals to
go along with the short two-week period that the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Our favorite
festival to go to at this time is also one of the most well known. It is located in Jinhae, which
has several different areas to view the trees. Our favorite spot is the stream that travels along a
wooden path while the cherry blossoms overhang from either side.
Temples: Being a predominantly Buddhist country, there are temples scattered everywhere. We
have been to many of these, even tiny ones that are hidden in the countryside. Our favorite of
these is one located in the heart of Seoul, the largest city in Korea.
the world. Outside the gates it’s all hustle and bustle but as you walk onto the temple grounds
it seems like everything is hushed and still. Monks are having services and members can be
seen practicing their own worship at one of the many shrines scattered throughout the temple
Seoraksan National Park
and I finally made it up to the north end of the country and spent the day climbing one of the
highest peaks in the national park. The one shown here is called Ulsan Bawi and has 850 steps
leading up to the top! Let’s just say I called it good on working out for a few days after that hike!
We looked over into the isolated country from the east coast of the country, which was so
surreal. We hear so much news about this country but it is a different feeling as you are standing
on the viewing platform looking over and seeing the road that goes from South Korea, through
the demilitarized zone and into North Korea. You can also go to the DMZ on the east coast by
Seoul where there are amazing tours that you can take along with being able to go into the Joint
Security Area. This room is divided down the middle so that half is in North Korea and half is in
the south and up until 1991 it was used in negotiations between the two sides.
I have loved having the opportunity to live and teach in Korea for the last two years. There is
always something new to see and unique experiences and I’ve just reached the top of the iceberg.
I look forward to the next year living here and all the exciting adventures that it will bring!
Thanks for following along and thank you so much Nikki for having me!
Chelsea and Jeremy met, fell in love, got hitched and decided o spend the rest of
their lives traveling the world. Their current spot is as ESL teachers in South Korea.
She blogs about daily life as an expat along with new destinations, new recipes
and the occasional travels tips. Follow along on their travels at Lost in Travels
(lostintravelsblogspot.com) and on Twitter @c_diamond_run.