A Travellerspoint blog

Loving Korea

Fireworks and hiking

sunny 18 °C

Ann young ha seh yo!

I can’t believe it has been a month since I have updated my blog… in fact I can’t believe I have been in Korea longer then a month. This adventure is going by so fast, between teaching, hiking, and partying, I am having the best experience of my life and it will be over before I know it. It has been a rather eventful month and I should have been updating more often, so I figured I would have an entry about school life and one about my life outside of school.

I have always loved fireworks, so naturally I was all for going to see the Busan fireworks. I was told that the crowds would be nuts, so after a long sports day with our students we trekked over to Gwangalli beach. We found a nice seat close to the front at about 4:30pm, which left only three and a half hours to wait. It was crazy to see how the spaces around us started to fill up so quickly, with people finding a way to squeeze into the smallest areas. With food and good company the time seemed to pass fast, at one point I figured I would attempt to find a bathroom before the show started, after standing up I soon realized this simple task might be impossible. There were seas of people making it so that I couldn’t see any sand, sidewalks, or streets. I tried to make my way through the crowd but I soon gave up and headed back to my seat. Once the fireworks started I was in awe, they were amazing and nothing like any fireworks I had ever seen. There were even fireworks that looked like birds and they flew in the air for a couple minutes. I have attached a video of the fireworks it is definitely worth watching.

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I have recently started hiking which I absolutely love. It is such an easy activity to do since there are mountains everywhere! My first hiking experience was on Jangsan a mountain that I am able to see from my apartment building. My friend and I were almost celebrities on this hike, I don’t think we saw any other foreigners on the mountain and people were staring, smiling, and saying hello all the time. We also had lots of little kids asking us where we were from. It was a nice hike though there are many path options, which was rather confusing at times. At one point we came up to this particular fork in the road.

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With our options being a clear do not enter X sign and a warning of possible land mines, we were very torn on which choice was the right one, since heading back down the mountain was clearly not an option. After stopping a Korean and asking “which safe?” We got the response of “same” so we decided to take our chances with the landmines. Needless to say we survived and had a great time. Towards the end of our hike we came across a temple. It was the first one I had seen since coming to Korea, it was especially great to be there because there were hardly any other people and the people that were there were praying inside. It was such an experience to hear and watch them pray, and the temple itself was absolutely gorgeous. Here are some photos of our hike and the temple.

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The following weekend we decided to hike Geumjeonsan Mountain, where Beomeosa temple is located. This was a much tougher hike since we were climbing rocks most of the way up, but the view at the top made it all worthwhile. This is a nice mountain to hike because of the 17 kilometers of fortress wall that surrounds it. The fortress was wall was created after the Japanese (1592) and Chinese invasions (1636), which was when they realized the need for national defense especially against attacks from the sea. It was originally destroyed during the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945) but they began to restore it in 1972. The North gate, pictured below, and where we started our hike, was originally built in 1808. It was cool to walk threw the gates and on a wall that has so much history. At the temple we walked through a gate where there we four beautiful statues. Apparently these are the guardians of the temple, and the creatures that look like they belong in Harry Potter are demons cowering. After making it to the bottom we decided we would go up the other side of the mountain, while this was a more leisurely walk, after five hours we were all ready to be done. Towards the bottom of the mountain we found some bows and arrows, my aim was a little off but it was fun.

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Miss you all
Xoxo

Posted by stephyg 16:00 Archived in South Korea

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Comments

I'm reading your blog!!!!

Those fireworks put all other firewroks I've seen to shame... I think it might have ruined Canada Day for me.. I wish I could have seen the ones that look like birds!

Glad you're loving it there Steph!

by Kerry

Hi Stephanie. Keep up the blogs. Great reading! I'm also glad you're loving it there. What an amazing experience.
Karl

by Karl Van Dusen

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