Looking back this month was so busy! And it’s a good thing, too, given that Covid numbers were on the rise and I would be cutting off and altering a good deal of my travel for the next couple of weeks. I’m still getting caught up on my monthly posts and I have a final “every place in Korea” post in the works which is pretty exciting.

Seoraksan

I did it. I finally climbed a famous mountain in Korea. After all my protestations about how much I hate hiking, I had a lot of fun. This was my third trip with Adventure Korea. Some of the friends I made in Ulleungdo were going so it sounded like a great idea. Covid has left me a little starved for company so even hiking looked great!

I would never do it again. I had fun, but wow was it not worth the exhaustion. The hiking? Oh, that was fine. No, the hours of travel. See, when I was originally thinking of going it didn’t sound too bad, leaving from Seoul it would take around 3 hours to get to Seoraksan. I was not at all factoring that it takes me 4 hours to get to Seoul and another hour on the subway to get to the pick up point. And we hit traffic. All in all it was around 9 hours each way. For a weekend trip. I had to take the following Monday off or I think I would have died.

Super beautiful, worth the hiking, especially in fall. Go. But only if you have a long weekend and, like me, you’ve done literally everything else there is to do in Korea.

Tongyeong

I‘ve been to Tongyeong once before but this was a sort of redemption trip with my friend. I didn’t really enjoy Tongyeong the first time I went. It wasn’t bad, I just simply didn’t like the city much. It was December and everything felt a little too dead and a little too fishy.

My second trip could not have been more different. Cute cafes, historical sites, port views, almost all lovely. On Sunday we tried to Island Hop. I say “tried” as we got off the ferry at the wrong island. We did make it to the correct one, but it was quite the miserable misadventure as there was nowhere to eat that didn’t have seafood (and that makes me throw up). Beautiful, had fun, but it was quite tarnished by the amount of hangry I was.

Originally I was hoping to go back one more time but I decided, much like how the weather is always bad when I visit Gyeongju, something always goes a bit wrong in Tongyeong! Best not to mess with things in my last few weeks in Korea.

Tongdosa

My second jewel temple! And my last. Spoiler: I was supposed to go to Songwangsa in December and did not make it. Guess I’ll have to leave something if I ever come back!

Tongdosa is absolutely lovely with fall foliage. I wish I had done a templestay. I think it is the only way to truly experience Korean temples without feeling like an idiot tourist sticking out like a sore thumb. I had fun wandering around and was able to witness a very cool ceremony. There was dancing, drumming, chanting – I love how when you visit temples things just tend to happen!

It’s also very easy to get to from Busan, so you might as well go if you get the chance 🙂

Where I’m Headed Next

Well this is a retrospective so I know in December I headed to Daejeon, Gwangju, and Mokpo! Daejeon is my second “redemption” city, and the last of my “places to revisit.” Gwangju is known for its history in Korean independence. Mokpo has been on my list for a long time but was always too difficult to get to. Because Covid meant I couldn’t go to, say, Japan or Jeju on a long weekend, I took the opportunity to finally make it to Mokpo!

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