Thursday, 1 November 2007

Mark and Jin's Travels II

Ok, just a quick post to finish the story of our travels. I've created a photo-album on picasa, so I'll just fill in the gaps to make the pictures make sense.

The previous post left us at the 5.18 National Cemetery last Sunday morning. From there we drove slowly down to Naju, a large town to the south where we spent Sunday night. On Monday morning we visited an old Confucian academy and a few other sights of interest about the town, then we set off south for the Buddhist temple of Daeheungsa. We arrived there in the early evening and got permission from the monks to stay the night there. After a walk around the temple surroundings in the morning we set off for another smaller temple further to the south. Jin had her second go at driving the car along the quiet country roads -- she was so excited! Fortunately the car survived it too.

By Tuesday evening we had reached the southern coast of Korea. I wanted to visit a beach so we set off along the coast to find one -- unfortunately the southern coastline is mostly rocky and sharply sloped, and the beach we did visit the next morning was rather disappointing. We made up for it however with a bathe in the public bath-house (a popular activity in Korea), which featured both sea-water and green-tea filled hot baths (the latter owning to us being near Boseong, renowned for its tea plantations). I was sceptical of the murky water of the green-tea bath, and so decided to give it a miss, for which I was sharply scolded by Jin.

In the afternoon we had a look round some of the tea-plantations of Boseong, before driving back to Gwangju to return the hire car. By now Jin was pretty confident with the car and we shared the driving back. On Thursday morning we took a 4 hour bus journey to Gyeongju in the southeast. Gyeongju is the ancient capital of the Shilla Kingdom (c. 50 BCE -- 900 CE) so there are many historic artifacts to see roundabouts. In fact there was far too much to fit into the two days that remained to us, so we'll have to go back again sometime.

We got back to Seoul on Saturday night. It's a shame it wasn't longer, and we crammed so much in I was a bit tired on the return. Still it was a very scenic and memorable trip, we enjoyed it a lot, and it was nice to escape the eyes of Jin's parents for a few days too.

1 comment:

Pie said...

a nice post Mark :) make me wanna go to Korea :)