An unforgettable trip!!

For our last full day in Korea, we went to the Han river. It was beautiful there, a fabulous view looking out over Seoul. As soon as we got there, we decided it would be fun to hire 2 ‘swans’ (peddle boats) to take out on the river. So with there being 6 of us there, 3 of us went in each boat. We were also required to wear life jackets so I chose the neon yellow one! Two people were able to peddle at once and as it was for 40mins it was more tiring than we thought and actually a really good workout!!

Following this, we headed to a restaurant looking over the water which was shaped like a boat for the traditional Korean river food – chicken and beer or chimec! It was tasty and obviously we had the Korean beer Cass. We took a few pictures by the river and headed back to Jukjeon to see everyone before we had to leave in the morning.

In Jukjeon we met all the teachers in Dreams Come True a cool bar which was playing music we knew and could sing and dance to! I had fun but it was sad to have to say goodbye! We got back with an hour to spare before we had to leave for the airport…luckily we were mainly packed up and made it.

We said our goodbyes outside Woong-bi but unfortunately there had been a miscommunication and some of our friends missed us – so to all of you – much love and best wishes for the future!! Jess wasn’t there and so being the absolute legend that she is got on the next bus to the airport all by herself just to say goodbye to us at the airport!! Love youuuu! After our goodbye, Harriet and I ran to the gate making it in time to board. The flight thankfully went smoothly and passed quickly surprising as it was about 12hrs to Heathrow and then on from there to Manchester. 

To all my wonderful friends I have thoroughly embraced and enjoyed my summer in Korea. I am going to miss you all and we hope someday soon we all can be together again!!

Sending my Love

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What a week!!

Soooo onMonday, I went to look around the shops in Gangnam. Later, we headed to a bar to celebrate Jane’s Birthday and sung along to the songs and had a cool night!

Tuesday, Harriet and I went to the Insititute of Justice as we had been invited to go and speak to some prosecutors and lawyers who wanted to practice their English and hear UK accents. We had a blast and shared some English tea, tried some Korean tea, talked about the royal family, baby George, the 2012 Olympics and even attempted doing some UK regional accents which was hilarious!! Afterwards, John who invited us, very generously treated us to a lovely Korean dinner!

On Wednesday we got some fancy dress items and all danced and lip-synced our way through Icona Pop’s song ‘I Love It’. We also got to watch in wonder as the DKU fountain was turned on especially for us!

Thursday was our ‘Farewell Party’ which entailed a BBQ and drinks at Gecko’s followed by a trip to a bar called Dreams Come True! It was an amazing night and our chance to all get together before people started to leave! I have met some awesome friends here and it I am going to miss them!

Friday we *very briefly* had a look inside a cat cafe! Then we went to Hongdae and the Trick Eye Museum which was faaab. I got to get some more gifts and then headed back to Jukjeon to hang out with friends before everyone has to leave!

I have had an incredible time in Korea and I have made international friends who I am never going to forget!!

 

Summer Splash and Summer Christmas!!

So on Thursday we headed out to try and watch some K Pop however, we ended up in Ewah (the women’s university area) instead as we didn’t know that we were supposed to get there super early…ah well. Instead I managed to find some cute black bow heels for £6! 

On Friday I got to visit the Demilitarized Zone. This is the 250km long border between North and South Korea. It was very interesting. As a part of out tour we were also able to visit the JSA (joint secuirty area) which is shared and so technically I have stood in North Korea,

On Friday evening we went out to downtown Jukjeon and found a really cool bar after deciding to go in due to the name…Yellow Submarine. Inside it had the appearance of a vintage style Hard Rock Cafe with things on the walls etc. There were hundredes of records and we were able to request songs so we requested Elton John’s Your Song, Beegee’s Saturday Night Fever and the Backstreet Boys I want it that way which we all sung along with.

When Saturday arrived, we went on a an adventure to Everland. It was a really cool theme park. It reminded me of Disneyland. As soon as we arrived though it began raining on and off but this only added to the day! Firstly we headed to a fairytale roller coaster, then we gave the dogems’ (or bumper cars) a spin! After this we heade to a parade called the Summer Splash – there were floats, costumes and dancing and we expected to get wet. Everyone around us had waterproof jackets…but we didn’t! The sign next to us said “you may get wet during this perfomance”. We didn’t get wet…we got SOAKED. But it was so much fun! After we appeared as though we had showered fully clothed.So we dried out a little eating our lunch.

Considering we were still kinda soggy we went on a water ride next, the log flume – which was my favourite. I went in the same ‘log’ as Josh and was sitting int he front at first, until he kindly switched! Our faces on the picture all looked funny and like we were all having fun! We decided to go explore the park and found a lovely rose garden and a rainbow appeared. We saw a fountain and decided to get in it! It  was funny, but we were kindly told to get out of it after a short while. We all went on the carousel – but ere we had to be strapped in to the horse – very health and safety conscious. Then we headed towards the animal area of the park…I got to feed abird in my hand. Then we went on a safari bus. We saw white tigers, tigers, a liger, giraffes and a bear that danced as well as an actual bear that was playing basketball – standing in its hind legs taking a ball to the hoop but he missed! At the end of this trip I bought a kind big PSY fan as it also said Everland Resort on it and becaue I am PSY’s biggest international fan!

Saturday night we went to Gangnam and the “best club in Seoul” Ellui. It was kinda epic! Last time there was music with no lyrics at all played here but this time I enjoyed the music much better. We also met two different people who invited us to their VIP areas which were cooool. We danced all night long and had fun!!

Sunday brought us to go and watch Baseball. We decide to support the home team – LG Twins. It was an electric atmosphere in there with everyone chanting and singing together.The theme was Summer Christmas – which made me think of a film I watched in Korean cinema class ‘Christmas in August’ – so they were playing songs like ‘All I want for Christmas is you’! We got to see a wooden bat broken in half and 2 home runs which were scored by our team and our team won!! 

Keep Posted ;D

Where I have visited :)

Her are photos to show all the amazing places I have seen this week with my blog to follow on shortly!

ImageThe Demilitarized Zone

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At Dorasan train station

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All the vinyl records which could be requested to hear in the bar Yellow Submarine

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Everland!!

ImageThe rainbow and fountain at Everland

ImageAt the Baseball game – Jamsil Baseball Stadium- LG Twins vs Samsung Lions

 

 

 

Busy Busy Bee

Soooo hey there,

 

On  Monday evening I had the chance to make my own kimchi – a form of fermented cabbage which is a staple food here – I have had to wait several days so have not yet tried it…but I am looking forward to do so.

Tuesdays activity was calligraphy which was really fun. Followed by dinner with our students, a brill session of norebang (karaoke) and then heading to a cool bar Music and Jazz.

Wednesday we headed to Gangnam to eat with students – we tried cold udon noodles which were the restaurants speciality and particularly tasty on a hot day! Then we looked around the shops whih are cool there! Today I should be going to see some K Pop in real life 😀

 

Keep Calm and Read Next Time 

 

An action-packed week involving music, movies and plenty of mud!!

Allo’ Allo’ Allo’

This Monday we were lucky enough to watch some Korean traditional music pieces perfomed. Then, we tried out doing it ourselves, first we got to try and play a traditional 2 sided drum which was cool and we had to try out different beats and tempos. Then we got to sing some Pansori which is usually accompanied by a drummer. This was fun and I think it is quite staccato as well as being almost like spoken song  we got to sing a Korean folk song Arirang which I liked and was shown in one of our films in my Korean cinema class so I could sort of pick up the tune. On Tuesday we gave traditional style dance a go – which was highly entertaining and mainly involved clapping, interweaving and skipping round in circles!

Wednesday evening Jane, Jess and I went out for dinner and drinks with our students. Then we ended up playing in teams fro darts as we met their friends at the bar, my team won first time but lost the second! Then we headed to ‘rock bowling’ which is so-called as they play music videos and have flashing lights. I came 8th out of 10 people in the first (practice) game so felt proud. However, my score in the real – 2nd – game was lower than the first. But, I managed to obtain 2 spares and felt really proud of myself!!

On Thursday with my cinema chance we visited the Korean Film archives and had the whole screen to our class! We watched a 70’s Korean film ‘The March of Fools’ which was awesome (it even had ABBA in it!) and was particularly interesting as some scenes had been cut from the original edit by the Korean government at the time which created a bigger enigma for us as viewers. We even got to go inside the (usually restricted) film vault and see where they are kept at a glorious 15 degrees celcius with 30% humidity so a great fresh feeling. I was given a negative from a film to bring back as a souvenir.

Friday we went on a tour all around Seoul, to the national museum, the Hanok folk village, the palace ending in Insadong for a cool session of souvenir shopping and an amazing tradtional ice tea drink. When we returned from all these cool places around 10.30 Harriet and I went on an last minute trek out to E Mart – which was eventful to say the least but definitely worth it to buy some Oreo O’s (Korea is the only place to buy them- delicious!)

Super Saturday started with the Mud Festival in Boryeong! We went into a mud obstacle course whih was hilarious, a mud prison and had mud thrown at us, then a sort of mud bath (paddling pool)  where we threw it at each other and finally a mud slide which was ace! After being thoroughly covered in it we wandered to the beach where there were live DJ’s and they sprayed us with water. I even got onto Josh’s shoulders which was really fun and saw the huge crowd below. Then we all ran into the sea which was a lovely temperature. 

Saturday night we headed for a night out in Gangnam. It was pretty epic!! We went to Ellui nightclub – the biggest in Seoul which played funky electronic music (your kinda scene I think Liam and Gabe). We danced all night looong!

Today Harriet and I went to the church nearby. We were lucky enough to attend a huge 6oth anniversary service in rememberance of the signing of the armistice between North and South Korea. Veterans from all over the world were in attendance as well as many important figures: Korean MP’s, a Korean Senator, the Mayor and Govenor of this area and I believe the 7th in line in charge of an area of the US Army. It was an incredible service with rousing hymns, some amazing singing from a big choir (there was even an orchestra) and many poignant and moving speeches. In all there were probably around 1000 people there!!

Buh Bye Now

 

 

 

Photos from this week :D

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The Janggu drummer – he was super speedy, hence the blur

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Pansori – a form of Korean traditional music

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Inside the Korean Film Archives 🙂

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Harriet and I in the wearing traditional Korean dress – Hanbok

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The changing of the guards at Gyeongbokgung palace

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Boryeong Mud Festival!! – photography credit to Shelbi Lynn –http://shelbilynnphoto.ca/148078/blog

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Ellui Nightclub Gangnam – phtotgraphy credit to Tom Shelton

 

 

 

What a wonderful world!!

We began our Jeju adventure kinda nervous as we headed out early Friday morning in hunt of a printer to print of our booking confirmation which luckily we did. Then we went for a bus but we were late so had to get another then transfer onto a subway which would mean we would arrive 20mins before departure instead of 40!! When we got to the airport we sprinted up what seemed like never ending escalators and a long terminal and thankfully checked in on time! We also ran to the gate, and everyone was staring at us…it was at this point when we asked the flight attendant that we found out that there were 10mins till boarding!!

So on Friday our first day, we headed out Iho Tewoo Beach and relaxed, swam in the sea and watched the sunset. As we were waiting for the bus back we asked a girl about our age (or younger) if it was coming but she wasn’t sure. So, we accidentally hitchiked as she offered for her Mother to take us back and we were heading for the UFO Cafe to meet Jess’ student Gini, people in Korea are so friendly and kind!! Unfortunately, we were given a slip of paper with the Korean name on it and place where we were staying but it was the wrong place…after abut 20 phone calls later and our eternal gratitude we arrived safely at the UFO Cafe!! It was lovely to meet Gini and we tried out their delicious Pineapple fried rice as well as this, Gini gave us lots of fruit (which is difficult to buy and is expensive in Korea) including: watermelon, plums and a type of tangerine which was a real treat!!!

The next day we decide to hike halfway up Mount Hallasan which was beautiful and is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as Jeju Island being classed as one of the New 7 Natural Wonder of the World. We went up the Eorimok Trail and came down the Yeongsil Trai whihc took us approximately 4 hours in total. On our way down we were walking into mist (literally in a cloud) along the ridge with the valley below us…it literally looked like we were walking to the edge of the world, or heaven, or into the light the views were breathtaking! 

Saturday night we went to Hamdeok beach for a Full Moon Music Festival (my first music festival!) It was really cool and DJ’s were there playing electronic music as well as some English songs we knew…Jump Around in particular sticks in my mind! We even met a fellow Brit (only my second in Korea) he was from Leicester. I played a darts fair-ground type game and hit 3 out of 4 balloons and won a small key chain bunny. Jess set off a firework on the beach ending our night with a literal BANG!

On Sunday (sadly our last day in Jeju) we went to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak which was formed by the volcanic erruptions on Jeju. It was a 30min hike and the views were great at the top. On our way down we were able to go and see one of Jeju’s famous things…the Haenyo – female divers aged around 60-80 who dive everyday for seafood without any breathing equipment and stay underwater for like 5mins…super strong women!

To top off our amazing weekend we visited Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach which we almost didn’t reach as we didn’t know which stop it was and it resorted in me asking the driver to stop the bus by saying please can we stop?? xD It had the whitest sand I have ever seen as well as the clearest water – I loved it!! I even said to Harriet and Jess that the water appeared similar to seaweed soup as it was so clear haha. When we were in the water we were only able to go up to where we could stand we don’t know exactly why but think it is because many people can’t swim in Korea as when we told the Beach Police we could they appeared a little taken aback! We really didn’t want to leave the beach for the airport.

On our way to the airport we went to a souvenir shop where I purchased a huge neon pink Jeju or Cheju as it says t shirt which I am planning on wearing as a dress – I just loved the neon colours on it. We got to the airport and just managed to get some food before all the shops closed as our flight was the last one. We took the subway and bus home and slept soundly with the knowledge we had experienced several things Jeju is famous for: the rocks (on our hikes), the wind (there was an amazing temperature, less humidity and a lovely breeze here – oerfect summer weather), the female divers and their famous fruit a Hallabong wich is a sort of sweeter orange.

And I thought to myself…what a wonderful world ❤

Bye Bye 

Photos from a wonderful weekend in Jeju Island!! <3

Where it all began…on our plane flying from Seoul Gimpo Airport to Jeju with Eaststar Jet

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Friday evening – Sunset on Iho Tewoo Beach

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Friday night – Meeting with Jess and Tom’s student Gini and dinner at her parents UFO Cafe

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Saturday – Mount Hallasan

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Saturday night – Full Moon Music Festival

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Sunday – Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (Jess, Harriet, Me)

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Female Divers – Haenyo

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Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach

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