Home sweet home, Korean style.
Temples tend to be of the brand new variety, as opposed to the old & interesting in other parts of Asia.
In Korea as in China do expect to pay through your teeth at every step of the way !
even to the most ridiculous invented "attractions".
At least here at Seoraksan the reward is real enough.
Even though the "trails" (more like dirt roads) are more crowded
than an LA boardwalk on a Sunday afternoon !
most ferried in on buses, and equipped for far more adventurous undertakings than the one at hand.
Eventually we arrive...
at the true cultural capital of Korea.
Parklands filled with the finest of sculptures...
gazing mysteriously at the sea.
Beats easter island (no pun intended).
With fine museums where you may truly appreciate...
the finer points (pun intended) of their shamanic fishing culture.
We´re off to the port in Donghae to catch a mega catamaran to...
fantastic ULLENG-DO island, 135 km off the east coast.
is a squid capital.
and scenery reminiscent of Madeira !
Harvesting delicious kelp.
Nari dong, the crater, the only flat arable land on the island.
Back on the mainland
Gyeongju, the cultural capital of Korea, dating back to the "Silla" period is
boring & soulless and compares unfavorably to the one up the coast.
P.S. Korea´s religion appears to be worth $4 per visit.
Geongju, downtown, typical Koreatown.____________________Nazi whorehouse ? ...no, a temple actually.
off the eastern tip off Jeju
back on Jeju
Another bizarre excuse to siphon a few $ from dumb American? tourists
in this most artificial southern coast of Jeju resort environment.
maybe....but this is not a surfing country.
A cafe´ with a fine view over polluted SEOUL.
They love bright lights almost as much as the Chinese.
The world, according to Korea.
A fine selection of slimy Kimchi.
Freediving off Seogwipo, southern Jeju.
OK, but chilly !
They, as any self respecting Asian, swim (wade) with their clothes on !?
They frolic in a state of bemused confusion of this strange wet thing called THE SEA,
eventually squealing loudly, as THE SEA sends something as unexpected as a WAVE at them.
All this was also confirmed on a beach on one of Hong Kong´s islands.
A beautiful sunny day with everybody on the beach wearing long pants & long sleeve shirts and umbrellas.
It was pretty cool, looking like something straight out of the 1700s.
- Korea is a pretty but uninteresting country, hence has comparatively few tourists.
- It is a chauvinistic confused Confucianist society with a strange fear of all things natural,
unless it´s a castrated "pay to enter" natural park of course.
Was told on Ulleng-do, when expressing my surprise over the lack of scuba outfits on that
very touristy and beautiful island surrounded by crystal waters, that "NOO ! you cannot
enter THE SEA ! you die ! you die !"
- Umbrellas in Korea are not only for protection from that horrible thing called RAIN
but also from that evil thing called SUNSHINE !
- As in China, nobody speaks a word of english (except for a ridiculous and aggressive "HELLO!")
but they copy the west down to their blond (yellow) died hair, though at the sight of a
westerner they stare at you like cows in a field when a human arrives.
all heads towards you, regardless of bodyposition.
- They are monolingual, but they write their language in 3 completely different ways !
roman, Korean (like roman alphabet but using syllabic boxes with the look of an Asian character-language) & Chinese.
- They love their dogs.
- Karaoke, need I say more ?
- Culinarywise not on par with their neighbors, definitely the worst food in the world (yes, even worse than British !).
Experts at destroying perfectly good & delicious raw materials, be that meats, fish or veggies.
Meats are served thinly sliced, raw, to be "BBQ" at your table, inevitably overdone due to thinness and
extremely greasy due to the lardchunk used to lube the grill, and having no redeeming gastronomical qualities
whatsoever due to the complete lack of any spice or flavorings except for generic super strong red chilipaste or powder.
Fresh Veggies are turned into a disgusting slimy, half rotten marinated chilipaste soaked watery mess called Kimchi.
They even have a museum devoted to this slime.
- All motels in Korea cost exactly $30 and have a motion light in the "lobby" of every room.
- Some very nice people do exist in Korea.
Not my favourite 3rd world country.