Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Geomundo / Baekdo Trip

We originally had this trip booked for May 9th-May 12th, but due to weather in the south part of the country, the trip was cancelled.  It was rescheduled for June 5th-8th and as it turned out, the weather was absolutely perfect.
We booked through Adventure Korea www.adventurekorea.com - they have great tours for anyone that has a bit of time in Korea.  This includes trips to Temple Stays, trips to Jeju Island, Rafting trips (we are going June 29th!), trips to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone between North/South Korea and even trips to North Korea.  If you're visiting Korea, we highly recommend you check them out.  Their prices are pretty good too.

A group shot.

Geomundo (pronounced gaw-moon-doh) and Baekdo islands are located to the far South of the Korean peninsula, between Mainland and Jeju island.

The islands are famous in Korea for their breathtaking scenery and friendly people. Not many foreigners ever get the chance to visit this part of the country.

Geomundo Island is a 2 hour ferry ride from Yeosu city on the south coast of the peninsula and is a place where all Koreans want to visit in their lifetime. It is an island swamped in beauty and history, and it has a rugged, rocky coastline. 

We got to go swimming at the nearby beach as well, as a four hour trek with stunning views. 

We  also took a 3 hour ferry ride around Baekdo island (meaning 100 islands). The small islands come in a variety of strange shapes, the trip was very facsinating and scenic. The surroundings were very unique.

Near the end of the trip we also got to tour parts of the south of the mainland including Naganeupsung (folk village where people still live).  All in all, it turned out to be a wonderful trip.

This picture was taken on the ferry from the mainland to Geomundo.  Thankfully the clouds soon dispersed and we had amazing weather!

This was taken at the Geomundo wharf looking across to the other side of the island.

This is the bridge that connects each part of Geomundo.  We had to cross the bridge to get to the beach.

Squid boats that are taken out very late at night, they need the lights to attract the squid.

An alley way inside the town of Geomundo. 

Here you can see the bridge again and other parts of the island.

Another shot from the mainland looking towards various islands.

Near the beach of Geomundo.

This marks the start of our ferry around around the Baekdo Islands.  There was a tour guide on the ferry speaking to all the guests aboard telling the story about the different islands and their names.  However, the tour was in Korean... so at this point we couldn't tell you anything more than what the pictures can say for themselves... except that the views were stunning and the colour of the water was absolutely amazing.. enjoy!

Drinkin' the Hiteaaaahhh, feelin' alrightaaahhh... every nightaaah.. (more on this in another post later..:)

This was the view from the beach.

Although the water was fairly cold on this day, it was still very clear and refreshing.

A great shot of all the clam diggers bent over mooning us :) (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them).

On the second day of our trip we went on a 4 hour trek.  It was suppose to be an easy walk, but at times it was very scary especially with the large bees swarming the path! 
We did however spend a lot of time enjoying the scenic views of the South Sea.

As you can see, a group of us climbed a mountain peak in order to partake in some very stunning views.  You can also see the lighthouse which we hiked to afterwards as well (click on the picture to enlarge). When we saw our fellow trekkers on the rock we knew we had to go there as well, so we ditched our bag, but not that camera and headed for the rock!

The water was so blue!

There is Krista enjoying the fresh air off the water, and a bit scared to fall off!

Can you see where we left our bag with the other trekkers, who wouldn't climb the rock?
It was well worth it and not that scary of a climb up, the way down was much harder!

The beautiful Geomundo Lighthouse, built in 1905. Many of Korea's first lighthouses were built
at the behest of Japan.

And I threw in a night shot just for fun... (I'm still trying to learn how to use my new Canon DSLR camera :).

We will have more pics of our trip with Adventure Korea, stay tuned...............

Monday, June 9, 2008

Jeongbalsan - Ilsan Park

One Sunday morning we decided to go with John to Ilsan Lake Park in Goyang.  Ilsan Lake Park is the biggest artificial lake park in the Orient, constructed on an area of 350,000 pyong (1,157,100 square meters). This beautiful lake park preserves a healthy ecosystem with clean water where plants, animals, and fish can be found. By regularly holding a Flower Exhibition, this Lake Park has become a favorite leisure and resort place not only for Goyang citizens, but also for the public at large in Korea.  Ilsan is a recently developed area and is more organized and planned, and its residents are generally more affluent. Ilsan is located northwest of Seoul. Like other satellite cities in the Seoul National Capital Area such as Bundang and Pyeongchon, Ilsan was planned in order to alleviate housing shortages in the city of Seoul. Ilsan has experienced phenomenal growth in the past 15 years, usually drawing in younger generations of upper middle-class Koreans.

We originally went to see the Flower Exhibition, but found wandering around the park just as rewarding!

Outside the subway station there was a large city square where you could rent miniature bikes, scooters and race cars.

We would love to go back and rent one of these!

On the bridge leading towards the lake, there were posters and banners with information protesting the selling of body parts in China.

Standing on the bridge overlooking the lake.

If you look closely, you can see Jon taking this photo!

Map of the lake park.

I like the new roller surfer, aka the wave!  All of the kids here seem to have one, its a cross between a surfboard and skateboard that works by swiveling your hips!

There were plenty of kites flying that day in the strong winds over the water.

As it was Children's Day holiday, many people were out enjoying the beautiful weather.

Another crowd photo along the lake.

Two Korean women dressed in fairy outfits.. they were not impressed when they caught me snapping photos ;)

Just outside the gates to the exhibition hall there was a large Canon RV.  Inside they had various camera models and on the top of the RV they had a 300mm IS Zoom Lens and a 400mm IS Zoom lens (these retail for $3500-5000) that we were able to play around with.  Wow.. I'd love to have one of those.  While atop the RV I took the chance to snap a few photos with my own DSLR of the flower displays without paying to get in :)

Kind of like a ch-ch-chia pet!

It's picnic time!

Ilsan Lake

Of course there was no beach or even opening in the railing to walk in the water, but that didn't stop anyone!

Its a bird, its a plane, no its a kite?  The weather was ideal for flying kites, as the wind was coming off of the water, I'm sure it will be a great place to visit when the summer heats up!

No boats, only fountains!

If you are adventurous enough you can time yourself for just under a marathon!

Near Ilsan Lake Park is there wonderful downtown are called LaFesta.  There was a plethora of coffee shops, restaurants, shops and fun!

Its a bird, its a plane, no its a coffee shop!!

Krista always wants to go shopping!

We ate here at the Rosenbrau, a great pub that even brews its own beer! 

While you sip on the delicious brews, your kids can play in the amazing play place, did I mention that this place was great or what?

Our delicious pizza, with a side dish of jalapenos!

Whats on tap?

To get to Ilsan Lake Park, Goyang take Line number 3 to Jeongbalsan, as it is only 3 stops from the end of the line make sure that your train is going to Daehwa.

Ilsan Lake Park is not overrun by foreigners and has many activities for all ages!  We will definitely go back and hope to see you there!