South Korea: Seoul + bits of the countryside [part one]

So it’s been almost 5 months since my first visit to the land of Korea, I think it’s about time I post some stuff from my trip!

I know the graphic emphasizes “Seoul” but this set of photos were taken…outside the metropolitan city. Haha. It’s the “bits of the countryside” part. You’ll mostly see some landscapes, a bunch of trees, mountains, leaves, soil…but it’s worth a look anyway ’cause the nature in South Korea is beautiful and well-preserved.

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Since this was a family trip, it was best to go with a tour on our first visit to Korea.

It is indeed fine.

We arrived at night so after dinner we went straight to bed.

We had no idea our hotel was located at the harbor. It was a nice, foggy view upon waking up.

Then off to Nami Island! If I’m not mistaken, it’s a private island that was used as a shooting location for popular Korean dramas such as Winter Sonata. It felt very festive, as if it were Valentine’s all year round! Haha

You could actually stay in the island for about a whole day because of the many tourist attractions. Being on tour, our time on the little island was very limited. But we enjoyed it a whole lot.

Because it was freezing! If I thought Italy at the end of winter was cold, Korea is a different story. It even snowed for a few seconds in the island! Heehee.

This was our first time experiencing such cold weather! It really was cold, just see my mum’s cheeks.

It was nice seeing a lot of animals in Nami.

Speaking of animals, they had one of the best tasting chickens I’ve ever had. (probably not so wise putting photos of grilled chicken after my photo of two giant birds)

Bye, Nami Island.

Then something really magical happened…

…REAL SNOW!!! I was so happy!

And now to Mt. Seoraksan!

It was a very, very windy afternoon. Imagine that kind of weather while on the cable car!Β The cable car trip was pretty terrifying.

But the view was really nice. Hello, Nature!

We ‘hiked’ up the mountain (a trek made short thanks to the cable car).

We had a few small snowball fights on the way up.

Here I am channelling my inner Bear Grylls.

At last we reached some sort of cliff part. I don’t know. I’m not a mountaineer, I don’t know those terms. 😦

The view was breathtaking and I really wanted to look over the edge of the cliff but it was just too windy! So windy that I had to sit down and wait for the blowing winds to calm the heck down. It was enough to push you off.

So imagine my sister’s fright when I went near the edge (while the wind was blowing really hard) just to get a picture. Hahaha yeaaah she went hysterical.

My mum loves bridges. I just had to take a picture of her on one.

Ordinary roasted chest nuts

but they tasted really good in such cold weather.

We were supposed to have dinner at a restaurant and then proceed to the hotel. We went into some farm area and pulled up at this place. Apparently we made a detour.

There was like a pack of furry wolf-like dogs. I thought they were cute until they all growled at me. Yeah this place was somewhat sketchy.

Lo and behold, we stopped by a strawberry farm. A “bonus” sidetrip our “extra nice” tour guide arranged. We had to pay $25 for each adult just to pick. I know, rip off.

I’ve gone strawberry picking in the fields of the Benguet Province back in the Philippines. This was no “field” but a hightech greenhouse of some sort.

We were ripped off, all of us in the tour knew that. But it was our first day so no one in the tour really complained (‘cept me who was being cynical about the whole thing). We were happy from our day. And the strawberries were so good. I mean, soooo good.

But $25 is $25 (my family ended up paying more than $100 by the way). Darn tour guide lady.

This is the assistant tour guide slash photographer. He tried taking pictures of the dogs but…yeah good thing they were in chains.

This is the area around our hotel. Cities in the provinces are always so still towards the end of the day. It kind of made me wonder if people actually occupied the hotels in the area.

But our very affordable hotel room was nice! And very spacious. Quite surprising to find this good accommodation in a rural area.

While the kids cleaned up, I decided to take a walk outside before it got too dark.

I always check the convenience stores in other countries

In case I find something interesting. Hehe.

I noticed a lot of Korean celebrities endorsing this brand of beer so I decided to try it. Very nice! Sweet and crisp, a nice way to cap our first day in Korea. πŸ™‚


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