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Our summer vacation was for July 26th-30th. A few of us newbies decided to go to Busan for Tuesday – Thursday, and I wanted to go to Gyeongju until Saturday.

TUESDAY

We went to the Yongin bus terminal and hopped a bus to Busan. The seats looked like first class seats- nice and wide, and they tilted back really far and had a foot rest. 4.5 hours later, we were in Busan.

Once we navigated the subway systems, I got us lost trying to find the hostel. Mostly because I can’t read a map… Three people (all random) upon seeing 4 confused white people took the map away from us and began discussing where we were trying to go. We sat outside a convenience store while two people called the owners of Blue backpackers hostel to come pick us up. The owner came up with his son in a stroller and took us to the hostel – which looks like an Ikea.
Our room was standard hostel – two bunk beds and a bathroom. The owner Jin gave us directions and information on how to get around.
We went to the beach to meet up with two other people from Yongin. You can buy a phone charm that subways/buses/even taxis can read, and so I tried to get the blue Hello Kitty riding a cloud, but it was sold out. I had to settle on a heart (lame) The beach was really nice, and the water was freezing…so much worse then the Atlantic.

After dinner, we were exhausted so we called it a night. Back at the hostel, there was a gathering of the Random Peoples Assoc. We had a German in his blue plaid underwear, a Canadian with his shirt off, a Frenchmen talking about headless chickens, and a former Russian who now lives in Colorado.

WEDNESDAY

The hostel boasts a “complimentary breakfast” on its website, so we were very excited to have that included. And disappoint it did not. After my two pieces of toast I was ready to carpe diem. It was raining, so we decided to hit up the aquarium. This event did not disappoint. They have one of those aquarium tunnels you can walk under, with sharks, tortoses, big fish, and baby hammerhead sharks. Some of the sharks really needed Invisalin.

After lunch we headed to Shinsegae, which at one point was the Guinness book record holder for biggest mall in the world. Becky and I stopped in a photo booth to snap some photos. All I know is, asian photo booths are way better then the ones in the states…
We decided to get dinner near our hostel at this Latin American Restaurant.

On the photo, the nacho platter was a heaping plate of nachos. In reality it was 17 individually prepared chips with a marinara type sauce, some cheese, an olive slice, and honey mustard sauce. I think they think it looked yellow so people thinks its cheddar cheese, but we knew…. we knew….

THURSDAY

We decided to go to the the Mt. Kumjeong Fortress. To get there you have to go up a cable car. There are a lot of trails you can walk. We were in a time crunch, so we walked to the south gate and had to head back. We didn’t get to snack on goat meat and makgeolli- which is a milky rice wine in the villages like I wanted… so I guess I have to go back 🙂

Gyeongju

FRIDAY

We decided to explore Namsan which is a mountain area with a lot of hiking trails. We started at the burial mounds of three kings called Sam Neung, and went up from there. We went as far as the hermitage, before the heat and humidity wore us down.

It was not a pleasant easy going hike. It was very steep and almost completely uphill for over a mile. There were also a lot of rocks/boulders you had to watch out for. Along the trail were detours to see Buddhas carved into the rocks.
We found a Korean BBQ place with english writing and decided to eat there for dinner.
When the meal was almost over, the man who was eating with the owners turned around and started talking to us in a very loud voice. The lady who owns the place said he was outraged that we weren’t served rice, even though we declined when she offered. He (being a true Korean) thinks rice should be served – no questions asked- with every meal. He even told us (after he found out we were from the states) that although we like bread, rice is better.
He got us a tofu soup which was delicious. When we were going to leave, he insisted that Lauren and I take a photo in front of the restaurant. Well, I of course insisted that he be in it with us. After taking the picture he told me he thought I was prettier than Brooke Shields. Random celebrity to choose, but I thanked him profusely and told him I thought he was very handsome. Then he told us that he considered us to be sincere friends, and threw me some Korean gang signs (a heart)
SATURDAY
We went to Bulguksa Temple. After a 40 minute bus ride from hell, we arrived at our destination. It is a huge compound with pagodas, temples, and a nice park. It was built in 751 and restored in the 1970’s.
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3 Comments

  1. Dang Ahhnna, those photos are gorgeous! I’m totally over the scenic mountain tops and intricate temples, I’m talkin’ bout your material-girl-meets-every-10yearold-girl’s-dream photoshoot. WOW. You nailed it on the head. I was right there with you, down to the babes in the mirror look or the notorious crowd pleaser, girls with mustache look (money shot). You did me proud pol’. Or should I say, you did Magilicutty (sp?) proud. BTW> you look so dang purdy in all of yer pictures it makes me sooooo mad (where are your SHEETS?!?!?)!! ❤ (Look I'm Korean too!!)

  2. I don’t know if you noticed in the background of the cafe mustache shot, there’s a bunny in a teacup with a diamond dollar sign? DIRTY MONEY NEVER BEEN SO FUNNY

  3. Oh my gosh, your blog is a CLASSIC!!! I think you are going to have to get this thing published, coffee-table-book-style when you get back state-side.


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