Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yeosu World Expo

The Worlds Expo was in Korea down along the southern tip in a city called Yeosu. The theme of this years expo was the Living Ocean and Coasts. Korea, being incredibly convenient, built a KTX train stop right in the center of the Expo and named it Yeosu Expo. Can’t get more convenient than that so we took the KTX, high speed train, from Seoul to Yeosu where we booked a motel for the weekend.
 We got up nice and early on Saturday morning to get as much time as possible in the expo. When we arrived at the ticket counter we almost bought our tickets for 33,000 won until we realized that if you have a group of foreigners of 10 or more you can get each ticket for only 10,000 won. This was a no-brainer since we already had 6 people we just scrounged up 2 more couples to join in on our foreigner discount. Just another reason foreigners have it far too easy in this country!
Expo Digital Gallery

Once inside the expo we tried to see as many country pavilions as we could and tried to avoid as many lines as possible. Once we were thoroughly exhausted from walking around in the heat we left the expo, with our one time re-entry stamp, to get some Korean BBQ. After dinner we went back into the expo for a Kpop show staring Super Junior and CN Blue. The final stop of the night was the Big “O” show where a light and water show was set up right where the edge of the water met with the pavilion.

Boryeong Mud Festival

Located on Daecheon Beach is an annual festival known as the Boryeong Mud Festival. The Koreans claim the mud provides skin benefits, but I’m sure most foreigners are just there to play in the mud and abuse their livers! A group of us went to on Friday night with one of the Korean tour groups. We settled into our pensions and called it a night before the festivities started in the morning. The next day we went on the search for breakfast among the local food stands that set up shop along the beach. At lunch our tour group provided us with hamburgers and chili cheese dogs before we headed into the festival for some muddy fun.

In the festival troughs set up filled with mud and paintbrushes to paint yourself with mud. Then once inside there are pools set up filled with wet mud for mud wrestling and inflatable slides slicked down with mud and water. We spent the day going down the slides and running back and forth from the ocean and the majority of the activities.

Once the sun went down we cleaned up for dinner and enjoyed fireworks to finish off the night. Unfortunately the rains started at night, but this didn’t stop everyone from having a good time. There were tents set up with food, drinks and music and people had a great time.

The next morning we packed up our things to head home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deadbeat Summer in Bucheon

We decided to start video documenting some of the things we've been doing. So, this is how we've been spending our summer so far---having the time of our lives! Check it out!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Korean Wedding

My co teacher got married and invited us to her wedding. Unlike the last wedding I went to in Korea this one was much more typical for most Koreans. The bride and groom dressed in typical white dress and tuxedo combinations and exchanged vows in a wedding hall. Still the wedding was short and we then went into a big buffet area that was shared with numerous other wedding parties that were happening throughout the day

Prior to the start of the wedding pictures of the bride and groom were displayed on the giant screen in front of the room. Once the wedding started the pictures changed to various locations around the world.

The family photo.

Once the wedding was over the bride and groom changed into traditional hanbok to join the guests for lunch.

With Cortney, Rachel and her husband



“Do” (pronounced like ‘doe’) meaning island in Korean. Deokjeokdo is one of the many islands off the western coast of Incheon. Fourteen of us met at Incheon’s Port station to take a ferry for about an hour. (*Incheon residents got 50% off the ferry cost!) The island is almost deserted with the exception of a few restaurants, a handful of pensions and one Family Mart (convenience store). We brought snacks, drinks and things to grill.

When we arrived on the island we were quickly approached by two competing pensions for our business. They both gladly offered us rides to their respective pensions so we could decide where we wanted to stay. These pensions were virtually the same, but we chose one for it’s slightly better location to the beach and dropped off our things. We immediately walked over to the beach and set up our things and began grilling some lunch. We hung out on the beach all day and into the night when we started a fire right on the beach.

The next day we enjoyed a little more beach time before getting some amazing Chinese food at this great little restaurant. It was a small place where the owner/cook/waiter/delivery man made us all a feast literally as fast as he possibly could! The name of the restaurant is
바다 반점 (Bada Banjeon) meaning Sea Spot, I believe.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Busan is Korea’s second largest city and located on the southeastern tip of the country. Cortney, Stephanie and I made the trip down on the KTX train. This is Korea’s high speed rail system where the trains travel at speeds of 300 kilometers per hour (or about 190 miles per hour). The train is super efficient and very prompt. We left exactly on time and arrived 2 and a half hours later, just as they stated.
What 300 km/ hr on the KTX looks like.
When we arrived at Busan station we took the local subway right to Haeundae Beach where we found a love motel across the street from the beach. We walked into a couple before stumbling upon the Wow Motel. Love motels always pleasantly surprise me in Korea. For 100,000 won we were able to get the VIP suite in the Wow motel where we got one king size and one double bed, 2 computers, a jacuzzi shower and even a wrap around balcony! 
We woke up in the morning, got breakfast and headed down to the beach. We were able to check out the Sand Castle Festival that was happening this weekend where elaborate works of art were set up along the beach. There were also various activities and booths set up along the beach and also an amateur sand castle making area where anyone could enter to make their own sand castle.

We then had dinner at a Mexican restaurant before checking out the local night life.

View from the balcony of the Wow Motel.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Traditional Korean Wedding

I attended my first traditional Korean wedding here in Korea. Two of my friends, Matt and Jiyeon got married at a wedding hall in Seoul. The wedding is different than that of western weddings. The bride and groom are carried out by men. The groom is on a chair and the bride is in a decorated box.
The location of the wedding.

Coming in on the chair and in the box.

The families together. The bride and groom in tradition wedding hanboks.

They eat traditional rice cakes and drink saki. 

The box that the bride is carried out in.

A little after wedding party fun.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Belize and Guatemala

In between getting to visit with friends and family who I haven’t seen all year we took a family vacation to Belize. Life’s short, right? Might as well keep traveling! J Anyway, we took a trip to see the Mayan ruins along with the rainforest of Belize. The Mayans think it’s ending this year so figured we should check out where they called home.
We arrived in Belize City and then took a tour of the Belize Zoo. Unfortunately the weather was very rainy. We then took Belize’s terrible roads into the jungle where we stayed in a cute bungalow. I only had one experience of sharing the shower with a lizard.

The next day we went to our first Mayan ruins, Xunantunich, which is the second tallest ruin in Belize. The next day we took a day trip over to Guatemala, no big deal. Here, in Northern Guatemala we saw one of the largest archeological sites of the Mayans, Tikal.

After that we went caving through the Actun Tunichil Muknal or ATM (which is much easier to say and read for that matter!). We hiked to the entrance of the cave wading through the river three times decked out in helmets with headlamps. Once inside the cave we took off our shoes and walked through ancient ceramics and skeletal remains in our socks, as to not crush any artifacts, before swimming back out of the cave.

We finished off the trip bird watching and zip lining through the jungles!