For easier access, here are all the posts made on my trip back to Korea as a Tourist organised all pretty-like. Some posts do crossover so they’re roughly put where they belong.
This was the part of my trip that I was looking forward to… and yet, not. I only had barely 2 days to catch up with my friends back in Daejeon and to soak up everything – not to mention how I’m horrible at good-byes. However, as time stops for nobody, it was time and my friend and I went back to Daejeon and I quickly made a series of phone calls.
It started off well since my friend and I have a common ground: we love food and we arrived in Daejeon just in time for lunch. My friend found a love for Korean-ised Italian food so we went to the Flying Pan in Eunhaengdong, a shopping and nightlife district in Daejeon. As this was my first time dining here during lunch, I found out that they serve you free appetizers and you get a free drink! Needless to say, we were very much full after this. The downside: we didn’t get the free bread nor dipping oil prior to the meal.
And that was how roughly 3 weeks passed us by and we found each other in Seoul for our last weekend in the country. Of course, this also marked my friend’s departure date from Korea. We decided to send him off with a full stomach from The Loving Hut by Sinchon, an International chain of vegetarian restaurants. I had only tried it once before in San Francisco and I didn’t fall in love with it…
One of the things I loved about Korea were the temple stays. I had participated once before at Sudeoksa when I was still living there, but I wanted my friends to experience it too. After a bit of research, I encountered Golgulsa, a temple in which also hosts a sunmudo school, a type of meditative martial arts. I was psyched!
Once we arrived in Gyeongju, we took a taxi straight to Golgulsa and 40 minutes later, we were there. We got settled in and we were assigned a room as well as a set of clothes.
Ah, Busan. The last time I visited this city to the south was in October 2011, and now I was back again. The first time, I was sick and this time, my legs were aching with every twitch I made. I never had anything against the many stairs that Korea likes providing me with until now. Either way, when we arrived in Busan after our epic mountain hiking adventure in Jeju, we went straight to our hostel by the name of Indy House and settled down.
The next morning, we all woke up feeling as if we were put in a meat grinder and spit back out. It was going to be a fairly low key day, but I still forced them to pick some place to visit – we finally settled on Beomeosa – Busan’s famous temple. I had visited Busan’s Yonggungsa, which is a beautiful temple located by the sea, last time, but never got the chance to visit this temple. Before that, though, we stopped for some ice cream at Baskin Robbins (note: the American branches fails spectacularly when I compare it to the Korean ones).
And so begins our last day in Jeju and it was going to be a busy one of epic proportions. We had to (1) hike up and down the 18.2 kilometer/11.3 mile round trip Seongpanak Trail, (2) go back to the hostel to pay and pick up our luggage, (3) head to the rental car place to return the car, and (4) get to the airport to catch our plane to Busan.
Let us begin!