Monday, April 30, 2012

Photo A Day: April 22-30

Apr 22 - I found a recipe on Pinterest for meatball sliders; they were really good. A good change from Korean food. 
Apr 23 - Bought some ddukball for a snack today. But it is basically deep fried rice cake, I think, with a spicy, sweet sauce. It's really good. 
Apr 24 - They started hanging up lanterns in town for Buddha's birthday... a month early. 
Apr 25 - The Avengers came out in theaters today. I decided to go see it when I got off work. It was good, I liked it. I was worried that having too many superheroes would make it bad, but Joss Whedon was able to balance it out. 
Apr 26 - What a gorgeous day! The mountains are becoming green again! 
Apr 27 - The bright lights of Sanbon. 
Apr 28 - Some broken English we found on the menu's at Kraze Burger. 
Apr 29 - The beautiful lanterns! 
Apr 30 - Wearing in my new TOMS in some gorgeous 80 degree weather!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


In a previous post I talked about the sugar candy called bbopki. Today, I went to Myeong-dong that sells them all over the place and I wanted to post a picture of what it looks like. This one has two hearts on it, but all of them come with different shapes on them. Mmm, yummy burnt marshmallow flavored  sugar disk.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to make Gimbap!

So, the Seoul, Korea Facebook page posted a YouTube video on how to make Gimbap and I thought to share it to all of you. Gimbap is delicious and comes in many types. I tend to eat Gimbap several times a week. So enjoy this video!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Photo A Day: April 15-21

Apr 15 - Went to see Titanic in 4D. What a ride that was. I felt a bit seasick after the movie. 
Apr 16 - Today was a gorgeous day out! 
Apr 17 - A couple days ago, I order a new camera on G-Market (a Korean Amazon) and I got it in the mail today. I have been wanting to get a small portable point and shoot to carry around with me everywhere, as opposed to my big DSLR. I found this one for ₩118,000 (~$100). It's a fairly new camera in Korea, and its not even out in the states yet. It also has a front LCD screen for self photos and when the front LCD is off, you can't even tell there is one there. It was a good deal. 
Apr 18 - I love my walk to work! 
Apr 19 - Two of my students came to school wearing the same shirt. They were super cute! 
Apr 20 - One of my kids came to school with this shirt on. Umm... I don't think Korean's understand what "make love" means. 
Apr 21 - Went to Starbucks Happy Hour today. Got myself a half priced caramel frappaccino on this "beautiful" rainy day! Feels like home.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Photo A Day: April 8-14

Apr 8 - Happy Easter from Korea! 
Apr 9 - Today is my best friends birthday! Happy Birthday Emily! I miss you lots! 
Apr 10 - A new favorite beverage of mine. I think it's funny that they describe it as having a "fascinating taste." 
Apr 11 - It's not a very good photo, because i took it at night with my ipod, but I'm happy spring is finally coming to Korea. 
Apr 12 - This is a chamchi jumuk bap. It is a ball of rice with tuna in the center and then flakes of seaweed on the outside. It is a really good snack, especially for only ₩1000! Chamchi means tuna, jumuk means ball, and bap means rice. 
Apr 13 - The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, which is awesome because my entire walk to work is filled with these trees! 
Apr 14 - I went to my favorite accessories store here in Korea and bought some headbands. The one in the middle is for me while the other two are for my moms, DeDe, friend who liked the ones I sent my mom a month ago.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Photo A Day: April 1-7

Apr 1 - Today I was able to go bungee jumping again for the third time in my life. This time I jumped over Hantan River at 52 meters high. It isn't as high as the one I did in the states, but it sure felt pretty high. 
Apr 2 - Went to school today, not thinking it would rain today, so I wore my Toms. BAD IDEA! When I got off work it was pouring down rain with some lighting. My Toms were soaking wet along with my socks. 
Apr 3 - The weather today was very crazy. It reminded me of home. In the morning, it was either raining or snowing. It was also windy. Then, by afternoon it was sunny. 
Apr 4 - Oh, Sam! You crazy boy. 
Apr 5 - The Hunger Games finally came out in Korea and I went to see it before work today. 
Apr 6 - I discovered this tag on my pencil case. I think it's funny that it was designed in Korea but made in China. 
Apr 7 - Full moon tonight. I was able to get a pic as it was just above the buildings and when it still had an orange tint.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DMZ Tour and Bungee Jumping

This weekend I went on an overnight trip with a tour program called Adventure Korea. They took us to the DMZ where the 2nd incursion tunnel is located. Before I go into too much into it, you may wonder what the DMZ is. DMZ stands for Demilitarized Zone. It is the location between North Korea and South Korea, where no one is allowed. It is also heavily guarded on both sides. The DMZ is 250 km long (160 miles) and 4 km wide (~2.5 miles). There are 2 km on both sides of the border for both countries. Then there is also another area called the Citizens Zone, which is also 2 km wide, where no one can enter without special permission. We were able to but we also had to go through several checkpoints. There were minefields everywhere as well. The DMZ is also the biggest tourist attraction for people visiting Korea.

One of the many checkpoints. In those structures, there are explosions. So, if there is an enemy tank driving through, they can stop it.
These signs were everywhere. Photo credit to Alison.
We first went to the Iron Triangle War Place. It is the main tourist office for guided tours for this  area of the DMZ. We did the same tour they put on but we were led by the Adventure Korea tour guides. The hall is responsible for preserving the history of national security, and historical places. Near here, we can go down to the Hantangang River. The part of the river we were at is called Goseokjeong. There is a 10m high rock that has a natural cave where the Robin Hood of Korea,  Im Kkeokjeong, was thought to hide in.

The Iron Triangle War Place
Robin Hoods hiding place
We then went to the 2nd Underground Tunnel. It was discovered in the DMZ, after a Korean soldier heard explosions below from underground. It took several days to find the tunnel. It is located between 50 to 160 m (160 - 520 f) below ground. The tunnel is 3.5 km (~2 miles) long. We did not go anywhere near the far into the tunnel.

It's a long way
I had to duck a lot. Photo credit to Alison
A sectional view of the tunnel
Our next stop was the Cheorwon Peace Observatory. It is a 3-story building build in August 2007. The 2nd floor is used to lookout into the DMZ. There are even binoculars people can use to look into North Korea and even one of there lookout towers on the other side of the DMZ.

The fence line for the DMZ.
The DMZ with North Korea in the distance. There is even a North Korean watch tower on the left mountain.
We went to the Woljeong-ri Station. It was a the north end of the Gyeongwon train line and used to make frequent stops to the North. There is a sign "The Wild Horse Wants to Run," in reference to the remains of a train that was destroyed by the North during the Korean War.

The old train station
An old train sign
The Wild Horse
We also went to the Labor Party Building which is a three-story building. It was used by North Korea until the break of Korean War. It was destroyed by North Korea, when they were destroying the city. Many people who were here during the anticommunist movement were later tortured and killed. Behind the building lies the remains of the people. Bullets and iron chains can still be found here.

The Labor Party Building. Only the infrastructure remains.
Lastly, we went to Baengmagoji Battlefield. It was one of the hard-fought battlefields during the war. It is also known as the Battle of White Horse. There was a series of battles for dominate hilltop position during the war. The hilltop is called White Horse and is 395 meters (1,296 ft) high. During ten days of battle, the control over the hilltop changed 24 times. Afterwards, the hill looked like a threadbare white horse, hence the name. There is a monument built on a smaller hilltop nearby, which is where we went to. It is dedicated to both the Korean and foreign soldiers who died during the battle. From an aerial view, the monument is supposed to look like a bird, for hopes when there is unity, the bird will be flying into the north. The monument is in three sections. The first is the memorial for the soldiers. The next, is a gallery with the history of the battle. And the last, symbolizes the hands of the Koreans in the air for the hope of unity.

The three different sections of the monument
White Horse hill
After our full day, we headed to Odemi Village where we stayed in a traditional style guest house that is located 6 km (~3.7 m) from the DMZ. We also learned how to make Tofu in a traditional way. We had a a traditional Korean cuisine and then after dinner, we had a huge bonfire.

Showing us how to make Tofu
The next day, we went to Taebongdaegyo Bridge. This is where we bungee jumped off the top of the bridge down towards Hantangang River. The jump was 50 m (164 ft) high. I had bungee jumped in the past before on a bridge that was higher than this one, but this one felt like it was higher. The bridge I jumped off before was in a more narrower valley while this one was more open. I was still able to jump on 3 and it was awesome.

Taebongdaegyo Bridge
Here is my jump.

Me jumping
After we bungee jumped, he headed back to our lodgings and had bibimbap. Something that I found out about the rice in Odemi Village, is that it is the highest quality rice in Korea and the most expensive. We were able to eat the rice with our lunch. The rice did have a bit of a different texture to it, which I liked.

Our group in front of our lodgings.
We had some free time after lunch, where we could bicycle around the town and then we headed back to Seoul. It was a very tiring and busy weekend but I enjoyed it very much. It was also quite peaceful going to this part of Korea. It was much more quiet and relaxing. Seoul is very crowded and people are always in a hurry, while it wasn't like that here. The DMZ has been on my list of things to do in Korea since I've gotten here and now I can check it off.

The three flags they fly in Cherwon
The Adventure Korea tour group in front of the entrance to the 2nd tunnel.
More photos will be posted very soon! Also check out my Flickr account!