19 Sep 2011

Suncheon

(16th Septmber until 18th September)

This Friday we, my girlfriend and me, had set off to Suncheon. Please do find on the right hand panel “Where is Artem?” to localize Suncheon. It is in the south east region (more in the centre of the South) in Korea.  There is not much bus service in the day to Suncheon, but on good times – they do not go all together. It was easy just to turn up at the station and set off to Suncheon.

In the direction off Suncheon, they only use “General” bus service, but it was more deluxe. It had a lot of room leg for a comfortable journey on the hot day.

The journey shall take around 3 hours as long the traffic is good, which it was and we had arrived well in time. As we needed to see the Tourist Information centre. We knew there will be a guided tour for the weekend.  An Eco-Tour which will run for two days, but unsure on how it will works and where to stay for Saturday night after the tour and start again.  The lady could not speak English in the tourism branch, so she called a friend off her to translate our conversation on what we wanted and read of the city.  With various method of communication we come to understand better on the tour and found out, we will stay in a local village overnight and finish the tour in the afternoon by next day.  After the phone call with the friend and tourist information centre, the lady asked – if we actually could speak Chinese.  Indeed we can, not myself but my girlfriend. In this way we had found out more in detail on what is going to happen tomorrow.  Why did she or we do not asked straight away if we could speak Chinese language?

After we paid the tourism information the fee for the tour – we gone out to find first a place to stay and afterwards went to the local market to find a place to eat.

In Korea isn’t very hard to find where to eat – but I usually look out where elderly people eat. I feel more assure that the food is clean.  Sometimes I feel that the place does not look clean, it might be just the design of the building or the attitude of working. (As you can see I have a bit of culture shock down slope.) We did found a place and I see a nice picture of noodles. As I had so much rice in these days I thought I go for the noodles. My Korean is still on zero – therefore I need to trust the picture.  Never again trust noodles in Korea – there had been very cold. I wanted something warm as it was for my dinner, but still a positive experience to receive food which I may would not order if I could have read or seen the ice cube in the picture.  It was a big partition, I guess it would fill me up but as it was cold it was just like a dessert to me with Kimchi.  I asked my girlfriend if I can look out for something warm to eat later on, as she was (un-)lucky to receive something hot but spicy.



We knew there is a river in this city and close by and had made our way to there. As it looked very interesting place when passing by over the bridge with the bus.  Indeed the place is nice, very relaxing. People cross the river by human made stone bridge – instant of using the bridge on the road. It is I guess more interesting and keeps you fit.





The next day has started and the tour is due to start at lunch time. We brought our bag pack to the tourism office and then had a look around the market. We may find something interesting to eat.  We found a vendor who is selling rice cakes in different colours, but we had been unsure if we need to boil them or can eat them like that. We try to communicate with her with hand and feet but it did not work. Suddenly a car drive pulls up her stall and just tokens a few of the rice cakes and ate them.  This is what we wanted to know, and bought couple of the colour full rice cake to try.

There is so many good things to try, but unfortunately I do not have a kitchen in my dorm to cut or even cook the fruits and vegetables. You also can not try them in restaurant as they mix it with other ingredients and the taste either gets lost or mixed with the others.

The time was getting closer to lunch time and we return back to the tourism office on where we meet our tour guide and the bus driver for the day. Not many people joined, just three couples (including ourselves).  We had also a big bus – at least 40 seats. We had therefore lots of room for everyone.

The first stop had been the Drama Set where many modern Korean drama been filmed (but set in the 70s and 80s). One of the most popular one is East of Eden. It is also apparently the biggest movie set in Korea – but actually it does not look as big as it had been promised on the tourism web pages. It is still a nice place of visit those who are interested in Korean drama.


The next stop was Seonamsa temple. It was more interesting and a nice place to visit. It is located a few kilometres inside the mountain and forest and a bit away from the city. You are fully surrounded by nature.  The tour had been done in Korean language, but we just could read the tourist board on information of the temple. Sometimes the tour guide could explain in English on the building or trees. We had stayed at the temple for three hours and mainly followed the tour guide.  If you come on your own, I am sure you need to spend a full day there. You can walk from Seonamsa temple to Songgwangsa temple.  I guess it is better to have a tour operator on who can pick you up from the other side of the temple. As I did not saw, any local bus station in this area.

The day is coming to the end and we get taken to our place where we will stay. It is in Suncheon Gaeraengyi Godeulppaegi village. It was truly a great experience to stay in one of the traditional houses of this area. As not sure if the opportunity will arise again. We had been told that we will receive simple food, if this is what the provided is simple food what would be the best food? We had various side dishes and the main course.

After the meal we had been given the opportunity to prepare Kimchi. It was an intressting experience on making Kimchi - and also finally knowing what exactly is all inside the Kimchi. We could take the Kimchi back home.



After the dinner my girlfriend and I token the chance to explore the area. As it was dark already we could not see much excluding fireflies who flown around us. It was also looking to be a thunderstorm as we could see the lighting, so we decided better to go back. When we return back, some of the tourist had been sitting by the fire. They have asked us and the rest to join, so we did. Only one of them could speak English. Maybe the others could understand us, but just not respond.

The next day has broken up. The two places of visit today would be Nagan Folk Village and Suncheon Bay. After the breakfast the tour operator come to our place and pick us up. Today we had a different tour guide, and she could not speak English. We still have followed the group until she given us free time to take a look around ourselves in the village.  The village is very nice, as people still actually live there or rent them for overnight stay to tourist. We had spent about two hours in the village and found a nice place on the wall to sit and relax. Where we also could see part of the village from above. 

The next and final stop is Suncheon Bay, but before that we had gone for lunch. It was served somewhere on the way to the bay. The food had been nice, but as we all already just had breakfast we did not ate much.

As we arrived in Suncheon Bay, the tour guide just given brief information of the place and told us we can go either left or straight ahead.  Actually is better to go left as, at one point you need to turn left to go straight. You pass through the Reed forest and continue your way up for 2km to the mountain point where you can observe the bay from the top. The measurements of distance do not take them too serious here. As it said 1km to walk, and next time it will say 1.2km to walk.  Just enjoy the nice walk up hill; it only takes around 30-45mins without stop.

Suncheon Bay
 I really recommend visiting Suncheon, it is so far the nicest place for nature. 

1 comment:

  1. we made our first kimchi there. You did not mention.
    paragraph 14 "The village is very nice, as people still actually life there" is "live" not "life".

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