Author’s note: ‘Revisited’ posts are intended to be a fresh look at a place I’ve visited before. In many cases, it will have been years between visits, and offers a chance to see a place with a fresh set of eyes (and more than likely, a much better camera than I had before!). While they won’t replace the old post, directions and information for visitors will always be included.
Despite a rather curious acronym, the island of Oedo (pronounced ‘weh-do’) remains gorgeous year-round. It certainly wasn’t warm enough to ditch the jacket, but the sizable percentage of evergreen plants or trees More >
And now for something a bit different – presenting a museum dedicated to those huge beasts from eons ago. The area claims some Real Dinosaur Footprints along the shore, which is conveniently within walking distance of the museum. The museum, however, remains a remote reach from Seoul – a day trip from Busan, certainly, and well worth a spot on any weekend itinerary to the area.
Never mind the fact that violence permeates the animation or computer-generated programs rated ’7′ - we have dinosaurs to watch!
It should be noted – albeit while smothering a laugh – that dozens of ‘no pictures’ More >
Save for King Sejong, that inventor of the Korean alphabet, Admiral Yi Sun-shin serves as Korea’s second-most looked-up-to historical figure. His deeds of defense during the attempted Japanese invasion in the late 16th century remain memorialized here and in other forms across the country.
This museum and shrine aims to document the weapons and clothes of the time – that big gun in the front is called a 천자총통 (cheon-ja-chong-tong) – and I dare say you’d need two hands attached to two fairly strong people to carry that thing.
Paintings and (reproduction) swords from the fight.
Clothing and More >
As a peninsula, Korea has had plenty of reasons to develop industries that play nice with the water mostly surrounding it. Centuries before Korea became North and South, there was plenty of shipbuilding activities, though much of the rhetoric is more recent. Yes, it looks like a ship, but the ‘mast’ actually serves as a look out over the southern sea.
If you arrive earlier in the day, you can also take in the 거제어촌민속전시관 (Geo-je eo-chon min-sok jeon-shi-gwan), or the Geoje Fishing Village Folk Museum right next door. This full-size version of Yi Sun-shin’s turtle ship is in-between the two More >
Destination: Yecheon Space Center – bounce on the moon, try the gyroscopic device, and watch dinosaurs? (Yecheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)3
IN many ways, the Yecheon Space Center (예천천문우주과학공원) is a microcosm of many other Korean tourist destinations. They sound fancy, and it’s clear there was plenty of money available to make the thing come into existence. Arriving, however, becomes more than half of the battle – that is, trying to ensure one’s way to an out-of-the-way place in a still-sometimes-foreign country and getting back in a way to keep to your schedule. Even after arriving, the compelling reason to make your way here often ends up leaving you disappointed, and the success of the center seems to run parallel with the More >
And now, for something completely different. You read the title, right – it’s a glorified garlic museum in Namhae. The full name is the Treasure Island Garlic Land (보물섬 마늘나라), and I believe the claim “The Only Garlic Exhibition Hall in the Nation”. Why someone else would even want to build a second one is beyond me.
Be sure to get some good pictures of the five-story tall garlic bulb outside. A couple of mascots are also outside, if you’d like to pose with them.
Off to the left side of the entrance, is a brief look at some of the products where garlic has been used. Be sure to look around More >
A band with one well-known song is called a one-hit wonder. A very small town might be called a one-horse town. Like Suwon in Gyeonggi-do, Jinju is a one-sight city – a pleasant enough town with precisely one main tourist attraction.
We arrived at Jinju’s intercity bus terminal, which had nothing about the fortress, its location, or even the direction in Korean or English. A bit disconcerting, considering there are dozens of buses a day arriving here from Seoul and dozens more from across Korea. In any case, the smartphone saved the day, pointing us in the correct direction and setting More >
To be clear, doing Haeinsa justice requires an all-day visit. Even when starting nearby the appropriate bus terminal in Daegu, Haeinsa demands a 1 1/2 hour bus ride (from Daegu) that makes several stops before you eventually pass through its front gate. Even then, arrival requires a ticket (3,000 won, paid to a ticketing person that boarded our bus and exchanged money for tickets) and for the bus to come to a complete stop. The parking lot, while sufficiently sized, is also deceptive – one would easily assume that Haeinsa was uphill from where the walking began. If you wish to hike the More >
Destination: Bugok Hawaii AKA Buddhist hell (Changnyeong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do) – where water park meets Buddhist hell (NSFW)1
This isn’t even one of the most bizarre sights around, but signs that this is a weird place start in the lobby.
Opened in 1983, Bugok Hawaii is one part hot springs resort, one part amusement park, one part outdoor attractions, and one part a display of Buddhist hell. Wait, what? Don’t ask me how all of these parts came together, as I genuinely do not know. Broken down into its smaller parts, there’s plenty to see and do around the premises – and plenty of weird, bizarre stuff that makes you go ‘huh?’. The attached hotel is upscale, but pricey; consider any of the other hotels in the area More >
A little slice of Germany on Korea’s southern coast.
Think cobblestone streets. Think brightly-colored roofs. Think of a couple dozen houses, built to exacting design specifications, set by the southern sea. It’s a bit surreal – is this really Korea?, I thought - and for a few minutes, you really can be fooled into thinking you’ve left the peninsula.
This German Village would not exist without the residents, of course. The village is only a decade or so old, but of course there’s a history lesson about its formation. During the 1960′s and 70′s, West Germany received thousands of South More >