If I were to describe Jeju Island in colors, I’d choose green, orange and black. If I were to describe Udo, a small island off of the big island, I’d say it was black, white and blue. Grey has always been one of my favorite colors, so it’s not hard to imagine that Udo stole my heart from the beginning and never let it go. Renting a motorbike and scootering around the perimeter made it that much better.
Udo means cow island and is named that because the island is apparently shaped like a cow lying down.
Yeah, I don’t see it either. Anyways, let’s just move on to the pictures that make sense.
Have you ever been to Cow Island? Did you spy the hiding kitty?
Germany is one of those countries with its ducks all in a row when it comes to transportation. Public transportation is everywhere, convenient and cheap. Cars are small, sometimes battery powered and gas is expensive, which prohibits people from driving for dumb reasons. Scooters and motorcycles are more common than uncommon. Walking for long stretches is considered usual, and when you can’t walk, then the answer is to bike.
Biking is everywhere. Bikers have their own lanes, either part of the road or the sidewalk, and if you’re walking in the bike lane someone will yell at you and possibly just fly past you at high speeds, scaring you poopless. Most people have mastered one handed biking, biking with heavy bags, biking around sharp corners without wiping out. It’s amazing.
So, yeah, I took a lot of pictures of bicycles while I was in Germany. Why not?
The area of Taean, South Korea is tucked into the West coast under Seosan and seriously underpopulated. It’s covered partially in a national reserve and is essentially an old, disintegrated peninsula and the islands that remain, with a little, beat-up city in the middle. Taean doesn’t even have its own police station, they’re patrolled by the nearby city. Because of this geography, Taean is blessed with beaches galore. Beaches everywhere. Beaches, beaches and beaches! And since they can’t all be popular, that leads to a lot of little gems. Padori Beach is one of them. (Hagampo is also one of them, see that photoessay here!) If you live in the area, it’s the perfect place for a weekend trip.
If you’re into bright white sand and little cocktails with umbrellas in them, Padori is not the beach for you. (Nearby Mallipo Beach might be, though.) If you like rugged, interesting rocky landscapes at low tide and a little bit of sand to lay on further down the beach, then you’ll like Padori. Also, you can’t be too mad about a little garbage at the waters edge… though that is likely also the case at nearby Mallipo. It’s not like this is Aruba; it’s some random beach on the West coast of Korea! Perspective.
You’ll also like Padori if you’ve always wanted to go hunting for sea snails, small crabs and other urchins to cook and eat. You can get a pair of gloves from whatever place you’re staying and hit the rocks at low tide. I got there about eleven in the morning and was a bit late to the game, but still found plenty of little critters. Ten would have been better, since the sun isn’t completely out yet. If you stay at the place I stayed, the lovely landlord/renter will help you. (If you don’t, you’re missing out cause she is one friendly and generous lady! Just sayin’. Details at the end of this post.)
I’ll go ahead and get to the part you want to see: the photographs.
Where I stayed:
Jaeil House is a pension which provides plenty of rooms for two, right by the beach. I wouldn’t call these rooms four star hotels, but the landlady is a doll and owns a few other pensions in the same area. If you smile sweetly, maybe she’ll upgrade your room. (Beware of her five-year-old daughter, who is liable to chase you, tug at your arms and question your tattoos, lovingly.) Cost: Depending on the room, between 70,000W – 120,000W for two. Address: 충청남도 태안군 소원면 파도리 697
(697 Padori, Sowon-myeon, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea) Phone Number: 041-672-9247. I’m not gonna lie, she’s not much of an English-speaker, but she gets by. Getting a Korean speaker to make the reservation for you will be helpful, or just show up and use sign language.
This Saturday/Sunday, my friends and I went camping on the beach. Koreans love camping, so it was especially lucky that we not only found a nice stretch of beach to accommodate all of us (over 20 people!) but also had the beach almost entirely to ourselves. We all set up our tents, located all of our bags and cracked open a beer (or wine, or soju + juice) to enjoy in the sunshine. The communal environment was relaxing; we all shared pork, beef, ramen noodles, vegetables and drinks of all kinds and our laughter echoed over the empty beach for hours. Freezing as the water was, the brave few swam and the majority of us waded only as far as our calves. We played frisbee, “cricket”, soccer and hiked to the part-time island (low tide/high tide) to climb over rock piles and see the other side of the beach. After sunset, we built a huge bonfire on the beach and sat in a circle, warming our tired legs and soaking up the heat.
Thanks for the memories, Hagampo.
About Hagampo (학암포):
Hagampo is a beach located about 20km Northwest of Taeon (태안), in Chungnam Province. A local bus runs to Hagampo a few times each day or, alternatively, a taxi will cost about 26,000₩.
Friday, May 17th, was Buddha’s birthday, a national holiday in Korea. I had plans to go to Busan for the long weekend (along with most of Korea) but around 3pm on Thursday, a horrible sore throat decided to rear its head and discourage me from travel. Remembering that time I fainted on the Buenos Aires subway and the other times I nearly fainted on a Korean bus, because I’d been sick and refused to let it keep me down, I decided to make it a quiet(er) weekend and cancelled my ticket with a heavy heart.
have you ever done a bicycle rail car? this stretch of railway off of route 7 on the Eastern coast lets you do just that. the scenery is beautiful. it was such an interesting experience. you even go through a tunnel portion which is slightly useless, but the trippy lights and strange interior decorating make it entertaining at least. can’t change the railway, right?
it begins at Samcheok and the ride is some 5 kilometers. don’t worry, it requires little to no actual physical exertion.
this past weekend has been extra long; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were holidays and I didn’t have to work. instead of resting for a little bit (which would have been the better idea, in retrospect), I decided to go on a long road trip down the eastern coast of Korea.
the trip ended in disaster, which tends to happen when you travel with the wrong person, but I prefer not to go into any details. instead, I’ll focus on the best parts of the trip: the beauty of Korea and the cultural quirks I came across. Continue reading long weekend roadtrip out East
vacation time: it’s glorious. but it ends before you know it. I’m back in my little apartment already, although I have until tomorrow (Sunday) to be away… but when it’s time to go home and you know it, then it’s best to go home. and according to my bank account, it was definitely time.
(it’s weird how vacations just eat money, kind of like my cousins’ dogs eat the food we “accidentally” throw on the floor during dinner.)