It’s been a long time without a post here, but our time in Hong Kong is quite intense! Anyway, today another megacity came back to our minds, the capital of South Korea – Seoul. Hitchhiking back there from the rural side of the country, we were hit with the noise, crowds and the city lights. Fortunately, we made the most of the couchsurfing service before it changed its policies and let down the majority of their users recently… Yet again we were lucky to enjoy our stay in quite a place! The couchsurfing host named Bibi offered us the flat of her friend who was away, the whole place for us, for free and for as long as we want it, amazing!Continue Reading
Our favorite accommodation on the road is our tent – bought once and sleep anywhere for free forever after. Not everywhere though it was used, oftentimes because of the low temperature or just the crave for better comfort and shower. In South Korea guesthouses are not so cheap and although couchsurfing worked well, there’s not that many hosts outside of the capital city. Luckily this beautiful country has another very special kind of sleep to offer. Jimjilbang is a type of a public bathhouse, which is a rather spacious building with sex segregated hot tubs of various kinds, sauna, salt room and showers. In other unisex rooms there are Korean traditional kiln saunas, snack room (sikhye and smoked egg, mmm…), PC room, TVs and, yes, area for sleeping.Continue Reading
The majestic figure of Hallasan Mountain, with its peak often covered with clouds, shapes a distinctive profile against the sky. This massive natural monument is the highest mountain in South Korea (tops out at 1950 m) forming the bulk of its largest island Jeju. As a volcano it’s, classified as an active one, but since it has not erupted for more than 5,000 years, its status is argued by scientists to be ‘dormant’. There is a national park surrounding the summit, and the area is deemed a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. No matter where you go on the island, you will see the magnificent crater painting the horizon with its scenic nature, and it will entice you to explore its wonders.
The time has stopped in the abandoned Alps Ski Resort near Sockho in Gangwon province close to the North Korean border (DMZ zone). Opening its doors in the 1980s, it was the first destinations of its kind in South Korea welcoming tens of thousands of skiers every year. Except the ski slopes the resort had every amenity you can imagine including golf, bowling, swimming pools, bars, a night club and restaurants. Now, once a booming destination has been abandoned since 2006 after its owner went bankrupt in the face of growing competition.
Our driver with gestures and mimics asked us, are we sure that this is the place. Back in Seoul, he picked us up from the petrol station, tried to figure out translator on his phone, failed to do it, and so we drove for over 2 hours listening to Korean radio stations. The night full of insect and bird sounds welcomed us to our destination. Very anxious about our first work exchange experience, we knocked on the gate and soon were invited inside. The next two weeks in this place were quite a quiet, purifying and magical time in which we learned much more than we’ve expected.