Monday, June 3, 2013

Hiking in Seoul!

On the weekend of May 4th, I went to Seoul with my Korean friend May. She had to volunteer for a children's festival so I figured that I would tag along and just go exploring in Seoul while she was volunteering! Across the river from the festival I found some nice trails to hike and do some exploring in the Korean wilderness! It was nice and relaxing! The flowers were all in bloom, even the Tulips, which are my favorite flowers!

The path to cross the river!


The beginning of the hiking trails lined with beautiful flowers!


My lovely Tulips!


The waterfall I found while exploring! 


A nice picture from across the river!


My friend May teaching children about the importance of water conservation! 

The 2013 Lotus Lantern Festival!

On May 11th I went to Seoul to experience the 2013 Lotus Lantern Festival, which is a celebration that takes place the weekend before Buddha's birthday! This year Buddha's birthday was on Friday, May 17th so the festival took place May 10th-12th. Here is a link to read more about the different events that took place at this year's Lotus Lantern Festival. I went to the Lotus Lantern Parade and it was awesome to watch. The light up dragon was my favorite part. I hope you enjoy the pictures!










My favorite Picture! :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Suwon! :)

A question that I get from a lot of my friends back home in America is "What is your favorite part of/and or place in Korea?" Well I would like to answer that question now! Most people would probably assume that Seoul is my favorite city since it has so much to offer, but my favorite place in Korea is actually a city called Suwon, which is about 30 minutes by train south of Seoul. This also ties into one of my favorite experiences in Korea, which was going to Hwaseong Fortress, which is located in Suwon! I also spend a lot of time in Suwon and occasionally get to experience a homestay with a lovely and very kind Korean family!  I took a day trip to Suwon during midterm exams with one of my closest friends here, Charlotte, but I call her Charles :) and we went exploring around the city and throughout Hwaseong Fortress. We found a nice spot in Hwaseong Fortress, to sit and talk about life. It was wonderful because we were surrounded by the wonders of Korean nature with the sun shining nice and bright and the flowers in full bloom. It was a beautiful sight and we even got some yummy Suwon strawberries! Suwon is a great place and if you ever come to Korea, I definitely recommend that you visit Hwaseong Fortress as well as the city of Suwon!! 


It is Happy Suwon!! Where Gil is from! And it is happier than Seoul!! :)


Here is a picture of part of Suwon from Hwaseong Fortress! 


Here is a building within the walls of Hwaseong Fortress! It is pretty!
 

My picture with Charles!! We were at Suwon station waiting for the train to go to Jochiwon!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

This past Friday we went on another trip for culture class! This time we went to 속리산면, which is a Korean National Park that has a Buddhist temple and a few trails to hike. Camping is also an option there! It was very peaceful living the life of contemplation. I had a lot of deep and meaningful thoughts. We even saw a few Monks and one of them waved when he walked past us. It was really interesting looking around and seeing all of the Buddha statues and all of the Buddhists that came to practice their religion. It was a really pretty location too!


                     This is the giant Buddha and then there are a lot of little Buddhas within the buildings.


Here is one of the buildings with the little Buddhas. I would have taken a picture of the inside but picture taking was strictly prohibited, so here is the pretty outside of the building!




Here is the beautiful view of the mountains! I bet it is really pretty during the fall! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Everland!!

This past weekend, I met up with Gil in Suwon and then we went to Everland together! Everland is the largest theme park in South Korea and is considered by many to be the Korean equivalent to Disney World.  It was a lot of fun!! Not only was it a beautiful day outside thanks to the sunshiny weather, but we went during the Tulip festival, which was awesome because they are my favorite flower!!

My favorite ride was called the T Express and Gil actually recorded me during the entire ride. It was the biggest and fastest ride there, which is why the wait was so long. We stood in line for two hours but the wait was definitely worth it!!  The T Express can be seen in the distance of the photo below. It is the wooden roller coaster with the really steep drop at the very beginning.

At the end of the night right before Everland closed, we watched the fireworks display together. They were so pretty and it was a great way to end the night! I had a lot of fun!! Thank you Gil for planning such a fun day!! It was amazing!! : )


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Membership Training!

This past weekend, I had a wonderful adventure with all of my Semi-Classic friends! We went to MT, which is Membership Training for Semi-Classic. MT for Semi-Classic took place on an Island called 안면도, which is on the west coast of Korea. Most of the weekend was rainy so we did not spend very much time outdoors but we were able to visit the beach for a little while even though it was freezing cold!! However, the purpose of Membership Training is to create friendships within the Semi-Classic club by getting to know everyone better! We played many Korean games which were a lot of fun even if they were challenging due to the fact that they were all in Korean. However, our teammates were very nice and helpful when it came to translating the rules for us foreigners. We ate and drank to follow the Korean cultural customs and traditions and I even got to experience leading my first FM!! FM is an introduction cheer that is led by one person and all in Korean and it was so much fun!! I just have to memorize it now!! I wish I had pictures to post but maybe I can get some sent to me to post later. I ended up growing closer to a lot of amazing people and had a ton of fun! I am ready for the next practice to come to see them all again!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gyeongbokgung Palace!


Here is a picture of Gyeongbokgung Palace! It is an interesting location in Seoul because I would have pictured it to be in the middle of a more rural area, but it is surrounded by the busy city life of Seoul. I have not had the chance to go inside yet though. We arrived too late and did not realize that you have to buy your ticket an hour before the palace closes. It was sad but we ended up having fun in Insadong with shopping and eating Poop bread. I will be going back soon though! Hopefully with my roommates!! :)


That is my friend Lauren from Central eating Poop bread in Insadong!! It is not really poop, so do not be alarmed!!!! :) It is bread that is filled with a red bean paste and the bread is in the shape of poop.