Sunday, January 1, 2017

Zip-lining the New Year in!

Occasionally on Facebook is a posting by Kim's Free Travel offering an almost-free trip that is sponsored by the government. The point of being "free" is to encourage tourism to distant places and to get pictures of foreigners having fun. Yeah, in the 5 places scheduled to visit, Youngryeong Kim, our guide, had to take pictures of us having fun and send them back to the government. Almost scared how these picts will be used, but in the meantime, our whole busload of very internationally mixed people had a blast!

On a side note, our bus represented one of the most diverse trips I've ever been on, and we weren't clique-y but could easily shift groups a bit and mix and mingle before migrating back to the friends we knew or new friends we made on the bus. Nationalities that I remember: Korean (our guide), Taiwanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Mongolian, Kenyan, Egyptian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Turkey, Croatian, Czech, Madagascar person (Malagasy?), Peruvian, Mexican, French, and the Korean-American and myself the only Americans. Amazing mixture of very fun people!
Most of the people from our very cool international group!
In and around Gangjin, Jeollanamdo

1) Gangjin Dawon Tea Plantation (cancelled and was re-routed to a Literary Museum)

2) Dasan Chodang (cancelled but re-routed to a Literary Museum and on to Chaeseokgang)
  • The house where Jeong Yak-yong (pen-name Dasan, 1762-1836) lived during his exile. He was a scholar of the late Joseon Dynasty and is noted for his great contributions to the development of practical learning in Korea. After he was expelled to Gangjin for writing a secret letter of appeal for religious freedom, which later was named ‘the Hwang Sa-yeong Baekseo’, he lived in the house for 18 years while studying practical learning, Silhak. Most of his renowned books were written in Dasan Chodang. 

3) Baengnyeonsa Temple (re-routed ... the government changed the IT on the day of departure)
  • The temple’s most popular attraction is Forest of Common Camellias

4) Maryang Port (map)
  • the port area with elevation nearby and where we with other will view the rising New Year sun
  • a location where many Koreans gather to watch and celebrate the New Year in (Good location because Koreans greatly enjoy watching the sun rise over the East Sea or over the water ... the water plays is like a giant reflection pool, a feature of many Korean temples; water is where the dragons, symbols of good luck, reside)

새해복 많이받으세요! 2017 is here!

5) Gaudo Island - the southern ocean (map) (photos)
  • Little island connected to the land with a long pedestrian bridge
  • Will walk through the bridge
  • Beautiful landscape on the bridge
  • Here we will ride the zip-line
  • Where we will also have a big sashimi feed! (FREE, usual price 20,000 KRW)
  • 1000 m length ... a whopping 1 kilometer long!
  • longest in Korea
  • (FREE) usual price: 25,000 KRW

And with everyone laughing and expressing crazy energy after that incredible zip over the water, we made our picture purchases of ourselves coming in for a landing, and then happily got on the bus for the long trip back to Seoul.

Thus begins another year ... and one that sure started with a lot of energy!

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