Tag Archive: beach


Biking Around Hoi An

Ready at 9 for the bike ride which ended up being fantastic. Beautiful view the whole time and it was not hilly. The worst part was not really being able to see because of concentrating on the tiny path.

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Our first stop was to look at rice but myself and another ran to the baby ducks. Then we had the chance to do traditional garden watering (aka someone else’s yard work), then water buffalo riding which was a lot of fun even though it kept hitting you with its tail. At least he didn’t sit when I was on him, like he did with one of the others. Next was the beach for an hour and a half of which we were (mostly) in the water. Beautiful beach, sand, water and waves except for he bit of trash we saw (which was a lot less than we saw on the rest of the trip). Next we went back to the bikes for a bit to get to a boat which many people fell asleep on, not a lot to see at times but coming back to Hoi an that way as nice.

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No problem on the overnight train. Went to bed around 10:00pm because everyone else in my car did and ended up being good because we didn’t get in to Nha Trang late, getting in just past 4:30am. It came to one screeching halt and I was scared (as the last overnight train I took when I was 16 in China went from being 12 hours to 24 hours due to mudslides) and fell back asleep to it moving.

Got to our hotel at 5:00am and 4 of 8 rooms were ready so we shared again and slept till about 8am. On the way to the hotel we saw the beach and tons of people working out.

Went to breakfast at 9 and it took quite a long time to get our food (turns out it was because our tour guide asked for the food to come when he was done playing pool with some of the people on the tour) from the sailing club. I got a frittata which was very oily and it was $5. Here I decided to spend the rest of the day at Vinpearl Land (amusement park) and got 3 others to join me.

Taxi back for 20,000 dong again and arrived at 7 when dinner was at 7:30. We went to the party area and walked into a sports bar where the lady was quite pushy and the music was loud so we left and went to Oasis where we ended up getting 4 free shots. Salad and beer for $3.50. After we talked to Red Apple because the lady boy at Oasis said it was good and it was decent. Buy one get one on cocktails. Then back to Oasis for our free drinks after 11:00. Home by 12:30 after trying to go to the beach party but they wanted over $5.00 so no. The beach should always be free.

Woke with a bit of a hangover from all the mixes but great weather so I signed up for snorkeling which picked us up at 8:35. Breakfast was a bit better than usual but terrible compared to what other people staying at the hotel got.

Left for dinner with the group at 4:50 and went to Yen which was on Trip Advisor and some went to yesterday. Spring rolls and lemon juice for 80,000 dong. I thought they weren’t going to be fried and then they were so I was a bit sad for my health but they were so good. Drink took a while.

Around Sihanoukville

Woke at 8:30 to leave at 9 for breakfast which was included in our day out boating and trekking for $20. We didn’t get to use the menu though (like we thought the day before when we booked it), just 2 eggs and a baguette (and a plate of bacon and fruit). Then a bus to where we got on the boat. The river we went down was Pre Toek Sap and we stopped at Ma Ou Ranger Station (I think) which would be a nice lookout if it was not raining. It was a fun building to go up because it was old and dangerous and the top floor had a hole from a fire which is stuck my legs though.

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Back on the boat Visna (our local guide) was cooking our BBQ barracuda/chicken which was interesting because it was a fire on our tiny boat. We saw lots of fishermen including ones looking for scallops or ones looking or clams and some diving birds. No dolphins though.

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Then we stopped at Thomor Tom beach dolphin station for lunch where the park rangers cooked (reheated) and were super nice. The barracuda was delicious. Coke in a glass bottle too. Beautiful looking beach but the smell was terrible once we go there probably because of the bathroom.

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From here we hiked to what is now Chinese beach but was Koh Sam Pouch beach (because of Chinese development even though it is a national park). We saw lots of water buffalo who made funny faces, a mother chicken and her babies, a huge pig (well, a few) and some colorful plants. It was raining and muddy the whole day, but that didn’t stop us!

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The beach was pretty nice and there were waves and pretty shells. Also a very long pier and a swing for fun pictures.  We were here about an hour.

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Next we drove to Kbal Chay Waterfall. One was massive! So many levels of the fall as well. A smaller one met up with it and this was less powerful so we got some pictures in it. Very slippery in the area because of moss on rocks underwater. We then walked a bit to a pool to swim in that lead to the small waterfall. It was cold and clear but didn’t look clear because of the rocks at the bottom. Such a strong current that when I did the breast stroke I didn’t move.

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Back into the van to go to Wat Leo Temple which is famous for monkeys. The temple itself was beautiful and had lots of decorations up. Sit, Visna and the bus driver made strange sounds and called the monkeys over for us to feed them and take photos. We then went to a lookout at the temple which, again, would be better on a clear day. Still great. Van back to the hotel.

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I sent postcards this morning for 3,000 each. Europe and Asia should have been cheaper but I’m not bother by 200 for the 3 that didn’t go to the Americas.

Dinner at the same place (Angkor Beach Bar) and I got veggie curry for $3 and fresh lime juice for $1 when it should have been $1.25. Woop. Leaving at 7 tomorrow for Vietnam.

Took a bus between Phonm Penh to Sihanoukville. Supposed to be public but changed to private probably because of problems in the city. Bus took 4 hours and we stopped halfway though.

I was supposed to have my cooking class this afternoon but when we called they said no because it’s the afternoon and I’m only one…Strange because the G Adventures tour guide said it was all set.

Went to Angkor Beach Bar at 2:30 and I got vegetable noodles and a drink for $5. Some of us then went shopping and I got a red dress for $5. She started at $10 but I said I got one in Phnom Penh for $5 so it worked out. This one is nicer though.

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Then went to the beach and couldn’t find everyone else. Only two of us had the courage to go into the trash filled ocean and it was super warm. Then to the pool. Dinner at 7:00 at the same place. This time I had a vegetable kebab and 3 drinks for $11. There were some fireworks going off which was pretty and reminded me of Korea. Next we walked with Sit to explore and came back but further down the beach to a horribly cheap foreigner bar. I left around 1:15.

This bar was sleazy to the max. they kept coming around with bottles and telling people to drink from the free drink bottle and making announcements that you got drinks for dancing or just going to the bar. One guy did “40” shots of laughing gas and could hardly function (but it was fine and didn’t have long term effects, so he said) and another passed out and had to be carried somewhere. At least there was a fire show.

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This weekend I did a hike from Jangsan subway to Songjeong Beach to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple.

We started to follow these directions to Songjeong and these to Haedong Yonggungsa Water Temple but the Koreans with us kept asking people along the way and then changed course multiple times….so below is what we actually did.

From exit 1of Jangsan, turn right for a bit (past what I think was a school because it had tons of kids toys out front) and then left at the big intersection and follow that until you are at the top of a hill. This will all be though apartment complexes.

From the top of the hill turn left and go uphill on the wooden path next to the road. We got to the top of that and were told we had to go back because it is ‘too dangerous’ to go down the way I wanted. This was from Koreans, and most of us agreed that it probably was not dangerous at all (in a country where you’re not allowed to go in the ocean more than 20 feet and have to wear a life vest at water parks, something being ‘dangerous’ could be exaggerated) but some people were wearing flip-flops and the Koreans with us didn’t want to go that way.

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Here we went back to the start of the wooden path and went down some steps and followed the road, veering left and following the road past some seafood restaurants until it ended and we climbed over some rocks to get to a railroad we had to walk next to for a bit. A train came which was pretty scary (and hot) and we saw a sign later saying there is a 10,000,000 won fine for walking there (although at the place we started it was obvious that many people did this and the sign there just said ‘danger, keep a look out and don’t walk on the tracks’).

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When we could, we stopped walking next to the tracks and followed another road along the coast until we got to Songjeong Beach.

HIke to Temple 026We hung out here for a bit and listened to funny announcements, such as ones telling us that this beach is for relaxing, and no ball playing is allowed or another one saying that if you take your pet into the water it will confuse other people so don’t do it.

From the other end of the beach walk left (if you go right you will go around a little island) and walk along the street until you get to a CU. We went behind it and downhill to another fishing village and kept going as straight as we could. At one point the paved road ends and becomes a dirt road, then there are some pipes we thought were for sewage which you have to jump over and walk along a very dirty beach. After that you go into a wooded area which has the trail. I wanted to keep going past the CU and turn in when the wooded area started, so if you want to skip the fishing villages and jumping over a sewage line you can try that.

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From here we went around the coast and saw a few military buildings and a look out point.

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To get to the temple we had to wiggle under a gate. I’m sure there was a way to not have to do this as we saw some people coming from that way and signs inside saying to go a different way than the one we came, but oh well.

Mudfest is a festival in Boryeong that goes on for 9 or so days in July. It takes about 2 hours from Seoul or 5 hours from Busan on a bus, but you can take the KTX as well. There’s groups that leave from Busan and Seoul (and I’m sure other cities and towns) so you don’t have to worry about planning anything.

Mudfest 003There is some free mud, but most you have to pay to get into an area where there are slides and the like but the lines are massive. In hindsight I wish I had not gone there because we didn’t go in for long because we didn’t want to wait an hour (with no food or drinks) in the sun to get back into mud. The one that we did do was fun, where you run and jump onto a slide, like slip n slide but inflated. There were some rocks on it though, which I think was from peoples feet.

The beach there was nice because it had real waves! That’s something we’re not used to in Busan and one guy got hit with a wave so hard he fell and got all cut up! He was okay though. Going in the ocean is great for cleaning off if you don’t want to go all the way back to the minbok (the place we were staying, and it seemed like everyone was staying) which is like a hostel but you sleep on the floor.

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At one point, the Blue Eagles were there and did a mini-show.

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At night my friends played music and there were fireworks.

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Seongsan ‘Sunrise’

While we were on Jejudo (Jeju Island) it was cloudy nearly the whole time, and that included the morning of Sunday, when we wanted to go to Seongsan Ilchulbong, or the sunrise peak. At times you could not even see the mountain, and I wasn’t too upset because all the pictures that you see of it are with beautiful skies so this gives a different perspective.

You can take the bus that says Ilju Road East Direction (Road Number 1132) to ‘Seongsan (Ilchulbong)’ as it says on the map or ‘Seongsan Office’ as it says over the bus speakers and at the bus stop. This will take 90 minutes from Terminal and cost 3,000 won.

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The bus goes along the coast so I was able to take some nice pictures there as well.

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Once arriving at Seongsan Office we were a bit concerned as it might have been better to get off at the next stop–Seongsan Entrance–so we walked there and then left to the ‘beach’. There is great view of Seongsan from here, and it is where people who want to go scuba diving can leave from.

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From there we walked toward Seongsan and to Dongamsa Temple, which is right in front. At this time I thought it would be great to get a picture with the sign and mountain in the background but went to the bathroom first…to come back to no mountain! The clouds had come in in those 5 minutes and the mountain was hidden. We waited 10 minutes and it came out again though.

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Walking further past Seongsan you get to the entrance where you have to pay 2,000 won to go in. We didn’t want to go up because our legs hurt from hiking Hallasan the day before, there were a million people and it was beyond humid to the point where you just felt sticky. Plus with all the clouds you would not be able to see out. However the sign said it would take 50 minutes return to go to the top and back. There is another observatory to the left of the mountain that allows for great pictures of both the mountains and famous female divers. They are ‘grandmas’ who dive to the bottom without masks to get shellfish for the local restaurants. They put on shows at 1:30pm and 3:00pm.

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From there we took the bus to the Lava Caves, bus stop Manjanggul (ManJang Cave) which takes 40 minutes and costs 1,000 won.

Song-do Hike

This past weekend there was a hike in Busan to Song-do Beach. Taking a bus from Nampo out toward Song-do but stopping by a market and uphill street you can start going up toward the peak–which is just very steep but not too far.

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There were lots of flowers starting to bloom.

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After a few more ups and downs we ended up at a park that overlooks a big rock of an island. There are some rocks jutting out in other places with lots of colors.

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Then, back the same way we came with a few changes to stay closer to the water and we were at the beach. There is a beach side walk that we could have taken back, but I went with the group that kept hiking. There are statues in the water of whales tales and dolphins–pretty odd, especially at low tide when you can see the change in color and rust on the dolphins.

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Fire Festival

As it is the first full moon after lunar new year (Chinese new year to most Westerners), there was a fire festival today. All over the beaches of Busan there were fires set where people threw all sorts of stuff from paper planes to plastic bags so heavy it seemed like people were struggling to throw them in. The fire started at 4:50 (sun was still up which my friends and I thought was odd) but went well into the night.

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There was also lots of holes with candles in them and a set up for candles where you paid for one and they put it out to spell…something. We didn’t get to see all of it.

Fire Festival 016 Fire Festival 022There was also a dance going on where the music made my brain bleed after 1 minute because it was the same thing over and over again, and the lyrics only took up 10 seconds or less. This lasted for about half-an-hour…the dance was interesting to watch (I say interesting because we couldn’t figure out what it really symbolized) and kept changing up what they were doing. There was the red side and the blue side and sometimes they were apart and sometimes together–there were even kids who came from each side and seemingly got married after walking on the backs of their sides. Then there was a girl in white who danced in the middle and brought them together one last time.

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Above is where the kids walked, below is where they stood after. I took a video of them doing it, but some of the other dancers did it again after so I took photos then (thinking the walking on backs part was over)Fire Festival 119 Fire Festival 142

Of course, at the end, Gangnam Style was played on repeat. And everyone went crazy.