Tag Archive: bridge


Hue

Got on a bus from Hoi An for 4 (turned 3) hours to Hue stopping at a lookout point called Thua Thien Hue but didn’t get enough time to go to the top (so I didn’t see the point in stopping at all). Yes, nice views, but if there is a hike why not give us time to do it? The sells were very pushy and touched me twice L we also saw a truck full of dogs three times which smelt terrible. The last time we saw them they were getting sprayed down.

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Upon arriving in Hue, we went to lunch at Ushi where I got vegetable soup that ended up being just morning glory in water…only 15,000 though. Walked to central market (went over Truong Tien Bridge which is an ugly color and has construction) which was a lot like Goje market in Busan with souvenirs because it had vegetables and cooking things and housework items. We then walked through a park next to Perfume river and I told a guy I was Korean just for him to go away. On to the Imperial Citadel (palace) which cost 105,000 (which is much more than 55,000 as advertised in lonely planet). It’s pretty much the only thing to see in the city.

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It was mostly construction and trash which makes me question Vietnamese people–why not take care of your history? This was not the first thing we had seen like this. We’re not even sure what we saw because there were no signs. Their map and the lonely planet map didn’t add up either.

The pagoda/rest area-gondola was really nice as were the bushes made like turtles which were both inside the Purple Forbidden City. There was a nice dragon statue just beyond the main gate too, but we could not get over the trash. Closed at 5:30 and one in our group was very concerned we would not get out. Just then, matt found the temples and Hien Lam Pavilion which all looked beautiful. We then walked back to the Ngo Mon gate to find it was closed…so we went around to the next gate (Hien Hhom) to leave. I tried to go in that one at first but it is only an exit. The palace is a lot smaller than it seems. Back to the hotel for 6:30 for dinner at 7:30.

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Dinner at Le’s was good food with good drinks (but really standard drink deals) but the staff were too ‘helpful’. I don’t need someone behind me the whole time or chatting to me about my water bottle and such. They gave us jenga after dinner and asked if we were too tired because we didn’t want to play. Weird. 39,000 for fried rice with vegetables but really good. They were very on top of clearing plates too. Walked to Brown Eyes for free shots after but I went home because I was tired.

In the morning, some of us decided to go to Thin Mu. It was supposed to be 3km from a bridge that was 1 km away but it turned out to be 6.4km total so someone messed up on the map.

The walk was interesting because there was no sidewalk and lots of rundown temples and trash. Another sign of the Vietnamese not taking care of their country and history. Eventually found the pagoda at 11:40 meaning we had to go straight back so 4 of the group could check out and we all could eat. Got some good pics and saw the car a monk rode in before he burned himself because of abuses the government took on monks.

Haggled from 40,000 each to 22,000 each for a boat and then she dropped us at a different spot than she said she would (1 bridge early) because of police (?)

Back to the hotel to find a good restaurant and it turned out DMZ was supposed to be good, based on Trip Advisor. Service had no idea what was going on and food was okay. #5 on trip advisor? Not anymore…Our server could hardly take our orders but she understood when I said their ranking was about to go down. Most got pizza or pasta to bulk up for a 14 hour train ride.

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This weekend I went to Jejudo (Jeju Island)! It’s a special part of Korea that has 7 UNESCO sites and is considered a honeymoon spot as well as an adventure area.

Hallasan is the highest mountain in Korea (and one of the sites). It is easier to climb than the 2nd and 3rd highest peaks because it is a volcano, and thus not as steep. Only two paths go up to the top: Seongpanak (the way we went up) and Gwaneumsa (the way we went down). You have to get to certain points by certain times, depending on the sunlight. For Seongpanak, you have to get to Jindalrae Office by 12pm in November-February, 12:30pm in March, April, September, October, and 1pm from May though August. This Office takes 3 hours to get to from the start, according to maps. For Gwaneumsa, you have to get to Samgakbong Shelter by the same times as Jindalrea Office on the Seongpanak trail, but I’m not sure how long that takes to go up–I believe it is longer as I read that it was harder.

From the Airport, you can take the 100 bus to Terminal for 1,000 won, then the 5.16 Road bus to Seong-panak for 1,500 won. The Jeju book says that you can take a bus to Gwaneumsa, but at the Airport they said you could not. Also there was none when we came down and we took a taxi to town for 15,000 won (should be about 20,000 won to the airport, or from the airport if you want to start on this hike). See below for the bus times from terminal.

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We arrived at the start of the park at 10:30 (should get there at 10:00 to start) to a ticket lady who was telling us we had to rush…but she kept talking and talking…anyway, you will go past Sara shelter, a detour (which takes 40 minutes return that we did not have) called SaraOreum Observatory, and then Jindalrae Shelter. We made it though! with 6 minutes to spare before 1:00! Myself and everyone who had just gotten there before us or arrived after were very excited but when I gave a thumbs up to the guy in the box with the loudspeaker he just seemed bored…so be warned of him!

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From Jindalrea Shelter it should take 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the top of the volcano/mountain. It is mostly wooden stairs. The view on the way up isn’t amazing…compared to whats on the other side!

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You ‘have’ to leave the top by 2:30 to be sure to make it to the bottom before dark but I didn’t see anyone enforcing that rule (again, a guy in a box with a loudspeaker).

The walk down via Gwaneumsa was beautiful. There were more places to stop and a bridge that looked a lot like the one we went over for the Jagged Ridge Hike. There was also a warning for falling rocks so be careful! Also some cooled lava to walk over, and an old cave for storing ice. The last 1 hour and 30 minutes of this trail is a nature walk, so there are a lot of information signs about wildlife and vegetation which was pretty interesting. Jeju 121 Jeju 134 Jeju 138Jeju 158 Jeju 162

From here, as stated above, we took a taxi to town for dinner, as the only restaurant at the bottom was closed.

Jagged Ridge Hike

Busan Haps posted an article about the Jagged Ridge Hike, making it sound much easier to get there than it actually is.

You can take a bus from Sasang to Goseong or Tongyeong and catch a boat from there. I’m not sure the times so you will need to have a Korean speaker call the port you want to go to. They leave more often from Goseong than Tongyeong and Goseong is quicker. From either bus station you will need to take a taxi to the port. If you have a large group, like we did, you can hire a bus to take you direct to the port. It was 350,000 won and split with 16 people it worked out cheaper than buses and taxis (we think, including convenience).

The boat from Goseong has a cute whale on the side! At least some of them do, our return one didn’t.

Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 202From the boat ride, we saw a lot of fishermen. They set up the buoys with ropes on them to grow clams and the bigger fish come by to try to eat them so fishermen set up shop around the buoys trying to catch them.

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Below is our route. We had our bus come over on the boat with us and it drove us along the pink route and we hiked the orange route.

Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 227aBelow are photos of the hike with some descriptions under them.

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Rice fields a plenty here

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Too many hikers!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 243

Lots of rock formations. Mostly in prayer towers, but there were some cute house like things built.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 245 Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 248

So steep to climb up! We felt like mountain goats.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 262

Another shot of what we climbed up. If you go to the right you can go around it.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 283

Hope I don’t fall! So steep here we can’t climb up but there are lots of places to sitFringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 284

Poor tree!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 285

We went around this little village.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 291

Lots of ups and downs.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 298

This guy sold us makgeolli and did a little show with his drum and symbol.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 311 Don’t lean on the bridge, but you can set fire to it. Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 325

Traffic jam! This and the bridge are new which has lead to a lot more people doing the hike. Many people seemed to be scared to use the steps!Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 328

The new bridge! They had to use the ropes to pull it up.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 329

A bit bouncy.Fringe Festival, Sandcaste Festival, Blue Eagles, Sarado Hike 336The final view of the town, from the other side that we started from.

We finished just after the boat we were supposed to catch and were able to get one two hours later. In our extra time we had our bus go to the ‘beach’ which isn’t great but there were lots of seafood restaurants there as well. It is at another boat port and people RAN to get on it.

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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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Edo-Tokyo Museum

After going to Sensoji Temple I walked down the river to Edo-Tokyo museum.

I walked into Kyu-Yasuda Garden on the way, which was beautiful. And super warm. I image it to be like Eagleton in Parks and Recreation where it’s on a hot spring and Pawnee is not.

Tokyo 1 319I also walked past the Ryogoku Kokugikan which is where they have Sumo Wrestling and there was an event on so I could not go into the free museum.

Tokyo 1 332The museum opens at 9:30 and I got there just before that. You also start on the 6th floor and go down from there, which I thought was odd but the other museum I went to did the same thing.

I thought the museum was really interesting as I did not know much about Japan or Tokyo before World War 2 other than Tokyo used to have a different name and there was an emperor and samurai and ninjas. No samurai or ninja stuff in the museum. Edo seemed welcoming and respectful: the main thing I remember reading said that although people did belong to 4 different groups they were able to talk and share information about their role so others could learn about it if they wanted to. Thus, some samurai knew how to farm, some farmers knew about being a merchant and some merchants knew about craft work.

Once you’re on the 6th floor, you cross a bridge which seems like it was built in a traditional way. There is a Theater and a Western style building below you as you cross. They built a model of the bridge in another room on the 5th floor too.

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On the other side is a bunch of models of what the city used to look like, and they have really intense details. There are some other things there as well, like clothes and swords.

Tokyo 1 362 Tokyo 1 375 Tokyo 1 376Next I went down to the 5th floor where most of the stuff is. I really liked the paintings.

Tokyo 1 394 Tokyo 1 402 Tokyo 1 434 Tokyo 1 448Block cutting and printing became very popular during the Edo period, and was also how some people wrote subversive things about the government.

Tokyo 1 406They also had a theater set up that tells a ghost story every 15 minutes. I missed it and didn’t realize that they characters moved. It shows stage tricks.

Tokyo 1 460There was a mini room that shows a special exhibit, which, at the time, was about a man who traveled and did paintings of different areas of Japan along the train route.

Tokyo 1 466Next was the Tokyo room.

In the last month of 1867 an order was promulgated designating the restoration of imperial rule. this order thereby decreed a new government. In the month of the following year, battles took place at Toba and Fushimr, then anti-bakufu forces advanced to Edo, where they met no resistance. Some members of the pro-bakufu forces formed a unit named the shogitai and ensconced themselves at the kan-eiji, a temple at ueno. But this group was easily subdued. Its defeat spelled the end of ever two-hundred years of tokugawa rule, Edo, which had once been the home of well over a million inhabitants thereby also declined in vigor. The new government aimed to establish a unified state with centralized rule. Old practices were discarded: the new area was named Meiji, and Edo was renamed Tokyo. For a short time Tokyo was a kind of deserted wasteland but with the establishment of a street of government offices adjacent to the palace, the city, with its center around the nihonbashi area returned to normal. now it had become the capital of japan in name and deed.

There were very detailed models here as well.

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There was a poster for the 14th meeting of the suiheisha, which was really intense looking.

Tokyo 1 492Next was a part about the air raids with a model of what normal houses looked like that the time–taped windows and all.

Tokyo 1 503My favorite sign was this though:

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More Seoul!

Walking around I saw the Institute of Traditional Korean food–I must try this place out next time I come up if they are open on weekends! I saw nearly everything Seoul has to offer and there are only a few places I want to go to again so this is close to the top of my list!

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I also found Insa-dong, which was not as exciting as I thought it would be.

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I found Myeong-dong to me much more exciting for shopping (and probably getting robbed as there are so many people–at least there were 2 days before Christmas!)

Seoul 2 038I also walked past Jongno Tower which is a beautiful display of modern architecture.

Everland and Seoul 454Oh hey look–the US embassy has a billion air conditioners and a billion guards.

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Outside of the Seoul Museum of History was this display…not sure what it is for but was pretty sad looking.

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I walked down Jeongdong-gil, which was a street that was recommended for a stroll.

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Seoul set up ice skating in the City Hall area.

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There was also a parade of red and green balloons.

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The ‘R’ building?

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A walk down Cheonggyecheon-ro river is not as beautiful as I expected, forgetting that it is winter.

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Another interesting building. I couldn’t decide if it was a letter or not and, if so, if it was an M or N or…

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Cheonggye Plaza

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Crossing Banpodaegyo Bridge

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Spaceship building!

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And some more odd buildings in the Lotte Duty Free-COEX-7 Luck Casino area

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And, of course, required Dokdo signs.

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