Tuesday 29 May 2012


Two Weekends ago I finally managed to get to Everland, Korea's biggest theme park with a couple of friends. We had arranged to go on our day off at the beginning of May but then the day before the holiday my school decided that I couldn't have the time off and I had to go to scvhool anyway (this is some of the stupidity that happens over in this side of the world.) Anyway we got up early  onn the sunday and headed off to the park. There is a public bus that takes you straight to the entrance to the park (gangnam stn, exit 10 bus number 5002 outside Krispy Creme donut shop) Fabulous transport system! It was a very sunny day and thankfully the place wasn't *too* busy so the longest we had to wait for a ride was an hour. Not bad for a large theme park on a lovely day! Much merriment to be had!

The water raft ride with waterproof covers, only in Korea!

A little taster of America

Ryan and Maddie indulged my American Diner fantasy for lunch

Polar Bear

This is a smart phone that someone dropped through the bars while taking a picture of the polar bear. It tried to eat it but I think it was too big to swallow!

Dr Livingstone I presume?

One Liger


Liger (offspring of a Tiger and a Lion)
Brown Bear
Brown Bear in a hole

Flamingo on one leg



Over to Holland

Angry Bird Crisps anyone?

Wednesday 23 May 2012

GyeongBukGung at night

Last week GyeongBuk Palace in Seoul temporarily opened its gates for late night admissions. It was only available for a few days and as soon as we heard about it a few friends and I decided to go and check it out. It was, of course, very popular and busy, but it was still a lovely sight, and very unusual. I'm really glad I went along to experience it before I left. I haven't been to GyeongBokgung the whole time I've lived in Korea because it was the only palace I visited when I came here on holiday from China three years ago. I had a search through my photos and found the ones I took before, during the day (and in winter). One of the main (and most beautiful at night) buildings is surrounded by water, which was frozen when I came previously. This was a true blessing on the night visit because the hoards of people weren't thronging around the building and we were all able to get a photo without random people's heads in it! I'm no photographer but I think it's pretty difficult not to take a good picture of this palace bathed in light. Such a great night, and lots of fun and games with my friends trying to take jumping photos (and me not knowing the correct setting on my camera!)

The entry gate.

My photography skills have improved a lot since this!

Gathering our money for our group discount.


Blurry jumping.

Probably the cutest child I've ever encountered. This is saying a lot as I don't usually like children (why am I a teacher again?!)

New shoes (I REALLY needed them mum!)

Finally found the correct settings.

January 2009 - Day time.

May 2012 - Night time.

The back of the building (and cranes further in the distance)

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Seoul's Secret Garden

Last weekend I had a visitor in Seoul, My uncle came on business and had the weekend free. In the spirit of showing him what there is to see, and also to tick another thing off my list, I took him the ChangDeok Palace. It's slightly smaller than GyeongBuk Palace, but throughout Korea's royal history it had a few moments in the sun. Various Kings moved their court here and it is the most well preserved of all Seoul's palaces. It is also the only one with a 'secret' garden. It's not really a secret, especially nowadays, but the name alludes to the fact that only members of the royal family could use it. To see the gardens visitors must join a tour, and I have been unsuccessful on two previous occasions and therefore this time I made sure I booked our places online. English language tours run twice daily (which, in my opinion, is quite frankly not enough) at 11.30 am and 3.30pm. Our tour guide was very engaging and knowledgeable and her English was fantastic. The gardens are very pretty and well worth a visit. The rest of the palace is quite nice too and it really is a good place to go, I enjoyed the day even after all the hundreds of palace and temples I've seen throughout Korea and China!

This building supposedly stood out because of it's blue tiles. But I couldn't see much difference!
The Kings former bedchamber, which became his workspace
Our guide

Former Libraries and study places.

Middle door for the King and two side doors for servants (they had to duck through to enter; thus bowing and showing respect)

Pavillion for fishing

A noble-man's house. Notice there is no bright paint decorating the eaves.

A well for the King should he need a drink while he's hanging out here

A really REALLY old tree

Entrance to the King's bedchamber (notice the extra patterned panels)

Western influenced decor (carpets, furniture, glass windows and electric lighting)

It's very unusual to see wooden staircases in Korean buildings

The picture from the Photospot

A little bit of philosophy on the train home.