Hahao Village and Jungwansan Mountain
Andong Travel Blog› entry 49 of 50 › view all entries
September 26th, 2009 – by: highway_chile
My good friend Warren G who heads the Seoul Hiking Group on crackbook lead another super awesome amazing adventure this weekend. This is the 5th or 6th trip I've went with him. and this was by far the best job he has done.
Friday after school I went with some teachers to go see Mrs. Kim and her new born son. Oriental babies are very small. I was concerned because I really wanted to get her a good gift. I was thinking a gift certificate for a massage or something along those lines, but I really didn't want to spend over $100 which is what it would have cost in this area, unless of course you get one with a "happy ending.
I took the bus to Seoul and went to Aimee's house where we shared some laughs over a bottle of wine. The one of her friends came by and we went out for a kimchi pancake and a pitcher. The bus departed at 11:30pm and we would arrive at 4:00am. I figured that a few drinks would be good before we left so I could get some sleep. Aimee and I cuddled up on the floor for a few uncomfortable hours of rest.
We arrived on schedule and without enough sleep. We walked about 15 minutes to a chill spot by a lake to wait for the sunrise. I ate the breakfast Warren provided: Kimbap, banana, juice, a bagel and coffee. Then Aimee and I cuddled up again for a nap. Once the sun rose, we got up for some pictures. It was quite beautiful with the fog rolling off the lake and the trees. As always, there were tons of Koreans there with there $1,000+ cameras for 50 takes of the same shot. Next we went back to the bus for a short ride to Jungwansan Mountain.
It was a nice 5 hour hike which we finished a bit before noon. I only wore blue jeans, so at times I felt relatively uncomfortable and sweaty. After the hike, we walked by to the bus passing by the markets. We stopped to by some dong-dong-ju. Hard to explain, but it's like a milky rice alcoholic drink made with fruit. Absolutely perfect for a tired guy who hiked all morning and was about to get on a bus for about an hour. We passed around the bottles on the bus and BAM! Complete silence except for the moment when I woke myself up snoring.
Lunch was pretty good, we had a soy sauce like chicken and veggie dish that was famous in the area. Then we headed for the Hahao Village. I think this was the best of the traditional villages that I have been to. I remember reading about this in the book for my grade 1 kids.
The dance show was really cool. I have plenty of pictures to share, although I have to give credit to everyone else on the trip. I forgot my camera on the trip, not that I needed it since there were 40 other ones and we all have crackbook which is were all of these came from...so thank you Aimee, Jennifer, Heather, Reg and Jenna.
During the performance, two guys in a bull(?) costume came out and hand a fake penis were they would spray the audience with pee! One of the dancers was supposed to be a woman and peed in the middle of the show and the guy came over and pretended to scrape it up and drink it, haha! Also, they got one Korean girl to come down and mess with her.
After the performance, we walked through the village to the river where were got on a small wooden boat to go across the river. The captain of this "boat" used a large wooden stick to move the boat. Check out the black and white photo of him for a feel of the moment.
On the ride back, I didn't really sleep. I sat up and had some wine with Aimee and watched some kickboxing on the satellite provided on the bus. Once in Seoul, a few of us went to a huge couchsurfing party and from there went to the university party area where a friend of mine was playing the guitar at a bar called "Freebird." Warren G left the bar early on with some people and I stayed behind to chat with my buddy Mike and some people. After I left, I bumped into Warren G on the street and we had some street grub and headed to the Jimjilbang (sauna place where you can sleep for 7,000Won).
Sunday afternoon, I headed to Gangnam where I sat around reading and studying Korean. I met with Sungheon around 3pm and we spent the whole day together. I'm really starting to like her, but the communication barrier is still a big deal.
So that was my weekend. Today is Monday, the kids have exams this week. That means I do nothing at work! Read and study, read and study, read and study! I'm starting to learn verbs now and some prepositions so I can make a few sentences. The grammar is just very different and it makes it difficult to get things right, but I believe I am doing everything I can and should be improving to a conversational level by Christmas.
After school, about ten of us boarded a bus, a very very nice bus, and headed to SW Seoul for the...what we would call the receiving of the friends and family. There are no pictures to share for this experience, sorry, not appropriate as I'm sure anyone reading this would understand. I think cause we came with a larger group we did our sequence differently than some others, but I watched in case I had to. The two guys before us received a white rose as the entered the room.
Next was dinner, this was like any other dinner. Tons of food and alcohol. The dining room was in the next room over. We took our shoes off and sat on the floor. We were served what is considered to be the traditional village meal of Korea. I've taken pictures of this kind of meal before. About 30 side dishes and no real main plate of anything. I asked about death in Korea. I know different cultures have different feelings and attitudes about it. It was explained to me that, in this case it was considered a celebration of life.
This weekend is Chuseok, the Korean thanksgiving. My dad wanted to know th story: basically, it is a family celebration where they gather together away from daily life and celebrate harvest season. It is celebrated on the 8th full moon, which is said to be the brightest (good for late night partying before electricity). Park has invited me to his home for the celebration, so next week I should have stories and pictures to share. I wonder if anyone reads these blogs anymore. I know I have a lot of them, but I notice my view count increasing a lot, but no smiles or comments, so if you read this in its entirety and enjoyed it let me know please.
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