Wednesday, November 02, 2005

New Blog!

Hi Everyone. I have a new blog, chronicling my new adventures in Korea. It's called "Ben vs. Korea: Round 2!". Please go visit it! I will keep this blog for posterity, but my last post is starting to get somewhat cluttered by advertisement links. I'm sure this will too after a while. While you're at my new blog, please drop me a line and comment on something!


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rounding out the Year

Well, it's been a great ride, but the Korean fun-train is finally coming to a stop. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and will be buying another ticket to ride soon enough, but for now, I need to get off for a while, rest, and then I'll be back in August.

I was thinking about the past year and wondering what my most memorable moments were. Here are just a few, in no particular order:

1. The mud festival in Boryeong
2. Cherry blossoms and kitchen party in Cheong-ju
3. Everland
4. Tasting Korean food for the first time
5. Weekend in Gyeong-ju to see the royal tombs, and watching the drummers in the park
6. Eating oysters on the beach in Anmyeon-do
7. All the lovely people I've met

This will be my last post for a while. However, I realize that not all the people reading my blog are situated in Saskatoon. Therefore, I will be also continuing a new blog while I'm in Canada - Ben's Excellent Canadian Respite. Look for it in theatres soon!

Anyway, the following pictures are from the past few weeks. They are in reverse chronological order. Most recently, Jo, Erika, Joey, and I went to Everland - Korea's most famous amusement park. It was a blast. The only drawback was that we went late and didn't have enough time to really enjoy it all.

Prior to that, last weekend, Kay invited Jo and I to go to Pusan - the second largest city in Korea, located near the southernmost point of Korea. We stayed with her family on Saturday night, then drove all day on Sunday to get there. Kay's family were invited to a wedding which we missed by an hour or so. However, we made it in time for the wedding buffet, which was tasty. We had a brief time on the beach, then we returned home to Bundang. It was a loooooong trip. About 12 hours of driving and 4 hours of seeing Pusan. The pictures that follow are of her family's farm, and areas around there. We got up early and saw the rice fields and ginseng plants. Apparently, ginseng is a very very expensive plant, and takes between 3 and 7 years to grow. Roots can sell for as high as $500 per pound for high quality ginseng.

Lastly, I have some pictures of various things in and around Bundang. One night a long time ago, we went to Chung-Ang Gong-Won (Bundang's Central Park) and played badminton.

That's about all I have for now! For those of you who have followed my blog this year, thanks for reading! I hope you've enjoyed it! I've enjoyed your responses, and plan on continuing a new Korean blog next year, when I come back for Round 2!

Hanguk, Annyeonghi Kyeseyo! Chokum itabanayo!

Jo and I taking a ride. Posted by Hello

Me, hanging with the dudes. Posted by Hello

Joey and I... and Elwood and Jake. Posted by Hello

The Double-Rock-Spin ride. Imagine a giant swing that rotates all the way around its supporting pole. Then add in the fact that the seat spins forwards and backwards so that you're rising and falling at the same time as doing forward and backward sommersaults. It was great. Posted by Hello

I'm the one waving. It was dark by that time, so the picture is grainy from me having to touch it up.  Posted by Hello

Jo, quite obviously doing some sort of cool kung-fu or tae-kwon-do. This was on the bridge across to the Amazon Adventure ride - a water soaker tube ride. Posted by Hello

The restaurant area. All-American style food - burgers, hotdogs, etc. etc. It was neat. Posted by Hello

Joey and I getting arrested. Kinda blurry. Sorry about that... Posted by Hello

An old police car? Posted by Hello

This was an American Graffiti-esque area of Everland. It had old cars and rock and roll music blaring. It was interesting. It also had two of the best rides too. A really fast rollercoaster and a make-you-sick spinning ride called the Double Rock Spin. It was great! Posted by Hello

Jo and I. Posted by Hello

The giant rollercoaster we went on. It was kinda like the western theme area in Disneyland - is it called Smokey Mountain? I forget. Anyway, it was fast and fun. Next time, when I go back, I am going to take a video recording of my ride. Posted by Hello

Some sort of animated cutesy fountain thingy. It was rather in the spirit of an amusemnt park. Posted by Hello

The Crown Jewels? I wonder what's behind THIS door? Posted by Hello

A giant mural near the entrance to Everland. I would like to go back to Everland when I get a chance... probably soon after I get back in August. Posted by Hello

Everland's main entrance. Posted by Hello

Jo and I went to Insa-dong last weekend. It was a really nice time. Here is a beautiful sight... and a really big rose too! Posted by Hello

Jo and myself at the beach.  Posted by Hello

The beach in Pusan.  Posted by Hello

Mountains and ocean. Beautiful Korea. Posted by Hello

The beach and accompanying bridge. This bridge is really long, and very cool. Posted by Hello

The bridge near the beach. Posted by Hello

The beach. Posted by Hello

In the true "bali-bali" spirit of Korea (hurry-hurry), weddings are performed at wedding halls, where people line up in a conveyer-belt type fashion. Basically, the ceremony takes about 30 minutes to an hour, then you go for a buffet in the same area, while someone else uses the chapel you were just using. Your guests finish their buffet, file out, and the whole process repeats itself. Total time: 2 hours. As a bonus, the fitting for the wedding dress and suits is in the same hotel, as well as travel agent (for honeymoon?) and wedding planner. Heck, you could do it ALL in 4 hours.  Posted by Hello

I caught this picture of a bee (or is it a wasp?) collecting nectar from this flower. Pretty lucky, if you ask me. Posted by Hello