Jimjibong - Korean Bathhouse
There are Korean bathhouses almost everywhere you will go, and they're not hard to find. Look for the symbol of a half circle with flames coming out of it like in this photo. I believe that all bathhouses are open to men and women, but they have seperate sections for both of them since almost everything is done in the nude. Usually you are given a key to open a small drawer to put your shoes in when you enter, and you're given a towel. You then enter a seperate locker room area where you take all your clothes off and then you can go into the bathhouse area. There will be hot tub style baths, cold baths (almost like a swimming pool) and other interesting flavour baths like oriental herb, champagne or berry. It's really quite relaxing, and you can also get a scrub - where you fly down (naked of course) and someone of the same gender will scrub all the dead skin off your body. You feel very soft and fresh afterwards. Sometimes a mask and massage is also included, or it'll be extra.
Other things to know about jimjibong:
You also need to shower before going into the baths, so its good to bring shampoo with you. Afterwards, you'll want to dry off and get ready to leave, so bring a comb, make-up or whatever you normally would prepare with after taking a shower.
There's also options of going into unisex saunas or "dry rooms" afterwards with clothing on, and sometimes you can sleep over in a jimjibong.
It can cost anywhere from 5,000 - 9,000 won just to get in, and the scrub/massage is always extra if you want to get one. About 15,000- 20,000 won.
Many Korean familes go to jimjibong about once a week.
We visited this area in the evening. It is filled with lots of shops and restaurants, Roads are lined with bright neon signs. We enjoyed having a look at the many food carts. Had a very good, very cheap meal in one of the restaurants near the food carts. The restaurant had an English menu and clearly marked prices. Unfortunately the name of the restaurant was only written in Korean, so don't know what it was called! Also visited the Lotte Department Store in this area. Loved the food hall. The sales assistants are into hard sell and call out to the passing customers making it more like a market than a food hall.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Breakfast in Seoul
If you are looking for a yummy Korean breakfast - try Namdaemun markets if you are in Seoul. Some of the best local foods can be found here and it is cheap cheap cheap!! Great rice and noodle dishes - dumplings - we even had chicken soup one morning. An entire small chicken in a pot - steaming with vegetables. There were a lot of locals eatring here too.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
This is the largest aquarium in South Korea, and located on Haeundae beach in Busan.
Besides thousands of species and a 3 million litre water tank, the aquarium also does periodic shark feeding and shark diving for guests (diving is an extra fee.)
Admission was about 17,000 won (roughly $15) for an adult in 2009. A nice place to stroll through during a day at the beach.
Quite interesting. But take note:
The infiltration tunnel tour can be physically demanding if you are holding a child in your arms.
The helmet serves its purpose - you are well advised to keep it on.
Go for the Ride (Yellow Submarine)
The Yellow Submarine in Jeju is all about the unique experience of going 60 feet underwater in a submarine.
Other than that, don't expect much. Underwater visibility is poor and there is scant marine life - a few corals, two species of fish (black at that) numbering less than 20, who have to be induced by a scuba diver doling out bread to come near the submarine's portholes.
You can see much more marine life (colorful, varied and exotic) snorkelling at 10 feet underwater in Indonesia, Philippines or Thailand.
United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea (UNMCK)
This is an interesting place to visit in Buasn if you're interested in history or politics.
The UNMCK is large piece of land preserved for the perpetul use of commemorating and remembering the support given by nations around the world to Korea during the Korean war in the 1950s. It is unique to Korea, there is no other UN memorial park like this in the world.
There are is a sculpture park, UN forces monuments, monuments for each country as a symbol of graditude and appreciation for their help, flag honouring ceremonies (every day at 5pm from June - Sept, and at 4pm from Oct - May.) There is a nice park and graveyard to walk through, as well as the small "Memorial Service Hall" where you can watch a short film that teaches a brief background on the Korean War and how the UNMCK came to be.
Entrance is free.
Nations that assisted Korea during war:
Nations that offered Medical support:
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
gyeongju -. cultural center of south korea
Gyeongju (Korean pronunciation: [gjəː,ŋtɕu]) is a city located in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. By area it is the second largest city in North Gyeongsang province, after Andong, with an area of 1,324.39 km² and a population of 269,343 people (by 2007 census). Gyeongju is 370 km southeast of Seoul and 55 km east of the provincial capital, Daegu. The city is on the coast of the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east, and borders Cheongdo and Yeongcheon to the west, Ulsan to the south and Pohang to the north. Numerous low mountains, outliers of the Taebaek range, are scattered around the city.
Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC–935 AD). The Silla kingdom arose at the turn of the first millennium and ruled most of the Korean Peninsula from the 7th century until the 9th century. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city, so Gyeongju is often referred to as "the museum without walls". Among such historical treasures, Seokguram grotto, Bulguksa temple and Gyeongju Historic Areas are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The abundance of major historical sites have helped Gyeongju become one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea.
Today Gyeongju is a typical medium-sized city sharing the economic, demographic, and social trends that have shaped modern South Korean culture. While tourism remains the major economic driver, some manufacturing activities have developed due to its proximity to major industrial centers such as Ulsan and Pohang. Gyeongju is connected to nationwide rail and highways, which facilitate both industrial and tourist traffic.
seoraksan national park
Seoraksan is the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range (태백산맥) in the Gangwon province in eastern South Korea. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho. After the Hallasan volcano on Jeju Island and Jirisan in the south, Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea. The Daechongbong Peak (대청봉) of Seoraksan reaches 1,708 metres (5,603 feet). The Taebaek mountain chain is often considered the backbone of the Korean peninsula.
The national park attracts many national and international tourists all year round, but the main season for Seoraksan national park is autumn. The autumn colours in the area are considered amongst the most beautiful in Korea. The red and yellow forest is interrupted by rocks and small mountain streams flow amidst this. During the rainy season in summer—especially after a typhoon—these streams can swell.
Perhaps the most visited part of the mountain is the main entrance valley to the National Park, a fifteen minute drive from Seokcho city. The valley runs west to east with a paved road leading up to the park's entrance gate. This valley contains many beautiful sites and is well worth a day visit.
The Yukdam waterfall and the Biryeong waterfall (비룡폭포) are located on the left side of the valley, about a forty minute walk from the main car park. Ulsanbawi (울산바위) is a rock formation in the Seoraksan national park. The shape of Ulsanbawi is unique in the area. To reach the rocks you need to follow a hiking path and climb over 800 steps (it's actually 888 steps according to locals). On the way there, there are two temples and a spherical rock (Heundeulbawi, 흔들바위) which is located on top of a larger rock. This rock is about 5 metres (16 feet) high and can be moved with some effort. Thousands of people have already tried to push down Heundeulbawi, but nobody gets further than waggling the rock.
According to the legend Ulsanbawi comes from the city of Ulsan in the south east of Korea. As Kumgangsan (금강산) was built, Ulsanbawi walked to the north as the representative of the city. Unfortunately Ulsanbawi arrived too late and there was no more room. Ulsanbawi was ashamed and slowly trudged back to the south. One evening the rock went to sleep in the Seorak area. Ulsanbawi felt it was so beautiful around there that it decided to stay for good.
At the end of the main valley is Biseondae, a rock platform in a stream. Above the stream is a difficult to reach cave, which offers clear views of the surrounding rock formations.
A bit father from the entrance is the Valley of a Thousand Buddhas (천불동계곡), the primary valley of Seorak Mountain, also sometimes referred to as Seorak Valley. The valley was so named because the rock formations that line its sides resemble a line-up of Buddha statues.
Hiking in Chiaksan National Park
These photos were taken in the month of May; the weather was perfect for hiking at that time of year. The park is located in Gangwon-do, see the website below for the various methods of transportation on how to get to the park.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Dragon Head Rock, Cheju Island
Dragon Head Rock or Yongdu-am (Yong means dragon in Korean, du is head and am is rock) is located at the western coast of Cheju City in Cheju Island. Dragon Head Rock is a large unusual rock formation shaped like the head of a dragon. The rock is approximately ten metre high and 30 metre long. This basalt lava rock is formed more than two million years ago from volcanic eruption!
Dragon Head Rock is a symbol and logo of Cheju Island. Millions of local and foreign tourists flock to Cheju Island yearly to visit this popular tourist attraction. Admission is free.Related to:
- Family Travel
Folklore and Natural History Museum, Cheju Island
Folklore and Natural History Museum is located just a few kilometres from downtown Cheju City. The museum was officially opened to the public in 1984. It has three exhibition halls containing exhibits of folklore relics and indigeneous palnts and animals found on Cheju Island.
There are a total of more than 27,000 items on display. The three exhibition halls are divided into natural history, folklore and special resources. In addition there is an audio-visual room in the museum for visitors to watch some videos and images on the screen. Large stuffed marine life such as sharks and stingray are located just in front of the entrance to the museum.
Opening hours: 8.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. dailyRelated to:
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
Seven Nymphs Bridge, Cheju Island
Seven Nymphs Bridge (also known as Seonimgyo Bridge in Korean) is located above Cheonjeyeon Valley in Cheju Island. Nymphs literally means young women in Greek. The bridge connects Cheonjeyeon with Jungmun Tourist Complex. It is an arched bridge with carvings of seven nymphs on its side. Legend has it that seven nymphs of Heaven's Emperor descended at night to bathe at Cheonjeyeon Waterfall which is also known as the pond of god. There are in fact three waterfalls in the valley. The view from the bridge over the valley is breath-taking! Don't miss the Seven Nymphs Bridge when you are having a vacation in Cheju Island.Related to:
- Family Travel
Songup Folk Village, Cheju Island
Songup (Seongeup) Folk Village is located approximately 60 kilometres from Cheju City. The village has been maintained by the Korean government as important cultural property. This is a traditional mountain village with approximately 3,000 thatched roof houses complete with stone and clay walls. The folk villagers are still living in these houses today. Seongeup was once the capital of Cheju Island during Koryo period in the 1200s. Tomb stones and an old government building are also located in the village.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Manjang Lava Tube, Cheju Island
Manjang Lava Tube is located at Manjang-gul (Manjang Caves) which has been listed as natural monument by the Korean government. It is the longest and largest lava tube in the world. The lava tube is approximately 8 kilometre long, 5 metre wide and 10 metre high. The temperature inside the lava tube is between 10 degrees and 20 degrees Celcius throughout the year.
Manjang Lava Tube contains a number of lava columns in the tube, the most famous is lava turtle in the shape of a turtle. It is approximately 3 metre long and is located just 600 metres from the entrance to the tube. Most local and foreign tourists visit the tube just to see this lava turtle!Related to:
- Family Travel
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