보이지 않아도 ……Though can’t be seen

바람 ….wind
보이지 않아도 ….though can’t be seen
풀입을 흔들고 ….. moved grass

태풍 ….typhoon
보이지 않아도 ….though can’t be seen
나무를 흔들고 ….moved tree

너 ….You
보이지 않아도 ….though can’t be seen
나를 흔들고 ….moved me

보이지 않은 게 ….Things that can’t be seen
보이는 것보다 …..Compared to things that can be seen
힘이 더 세다 …has greater power

……..A poem quoted from subway……

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A Secret about the Sea i Love …….

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I love the sea for many reasons

……………………

Standing infront of open sea

Putting the real world behind me

When the blue color of the sea and sky becomes one

I swear that I vividly see you at the end of the horizon

And your voice calling my name can be heard in between the sound of the wind and seagulls

…………………………….

Among many, I love the sea because of this

Among many, this is a reason I rather keep

A reason I can’t tell other people when they asked me why I love the sea

Hapcheon, the Small, Sleepy Town where for a Split Second I thought I met a Bad Guy…..

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Watching CSI drama series and reading serial killer books, I always look at their story as a 3rd party, blaming the victim for believing strangers. But I never put myself in the story. Opsss….nothing happen to me, Alhamdulillah. But maybe next time I should think more and always remind myself that I might be the victim.

Travelling solo in South Korea, I always grateful that till now I was blessed to meet nice and good people. Maybe because I become familiar with South Korea or I never meet bad people there,  i tend to feel safe and comfortable travelling alone or asked people for help. But one accident, for a moment gives me a doubt or at least installed a reminder to me that I should be more cautious in believing stranger.

It was an early morning when I left Jinju city to Hapcheon, neighbouring town. I took a bus cost me around 7,000 won and travelled almost an hour with mostly elderly peoples to Hapcheon with my one an only place in mind, Hapcheon Image Theme Park. This theme park is the largest drama & movie set in Korea where famous drama and movie such as Into the Fire, East of Eden, Gaksital and many more used to be filmed here. From the Hapcheon bus station, I took a taxi to the theme park that cost me around 15,000 won (expensive!!!) and almost 20 minutes rides. Hapcheon is a small town, sleepy and quite. So, I’m not surprised that other tourist recommended taking taxi instead of bus coz you will never know when you can get one.

Arrived after a long chat with the taxi driver, paid the entrance fee for 3,000 won if I’m not mistaken i found myself hesitating either to go right or left to start the tour. And I heard a guy voice advising me to go left first in English. I turned around and a Korean guy wearing tracksuit with sleepy face smiling at me and not long after that we somehow ended up touring the whole theme park together.

Having watched some of the dramas and movies filming here, I quickly matched up the drama and movie scene with the building, road, view at the theme park while touring. “Oh, this is where Gaksital saved his girlfriend, this is where Gaksital jumped from the bridge and fight” . My new tour buddy will add some info from the movie and drama that I didn’t watched and 1 hour passed by without we realized. “I don’t know how you come to know this place and have an idea to come here coz even myself, I wouldn’t be here if I don’t have some business to do in Hapcheon” my tour buddy keep repeating that to me. “ Man, I wouldn’t be here if this place not open and been promoting in your tourism website” But I just smile instead of answering like that coz I understand for locals they can’t imagine why a tourist would like to go to a place that locals find it nothing.

Walking out from the theme park, I started figuring out on how I can return back to the bus station. 1. I have to go to the ticket counter and asked the staff to call a taxi but another 15,000 won …emhhhhh 2. Cross the street and wait for a bus and waiting and waiting in the cold winter. And I just say yes for the 3rd option offered by my tour buddy who is willing to send me to the bus station by his car. Upon entering his car and the car start moving, I can’t help asking myself If …if my tour buddy happen to be a serial killer, a psycho, a thief, a bad guy. If anything happen to me, I don’t think I can get any help. I was regretted choosing this option without a long thought. OMG, please help me …. Please..Please ….let my tour buddy be a normal person, a kind person who just want to help a friend.  Panic button was hit!!!

My Tour Buddy “What are you planning to do after this? I think I want to grab a lunch before I leave to Seoul”.

Me “aaaaa…..i have to travel back to Jinju coz not many bus going there from here”

My Tour Buddy “ I see but I can only drive you to Hapcheon bus station”

Me (Thank God) “Its ok. Bus station is good enough” fuhhhhhhh

While waiting for a bus back to Jinju, I keep thanking God for sending  another good guy to me. But thinking that possibilities he can be the opposite freaking me out. And I prayed hard that in the future too, God will send me only good people along my way.  Soon, riding the bus full with elderly people and watching the driver who without any complain and will stop whenever the elder asked him to stop without ringing the bell or at designated bus stand, I smiled …. Somehow this world still has good human being.

Jeonju ….. Hol….Why didn’t I come here earlier?

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I heard a lot about Jeonju. A place with the most Hanok style houses in South Korea. But how many is many can it be and how different it is compared to Hanok Village in Seoul? I never give it a second thought and gladly settled with Hanok Village in Seoul’s experience gave me before.

But on one afternoon after my bus safely arrived at Jeonju from Jinju ( sound alike) and a taxi ride to the village, I keep asking either I made a right decision to come here coz Jeonju as for what I saw in 15 minutes just like another city in South Korea. But I was wrong until I arrived at the entrance of the village.

Hundreds of Hanok Style houses upon my eyes. Wait, I think I love it more than what I saw in Seoul.  It has warmth, more beautiful and more welcoming. And I’m so excited that finally I had a chance to stay for 2 nights in Hanok Style house. I have to pay more but it just once and my only experience and I already here, why not to enjoy it to the fullest. Back to past!!!! Slowly…

I can’t get enough of Jeonju. Big and beautiful Hanok style houses converted to coffee shop, restaurant, gallery and accommodation can be found at the main alley. I really took my time, strolling at each alley and enjoy the view, checked out the small and creative shops, and at every back alley you can find new things. And at one time I accidentally found the old confusion school that happen to be the filming site for the famous Korean drama Sungkyuhwan Scandal.

And another must thing to do at Jeonju is to eat Jeonju delicacy. I eat a lot here and fall in love with Jeonju’s food. Jeonju Mixed Rice ((비빔밥/Bibimbap), Rice in Bensprout Soup (콩나물국밥/Kongnamul Gukbab), Loach Soup (추어탕/Chuotang). I really want to eat Korean Table Food (한식/Hanshik) where you can eat full course of Korean traditional food. But this dish only can be cater at least 2 people per course, so for a single traveller like me ..its no..no…This is the only thing I felt very offended to enter hanshik restaurant in Korea.

And you will never regret staying at Hanok style house. Sleeping the old style, on the floor, in the room that may aged more than 100 years, it’s just another special and unforgettable experience. It will be more memorable if your night been entertained by strange sounds and explainable one. Either it was due to the house being old or the aircond or just simply coz I was scared knowing that the only human being occupying the whole house that night was me and me alone. I hope these are the only reason.

Places i went :

Hanok Village itself DSC04085

 

Omokdae/Pavillion DSC03979

 

Jiman Village – Mural Village DSC04025

 

Gyeonggijeon ShrineDSC04177

Jeonju Hyanggyo (Confusion School) – Sungkyuhwan Scandal Filming Site DSC04109

 

Jeonju Traditional Living Experience Park DSC04073

 

Jeongdong Catholic Cathedral DSC03968

 

Pedestrian & Cinema Street DSC04173

 

What i ate :

Jeonju Mixed Rice ((비빔밥/Bibimbap)DSC04100

 

Rice in Bensprout Soup (콩나물국밥/Kongnamul Gukbab)DSC04188

Loach Soup (추어탕/Chuotang)20140206_183742

 

And a must experiance to sleep in one of Hanok  Syle GusthouseDSC03997

 

More info about Jeonju from this website

1. http://www.jeonju.go.kr/open_content/en/main_page.jsp

2. http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264285