HWASEONG FORTRESS,SUWON,GYEONGGI-DO

WWOOfer usually will get time off during their stay to explore any interesting places in vicinity . So, I spent my day at Suwon city which 1 hour ride by bus from Joam.

When I arrived at Suwon Terminal Bus around 11 am, I hurriedly went to tourism booth placed inside the Terminal. I was greet with surprisingly in my native language, Malay Language!!! The staff incharge learned Malay Language as his 3rd language. He was my biggest help that day. Based on his explanation,  I took a city bus and after 20 minutes if I’m not mistaken I arrived at Suwon Fortress.

Suwon Fortress was designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the most impressive fortress ever built in South Korea stretches for 5.52km in  Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Well known for it’s advance technology used in constructing the fortress and become the world first planned city, in my eyes the fortress is a beautiful history monument left with too many stories to be told.

During my walk, I can’t help but wondering on what this fortress been witnessed during this whole time when peoples and time passed and changed.

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How to be here:                                                                                                                                       Suwon Station (Seoul Subway Line 1)                                                                                                     Take Bus 2, 7, 7-2, 8, or 13 and get off at Jongno 4-geori (intersection).                                                       Walk 5 minutes to fortress.

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Priceless Experience : WWOOFing at Joam, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do

After the first experience WWOOFing at Geochang, I was more confidence when I left Seoul alone to Joam. My host this time already been 8 years hosting WWOOFer. Being to Metropolitan Seoul left me startled a little bit when I set foot at Joam terminal bus. It was small, shabby terminal bus in the middle of small Joam town. I forgot most of the time blinded by all beautiful and grand lifestyle Seoul portraying that every country has their own rural site and not that well off peoples.

Mr Keum my host is a middle age man with trace of hard work clearly can be seen on his face when he pick me up with his small pickup truck. Even he claimed that he is not good in english but he is better than other people I met previously. We left the Joam terminal bus that late afternoon and soon my memory here was made.

As Mr Keum house is quite small and has 2 grown up boys , Mr Keum arranged me to stay at girls dormitory near his house. There, I was surrounded with young students preparing for the college entrance just like what I watched in Korean movie.

Again, there is no farm working for me. But I had a chance to work at flower shop belong to Mr Keum’s friend Teacher Lee. After working, Teacher Lee teach me how to make roses using Hanji paper. hahahah … i discovered my hidden artistic talent here. Besides that, I’m too busy at Joam, busy meeting people, busy attending meeting, busy at gathering. I think this is the first time in my life that I meet that many new people in my 5 days. Mr Keum is quite active in several organization such us “Slow Food Organization”, Farming Organization”, helping others in online shopping project, etc. I’ve been introduced to head of Joam bank, Public officer at several government agencies, Professors at University up till farmers and also business man..and also politician. Huh….even I can;t understand most of the conversation between them but I enjoy being the centre of attraction whenever I’m with Mr Keum.

What I impressed with Mr Keum is how well he bring himself in any of the gathering even he is only a farmer. Everyone respect him and he is a person with lots of idea and enthusiasm. Spending time with him, I learned a lot about his dream and his perspective of life. He is like a farther and a teacher of life for me. Still clearly I remember him saying ” A person should have a big and warm heart. Giving out to others without asking for a return coz giving already give you happiness  Life is like onion sprout grow in winter,even how much snow covered and cold it will stand the long winter to wait for spring.  Siha ya, you are a brave girl. Remember that you should go for what your heart wishing to so that you have no regret in life”.  Bidding a goodbye was not easy for me, to Mr Keum  ‘s 2 sons who understand their farther’s hard life and study harder. To Mrs Keum’s   who eager to let me trying and knows lots of new things, and to grandmother whom warmly embraced me and cried when I left.

And from time to time, I sing our favourite song that we used to sing whenever we were on the road, driving on Mr Keum’s pick up truck that has no radio and heater. It was never a silent and cold ride whenever we sang this song.

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