I spent eleventy-five hours on a bus… and it was worth it…

Sometimes I do semi-cool stuff in Korea. And then, like the forgetful person I am, Reader, I forget to tell you about it.

For example, I still haven’t told you all about my cool, overnight journey to Gyeongju – the nation’s capital for nearly 1,000 years during the Silla dynasty and, as a result, is home to tons of tombs for the reigning kings of the time. I’m still not going to tell you about it today because I have a more recent story to tell. Don’t worry – I’ll get around to that one eventually.

A few weeks ago, I went to zip line in the Han River valley and trekked a bit in Seoraksan National Park. Unfortunately, it rained on hiking day, so my friend and I didn’t get into the park very far. (Hiking in the rain totally sucks, dude, and I’m not about to be soaked on a four-hour return bus ride.) Despite the short hike, it was still incredibly beautiful and none of my photos do it justice.

On the first day, we took a bus from Seoul for about 4.5 hours… Getting out of Seoul (or into Seoul, for that matter) is always a pain in the ass. Traffic is THE WORST. Our giant greyhound-esque bus nearly blew out two tires trying to make up time trekking up onto the mountain where the zip line was. After a less-than exciting fast food lunch, some lounging around to digest, and then a long wait in line, we finally made our way down the longest zip line in Korea.

I’ve never been zip lining before, but I’m familiar with the adrenaline rush you get when you’re about to be sailing through the air at a very high height. I was honestly freaking out a little bit when I finally got harnessed in… I was sitting in this seemingly-safe cradle thingy, my knees pressed up into my chest and up against a small gate that would fly open with three others and send me flying down to the end (or in the event of a freak accident, my death). Once that little gate opened, I let out a yelp, but then started hollering because I was having so much freaking fun. In the group of four, I started bringing in the tail… I was LOSING on the trip down. I discovered that if I took my hands out of the air and put them behind me, I sailed forward faster. So, in the end, I won. I made this announcement upon my friend’s arrival, a few seconds later. “I WON!!!” (Apparently, even on something as menial and not-winnable as zip lining, I still have a need to be first.)

Once everyone from our bus had made their way down the zip line, we piled back onto the bus and started another three hour ride to the hotel. It was kind of like a condo – this is common in Korean hotels. We didn’t have much interest in eating Korean food from the local restaurants, and with few other options, we ended up making several kinds of ramen and a package of dumplings for dinner.

The next day, we bussed ten minutes to Seoraksan National Park. If you’re ever in Korea and looking for cool shit to see, GO TO THIS PARK. It’s less than $5 to get in and there are several different hiking paths of varying difficulties. The sights are absolutely breathtaking. I wish it hadn’t been raining; we would definitely have been out hiking more instead of finishing the end of Anchorman 2, waiting for the drizzle to lift. I hope I can make it back once more before I leave Korea next year. I already told JW that if he gets here and the weather is pleasant, I’m dragging him out there.

So, as a placeholder until I hit you with heavier stuff this week, enjoy my few photos from my most recent Korean adventure.

Also, here’s a shameless, unpaid plug for the tour company I went with, Enjoy Korea. Stacey, the trip manager, is awesome and on her A-game all the time. She took care of the few issues that arose and did her best to make them right. If you’re in Korea and looking for a decent company to tour with, Enjoy Korea is a great choice. They depart for trips from multiple cities and offer a good time for a fairly reasonable price. (It looks expensive, but trust me, letting someone else take care of all the background stuff for you is totally worth it.) (Also, if you don’t want to be unnecessarily surrounded by drunken teacher-children, ask if you can pay extra for a private room. That’s what I did, and it was totally worth the extra $35 I spent on that trip.)



  1. Pingback: I saw North Korea… no, really… | a little bit brave

    • Thanks, Dan! I’m not super confident in my photo-taking abilities, but I’m glad someone found something exciting in them! They really don’t do the place justice – it was absolutely beautiful, even in the rain! :)

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