Korea trip pt. 2

That same day, we also visited a traditional paper factory & “made” some of our own.IMG_5139 IMG_5140 IMG_5142 copy Jeongseon The resort we stayed at that night was on a mountaintop. It was a convention hotel linked to a ski resort & had extremely strong k-drama vibes. At night it was eerily peaceful in the massive complex. I went for a walk around the grounds, through countless wide empty halls and corridors with muzak playing softly in the background. The bitter dark cold outside, fresh snow falling, fairy lights strung around in the white-blanketed garden, the lack of people — everything contributed to making the place atmospheric and almost dreamlike.IMG_5144 copyThe view from our room + the room itself were both excellent, but I couldn’t photograph it fully even with my wide-angled lens. IMG_5150 copy IMG_5163Samgyeopsal for dinnerIMG_5157The next day before going to Mt Seorak we actually visited a fish market as well. I don’t know what it’s called or where it was, just somewhere on the way I guess. We didn’t stick around for long either.IMG_5171 IMG_5173 Seoraksan National Park The hike at Mt Seorak was really fun despite the cold. The frozen-over landscape was breathtaking. I was kind of blinded by the combination of sunlight reflecting off the snow + the wind. IMG_5194 copy IMG_5195 copy IMG_5208 copy IMG_5198 copyIMG_5203 copy 2IMG_5193 copyIMG_5207 copy Seoul One of the first things my sister insisted we do was get softserve. We had the honeycomb soft serve at Softree and it was amazing. On our first night we had barbecued beef. We also visited a tourist trap that was nonetheless a really cute & picturesque location.IMG_5243 IMG_5251 IMG_5258 IMG_5259 IMG_5256IMG_5265At Gwanghwamun we had a really good tour guide. She took us around the museum & explained everything in great detail. The way she told things made them interesting.IMG_5290The marching band was more in-sync than the flag-bearers.IMG_5293 IMG_5292 IMG_5297 IMG_5302At GwanghwamunIMG_5306 copyIMG_5316IMG_5308 copyThe throne room left my dad & I very confused. “But where’s the seat? Don’t tell me it’s that tiny footstool-thing.”IMG_5322 More intricate decor is indicative of the queen’s private quarters.IMG_5323IMG_5333Strawberry bingsu and sesame-red bean bingsu. This is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted (especially the strawberry one!!). I went searching for this in Singapore but apparently so far there’s only one? authentic place, Nunsongyee, and it’s in Lorong Chuan. I went to try it a few weeks ago. The place is super inaccessible and I had to walk for 20–25 minutes from the MRT. The stuff was also priced unreasonably (close to $20 for one). Hope more joints open soon & provide some competition.IMG_5335 copyFollowing day we went to Lotte, although yes Everland is much better, it was just way too cold & we had to go somewhere that was at least partially indoors. IMG_5344 copyIMG_5362DMZ tour:IMG_5381We walked the 3rd tunnel. The climb back up was intense.IMG_5391 copyIMG_5418Had dinner at a place recommended by our tour guide.IMG_5423 copyInsadong: IMG_5430Moments from the trip, especially the part touring around the country, have imprinted themselves really deeply in my mind. I don’t know how to describe it, but sometimes certain memories just stick and become very resonant, and these are the type of memories that evoke nostalgia. It’s amazing how places can have such vastly different energies / moods, & how experiencing them really thrills and excites (it’s probably what I like best about travelling).

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