Bulguksa

A handful of remarks about cycling Korea: First of all: Do it. The East cost in particular is a good place to do it – 90% of the route is flat, the cycling track (called Romantic Road of Korea) runs from the very North to the very South (except for the spots where it disappears – from the way it looks on roadside maps it will probably be made soon). There is plenty of expected and unexpected attractions on the way, you should plan many stops. Second (and this applies to traveling in South Korea in general, not just by bike): Koreans are supernice and uberhelpful. They might sometimes seem a little lost and unable to act without using their smartphone but they will never ever leave you with your problem unsolved. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they will ask their smartphone. Or a friend. Or they will call their mom. And if the mom doesn;t…

Dance+music

Dano Festival (Danoje) in Gangneung is not just a regular little party. It has been happening every year for over four hundred years (the exact date depends on the lunar calendar, so be sure to check it beforehand; it usually takes place in May or June) and its awesomeness has been confirmed by UNESCO who designated it a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Hence, I needed to check whether the gig was as cool as advertised:) And I wasn’t disappointed.

Korean people respect their culture and celebrate it skilfully. It managed to survive all the numerous invasions (mostly by Japanese troops) and it has always been bringing Koreans together. And during the Dano festival itself for two weeks that culture is manifested in all sorts of forms: mask play, shaman singing, traditional hair dyeing, drums, barbecue, soju (Korean rice-based alcohol) – you will find something that…

Monkeys in the park

I had this idea to go to Korea by sea. After doing the math I chose Lianyungang in Jiangsu province as my port of departure (you can find the full list of ferry connections here: http://byferryfrom2japan.com/en/korea-china NOTE: the schedules are prone to changes, be prepared for all sorts of surprises).

After a night on sociable and talkative train I reached Lianyungang railway station. From here I took a couple of buses (1h30 in total) to get to the ferryboat ticket office/terminal (located away from the town itself; and far from the port, too). Surprise: today’s boat’s engine is broken, no trip today. But there is another ferry leaving tomorrow noon.

No problem at all. While waiting I will check one of the biggest local tourist attractions: Huaguoshan Park, where Sun Wukong, the Monkey King from the novel “Journey to the West”, found a cave hidden behind a water curtain and spent some fun time there (inside the cave there…