So I've already mentioned what I did on my Chuseok vacation; however I've failed to go into specifics! My friend Scott from Acadia and I decided to venture into unchartered waters- namely, Baengnyeong Do (in English it's pronounced Pangyeong Island). A mere 12 kilometres away from North Korea, it is a heavily guarded and terribly beautiful island with unbelievable scenery and beaches. Although it seemed as though many of the locals had never seen a foreigner in their life (many Koreans come here on vacation, but seldom do any non-Koreans even know about this island), they were all so kind to us- which was especially nice since we were basically flying by the seat of our pants for the whoooole trip (we made some sketchy plans, and only by our extreme good luck did they work out perfectly!). Baengnyeong Do is a 4.5 hour ferry ride from Incheon City, just west of Seoul and an easy trip on the subway. I would highly suggest going not because the people on this island cater to tourists (they're very kind, but there are very few amenities!), but because it was so isolated that it felt as though we had reached one of the last untouched places on earth. It was really nice. Enjoy the numerous pics!
We had to take really disgusting seasickness medicine before getting on the ferry. It was so bad; it tasted like burnt orange peel and vomit mixed together. But we didn't get seasick! Although I maintain that we, being Maritimers, wouldn't have gotten seasick anyway...
The ferry was quite full, and outside on deck was very refereshing. This little girl was very cute.
This young man is called Edward. He introduced himself to us at the ferry terminal, saying his aunt owned the travel agency we booked through. At 12 years old, he was the only one in his family (except for an extremely shy cousin) who spoke English; and was therefore delegated the task of filling us in on every little detail he thought we should know about the island. He also asked us if "Blacks" lived in Canada ("black bears, you mean?", "no, no black people") and maintained that the Japanese were an ugly race and should apologize to Koreans for "giving their women sexual harrassment" while they occupied the country. I at least agree with the last part.
This is kimchi jiggae; a delicious, hot, spicy soup which, when mixed with rice, becomes a harmonious party in one's mouth. Full of Korean leek, tofu, meat, and of course kimchi, it has a very interesting and complex flavour that I think one can only truly understand after living in Korea for a few months. This is the ultimate Korean comfort food; forget Kraft Dinner!
This was our hotel: no hot water, we slept on mats on the floor, and our neighbours were very noisy (our neighbours being rowdy Chuseok celebrators and lots of roosters). But at least there was air conditioning and cable!
This is the view from the gas station we stood at for about half an hour, wondering how on earth we would get around the island (we didn't know it was as little as it was). Finally, we managed to make the gas station lady understand that we wanted a taxi and she called one for us! Well, as close to a taxi as one could find in this place.
At the lookoff in Dilmujin. Peace North Korea, peace.
And along comes this poor dog. Seriously, this village had NOTHING but they still manage to find ways to doll up their puppies. This might as well be downtown Suwon.
Our cab driver called this woman and told her to be nice to us until he came to pick us up, so she beckoned us to follow her into her little restaurant and we watched her cook interesting things for awhile. She really kills the fresh fish with vigour! Here she is in action:
My huuuuuuuuuge pork cutlet that I randomly had for lunch. I lucked out; it was delicious considering me and Scott had nooo idea what we were ordering.
Scott's caveman pose with his huge chunk of meat in hand.
Panorama of the lovely beach- see all the tire tracks?
And finally, Edward's Dad insisted we get a few pictures with our new friend! Seriously, this family was so good to us. We exchanged phone numbers and if I ever go to Baengnyeong Do again I will definitely go through the same company. What a sweet trip!