An ancient Capital and a Footbath

After spending the day at Maisan and Jeonju, I planned to wake up early that Saturday and head out to Gongju, the ancient capital of Baekje. Time permitting, I also hoped to make it to Buyeo, a nearby small town that was Baekje’s last capital.

Gyeongju is well-known as an ancient capital in Korea, and it was the capital of the Silla dynasty, which eventually conquered the Baekje and Goguryeo kingdoms. Gongju, on the other hand, is far less advertised to foreign tourists, despite being closer to Seoul.

Getting there from Jeonju turned out to not be as convenient as I hoped. I assumed there would be a bus from Jeonju, but there actually is no direct service to Gongju. There is a train from Jeonju to Gongju, but I missed the train at 6:30 am and the next one didn’t leave until 11:05. Then I learned that the Gongju train station is about an hour outside of the city, so I decided to take the bus to Daejeon and then on to Gongju from there.

I really should have started earlier or just taken the train since I didn’t end up making it to Gongju until about 2:30 pm, which didn’t leave time for Buyeo at all and I felt a bit rushed in Gongju. The Gongju bus terminal is located away from the city center, but it was only about a 10 minute taxi ride from there to the National Museum. The Gongju National Museum contains relics from King Muryeong and his queen of Baekje. The actual royal tomb interior is closed to visitors, but the museum contains an exact replica of the tomb. There’s also their jewlery, shoes, and various other items on display from the Baekje era. Admission is free. The museum was pretty full but that’s expected on a Saturday afternoon.

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Some burial tombs on the museum grounds.
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Many Buddhist relics from all historical periods are on display at the outdoor exhibit.

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After the museum I planned to go to Magoksa, a historic temple located somewhat outside the city. I knew there was a bus from Gongju but the bus that services the museum doesn’t go there. So I walked out past the parking lot and hailed a taxi to save time. The taxi ride from the museum to Magoksa parking lot cost 19,000 won.

I didn’t regret paying for taxi fare at all. Magoksa turned out to be one of my favorite temples I’ve visited in Korea, although it is similar to other Korean temples in many ways. It could be because of the colorful lanterns on the bridge. It could be the peaceful stream that surrounds the temple. Or maybe it was the perfect fall foliage that harmonizes so well with temple colors. Either way, I recommend a visit to anyone in the Daejeon area. It’s one of the few temples in Korea that wasn’t destroyed during the Japanese invasion in the 1500’s, or even harmed by any major war.

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Not sure what the purpose of the dwarf is though. I guess it’s for the kids.

From the Magoksa parking lot, it can be reached by walking past the restaurants and shops and following the lanterns. Entrance fee is cheap, only 2,000 won.

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The stream that runs around the temple.
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Then cross the lantern bridge.

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I headed back to the parking lot and the bus stop, where there is a schedule of the buses coming to and from Magoksa. The next bus departed around 6:30 when it started to get dark, so I had to finish in Gongju then. I booked accommodation in Daejeon, and conveniently the bus leaving Magoksa stopped at the Gongju bus terminal.

From there it was back to Daejeon Bokhap terminal. There are a few bus terminals in the city, but most buses seemed to leave from Bokhap, a large terminal complex with an Emart and CGV. To get to my guesthouse, I had to get to the Junangno subway station. Daejeon has one subway line thus far and the Bokhap terminal isn’t connected to the metro, but I took a taxi to the nearest stop, Daejeon Station, for about 5,000 won. My Cashbee card was rejected on the subway — turns out Daejeon only accepts T-money cards. Luckily I have both.

The guesthouse I stayed in, Sanho Guesthouse, isn’t available on any booking websites, and it’s the only guesthouse in the city that I know of. Daejeon has plenty of motels however, but given that I was alone and trying to budget I decided to opt for the guesthouse especially since motel prices can get jacked up on weekends. The price for a 6 bed dorm with shared bath is only 18,000 won. The place isn’t super crowded so I only had one roommate.

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Sanho has an English guide for booking on their website. More information about the guesthouse and location can be found on this blog. The woman that runs it speaks pretty good English. The rooms are clean and it’s right near a subway station in the middle of Daejeon, near a bunch of restaurants and bars. However, it’s not the best place to stay if you want to actually experience that nightlife since the gate closes at 12 am. The bathroom and kitchen could have been a bit cleaner but they aren’t bad.

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Guesthouse sign.

The only thing I was really interested in doing in Daejeon city was the Yuseong footbath spa. The Yuseong district is known for its hot springs and there are many hotels and motels with spa bath facilities. But it isn’t necessary to stay in one of them to experience the mineral water. Not far from the Yuseong metro station, there is a small footbath park right in the middle of two streets, and it’s completely free.

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After two days on the move this felt really good.

Just wash your feet before going in. The bath is mostly used by older people and the water is hot and the rocks can be used for a foot massage. Perfect way to pamper the feet after a lot of walking around.

I’ve recently decided that after this year I’m going to be returning to the U.S. for the time being. I have mixed feelings since I really like living in Korea/Asia but I think it’s time I move on. While I like teaching I’m want to try something else. I hope to explore more of the country and make the most of the rest of my time here before I leave.

Mt. Maisan and Jeonju

Over summer, the Korean president announced that August 14, the day before Korean liberation day (the 15th) would be declared a national holiday because the actual liberation day fell on a Saturday. At the time of the announcement I had already planned my summer vacation and didn’t include the 14th. Since I was left with an extra vacation date, my co-teacher said that I could use the vacation date anytime I didn’t have class.

Last week, my students were preparing for their school festival and I had no classes so I took the Friday off. That way, I had a three day weekend to travel in Korea without the crowds of long holiday weekends. I live in the countryside town of Gapyeong-gun in Gyeonggi, in a very rural area so it takes quite a bit of time for me to get anywhere outside of Seoul or Chuncheon. So I decided to visit two provinces I have seen little of so far — Jeonbuk and Chungnam.

My first stop was Jeonju, where I took the KTX from Seoul on Thursday night. My main priority for visiting was Maisan, or “Horse Ear Mountain,” but I also checked out the Jeonju hanok village.

I read online that the village was very touristy and commercialized. That is largely true as the area is filled with shops and cafes and it’s very hard to tell which (if any) are actual residences. It has a really different feel from Andong or Nagan Eupseong. While those two are touristy as well, it’s easy to tell that people actually live there and they do feel old. The Jeonju hanok village feels more like a reconstructed historical park.

To it’s credit, though, the village does have a pretty romantic vibe at night, the streets and houses are really pretty and lit up at the time. It’s also less crowded then, though there were plenty of people around. I was in Jeonju during a bimimbap festival celebrating the popular rice and veggie dish, that originates in the city.

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Jeonju is also famous for PnB, an old bakery originating in 1951.
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On the way up to Omokdae pavilion, there’s a view of the hanok village.

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Jeonju is also well known for Jeongdong Cathedral, a historic Catholic Church designed by the same priest who designed Myeongdong Cathedral.

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Jeondong was built in honor of Catholic martyrs, who refused to perform Confucian rituals and were executed.
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DSC02827 Pretty brick building near the Cathedral.

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The next morning, I headed out to Maisan.

Maisan has two entrance points, North and South. South Maisan is where Tapsa temple is located. Several buses go back and forth to North Maisan, but South Maisan gets much fewer buses. The most popular way to get to the park from Jeonju is to take a bus to Jinan-gun and then take a bus from there to North Maisan, then hike to South Maisan/Tapsa and then back to the North side to get a bus back to Jinan.

However, when searching online I found that there is a small, infrequent bus that goes to South Maisan straight from Jeonju Station. I planned to use this bus to go to South Maisan, and then hike to the North where I would take a bus to Jinan terminal and then back to Jeonju from there. This plan ended up working well.

If using the Jeonju bus, head to Jeonju train station and walk across the parking lot to a tourist information counter. Here there is a sign with the bus times and directions.

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I took the 9:40 bus. Somehow I actually missed the bus stop I was supposed to wait at — although I took a picture of the directions it was for this blog and I didn’t actually read it. The ladies at the tourist office gave me directions but I somehow passed the bus stop and waited at a different stop a few feet away. Luckily when I saw a small orange bus with “Tapsa” in hangul written on it I tried to chase it down to the correct stop but the driver picked me up where I was then pointed to the right stop. Bus number 105 and 60 also leave from that stop. The small bus takes a really twisty but beautiful route through the mountains to the park, located in a very rural area.

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If entering Maisan from the South side (not sure about the North side) BRING CASH. Cards aren’t accepted and there are no ATM’s around. I had no remaining cash when I arrived but I managed to get in by asking the woman at a convenience store nearby to charge my card and give me 10,000 won (they charged 11,000 on the card for taxes). The convenience store DID accept cards so they were able to do that and the man from the Tourist Information office translated for me. I was really glad I didn’t have to make a trip out to Jinan town just to get a few won for the entrance fee.

After walking for about 10 minutes, I approached the peaks.

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After passing the lake, Tapsa came into view. Tapsa was founded by a hermit monk who built hundreds of rock pagodas around the temple without using cement. He started this project in the late 1800’s, yet most of the pagodas still stand today.

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There were a lot of weird statues at the entrance.

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The hermit monk who founded the temple and created the several pagodas. There are currently about 80, but there used to be around 120.

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For some reason there was a peacock there.

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There are some stairs near Tapsa that lead to Maisan North. They go through another temple called Eunsusa.

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Past Eunsusa, I went up several stairs, and followed the signs to the northern parking lot.

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The North parking lot.

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At the parking lot, I got a lunch of bimimbap and then waited for the bus to Jinan.

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Schedule near the bus stop.

Jinan terminal is only ten minutes from the North parking lot. At Jinan, there are frequent buses to Jeonju, and I waited only about 5 minutes.

Back at Jeonju, I walked around the village again. There’s plenty of vendors selling yummy snacks there, and I actually got a kebab for a 500 won discount just for being a foreigner. Later I had dinner with the hostel owner and other guests. The hostel I stayed at, Carpe Diem, was excellent both for the location and super nice owner. Carpe Diem is located in a traditional house near the folk village parking lot. It’s small but that just gives it an intimate feel. I enjoyed hanging out with the various guests and talking with the owner, who speaks English well and is very helpful.

Maisan is an easy and lovely hike, especially in autumn. From pictures I’ve seen online, it also has plenty of cherry blossoms in spring so that would be an ideal time as well. I didn’t really have any expectations for Jeonju as I mostly used it as a base, but there’s some good street food at the village and the village isn’t bad to walk around, though it doesn’t exactly come across as this very old traditional village as advertised.

The next day, on Saturday, I left Jeonju to spend a day in Gongju, which I’ll detail in the next post.

Seoraksan for the Lazy and Sokcho City

It’s leaf viewing season in Korea and I decided to spend a Saturday at one of the country’s best autumn destinations — Seoraksan National Park. I wasn’t the only one, of course. Seoraksan is one of Korea’s most visited parks and it has some international attention as well, so it tends to get very crowded during peak season. However, I really enjoyed the views so I thought braving the sea of people was worth it.

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The most well known hike of Seoraksan is the Ulsanbawi hike, where hikers climb across a rocky ridge in the middle of the park. Ulsanbawi has a reputation as a pretty difficult and steep hike so I decided to opt out. Instead, I walked through a valley toward Biryong falls, which is quite easy and only takes about 45 minutes both ways from the park entrance.

I also took the cable car up the mountain to get a view of the park without having to hike. The cable car had a long wait, which was expected given that it’s peak season. I arrived at the park around 9 am, and the next available car left at 12:55. The fare is 10,000 won round trip. However this worked well for me since I had time to visit Sinheungsa temple, hike to Biryong falls, and grab a bite to eat before going up the cable car.

The first place I visited was Singheungsa temple, about a 10 minute walk from the entrance. It’s well known for it’s bronze reunification Buddha, which was added to the temple complex in 1997.

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After that, I hiked to Biryong falls. The hike isn’t too long or difficult so it’s a good way to enjoy fall foliage without tearing any ligaments. Biryong falls was pretty crowded with people, but that was expected.

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Biryong falls is small, but the trek through the valley is very scenic this time of year.

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After returning from the falls, I got a sandwich from a cafe near the cable car station. Seoraksan has plenty of food choices and coffee shops around.

Then it was time for the view.

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View of Sokcho from the park.
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Ulsanbawi, which I didn’t hike.
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Big Buddha from a distance.

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After exiting the cable car, there are some stairs that lead up to a higher viewing point of the park but I was happy enough with the view where I was so I didn’t climb them. I’m lazy and not a big hiker.

Seoraksan is a beautiful park with good facilities and information in English. It’s very popular, but this fact also makes it accessible and easy for beginners. It’s only about a half hour bus ride from Sokcho city. It’s easy to get the bus back and forth, but Sokcho city buses don’t accept T-money cards, so the 1,200 won fare must be paid in cash. Local buses 7 and 7-1 go to the park.

After the park visit, I checked out the Sokcho Museum and Displaced Civilians Folk Village.

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Local buses 3 and 3-1 drop off in front of this sign.

It’s a small but interesting place that has some information about Sokcho’s ancient and contemporary history. Sokcho is home to Abai Village, a place where North Koreans from Hamgyong province fled during the Korean war. At this time, Sokcho was a part of North Korea and remained so until the end of the war when the country was divided at the 38th parallel. After the division of the Koreas the Abai residents were unable to return home.

The museum contains a replica of a street in Abai village where the refugees lived.

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The old Sokcho station is also located here. It was built by the Japanese during their rule, and then handed over to North Korea. It was used as a crematory during that time and after the war as a kitchen and later a school. It was dismantled in 1978.

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North Korean style hanok, from the folk village.

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The museum has a tower where the folk village and mountains can be viewed.

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Some parts of the museum are lacking English, though most of it has at least some translations. The fee is very cheap at only 2,000 won. Included in the price is a nearby building housing artifacts from the Balhae Kingdom, which occupied what is now North Korea and parts of China. This museum has no English translations however, so I couldn’t learn anything about the artifacts.

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Local bus schedule posted at the bus stop leaving the museum.

The next day I planned to visit Abai Village, which was nearby my hostel but I made the mistake of buying a bus ticket and not leaving myself enough time to go before the bus left. From my understanding most of the refugees have since left the village but Abai still has shops selling North Korean naengmyeon and Abai style sundae. The village was made popular largely due to the drama Autumn in My Heart which was filmed there.

Though I didn’t have time to go, I walked by the harbor and saw the boats tourists use to visit, which are man-powered boats and take a few minutes to get there.

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My accommodation in Sokcho was the House Hostel, a place that’s highly recommended on hostelbookers and hostelworld with good reason. It was one of the homiest hostels I’ve been to and the owners were very nice and informative. They have bus information for Seoraksan and other attractions in the area, and a map and pictures of local eateries. The location was perfect, right near the Intercity bus terminal and around the corner from a local bus stop, where buses to the attractions in the area can be easily reached. It’s probably the most popular of the budget accommodations in the city, so it’s best to book at least a week in advance, especially for weekends and holidays.

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DSC02780 Bus stop near the hostel. 
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It’s also right across from the harbor.

The female 4 bed dorm was small but comfortable and cheap. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the hostel to Rodeo street, which has a ton of shops, cafes, and restaurants.

If I had more time, I would have liked to check out Naksansa temple, which is a temple by the sea in Yangyang county and about 30 minutes from Sokcho on a local bus. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to return to the area before it gets cold. Seoraksan is stunning in autumn and I was happy to have visited although it was VERY busy. But the views, warm weather, and blue skies made up for the crowds in my mind.

Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark is a popular day trip from Taipei and it’s easy to see why. The park contains many unique geologic formations on the north coast of the island. It’s simple to get the bus there and back and takes only one hour.

The bus ticket can be bought from Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A. Kuo-Kuang bus number 1815 goes to Yehliu for NT96. I came back to Taipei from Hualien and arrived around 10 am to Taipei Main Station. From there I stored my luggage in a locker and walked to the West Bus Terminal and bought the ticket.

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When I got on the bus driver ripped the corner of the ticket and once the bus arrived at Yehliu the ticket had to be given back to the driver. The bus drops off about a 15 minute walk from Yehliu Geopark, but there is a walking path that one can follow to the park easily.

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Once at the park, there is a visitor center with English maps of the park. Entrance fee is NT80 for adults. The park is pretty big and requires some walking, but the weather was quite rainy and windy when I was there, so I basically only scratched the surface of the park. I was still glad to have seen it though.

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The famous queen’s head rock in the middle. There was a line to take the picture from up close, so I decided to take a photo from afar.

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Yehliu is pretty close to Keelung city, which is famous for it’s night market. I headed back to Taipei however, on the same Kuo Kuang bus at the bus stop on the other side of the road from where I was dropped off. The wait wasn’t long and the bus dropped me off back at Taipei West Bus Station. The next day was my flight out.

My last night in Taiwan was actually spent in the Tamsui district, which is a bit out of Taipei, but I didn’t realize that at the time I booked the hotel (I should have read the hotel details better) but it is on the Taipei metro line, about half and hour from Taipei Main Station. The Tamsui Old Street area had a fun vibe at night with a lot of different street food and restaurants try. The area also has plenty of historic buildings, but I didn’t have time to check those out unfortunately. But my hotel had a nice river view.

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The hotel was called Openroom Inn, it’s a bit hard to find as it’s only one floor (the 9th floor of a building) but the room was quite nice.

Taroko Gorge Tour and Hualien

I had really been looking forward to visiting Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, part of Taroko National Park in Hualien county. Because I was sick the first few days, I considered cutting out this part of the trip, but after feeling better, went through with it.

I tried to buy a train ticket to Hualien online the day before I planned to leave (I already had accommodation booked) but the website said that all tickets were sold out. I didn’t understand how they sold out so quickly — the Harvest Festival holiday was over, and it was a weekday. Then I read online that tickets between Taipei and Hualien are often sold out and can be difficult to book. Luckily, I went to Taipei Main Station in person and managed to get the last seat on the train, though for a later time than I had planned. I hoped to get an afternoon ticket, but the last ticket was for the 3 hour Tze-Chiang Express at 6:40 pm, and I arrived at Hualien close to 10 pm. It’s possible to get non-reserved seats and stand on the train, but I preferred to have a seat so I was glad I got the last one.

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The day I departed to Hualien, I asked at Taipei station if I could buy a ticket from Hualien to Taipei in advance, and I managed to get a seat at the time I wanted on the faster Puyama Tze-Chiang Express, which took only 2 hours. Based on my experience, it seems its easier to get train tickets between Taipei and Hualien in person rather than online. However it’s probably best to get them a few days in advance. If booking online, the tickets would probably need to be booked pretty far ahead of the travel date.

The Tze-Chiang limted express was really comfortable and had plenty of leg room. They also have bathrooms, though the bathroom on the Puyama was a squat Asian toilet rather than a Western toilet.

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To get around Taroko, I decided to sign up for the bus tour arranged by my hostel. Since I was alone a taxi tour would be more expensive, and I’m unable to drive so couldn’t rent a car or motorbike. The tour cost NT 700. Because of the typhoon the bus tour couldn’t go very far into the Gorge, so they added a stop at a lake and a pebble beach. Although I knew in advance that the tour couldn’t go far into the Gorge, I was a bit disappointed at how little time was spent there. The tour was all in Chinese, and started at 8:30 and ended at 5:00 pm, with lunch in between. When the tour guide asked if I spoke Chinese and I answered no, he asked a lady who knew a little English to translate when we stopped somewhere. Normally, the tour goes to various highlights around the park, lets off for about 10 or 15 minutes and then it’s back in the bus. It isn’t the best option for people who actually want to hike. If the tour was able to go to more places in the Gorge I wouldn’t have minded it personally though. I imagine that renting a car or motorbike would be the best way to get around the Gorge for hiking or camping.

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The Gorge was super beautiful though and I’m glad I got to see some of it least.

The overall countryside around Hualien is lovely as well. After the Gorge, the bus drove south to Liyu lake, which is nice and had some paddle boats for sailing.

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After the lake, the last stop was Hualien Pebble beach.

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After the tour, I headed back to my hostel and asked them about the night market. They told me there are two night markets in Hualien, one that is a bit smaller and similar to markets in Taipei, and another that is larger and has more aboriginal crafts and some performances. I decided to go to the larger market, though it was farther from my hostel, but they called a cab to take me there.

The night market had plenty of food options and shopping stalls, some with aboriginal handicrafts and aboriginal food. There was a stage where performances are held, though none going on while I was there.

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Food from the night market — pepper beefsteak. The noodles were really strongly peppery though the beefsteak was delicious!

Down the street from the night market is downtown Hualien, which was actually quite busier than I had expected for a small town. Plenty of food, shops, and people around.

The hostel I stayed at is called Colorful Taiwan, which is a short walk from the train station and pretty easy to find. It’s a little far out from downtown and the night market but they will call a cab and they have bike rentals. They were super helpful and friendly and the room was comfortable and had en suite bath.

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The next morning I headed back to Taipei, and took a day trip out to Yehliu Geopark. The Taiwanese countryside really impressed me with it’s beauty and I’m very glad I got out of the city for a day.

Rainy Taipei

This Chuseok, I was given a whole week off of work, as opposed to just the usual half-week, so I took the opportunity to explore Taipei area and Hualien in Taiwan. I almost didn’t go, because I was feeling sick in the few days before I was supposed to take off for my trip. I didn’t want to cancel because I was afraid of making the same mistake I made when I cancelled my flight to Cambodia, but right before I was supposed to get on the plane, I told a stewardess I didn’t want to fly. At that point all I wanted to do was rest and I didn’t want to get on a plane at all. However, I didn’t want to cancel if I couldn’t get a flight refund, and I wasn’t able to contact the airline to ask about a refund because their office was closed for the holiday. So, I got on the plane.

The first couple days in Taiwan I still didn’t feel well so I stayed mostly in the hostel to rest. Then Typhoon Dujuan hit, so even if I wanted to I couldn’t go outside. Luckily, the day after the typhoon, I started to feel better and ultimately went through with the trip as planned.

I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted partly because I was sick the first three days and partly because of the typhoon, but I managed to do a lot of what I wanted even in spite of those obstacles. Taipei is a fun and safe city with a laid back vibe, bustling night markets, good street food and cultural attractions.

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Longshan Temple, one of Taipei’s best cultural attractions. Built by Fujian Chinese in the 1700’s.

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Chiang Kai-Shek memorial, another famous landmark.

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World’s second tallest building, Taipei 101.
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DSC02667 The Sun-Yet Sen Memorial, which has a nice view of Taipei 101.

Another popular cultural attraction is the National Palace Museum, which has more ancient Chinese artifacts than Beijing’s Forbidden City. As would be expected it is quite popular with mainland tourists and can be quite crowded. There is a long line at the jade exhibit which features a cabbage made out of jade. The Chinese pottery is quite beautiful however so I was glad I visited. The museum has to be reached by bus, but it’s only about a 15 minute ride from the Shilin metro stop on Taipei’s MRT. The fare is NT30.

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Taiwan has an interesting history, being colonized by the Japanese during World War II, then controlled by the Republic of China (as it is now) after it was driven out of mainland China by the communist forces. Unlike many other countries in Asia, Taiwan actually benefited from Japanese rule and had a positive view of Japanese control. After Japan had to surrender all of its colonies, the Republic of China took over. However, Taiwan’s economy became worse under ROC control and their standard of living was lower than under the Japanese. So the Taiwanese protested the government and were brutally suppressed. This suppression is known as the 228 Incident.

Near the NTU hostpital station on the MRT is the 228 Memorial Park. A museum of the incident is at the park, but it was closed the day I went because of the typhoon the previous day. However I found the park nice to wander around.

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The 228 Memorial Monument.

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The Presidential Office building is located a short walk nearby.

Of course one cannot talk about Taipei without discussing the food, especially street food. There are several night markets around Taipei, the largest being Shilin. I didn’t make it to Shilin but I did do a tour of a market with my hostel and tried pork buns, fried chicken, a type of pancake with wrapped bacon (forget the name to be honest but it was delicious). There’s also stinky tofu and blood sausage cake but I wasn’t brave enough to try those. After a meal of street food, there are plenty of stands with some refreshing bubble tea to wash it down.

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Beef noodles.
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Taiwanese pork dumplings.

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Taipei also has several cafes serving breakfast and brunch foods such as omelettes and eggs benedict with a side of toast or home fries.

My accommodation in Taipei was Meander Taipei, a large hostel located near the Ximending shopping area (similar to Seoul’s Myeongdong), the location was great with plenty of eateries and shops around and the subway stop 10 minutes away. The beds were surprisingly soft and the female dorm was comfortable, equipped with an en suite bath.

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They also had a theater and played a movie during the typhoon.

Despite the rough start and the mostly rainy and humid weather, I enjoyed my time in Taipei and was really glad that I went in the end, and avoided the same mistake I made over summer. Taipei is only a two hour flight from Seoul and it’s a very affordable city and convenient and easy to get around. There’s an excellent MRT system for the city and a train system for getting around other parts of the country.

In the next post, I’ll share my experience in Hualien County, home of the famous Taroko Gorge.