Posts Tagged beautiful

Fall Colors

Perfect weather in Korea doesn’t happen but only a few weeks in Fall.  The weather is wonderful and the scenery is even better.

Yellows, oranges, reds, purples, greens…. gorgeous.  It looked like pages from a storybook.

Changdeokgung (Palace) was especially vibrant this Fall season.  I visited this palace in the summer with Seth’s parents, but it was a completely different visit this time.  I was in heaven.
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Hanagae Beach

I took a weekend trip with some delightful girls.  Fabulous time.

Muuido Island was 2 1/2 hours away from Sanbon, a bit West of Incheon… soo worth the travel time on the subway, bus, ferry and another bus.  Hanagae Beach is this tiny beach with an extremely low tide, as in 2K of low tide sandy nothingness.  I loved the rocky cliffs and had fun exploring a few of the rock areas.

The jellyfish were insane.  On the ferry ride, we could see giant jellyfish floating around.  I am not kidding when I say that some of them were bigger than me!

Upon arrival, I was shocked to see soo many Westerners.   It certainly wasn’t any Myrtle Beach or Daytona… thank goodness.  But adding to the 50, give or take, Westerners were Koreans dressed head to toe in hiking gear, swimming fully clothed, clamming in the low tide area, mud wrestling, and spinning until they fall down.   Such a great place to people watch.   I read a book, lounged, sat by a bonfire, ate sooo much ice cream and got sunburned.  The lobster family has welcomed me in with open claws.

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Taroko Gorge

One day tour of Taroko Gorge National Park.

I would highly recommend anyone wanting to visit this area take a tour.  It is widely spread out and having a van waiting at the end of a 30 minute hike is nice, instead of having to hike the same way back to reach your vehicle again.  Our tour left Taipei at 7am, taking a plane to Hualien which was only a short 20 minute ride to Taroko Gorge.  We were picked up from the airport and overall the tour was amazing.  I now have the urge to go white water rafting from viewing the winding rivers throughout the gorge.

One of the highlights from this adventure was seeing Swallow Grotto.  This was an area of rock, really I should say mountain side, that has hundreds of holes that were carved by swirling water many years ago.  Now these holes are inhabited by Swallows every Spring to lay eggs in a secure environment.  Wind whistled through the entire area.  The Swallows were not there when we visited, but it was still a beautiful area.

Another highlight was lunch.  Sadly, after viewing all of the amazing mountains and trees, I was excited about an actual Chinese Buffet.  Back home I eat Chinese  food all the time… but now I can say that I’ve eaten the real deal.  Ironically, this buffet also had Gouda cheese.  That, in itself, made my day.  Lunch was at a 5-Star hotel, and the food was all amazing and prepared on site.  YUM.

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Taiwan Flowers

Even more amazing flowers spread out through Taiwan.
Taipei is hosting the 2010 International Flower Expo. I saw them fixing and repairing the stadium on our visit.The event seems to be a big deal for the area.  Taipei is also home to the International Gardening and Horticultural Expo. After seeing the Taiwan country side and witnessing some of the natural beauty, I can see why such Expos choose this area to host.  I did not, however, get any pictures of the Botanical Garden.  It was an amazing sight to see, but I did not have the camera.

Purple Lotus (DSCN1240) Coreopsis

flower in the rain ?? Water lily

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Changdeokgung Palace

The Bakers have made it to South Korea to spend 10 days with Seth and I.   We’ve shown them around Sanbon and ventured into Seoul.  Sometimes wandering in the heat can be fun, at least it wasn’t pouring the rain the day we wanted to visit a palace.

Changdeokgung Palace was built in 1405 and over the years pieces were destroyed and rebuilt. This palace was part of the largest royal residential complex of the Joseon Dynasty. Earlier in the year Seth and I visited the JongmyoShrine which is part of this palace.  I’m still not tired of seeing the ancient palace grounds… it’s all soo surreal. 

My favorite part: Secret Gardens, located behind the King and Queen’s quarters.  Originally they were called Forbidden Gardens because everyone except royalty was forbidden to enter or even see the gardens.  It was difficult to determine where the garden began and where the natural mountain flora ended.  

The easiest way to reach this palace is Anguk station, exit 3.  A cheap 3,000 won to enter, and worth so much  more.  Closed on Mondays.  It’s only accessible with tours, available in English, Chinese, Japanese and of course, Korean.  The times were posted on the sign near the entrance, and they change.

 

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More Flowers

Bright pinks, fiery oranges, sunshine yellows, royal purples and deep greens are found all over this beautiful country.  Flowers keep me sane.

Most intriguing, to me, is the 2nd flower image.  Although this flower looks simple in design, it stood out like the red headed child amidst it’s plain brown haired siblings.  This flower was one of the few flowers in the patch that had a burgundy center.  The many other surrounding flowers looked like Black Eyed Susans, their bright orange petals extending all the way to the center.  Such an amazing flower patch.  I enjoy finding new or exotic flowers.  They may not be exotic to Korea, but at least new and exotic to me.

This lovely assortment of flowers has been captured on film by either Seth or myself.  :mrgreen:

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Taejongdae – Busan

After visiting the fabulous Fish Market, we decided to hop on a bus and go to Taejongdae.  It was on the southern most area of Busan.  The bus was jerky and made sudden stops quite frequently… I hate having motion sickness.  :evil: But… once there, it was amazing.  The area went in a giant 4 mile circle, up and down hills covered in gorgeous flowers.  There was a shuttle that you could ride, but the wait was insane, so we walked the entire way.  Very glad that we did…

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Haeundae Beach

We didn’t actually make it into the water, but we did enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Haeundae Beach is only one of the beaches in Busan.  At first, we thought we were looking at the North Pacific Ocean… but it’s not.  The ocean behind us is the Sea of Japan.

Enjoying the fabulous day

Enjoying the fabulous day

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach

The water was a gorgeous aqua blue color.  Basically it was your typical beach scene:  People on jet skis were riding up and down along the coast, footballs being passed, girls lounging on towels, kids building sand castles, seagulls stealing lunches from picnics…

There was No Smoking on the beach.

There was No Smoking on the beach.

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