One of the perks of my husband's job here in Korea is that every once in a while, they will organize some low-cost trips so people can experience a little more of the culture. This time, Donghae was the destination. I was very excited about going to the beach after almost a year of not being even remotely close to the ocean. I do miss it a lot. I was also very curious about the "Traditional Korean Accommodations". A five hour bus ride later, we made it!
This was... sorta the room. Korean accommodations actually means No Bed. There were a couple of comforters in the closet that you kinda lay down on the floor and wrap yourself around it. It really wasn't good for my back, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I really am sorry about the room photos but the place was a little tight (which we don't mind, all we care about when we are on vacation is having a place to sleep, shower, and leave our stuff.) and I only had my 35mm lens with me. This whole trip really made me want to buy a wide angle lens. But I can't, not yet. Priorities, priorities. We got changed and went straight to the beach!
I apologize for my bad pedicure and my alien looking feet with missing toes, but seriously, guys, I was at the beach! I couldn't believe it. I didn't realize I had missed it that much until I actually got there. Unfortunately, someone rained on my parade and kinda, sorta, ruined my mood for the day. But that's not a story for this happy, joyful blog post.
I didn't think much of the town itself, but granted, all I ever saw was from the bus window. The beach, however, was beautiful and the weather was very good. It had rained earlier so it was a little humid but not horribly hot and I appreciated that.
I shot a few and then sat at a table with two of my friends and talked for a bit, while the rest of the people played soccer and volleyball. We were offered what we called "Watermelon Soup", which was really watermelon chunks in what I think was milk. It was a little different, and I would have liked the watermelon by itself better, but it was good anyway.
After a little bit we went back to our rooms to get changed for dinner. The trip program said that it was going to be a BBQ at the beach so I didn't bring anything fancy with me. Huge mistake. It was at a hall, with cloth napkins,a gorgeous buffet, performers and beautiful Korean women wearing cute dresses and some of them even heels. I was there in shorts and flip flops. This obviously didn't help my mood and all I wanted was to go back to my bed-less room and don't leave ever, ever, ever again. But I made it through dinner and since we had to wake up very early for breakfast the next day, we called it a night. The next day we had breakfast at the same hall. Amazing breakfast. I have come to think that I can't be left alone around a breakfast buffet because I can't control myself. After that we got our things, got in the bus and rode about an hour to "The Cave"
I call it that because it was what it said in the email. Apparently its name is Hwangseongul cave but I have no clue where this area is or what it's called. It was gorgeous though. It was so damn hot and humid but I enjoyed it still. We walked for about 1.1KM and there were so many beautiful things to see.
There were a few salespeople with different kinds of food and little trinkets.
We got monorail tickets for 5,000KRW to go up to the cave. It was a fun ride! I'm glad we didn't walk (or hike) all the way to it. It would have taken me FOREVER. Honestly, I don't even know if you can hike to it. Maybe you have to take the monorail? I guess I'll find out some other time.
We got to the cave and it was so, so beautiful. It made me wish that I wasn't on a tour type of thing because I wanted to stop and take my time to photograph its magnificence. It also made me wish for that wide angle lens again, and wish that I had brought a tripod with me. It gets a little cold inside the cave. Most people in our group were wearing sweaters or hoodies but it felt just right for me after that ridiculous temperature we had just endured.
The cave was really impressive and in some spots, I couldn't help but think of Jon Snow and Ygritte. Sigh.
In other spots, I would think of The Phantom of the Opera:
But look! A rainbow inside a cave? Whaaaa...? Too cute. Korea never ceases to amaze me.
It took us about an hour to walk the cave. I really wished I wasn't being pushed around by Koreans in other tour groups or that my own group had walked at a slower pace so we could enjoy it more. I hate tours. My lens was super foggy we left the cave, and it took it a while to de-fog. I freaked out for a second thinking I had ruined it. Silly Zayda.
We took the monorail back, walked down to the bus and rode it to a Golf Club where a Bulgogi lunch was waiting for us. After eating, we got in the bus and back home we go!
It was a fun trip. I really enjoyed the cave and in different circumstances I would have probably enjoyed the beach more. Would definitely go back but I'm not sure if it would be in a tour. It feels like a lot was left unseen.
Thank you for reading!