First Meal

The first place we went to grab a bite when we got here was Kimbap Nara. There are tons of Kimbabs around town and they're super cheap. The food is also really awesome. It isn't fancy but it isn't fast food.  Important: they have English menus upon request!

My first meal was kimchi mandoo (or mandu) with a side of soy sauce. Kimbab roll for everyone to share, miso soup as an appetizer, and bottomless kimchi cabbage, kimchi pickles and fish paste. They also threw in some radish. Add tons of kochu-jang (pepper paste) and our meal was complete. Each person payed under ₩5000, or less than $4.50. Next week I'll write about bingsu and bibim bap, two of my favorites!!

  • Kimchi Mandoo: steamed dumplings filled with kimchi, pork, noodle, leek, onion and chili
  • Kimbap Roll: (Wonjo Kimbap-original kimbap) rice, processed ham, carrots, spinach, cooked eggs and damuji-yellow pickled sweet radish.

 Happy Friday,


Two Months!

Two months ago on this very day Patrick and I tied the knot. We had an UP themed wedding because we love Ellie and Carl's love story and wanted everything to be colorful. It has been a wonderful two months. We have surely been tested with all the obstacles we faced getting to South Korea. Couldn't imagine anyone else by my side ^^

Love you Pat,

Visiting Buddha

Rookie foreigner rule #1: Always ask for directions (even if your guide doesn't speak English).

Two weeks ago Patrick and I attempted to see Buddha on our own. We were told to take the #24 bus and get off at the last stop. It sounded easy enough. Unfortunately we hopped off the bus at the wrong stop. We really don't know what we were thinking. Due to the heat and lack of water we gave up walking and found the next bus home. Lucky for us Cameron and Lisa (always coming to our rescue) needed to shoot a family picnic for a short film contest. On the second day of filming they took us to the Buddha in the rain; which created an incredibly peaceful atmosphere. We spent some time looking around the Gakwonsa Temples until the rain let up. Then we hiked up a beautiful trail, had our sweet picnic, and the film duo worked their magic. I'll post the short film after the photos. It is so incredibly amazing for a 57 second film.

Tips for visiting Buddha at Gakwonsa Temples:

  • Take a bus to Yawoori (we took the 12 from KNU) and wait for the 24 (one every 20-30mins)
  • Take the #24 bus (under 2000) outside the Shinsegae.
  • Get off at the last stop. Just to be sure ask the driver "Buddha? or "Gakwonsa?" and point up the road.
  • Walk up the road (immediate left from bus doors) and walk passed the lake.
  • When you see a little shop and hear music you've made it.
  • Have fun walking up those stairs!!!
  • Be respectful and quiet, take your shoes off before entering the temples, and always walk counter clockwise around Buddha (tip from Lisa's stay in India)

if you see this lake you're heading the right way!

two hundred and three steps to Buddha

so peaceful in the rain

fifteen meters!!

prayer lanterns

Cameron and Lisa discussing plan B

outside one of the beautiful temples

don't forget to take them off!

gold Buddha

Patrick overlooking the Gakwonsa Temples

shooting some gorgeous mushrooms (00:25)



Books and Blogs

How I'm finding my way around (on top of all the help from friends):

My friend Megan gifted me The Rough Guide to Korea for my bridal shower and I haven't been able to put it down! Reading about Jeju island while on a Jeju bound plane was so helpful. I read the section about the famous diving grannies two times and then what do you know?! I see them on our first outing  in Segwipo. Lisa was reading Lonely Planet which is also full of tons of information. The main thing I like about The Rough Guide (besides the gorgeous pictures) is the way Norbet Praxton explains transportation for every city. He is also very blunt which makes the book pretty entertaining.

So buy a guide book, visit the blogs below and come visit me already! (Zoe)

That's all,

Helpful Books

Rough Guide to Korea         Lonely Planet Korea
Buy                                       Buy

Helpful Blogs

^Short and to the point 

^ Delicious photography

^ North Korea stories!!

^ Lots of guest bloggers