A to Z: Korea

Korea is a very interesting place. I spent about a month there right around this time last year. My excuse for going was to attend the travel writing and photography workshop in Seoul put on by GEP.

I wanted to do some exploration before and after the workshop, so I flew in early and spent some time in Incheon. I went to Jayu Park, Wolmi Island, the fish markets.

I always got a kick out of the locals wanting to take their picture with me. Turn around is fair play, I’m usually taking plenty of pictures of the locals. They loved it. 😉

I took the train down to Okpo, on Geoje Island. I was hoping to visit an old friend I used to work with. He still worked for the same company but they had been keeping him in Korea for 2-3 years. I wanted to try to find something similar myself. Turns out he was out of town, but I had a good time exploring around town and talking to some of the other expats there.

I made my way back up to Busan. I met an online friend through a meetup group and we met for dinner. She showed me around town and even to tour her ship at the Maritime Academy. I got to meet some of the students and was very impressed with their organization there.

I used to work as a captain of a tuna boat and it turns out the company we worked for had their home office right around the corner from where I was staying. I tried to meetup with some of the guys I used to work for, but they were pretty busy and we never did make it happen. I spent my time in Busan wandering around taking pictures of the harbor, the markets, the parks.

The train back to Seoul was clean, efficient and cheap. I was ready to meet my fellow travel writers the next day.

I had a blast wandering around the city with the group. We were there for the Lotus Lantern Festival and the photos we got were great! We went to the old castle, to a talk about tea, on a food tour, we even got to go visit the tunnels to North Korea!

Seoul Korea for the travel writing workshop

Seoul Korea for the travel writing workshop

I really didn’t want to leave, there was still so much to see and do. The people were so friendly and helpful, most spoke at least some English so I had no real problems with communication or finding my way around. The scenery was gorgeous! Very green, with a rocky mountainous coastline. Everything was very clean and well maintained. The food was fresh, healthy and cheap (and plenty of it). It was easy to get around and really pretty affordable (I stayed in local hotels not the fancy ones for foreigners). I would love a chance to go back again. 🙂

*Another post for the A to Z Challenge. 🙂


A Word A Week Photograph Challenge- Orange

Here’s another photography challenge entry. This one is from the blog A Word In Your Ear. Here’s the link to it if you want to get involved…


Here are a few of my photos that show off ‘orange’…

orange wave (sculpture on Gwangali Beach Korea)

orange wave (sculpture on Gwangali Beach Korea)

orange flowers

orange flowers (Jayu Park, Incheon Korea)

orange food?

orange food? (fish market, Incheon Korea)

orange sunset at sea

orange sunset at sea

orange sunrise, Tarawa, Kiribati

orange sunrise, Tarawa Kiribati

orange beard

orange beard (Surfside Texas)

orange umbrellas (and hair)

orange umbrellas (and hair)

orange fish

orange fish

another orange fish

another orange fish

orange spots on fish

orange spots on another fish

orange boat(s)

orange boat(s) alongside at Fourchon, LA

orange uniforms on the boat

orange uniforms on the boat (me and Jess on the DS-5)

orange sky

orange sky at sea

orange chopper

orange chopper (USCG)

one more orange boat (lifeboat)

one more orange boat (lifeboat)

I hope you like these. These photo challenges are fun. I really wish I had the time to go out and take some more pictures for them but no time so I have to use some from the past. 😦

Cancelled: Gwangalli Eoban 2014

I went out the other day to go to the Gwangalli Eoban Festival. Yes, I was taking chances. There have been a lot of event cancellations around Korea this year because of the ferry disaster.

The internet said this festival was cancelled, but I figured I would go and see myself since I had heard that the Lotus Lantern Festival was cancelled too, but I went to the park where it was supposed to be held it was still going on.

The Eobang Festival is another fishermans festival, like the Gijang Anchovy Festival I tried to go to the other day (which was also cancelled). It sounded really interesting and I was really looking forward to it. Especially after seeing Andreas’ post in her blog about last years.

So, who knows? I tried it. I got there and – no festival! Oh well. It was a pretty decent day. A little overcast, but that was good for me since I get sunburned really easily. The beach was nice.

There were a lot of local people out enjoying the beach but it wasn’t too crowded. People were out flying kites and walking their dogs. I saw a couple of fishermen. A vollyball game was going on and looked like fun. Lots of picnics were sprinkled around the sand.

People were skateboarding and bikeriding along the promenade. The other side was lined with bars, restaurants and coffee shops. I stopped and had some coffee and watched the scene for a while.

Here are a few photos so you can get the idea. 🙂

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Incheon Quickie

This is the first day here that I’ve been able to use my own computer. So it’s the first time I’ve been able to do a lot of things online.

I’ve been wandering all over and taking tons of pictures, so I thought I’d do a preview of some of the things I’ve seen so far. I haven’t had time yet to edit my photos, so all of these are straight from the camera. Enjoy. 😉

Korean Chinatown

Korean Chinatown

This was the beginning of my first day out in Incheon. I wanted to see Chinatown. I heard it was the only one in Korea. It was very quiet through the afternoon. I left before seeing if it got any busier at night.

Wolmi Island

Wolmi Island

This was one of the ones I took at Wolmi Island. It’s kind of a playground for kids and adults. There’s an amusement park, a couple of museums, a maritime school, tons of seafood restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc.

Sunset at Wolmi Island, Incheon

Sunset at Wolmi Island, Incheon

I went to Jayu Park and wandered around downtown for awhile.The trees and flowers were all in bloom and the blossoms were falling all around in the breeze. The petals were covering the ground like snow.  I finally figured out I was not going to be able to walk to the fish market, so I put it off for another day.

The next day I went to the fish market. Wow! What a huge place. It was crowded with all kinds of people from the smallest babies to the oldest grandmothers. Whole families were out shopping together. There was every kind of seafood imaginable (and some that I have never imagined at all).

Fresh, frozen, dried, still alive and squirming. It doesn’t matter, you can pick it out and they’ll wrap it up for you to take home, or you can bring it over to have them cook it up for you in the little kitchens in the back. There are also food stalls all around outside in case you want something other than seafood (or you can have more seafood!).


I found out those little pancakes are called something that sounds like “hotdogs” and they’re really pretty good. They’re stuffed with something kind of sweet, I think maybe bean paste. Then they add nuts. I like them. 🙂

After I got tired of wandering around the fish market, I made my way down the street to the Marine Square where some of the fishing boats and ferries dock. It was pretty quiet and I just watched the local people hang out. A bunch of kids were playing with the seagulls. They were pretty entertaining. 🙂

fishing fleet, Incheon Korea

fishing fleet, Incheon Korea

I was about ready to call it a day, but I was kind-of hungry so I spent a little time wandering around near my hotel in search of something for dinner that was not too spicy. I wound up going to a place that I thought had a picture menu (it didn’t). I wound up having chicken soup. It was interesting watching the Koreans cook their dinners at the table.


That was the end of my night and going to be it for me tonight too. I’ve got another busy day planned tomorrow! 🙂