November 30, 2006

December Canberra Runner

Was taken to the printers on Monday.

Hope to have it ready for collection next Monday, and begin distribution at the Spring Series Final event on Tuesday at Acton Ferry Terminal.

Between now and then is the Vets Thursday Track and Field, Customs Joggers, Stromlo Recreational Facility Official Opening and run 4 laps of 1200 metres, Jogalog help on Sunday, and somewhere during the days in between, investigate the computer problems I am having.

Until Next Time.

November 25, 2006

Gold Gold Gold

The 2006 Golden Mile Handicap Event was taken out by Friar, over a star studded field.

The event was presented by The South Canberra Tuggeraning Athletics Club on Friday 24th November from 6:00 pm, on the Pine Island South Road.

Races were conducted in two categories, firstly all juniors, and secondly, all seniors.

Based on performances in those events, all competitors were given a handicap start time for the Handicap Event.

There was a close finish in that event, with Friar just hanging on for an 8:40, compared to an 9:30 in the seniors race.

Sashes were presented to the Age group winners in the events, and to the first Male and Female in the Handicap Event.

It was a great location and organsiation, on a traffic free course.

(Note that Friar in the Phillip Mile a few weeks previously, ran a time of 10:23.)

Until Next Time

November 21, 2006

Isn't that the way

Was about to load a photo of Flashdrake heading towards the finish of the World Triathlon Championship.

The computer or Cyberspace grabbed it and I couldn't retrieve it.

So now it's gone, gone, gone.

I had loaded it, but it needed rotating by 90 degrees.

Then in the rotation, the computer ended up losing it, along with about 10 other photos, it's also gone from the camera-phone, irritating me.

Well, Flashdrake will just have to compete in another Triathlon next week, so I can get an action photo to upload. :-)

Until Next Time

November 20, 2006

Just 5 Minutes More

The One Peak on Saturday morning around Mt Majura took only 5 minutes more than in 2005.

I was expecting a whole lot worse, having not run any long distance since I fell in the garden, and had a serious leg infection which took 3 courses of Antibiotics, a visit to the Hospital, and 3 visits to the doctor's.

The remains of the damage can still be seen, but the running is getting back to normal.

Tuesday, Wed, and Friday are spent at The Mt Ainslie run up, the Lake Tuggeranong stakes, the Lake Ginninderra Handicap, the Black Mountain Run Up, The ACTCCC Spring Series, the BBQ Stakes, The Customs Joggers, and the weekend is taken up with various events like the One Peak.

Next weekend is the vets Handicap, and the third run leg of a triple tri Team.

And Monday and Thursday are extra training days, today was a run near the Blue Gums, overlooking Stromlo Forest Park, early in the morning to try and avoid the heat of the day, 31 degrees forecast.

Until Next Time

November 13, 2006

Back to Some Running

Hope to run up Mt Ainslie this Tuesday.

The run around Lake Ginninderra last Saturday was interesting since it is the first time I wore my new asics 2110 in a rece.

Went well, and kept up with JD until the drink station at 2km, and then was left far behind, until the 4km drink station where there was no water, but had a drink of the "Yellow Powerade".

Was intending to have a run today, but couldn't find a break between the showers of rain.

So, proceeded with the preparations for the December issue of Canberra Runner.

Until Next Time

November 04, 2006

The Trip, The Whole Trip, and Nothing But The Trip

The Trip, The Whole Trip, and Nothing But The Trip.

And a few comments as well as references to Websites of places visited.


We were in America in 2004, visiting *Susan and Ross, *oldest daughter..

We were invited to Korea, with a stay at my sister-in-law’s place in 2005, but decided not to go because we had met in July 2005 in Australia.

Then early in 2006, with the offer to stay still standing, we decided to make the trip this year.

We proposed an October visit, but it was suggested we arrive before the Thanksgiving Day holidays, and on a Saturday so that Kyung-Hee could pick us up from the airport, and he could combine the holiday season with another couple of days leave, to drive us around on a tour of the east coast.

Chuseok (September - October)
Chuseok is one of the year’s most important traditional holidays. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Chuseok is often referred to as Korean Thanksgiving Day. It’s a celebration of the harvest and a thanksgiving for the bounty of the earth. Family members come from all parts of the country to visit their ancestral homes. September 17 - 19 in 2005

We made the booking by Korean Air in May 2006.

We later booked the flights to and from Canberra, and booked the IBIS hotel for an overnight stop before flying out on a Saturday


Friday 22nd September 2006

Forerunner Man

He is all charged up and will soon be "checking course contours" elsewhere.

I have been advised that I can plug him into 110 Volts or 240 Volts and rejuvenate him.

He will not be able to report until this has been tried, but he'll be accompanied by an experienced operator, one that can hold his hand and guide him around the contorted contours.


Saturday 23rd September 2006

Flew to Sydney on Friday 22nd September and stayed overnight at IBIS Hotel.

We were up early enough to catch the 5:00 am Sydney International Airport Terminal bus, Saturday 23rd, and flew to Korea, taking some 10 hours, but getting into the air in Sydney one hour late than scheduled.

We had breakfast and lunch in flight, but it was more like a late morning snack and a mid afternoon meal. Brekkie was chicken, and lunch was BiBimBab. Arriving at Incheon Airport at 5:40 pm Korean Time. We were met after an uneventful stroll through Customs, and an interminable wait for the baggage to be unloaded.

Dinner was at my sister-in-law’s place, the drive from the airport taking some 1.5 hours.


Sunday 24th September 2006

We had a drive to an outdoor eatery, driven by a cousin, the eatery being down a winding dirt road off the highway and next to the Han River.

Kimchi represents Korea's best known food. Koreans serve kimchi at almost every meal, and few Koreans can last more than a few days before cravings get the better of them. During the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, thousands of foreigners were introduced to it for the first time. Despite a reputation for being spicy, most people usually develop a taste for it, and many foreigners also find themselves missing it after returning to their home country.

Monday 25th September 2006

Monday was lunch with one of my sister-in-laws best friends and another Auntie Cousin.

This was at a Karaoke Bar, when after lunch about 16 got up and sang three songs each.

Each singer payed $15 for the priviledge, to be spilt equally.

Had some bananas,probably 2, since they were already sliced, at the Monday lunch.


Tuesday 26th September 2006.

We had lunch with another of my sister-in-laws' best friends, Mrs Kim at the Chinese restaurant near the local Lotte Store. Mrs Kim's husband has been an Ambassador in several countries.


Wednesday 27th September 2006-10-31

We had lunch with another 2 cousins, connected through my father-in-laws' oldest brother and youngest sister.

We had after lunch Coffee at a nearby coffee place upstairs.


Thursday 28th September 2006.

Thursday morning was spent at the local hospital being treated for the infection to my left leg flaring up, and being prescribed more antibiotics, and being told not to run until it clears up.


Friday 29th September 2006.

Was spent at Lotte World, trying to get lost through the myriad of underground tunnels trying to get from one side of the road to the other.

We saw a large Korean museum, in Lotte world, which took about 1.5 hours to absorb.

We tried to get out through an exit but found we should have proceeded to a different exit, nevertheless we bluffed our way out.


Saturday 30th September 2006.

We have travelled to some resort hotel on the East Coast in preparation for a visit to Sorak National park tomorrow.

Youngnangho Resort, which was good, and overlooked a lake, which had a walking track around and a Golf course next to the resort.

Lakesville Youngnangho Resort

On the way we stopped at a Herb Farm

The first herbal farm in Korea and just recovering after devastating floods a few months previously.

This time being driven by Kyung-Hee, with his wife, my wife, and sister-in-law.

BTW bicycle riders rarely wear safety helmets in Korea, nor do motor Bike riders.


Sunday 1st October.

We travelled to the Armistice Observation post at the most northernmost point of south Korea.

Unification Observatory

Where the fantastic drive course next to the endless sea ends, you will find Unification Observatory, the junction of a demilitarized zone and south boundary line at the height of 700m above the sea. Here at the famous tour site, more than 1,500,000 persons visit every year, you can find religious facilities such as Mary statue, Mireukbul statue, Jeonjincheol statue for those who wish the unity or who miss there family in North Korea. Also, there are exhibits for security instruction such as an armored car, a tank, an airplane, etc. for kids.. Myeongho-ri, Hyeonnae-myeon, Goseong-gun, 38 degrees 35 minutes north latitude

Admission Procedure
All visitors need to go through the entrance report and simple security instruction at Tongil security park 10 km ahead. One person of a group must present the certificate residence, so you better bring it. To report entrance, fill in the data to turn in, and wait a while to watch 8 min. slide film, as the security instruction, played every 30min. Owned cars are allowed to proceed toward Unification Observatory. You can freely look around after listening to a guide’s explanation about the facilities and the sight.

Opening time & Entrance fee
It takes 1 hour to 1 hour and a half to look around Unification Observatory. It’s open all through the year but the entrance hour is kept strictly, so check before you come.
summer (7/15~8/20) 09:00~17:30
winter (11/1~2/28) 09:00~16:30
entrance fee : adults 2,000 won, child 1000 won
(groups adults 1,500 won, child ,800 won)
parking fee : 2,000 won for all kinds

After the entrance report at Tongil security park, move 10min. to north by your car to get to Unification Observatory. You can use airport limousine if you do not have a car. (4 times a day)

Goseong Unification Observatory

Since old times, Korean people said "One cannot die before he sees Mt. Kumgang," appreciating world-famous scenic beauty of Mt. Kumgang and yearning to see it.

However, many south Koreans died before they saw the Kumgang Mountains due to more than 50 years of division of the Korean peninsula.

Koreans' wish to visit the mountain once in their lives, will soon come true, as an agreement on developing tourism for the mountain was signed between the north's National Economic Cooperation Federation and the south Korean Hyundai Business Group in June. The agreement reportedly makes it possible for Koreans to visit the mountain area this September. The mountain is truely beautiful enough to draw south Korean tourists as well as foreigners.

Here The People's Korea introduces famous sightseeing spots around the Kumgang Mountains;

Mt. Kumgang is renowned for their scenic beauty; it has various spectacular mountain carved our of granite rocks, a series of rocky pinnacles piercing the sky, deep and narrow canyons with nearly vertical granite walls and a number of water falls and rapids along the stream.

Its natural scenery is due to a large measure to the special geological structure of the area. The mountain consists mainly of granite and diorite. Long weathering produced mountain formations and cliffs of multifarious shapes. The variation in geographical location and weather and climatic conditions, too, contributed to the formation of Mt. Kumgang.

We saw the South Korean current military observation buildings, and the area where bus trip visitors check in before proceeding to North Korea.

The bus trip costs something like $800 US and there are options for one day, one night, two nights trips.

We also visited previous holiday areas of Kim Il Sung, and President Syngman Rhee, and Ki-Bung Lee.

Then it was off to Sorak National Park, and a ride on the Cable car to its observation deck and great views of the valleys and mountain peaks.


“If being crammed like a sardine in a Korean can doesn't appeal to you, avoid the cable car at Sorak Park. Yes, you'll also have to wait about 1/2hr to 1hr to be packed like a sardine.

Get some exercise and scale Gwongeumseong or Ulsan Bawi instead. It's less crowded, you'll get to see beautiful things along the way and you won't have to hear piped in Western music coming from everywhere.

Don't bother with this miserable 10min ride, try the best , longest cable car ride at YongPyong Resort instead.”

Our experience was nothing like this description, even though we had to wait ½ hour for our lift, there was no waiting for the lift on our return trip.

It actually rained for about 15 minutes, not especially heavy, but welcome nevertheless.

Rivers and creek beds are almost dry here, even though there was severe flooding some two months previously.

Then to a restaurant which is renowned for it's tofu speciality.

Actually, it's the only item, so they don’t have a menu.

And of course, the accompanying collection of additional dishes including dry fish, cucumber, beans and KIMCHI


Monday 2nd October 2006

Travel to Gyeongju along east coast

Lunch – Bulgogi

Dinner – Mackerel at Andong – mask village – with Mexican Dance group

Stayed at Daemyung Resort

Gyeongju (Museum without walls)

Bulguksa Temple

Never intended as a major temple, Bulguksa has become famous as one of the few surviving examples of Silla architecture. According to legend it was founded in 535 as Hwaeombeomnyusa temple. King Pob-hung built it for his queen, who prayed here for the welfare of the kingdom. Although most of Bulguksa is a reconstruction, the foundation stones and the pagodas are original.

According to the 'Samguk Yusa' (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) the original Bulguksa was designed by the legendary architect Kim Daeseong, who overcame extreme poverty and ugliness to become a great believer in Buddhism. Dubbed "Big Wall" because of his flat forehead, the young Kim took refuge in Buddhism and earned enough merit to be reincarnated as the King's Prime Minister, Kim Munryang.

Kim Daeseong's life is shrouded in supernatural legend. At birth he was found clutching a seal inscribed with the characters 'Kim Daeseong', his name in his past life. Like his predecessor, the young Kim grew up faithful to Buddhism and as Prime Minister gave it official support. He personally designed Bulguksa as a memorial to his parents.

In its time Bulguksa was dwarfed by major temples such as Hwangnyongsa, Bunhwangsa, and other important temples on the Korean peninsula. Bulguksa's smaller size did not detract from its artistry, which remained on par with the great Silla temples. In all likelihood the temple was probably not dedicated to Kim Daeseong's parents. The temple's name literally translates as "Buddha land temple" and a number of Silla kings styled themselves as rulers of a Buddha land.

The temple was sacked in the 1592 Hideyoshi Toyotomi invasions and all of the wooden buildings burned to the ground. It was partially reconstructed during the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945) but was fully restored during the later years of president Park Chung-hee's regime (1961-1979).


Tuesday 3rd October 2006


Seokguram grotto

Bulguksa temple

Gueongju National Museum

Silla Arts and Science Museum

Bunhwangsa Temple

Mask Village with Mexican Dancers at Andong

Anapji Pond (Imhaejeonsite)

Ccheomseongdae Observatory

Seokdonggobungun Tombs Park

Saw the Excavated Tomb and replica of remains

Lunch – Ladies set with steak

Dinner- Seafood Marinara.

Wednesday 4th October 2006

Geoje to tourist island Private investment

Tongyeong Goseong

Tongyeong tunnels 500 metres

Geojedo is Korea's second largest island. Just off the most southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, the island is known as being Korea's 'industrious island' and 'tourists' island.' Two of the largest ship-building industries in the world are located here. This being said, it is amazing that most of the island has kept its natural beauty. Ten of the nearby 62 islands are inhabited. Ferries transport visitors between the islands and the mainland offering vistas of clear blue waters, small islands in the distance and natural, unspoiled landscapes.

Geojedo is linked to the mainland by Geoge Grand Bridges.

A visit to Oedo-Botania by ferry was a highlight of the day.

An island purchased in 1973 by a single person, and turned into a self contained garden island over thirty years or so.

Pork – lunch

Seafood Hotpot shared

MUJU Overnight


Thursday 5th October 2006

Revised plan

MUJU to Apartment 220 km approx.

Jeoballuk – Do

Nil Tea farm since 31/2 hours to get there.

Caught in traffic returning to Seoul for thanksgiving Day reunions and ceremonies


Friday 6th October 2006

Thaksgiving Day

Memorial ceremony to remember and honor Eldertly Grandparents.


Saturday 7th October 2006

Korean Folk Village courtesy of Mr Lee.

Mr Kim – Soon-Ja’s school mate from early days joined for lunch at Chinese restaurant at Parkview building.

Mr Lee visited Canberra in 1972.

Mr Kim visited Sydney in 1970.

Entrees, then Black Bean Sauce with noodles.


Sunday 8th October 2006

Into Seoul by bus.

Looked around street market stalls as main market stalls were closed due to public holiday.

Visited MyeongDeong street for memories of childhood hangouts, then to Seoul station to book for travel to Daegu on Monday.

Went through underground pass, and saw lots of homeless people.


Monday 9th October 2006

Trip to Daegu

Woke up at 4:00 am. Ready for brekkie at 5:30 am

Bus station at 6:35am took bus at 7:09 am, since nil buses with spare seats.

Standing all the way to YMCA bus stop in Seoul.

Took taxi from stand 3 blocks away to Seoul station

At Seoul station by 9:00 am.Waited and noticed a Jesus preacher and a woman talking to herself.

Train left on time at 10:00 am. Arrived at Daegu at 11:39 am, We were met by Kyuing-Hee’s mother and had lunch at a chinese restaurant, then to her place, top floor apartment, and met her husband.

Went to Hainsa temple, about two hours away – famous for keeping of Tripitaka Koreana.

They took 17 years to carve, and after destruction, took 16 years to carve the second set.

They are housed in buildings which allow natural air circulation and air conditioning.

“Hainsa Temple, one of Korea's three treasure temples and the repository of the Tripitaka Koreana, more than 80,000 carved wood blocks on which are the complete Buddhist scriptures, as well as many illustrations. These wood blocks are actually the second set and were carved during the 14th century. The first set, completed in 1251 after 20 years' work, was destroyed by invaders. As well as being one of the most significant temples in Korea, Hainsa is also one of the most beautiful. Part of its beauty lies in its natural setting of mixed deciduous and coniferous forest.”

Korea claims to be first for wood print and first to metal print

Daegu used to be famous for apples but is now famous for textiles

Returned to Daegu with dinner at Korean, sit on the floor reataurant, cook at the table pork.

Mt. Kumgang [1], tel. +82-2-739-1090, organizes tours from South Korea to Kumgangsan. Hyundai Asan [2], tel. +82-2-3669-3000, is the company behind the tours and has some information in English.

There are two main ways to visit: either by bus from Goseong, in which case it's even possible to daytrip, or by cruise ship from Sokcho, in which case the tour takes a minimum of three days. Prices start at around W400,000 but vary greatly depending on day of departure, the hotel you stay in, etc. Non-Korean visitors are rare but welcome, although the tours are not set up for visitors with no Korean ability. Reservations should be made at least 20 days in advance.

English Tours to Kumgansan are available, as well. Prices vary between 610 and 660US$ ( as of October 2006 ) for a 2 nights / 3 days (Friday 9 am until Sunday about 6:30pm) trip from Seoul.

Laptops, PDAs, cell phones, cameras with 160mm or longer lenses, binoculars with 10x zoom or higher are not allowed. Video cameras may be confiscated at the border - unless the zoom is less than 24x. Anything taken will be stored, and returned to you upon exit from North Korea.

Foreigners do not seem to need a re-entry permit if leaving from South Korea to the North. Before going through customs you will receive a temporary passport (a small booklet with passport information written on it, a debit card to be used in tourist zones, a filled embarkment card. These will be in a plastic sheath, to be worn around the neck at all times while in the North.

South Korean exit procedures are performed at the Goseong Observatory. There is a special line for Foreigners, (aptly, although somewhat bluntly, labelled "Foreigner"). You will receive a South Korean exit stamp. On the other side, you will be assigned a bus, that you will stay with for the duration of the tour. Remember your bus number.

The Temple of Haeinsa, on Mount Kaya, is home to the Tripitaka Koreana, the most complete collection of Buddhist texts, engraved on 80,000 woodblocks between 1237 and 1248. The buildings of Janggyeong Pangeon, which date from the 15th century, were constructed to house the woodblocks, which are also revered as exceptional works of art. As the oldest depository of the Tripitaka, they reveal an astonishing mastery of the invention and implementation of the conservation techniques used to preserve these woodblocks.

At J’s Hotel at about 9:00 pm.

In Daegu having travelled by train, we were met by my wife's ex worker's parents and taken to lunch and Dinner. Lunch at a chinese retaurant and Dinner at a Korean BBQ house where food is cooked at the table over hot coals. Also were taken to Haeinsa Temple some two hours by car away , and saw the historic wood carved KoreanTripitaka which took some 17 years to carve, and after it was all destroyed took another 16 years to carve the current version, of over 1000 wood blocks.


Tuesday 10th October 2006.

We travel by bus today to the south east port city of Pusan (Busan).

We arrived in Pusan at the Bus terminal and took a taxi to the inner city, some 1 hour away, booked into Hotel Ariranga hotel and had lunch there, then went on a city tour by bus, get on and off as you like, all day.

Ended up at the huge fish market, and were going to have dinner at an eatery there, but decided instead to eat at one of the back lane eatery places near the hotel.

We return to Seoul tomorrow, Wed 11th, since I have an appointment with the doctor on Thursday morning, after which we visit another market, supposed to carry all kind of sporting gear.


Wednesday 11th October 2006.

Continental breakfast at Hotel Arirang in Pusan (Busan)

Train from 1:00 pm to 3:49 pm at Seoul. Taxi to 9401 bus stop, Bus 9401 to apartment.

Dinner and talked over trip.

Rain predicted for apartment area but NIL. Some foggy areas during train trip.

Pusan is second largest of the cities in Korea. It is obviously historically significant as the Pusan perimeter was the southernmost advance of the PDRK forces before the UN/US forces pushed back north. It is also one of 3 major beach destinations in Korea behind Daechon and Cheju. Daechon being well renowned for it's mud. That's home of the 'Daechon mud fest' which is held each fall. The mud is supposed to be the best in Korea. I guess that is quite an honour. Cheju-do is the premier beach destination in Korea. It is the large island south southwest of the peninsula. That is where well off Koreans go for their honeymoons. In Pusan I recommend staying at the Marriott. It is right on the beach and located right in the tourist area with many restaurants within walking distance. There is one of the few casinos in Korea right next door. It is very small by Vegas standards, but nicely appointed. There is also upscale shopping in the area and a mall about a block up with a movie theatre in it as well as a haunted house which is open all year round. Apparently that makes perfect sense here. There are all manner of rest restaurant nearby featuring many nationalities of cuisine. If you are looking for western food, there is a starbucks, TGIFridays, Outback, Bennigans, and McDonalds all within a stones throw of the hotels. You may be thinking I didn't go to Korea to eat that, but after eating Kimchi for a week your pallet may be due for a break. Korean food tends to be very bland, often spicy, but with no discernable flavor. There are some good (but super spicy) Thai food places near by. Also sushi. There did not seem to be many night clubs in Pusan, but there are a few, with one catering to westerners right across the street from the Marriott.”


Thursday 12th October 2006.

Visit to doctor at Seoul National University hospital.

Appointment at 2:30pm arrived at 2:15pm and was put on waiting list, and was seen at 3:10pm.

Went to local chemist to get prescription filled at 3rd floor of corner building.

Checked electrical store for power point converter, but they didn’t have any.

Went to Internet (PC) café to check the e-mails postings, Jamie and Amanda had returned from Thailand.

Prescription was for another 10 days od antibiotics, for left leg, and “Beese” tablets for settling the stomach.

Lots of other people waiting at hospita, from children to old aged with all problems like broken bones, crutch users, burned legs.


Friday 13th October

Seoul City Bus Tour.

Visited National Museum of Korea.

Visited War Museum of Korea.

A Marching display was in progress at the War Museum, and Schoolkids tried their English on us.

Visited NSeoul Tower.

Had dinner at Korean Restaurant. (Hancook – located at T1.

To get the revolving restaurant upstairs, one has to book in advance, which we had not done.


Saturday 14th October 2006

Lunch was Bi Bim Bab

Was invited to the Ballet – “The Taming Of The Shrew” at The Seongnam Arts Centre. (By Mr Kim , Mr Lee, and their wives. Also Mr Kim’s son and his wife attended the ballet but not the dinner.

Had dinner at a typical Korean Restauraunt.

Had Mixed Vegetables with rice, Green Bean Pancakes, Wholemeal noodles hotpot with seaweed in a rice based soup. ?


Sunday 15th October 2006

Dinner with Jung Hee’s High School Friends.

Crab Meat Soup Mushrooms and Vegetables in Sauce

Fried Prawns

Sweet and Sour Pork

Chup Cher (Imitation)

Beef with Black Bean Sauce with Noodles

Used shuttle bus to Sunae station, and subway to Degok, changed lines for train to Hyundai department store Floor 5 – Chinese Restaurant.

Then Jasmine Club for Coffee Latte.


Monday 16th October 2006

Went to travel agent to book trip to JEJU island.

Lunch with cousins in Seoul Food Court.

At 2:00 pm, returned to travel agent to finalise the trip


Tuesday 17th October 2006

Ordered Taxi, but they rang just on 7:00 am to say they couldn’t come.

Wenr down street to near bus stop corner and eventually got a taxi to take us to the Airport Limousine pick up point

Took 10 minutes by taxi and got Kimpo Airport Limousine, took 1 hour 10- minutes to get to Kimpo Airport.

Flew to Jeju airport, and arrives 12:05 pm.

Found Hotel driver after some looking around and had lunch at a local café. Abalone soup was good.

Returned to hotel where attendant had arranged a taxi tour for 2 days.

Afternoon tour started at 2:00 pm, and finished about 6:00 pm.

Toured North West of island, some unusual rocks washed up by the seaside. including Hallim tourist park, and Stone Carvings site, one rock sounded like a bell.

Had dinner at hotel Korean restaurant.

Checked e-mails to find a photo from Amanda’s trip to Thailand.


Wednesday 18th October 2006

At Jeju Hawaii Hotel

Day tour of mid road to the southern part of the island.

Along South Coast of JEJU and return past Mt Hella started 9:00 am, returned about 6:00 pm.

Mysterious road is shorter than Ghost road.

JEJU botanical Gardens (Beautiful land).

Southern Islands, Oedolgae rock (fisherman’s wife prays for his return, but both turned into stone.)


Prism rocks

An unusual rock formation created by the erosion from ocean waves and wind. It is as if someone stacked a pile of hexagonal crystals on the seashore. The waves that can reach up to 30m in height crashes against the fortress-like rocks and produce a spectacular scene.

Mt Hella rest stop. (Walking track to summit takes 4hrs plus 4 hours return.

Hallim Park

Hyupje Cave, Ssangyoung Cave - Huypje Beach - Ghost Road - Chengbang Waterfall - Sungeup Folk Village - Seongsan Sunrise Peak - Sangumburi

Kapado and Marado Islands are the most southerly of South Korea.


Thursday 19th October 2006

Half day tour South East

Stone Museum – JEJU stone park –

San Kumbiri Volcanic Crater (Sangumburi), seen close up for KBS report by taxi driver guide. Cave in the centre, and water never remains in the crater.

Finished taxi tour at airport

Lunch at JEJU airport

Fried Dumplings at Chinese restaurant

Flight to Seoul left and arrived on time.

Dinner at Kimpo Airport was Sweet and Sour Pork.

Bus to Bundang just over 1 hour and taxi to Apartment


Friday 20th October 2006

“Banquet” Lunch at Japanese restaurant owned by relatives of Mi-Ji

Mr Lee, Mr Min, Mr Kim,. Nam, Young, In Sook (Hyun-Soo’s brother just back from Sydney.

Visit Hyun-Soo’s mother and sister with a Chinese Take-away dinner.

One hour car trip to return to apartment.


Saturday 21st October 2006

“Banquet” Lunch at Korean restaurant near a Golf Club site which used to be on the outskirts of Seoiul, but is now overgrown by development

Took 1½ hours to Airport but no trouble booking in, had a snack at McDonalds and donated our left over cash – notes and coins.

Plane took off on time, had Dinner and breakfast on the plane, seats 37 G and 37 H


Sunday 22nd October 2006

Arrived back in Canberra near midday today, Sunday.

2 hours travel by car to Incheon airport.

10 hours travel by Korean Air airbus 330-300 to Sydney.

1 hour travel from Sydney to Canberra.

1/2 hour travel from Canberra airport to Duffy.

Doesn't seem like it is very tiring, but we are both tired out and very dopey at the moment.

Hard to keep the eyes open, since the 10 hours part was at night, and with the roar of the engines, and constant movements by other passengers, it was hard to catch 40 winks between dinner and Breakfast.



Transport system, KTX rail, buses and taxis.

Aeroplanes mostly full including daily flights to JEJU by 250 seat planes.

Excursions by schoolchildren, by plane, bus etc..

South to North special tour some $800 US.

2, 3, 4 day options.

Special road built from North East corner of South Korea, near Armistice viewing site.

Mt. Kumgang [1], tel. +82-2-739-1090, organizes tours from South Korea to Kumgangsan. Hyundai Asan [2], tel. +82-2-3669-3000, is the company behind the tours and has some information in English.

There are two main ways to visit: either by bus from Goseong, in which case it's even possible to daytrip, or by cruise ship from Sokcho, in which case the tour takes a minimum of three days. Prices start at around W400,000 but vary greatly depending on day of departure, the hotel you stay in, etc. Non-Korean visitors are rare but welcome, although the tours are not set up for visitors with no Korean ability. Reservations should be made at least 20 days in advance.

English Tours to Kumgansan are available, as well. Prices vary between 610 and 660US$ ( as of October 2006 ) for a 2 nights / 3 days (Friday 9 am until Sunday about 6:30pm) trip from Seoul.

Laptops, PDAs, cell phones, cameras with 160mm or longer lenses, binoculars with 10x zoom or higher are not allowed. Video cameras may be confiscated at the border - unless the zoom is less than 24x. Anything taken will be stored, and returned to you upon exit from North Korea.

Foreigners do not seem to need a re-entry permit if leaving from South Korea to the North. Before going through customs you will receive a temporary passport (a small booklet with passport information written on it, a debit card to be used in tourist zones, a filled embarkment card. These will be in a plastic sheath, to be worn around the neck at all times while in the North.

South Korean exit procedures are performed at the Goseong Observatory. There is a special line for Foreigners, (aptly, although somewhat bluntly, labelled "Foreigner"). You will receive a South Korean exit stamp. On the other side, you will be assigned a bus, that you will stay with for the duration of the tour. Remember your bus number.

Wednesday 25th October 2006

Always before a meal, a glass of water is given, and at restaurants, is regularly topped up, no matter what else you are drinking.

Also, a hot small refresher towel is given for wiping hands, and some people use it to wipe their face. Supposed to freshen you up for the meal ahead.

Chopsticks and toothpicks are now more environmentally friendly.

Chopsticks used to be made from wood and discarded after one use, now they are made from plastic, so they can be washed and re-used.

Toothpicks are made from degradable edible plastic, so they don't have to be separated from food leftovers, which, in restaurants, are trashed for pig farmers.

A Korean restaurant banquet meal has so many dishes, that just when you think the banquet has finished, they still bring out more dishes, and keep on bringing them out.

When they bring out the fruit however, then you know that is the end of the banquet.

Koreans at home, finish their meal, and after half an hour or so, bring out the fruit for "dessert."

KAL ticket Office 1588 2001

Blue Navi – Mappi GPS Car road tracking system

Slippers for Bathroom, and for House

Heated floors and toilet seats

Black plastic covers Ginseng plants

World Ginseng Expo in September

9th October – provinces

Majority of land mountainous

Poor used to cut trees, thus denude the lands, a beautification program now exists and is in full force.

English added to signs since Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Bus lanes are also for cars with 6 passengers.Friday 6th October is Thaksgiving day, memory of ancestors.

Some Costings

Busan (Pusan) City Bus Tour, includes some discount entry vouchers

Seoul City Bus Tour - 10,000 Won

NSeoul Tower 6,300 Won

National Museum of Korea 1,500 Won. MP3 player exhibits hire 1000 Won.

War Memorial 2,000 Won

Bus Daegu to Pusan 5,800 Won

Seongnam Arts Centre Ballet 100,000 Won

San-Gumburi Crater 3,000 Won

Gun Rung Art Park 9Jeju Stone Park) 500 Won

Hallim Park 4,500 Won

JEJU Waterfall – Cheonjiyon Valley 2,000 Won

Prism Rocks jungmun Daepohaeanjusangjeollidae 2,000 Won

Jeju Ship and rock walk 1,000 Won

Sungnam – boondang from Kimpo Airport 6,000 Won

Lotte World and Museum 4,500 Won

Jeju Botanic Gardens 3,000 Won

Seokgulam Grotto 4,000 Won

Bulguksa Temple 4,000 Won



Cheong Gye Cheon

Cheonggye Stream, also known as Cheong Gye Cheon, also spelled in one word Cheonggyecheon, is a 5.8km river flowing through downtown Seoul, Korea and then meeting the Han River.

During the presidency of Syngman Rhee, Cheong Gye Cheon was covered over with concrete for roads and, in 1968, an elevated highway was built over it. In July 2003, Seoul mayor Lee Myung-bak initiated a project to uncover and restore the stream. It was a major undertaking as not only did the highway have to be removed, but years of neglect and development had left the stream nearly totally dry and 120,000 tons of water had to be pumped in daily. The stream was opened to the public in September of 2005 and lauded as a major success in urban renewal and beautification.

The restoration helped Lee become a nationally renowned figure, making him a serious contender for the presidency, but did not come without controversy. In May 2005, just a few months before the project was to finish, Seoul vice-mayor Yang Yun-jae and local politician Kim Il-ju were arrested on bribery charges related to the project.

The project is estimated to have cost over 900 billion won (approximately US$ 900 million). In addition, about 12 trillion won (US$12 billion) is expected to be invested to re-develop the 792,000 square meter region near the stream into a major commercial and residential area over the next five years. Some Korean environmental organizations have criticized the project for its high costs, calling it purely symbolic and not really beneficial to the city's eco-environment.

Gimhae – Ancestor’s birth place.