Monthly Recap – September 2019
A recap of my adventures in the month of September 2019
Work was winding down as I approached my big overseas trip or the year! I headed off to South Korea and Japan on the 23rd of September for a three week trip with good travel companions, one I hadn’t seen in 5 years. Read on for my monthly recap.
NARRABEEN LAKE WALKS
The Narrabeen Lake track is over 8 kilometres, so every time I go there for a walk I get to explore another section.
This time I headed South from Jamieson Park around Pipeclay Point towards Middle Creek Reserve and back. One day I will work up to doing the full circuit!
The track around Pipeclay point runs parallel to the lake.
As the track winds inland it takes you through temperate coastal forests.
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
Late in September, I landed in Seoul after my flight from Sydney. We had 4 nights in the busy metropolis and soon it was clear this wasn’t enough time!
Memorable experiences included hiking to Baegundae Peak up Bukhansan Mountain, exploring the Gyeongbokgung Palace in a traditional hanbok and visiting the DMZ and the border of North Korea.
This was one of the temples we crossed on our way up to Baegundae Peak. From the gates of the park you follow the road till the trail splits into two paths.
We opted to go up the longer, easier trail and come down the shorter, steeper trail.
We certainly aren’t regular hikers so we took our time. The long way took us through the forest until we came out above the canopy to the rock face to see the views looking back to Seoul.
Being up so high gives you an understanding of just how big Seoul is. I didn’t make it to the very top but I was so glad to see the view anyway! This was an intense start to our 3 week holiday!
The next day we rented traditional Korean outfits called Hanboks and wandered around the city, especially the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The outfits were amazing but we were very hot!
We saw lots of Koreans and tourists dressed in Hanboks. It made for some great photos at the Bukchon Historic Village.
We headed to the DMZ to learn about North Korea and the ongoing conflict and hopes for reunification. Our day tour took us to the Dora Observatory.
At the Dorasan Peace Park barbed wire sits alongside ribbons of hope.
At Dorasan Train Station you can buy a ticket to North Korea and wait on the station platform for the train that never comes.
BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA
After Seoul we caught the train down to Busan for 2 nights. Unfortunately for us, it rained the whole time we were there! We did get to see a few sights but the weather was against us.
Highlights included the Gamcheon cultural village, the Songdo Cable Car and the Haedong Yonggung Temple, perched right on the ocean.
Unluckily our full-day tour was dampened (literally) by pouring rain. The harbour and sights looked amazing, we will definitely need to go back again to explore in better weather!
We took the cable car over the bay and the skywalk. We didn’t get good views but at least we were out of the rain!
The Buddhist temple Haedong Yonggungsa is one of the top attractions when visiting Busan. We were there early in the morning and avoided the rain.
The sight I was most upset about not getting to explore was the Gamcheon Cultural Village!
The colourful village has so many paths and buildings to explore but it was pouring so much the roads were flooded!
We found a random cafe out of the rain full of music memorabilia and records to wait out the rain.
Of course on the morning we left South Korea, Busan was glistening in the sunlight!
Stay tuned for the October 2019 monthly recap where my travels take me (by ferry) to Japan for two weeks.