Whew. It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I’m not very consistent but I’m working on it. You’ve all been busy with summer fun festivities anyway, right?
A few weekends ago James and I hopped on a bus and headed to a little island southwest of Gimhae called Namhae. We were welcomed with our very own Golden Gate bridge as we crossed onto the island.
From the bus terminal we started our jaunt towards the beach. When a taxi passed us we didn’t hesitate to wave it down. It wasn’t long until we realized how quickly the meter was ticking and the starting price was a whopping 4,000 won! That’s like $3.50! I know, I know you all are laughing at my “face” and screaming, Yeah, what a rip off! Well, in my defense we’ve been completely spoiled with starting fees of about $2 and I honestly can’t remember ever paying more than $10 for a lengthy ride.
The taxi fiasco and scarcity of buses caused us to arrive at the beach a bit later than expected. It turned into one of those moments we really wished we had a car. So enjoy those drives most of you get to take!
We did stumble upon some interesting encounters along the way…
Such as a garlic museum, you’d be shocked to see how much garlic is consumed here. The markets even sell it pre-peeled for your convenience! It doesn’t stay as fresh but when you’re eating a pound a day it’s not a problem! Whatever the health benefits of garlic are I’m sure James and I have added them all to our lives.
We also found some adorable geese. I think these are geese? Korea’s wildlife! But really probably mass bred for food or eggs, just kidding… Maybe.
My favorite part on the island so far? No high rises! Those ugly towering buildings that block the sky, mountains, and well, everything. Also, I really enjoyed seeing houses! I guess you could call me a country girl. Let’s all take a moment and enjoy Korea’s quiet countryside, something some of us have been so neglected by.
It’s so green! After a grey, black and
white, even more grey winter it’s been so refreshing to see some color! Ok, now that we’ve appreciated that let’s move on.
James and I finally made it to Sangju beach and were pleasantly surprised to see a little sun too!
The next morning we were hoping to catch the sunrise at Boriam Temple. It wasn’t sleeping in that made us miss it but a super misty cloudy day. That didn’t stop us. There wasn’t a taxi or bus in sight so we trekked along the road. Only for like a solid two hours. I’m not complaining! It was actually really, really nice. It was soo quiet. Something I have truly missed!
You know that really early morning vibe? It happens when you are awake before the world has shifted and lifted it’s eyelids. The air hangs completely still, like the Earth is holding it’s breath. It causes you to walk silently, like walking on eggshells to not disturb the sleeping giant. It brings this sense of accomplishment, maybe that ones just for me, I totally feel like I’ve accomplished something just from waking up early. I love that feeling of stillness though, there’s only a small window of time and certain places where it can be found, but I think you all know the vibe I’m talking about. So the walk was really refreshing and I was able to recharge a bit.
We were pretty lucky a taxi stopped for us, we were still so far away and the driver even spoke a little English. Yes, it was expensive but it was totally worth it!
There we were standing in the entrance way to the temple. The parking lot was empty. Through hand signals, mistaken head nods, and broken English one of the bus drivers told us, Yeah, walk up the hill and there’s the temple. That’s what I interpreted anyway. So we did what any tourist without a clue would do and started trekking – again.
This time I wasn’t so much in the mood. I was hungry, my legs were starting to ache, and the hill was like straight straight-up! We made it past the first hump, looked at each, shook our heads, and turned around. We’d wait an hour for the buses to start running before hiking up this.
I honestly wonder what the drivers were thinking after they saw our initial start. I’d like to imagine they burst out laughing and joked about the waygooks attempting to walk to the temple. They couldn’t have been surprised when they saw us show up not too long after leaving. One employee was kind enough to stop the cars arriving and asked if they’d be willing to let two white expats join their ride. It didn’t take long. The first car declined but the second was more than welcoming. The car ride was a good ten minutes, for those questioning our “laziness”. No one walks to Boriam temple from the main parking lot.
This was James favorite part of the temple. The view and the statue are definitely the highlights. Boriam also has several hidden little treasures, this little Buddha was sitting inside a little cave behind the bell.
This was my favorite part of the temple. I loved the stairs and the view of the ocean, the beach hidden in a little cove.
Namhae is a great little getaway island! I really wish we had more time there and I definitely would rent a car or beg a friend with a car to come along because the island would be much better explored with some private wheels! Overall it was another highlight to our year here in Korea.
Thanks for reading!