Danielle and I just got back from a trip to the southern part of South Korea. It was our summer vacation – a seven day break from teaching (we spent five days away from Seoul). On our itinerary were Busan (the second biggest city in South Korea) and Boseong (a region known primarily for its green tea fields). We did our traveling by train, bus, taxi, and foot. It was great to get away and see some of the country we’ve been calling home for a little over nine months.

Here are some pictures from our Koreacation…

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a group of onlookers checking out the Five Ten Climbing Festival in Chuncheon, South Korea

Buddha’s Birthday is one of the holidays celebrated in Korea. We got a day off from work and an invite from the owner of the climbing gym we frequent, to go to the Five Ten Climbing Festival in Chuncheon, a city about an hour outside of Seoul. It was a rain soaked day, but a fun one at that.

Unexpectedly, I ended up taking part in the competition under the alias of Kim Yeong Man, (according to the sticker slapped on my back) and had a great time. My foray into competitive climbing got off to a great start, but I hit a wall (no pun intended) in the afternoon section. Regardless, it was a fun experience. Plus, it’s always nice to get out of the city.

lotus lantern fest

lantern lion

This was one of thousands of lanterns at the 2011 Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul, South Korea.



a "matrix like" pose captured at a Korean cultural demonstration


Danielle and I made a return trip to N Seoul Tower over the weekend. We were lucky enough to reach the tower about fifteen minutes before a Korean cultural demonstration was set to begin. Figuring that it would be something cool to see, we found a decent vantage point and waited around for the performance to begin.

What ensued was both entertaining and an opportunity to take some good photos. The demonstration began with some drumming and “hat dancing” (the performers wear hats with long ribbons attached – these ribbons are made to “dance” by careful movements of the head and neck, or at least that’s my amateur assessment). The drummers were followed by sword and spear demonstrations, during which the above photo was taken.

I managed to take this picture just before he kicked the hay off of the bamboo…if only I had pressed the shutter a half-second later.