Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gochang

We drove through many windy roads to get to Gochang, it felt a bit like the roads around Central Otago. Gochang is a very small country town by Korean standards - it still has 70,000 people. When we arrived it was very clear foreign travelers don't come very often.


Also, directly outside of our love motel - a young boy with a perm just peed on the street and no one around us blinked an eye. (I don't think this has anything to do with being in a country town as I've seen this in Seoul.)

Anyway, speaking of our love motel. It was charmingly dingy, just the way I like it.



We ditched our bags and wandered the streets. The graffiti was bad ass:



After an early night and a relaxing evening of kimbap and plum wine, we woke up to this:


It was raining the biggest, fattest raindrops that came in all directions. We didn't let this get us down however and taxied up to Munsusa Temple. On the map it looked very close to the central part of Gochang but we weaved up the mountainside for about 30 minutes.
Walking around the temples was lovely in the rain. There was not a soul to be seen (even when I set off an alarm) and we sat amongst the gorillas in the mist listening to the wind chimes blow from the super old temple.
This building has been here since 643AD.


Everything was closed up so we had to peer through the cracks of the doors to see the beautiful shrine inside.


By the time we finished looking around, the rain calmed right down so we just started walking.


We stopped past some very, very old farmers working. They were adorable and invited me down to take pictures. I didn't want to disturb their work too much so I didn't hang around for long.
And who knows what they were doing, they were pulling out a buzz saw when we were leaving.


Oh, but I managed to catch this lovely man up on the road. Straight after this we were offered a ride on the back of a truck full of smiling Koreans, but we turned it down as we had barely started walking and we wanted to see more of the countryside.


Walking, walking, walking we came up to some berry pickers who motioned for us to come down and eat some berries. So delicious!


Further down the road a man just pulled over, gave us some berry juice and drove off! It was delicious!


More walking...the misty hills were so green! Koreans always tell me that they come to New Zealand because it is so green and spacious, but this landscape is just as green and spacious - absolutely beautiful.


We then were offered a few rides...



This guy (a Pastor) picked us up just as we started looking for a bus to get us to the centre of Gochang, "Where you go?" He told us he wanted to take us to a restaurant and then "Gochang's pride," a castle on the hillside.


He literally dropped us at the restaurant, paid and said he was sorry he had to go as he had to meet his father but to have a nice time in Gochang. What the heck?! Where does all this amazing generosity come from?!! Our lunch was delicious!


We then took the Pastor's advice and went up to the Gochangeupseong Fortress which was built in 1453 as an office during the occupation of Japan in the Joseon era.



Oooh and here is a cute, cute man who was sitting and enjoying the view of Gochang.


Back in town, we jump on the bus to continue north to Buan. The bus driver tells us his life story while playing Mariah Carey and Berlin.
It starts raining torrentially again. Our day has worked out perfectly with the weather and bodies definitely need the excuse for a rest.

2 comments:

kls said...

remember when the cute cute man took off his hat and fixed his hair for the photo? xoxo

Jenna said...

Do I ever!!!