3.05.2013

Seasons of Seoul and Beyond: Autumn


Seasonal Changes--what to expect and things to do

After living in the rain driven splendor of Norway and the sun filled days of Cairo.  I have learned to love the shift in weather that South Korea provides.  South Korea is known for 4 very distinct seasons, some better than others.  Regardless of personal comfort and preference, there is always something to do in the ROK.  Whether it be hiking, photo walks, eating, or festivals, a variety of change and flavor comes with each season.  After living through almost 2 years of weather cycles (minus summer, as most international vagabonds use that time to travel and return home to family:) I find that I look forward to each season--even the 5 month winter period.

Autumn
late September- early November

This is a great time to hike the mountains of Seoul.  Grab your gear (if you go Korean-style it will be a statement of colors, expenses, and unnecessary  paraphernalia.  If you're simple and practical, a small trekking bag, a water bottle, and some durable cross trainers are more than sufficient.  If you find that you are in need of provensions there will be a strip of hiking gear stores and food sellers as you approach the trail head.  Don't forget your camera as the explosion of fire reds, and ocher oranGEE-yellows are not to be missed.  At the end of hiking partake in some filling galbi bbq, celebratory soju, and self service water.

Hikes not to be missed:
  • Bukhansan
  • Seoraksan



Festivals

Jeonju Food Festival--early October
A place to palate the famous
bibimbop, a rice with five colors of steamed vegetables that symbolizes harmony, peace, friendship, coexistence and cooperation.  Bibimbop comes in all forms, yet you may notice the missing egg when ordered in this town notorious for bibimbop.  A restaurant owner mentioned that the egg messes up the harmony of colors and flavors, therefore, Jeonju omits the crack of the yolk.

In addition to food, there is a nearby Hanok Village (traditional Korean houses) that absorbs most of the visiting crowd once they are done sampling and buying food at the pavilions.

This is a blog I came across that goes more in depth about Jeonju.



Apple Festival--mid October
Small towns in the Chungcheong Province about 1.5 hours southwest of Seoul is where one can pick apples (for a hefty price 2,000krw/1.90usd per apple), consume cheap soju, make apple pie/sauce, and partake in silly apple games. 



Busan Firework--last few weeks of October
We traveled across the country of Seoul on the KTX speed train to partake in a fun weekend of K-pop and fireworks.  Since this was the tail end of summer, (aka the wet season) we got rained out.  Until next year...


Autumn is one of the best times to be in Korea.  The loaded kimchi pots, fermented maekoli wine, and unlimited excursions make for an ideal time to get out and see the change of seasons.

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