Still rockin South Korea

Still kickin it in South Korea!
I’m here just a few more days, but I’ve spent most of this lovely (and very cold) Saturday working on my laptop catching up on email and downloading images. So, I’m going to post a brief update for everyone and share with you a selection of more images from the trip. Again, I feel it necessary to say that these are not edited and not color corrected – so please forgive me if they look a bit off.

Since the last post we’ve been through about three other cities and I’m now back in Yeongtong-gu, near Suwon… back where I started. We’re going to be chilling here and doing a few local things. We’re at that point toward the end of the trip where we’re trying to save a bit of cash. Traveling around the country has been fairly cheap… But, I’ve been on an extremely tight budget these two weeks. So, tomorrow we’re headed back to Seoul to see the Seoul Tower and Fortress there – and that’s the end of my trip.

I’ll likely write a lengthier blog Tuesday after I return to the States and have some time to really sort through images that I haven’t shared yet. So, until that time… enjoy these images from the last five days or so!

Just got off the bus for a little more caving. This one, however, was supposed to be much larger and much more impressive. Those mountains I’m pointing at… we’re about hike into those.

It was really pretty for the hazy November weather… can’t imagine what it must look like in June.

Gettin closer to the top!

Made it! That’s one HUGE entrance…

They had all these lights set up. It wasn’t this bright though… My camera is resting on the beam with a 3 second exposure.

This is a bit more accurate as far as lighting. The cave was awesome though. Took quite a while to see the whole thing.

This was one of the best tasting meals we’ve had… and we bought in the markets. For the roll, and a FULL plate of each type of noodle… we paid about $2.75.. so we got seconds on each noodle dish. The total was under $5, how awesome is that?

Wandering the markets a bit more around Samcheok before catching our bus out of town.

Dried fish anyone? The large ones handing on right are stingrays.

Hahaha!
Shortly after this we boarded the WRONG bus to Gyeongju. We had to take two more connections with the help of the drivers who made sure we moved to the right bus at each stop. The Korean’s are so nice, it was really amazing of them.

Rooms here are so cheap! This one also has TWO computers with internet connections in them for you to use. This is nicer than most college students dorms… and they only charge about $30 a night.

Some of the Royal Tombs here in Gyeongju.

One of many stone pagodas we’ve seen on this trip.

Starting our hike up the mountain to see a stone Buddha… ended up being a very loooong hike.

Little did we know that this was at the very top of the mountain. But, we made it up in time before sundown.

Beautiful sunset with all the blues and purples on the surrounding hills and mountains.

This is outside the Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto the next day. I’m bummed that they didn’t allow photography there… so sad. The granite Buddha there is one of the worlds most important religious antiquities – which is probably why you can’t photograph it…

At least the walk down the mountain was pretty.

I’m actually making into some of the photos this trip!

Me again! Having Colleen here to take a few shots means I don’t come home with just one-armed photos of me during this trip. Yay!

Decided to try one of these corn dogs on the way back to the bus. It’s dipped, cooked, dipped again, cooked again.. then has sugar and ketchup on it. It was actually pretty good… except for the ketchup, I can’t stand ketchup.

The next day we wandered around more Gyeongju. They have some really pretty parks right there in the downtown area.

One thing I find interesting is that people farm every available area they can… even right here on the side of a creek.

Wandering around Anapji Pond. They were doing construction/rebuilding so there wasn’t a ton to see.

But, it’s me again! Have you guys noticed how little I broke out my strobes on this trip? I’ll probably regret it later… oh well.

Whoaaaa. Wild, huh? Anyone hungry?
We watched the guy gut and clean one in preparation for sale, too.

Not even sure how to caption this one…

Here’s the most American thing I’ve had on this trip. Went into a Dunkin’ Donuts to sit and warm up… so I needed to buy something. The Vanilla Mocha thing I got was awesome… just too much whipped cream.

Waiting for the train! Heading back to Suwon.

So, that wraps this update. I’ll be heading home in two days. I have a ton of work waiting for me when I get back. Well, a wedding to finish and a calendar to wrap up. Excited for Thanksgiving, too! I’ll be in the Bay Area… so if you’re going to be nearby, be sure to call me up so we can catch up on life!

Peace!

An nyoung ha seh yo! (Hello from Korea!)

I made it to Korea!
Well, I’m only in South Korea… so don’t worry, haha. And check out this shot of me and Colleen on the bus ride from the airport to Suwon… I look halfway decent after being on a plane alllll night. I left LAX at 12:30a to Incheon and was supposed to connect through Bejing. Well, Bejing was snowed over, so we actually landed somewhere else, waited, refueled, then flew to Bejing, I connected, and then flew to Incheon. It was long… let me tell you.

But, I’ve actually been in Korea for a week. I arrived Tuesday afternoon. As much as I’d love to write a long detailed blog with my experience… I have way too many photos I’d like to share. So, please forgive me as many of these are unedited and straight from camera. I was able to do a light edit, but my laptop screen isn’t calibrated (I bought it two days before my trip). So, they will look a bit rough. I’m sorry, haha.

The markets in Suwon. Really awesome stuff, some of it I won’t eat… I’ll be honest.

We hiked up the Fortress wall and had this amazing view of the city.

Suwon markets at night. It was starting to get chilly… and would continue to get cold as my trip progressed.

Late night Potbingsu (shaved ice) with Colleen, Chelsea, and Frank.

Colleen and I went to the Korean Folk Village. She made friends with this horse…

… I made friends with this cow! He was pretty awesome.

Ninja training at the University here in town… I say training because, obviously, we can see them… and you never see true ninjas.

Check out the library at the school… how intimidating. I bet you feel smarter just walking in…

Dinner! One of many amazing meals that I’ve had on my trip so far.

Wandering the streets of Seoul. Waiting for the sun to go down for the lantern festival that night.

Me and Colleen. Been walking around allll day. Tiring.

You can leave your own messages at the lantern festival on these smaller lanterns.

The Lantern Festival was really beautiful. I’m glad that we caught it on our way through Seoul. I didn’t get to see the Seoul Tower, but we’re heading back at the end of the week to check it out.

If I had a marker I would have left a message or prayer myself…

Bulgogi with June and Colleen late that night.

Check it out! It’s North Korea! Across the water… June took us to the DMZ and we were able to see part of North Korea… crazy to be that close…

Wandering around this little shopping town with colorful buildings and roofs. Such gorgeous weather.

Sleeping on the Subway… if I knew exactly how far we had to go… I would have slept too.

We went to see the palace… and Colleen ended up being interviewed but these college students…

So I went to take photos while she was busy, haha.

On the way back into the subway I was interviewed. They had to take a photo with me, so I took one with them, haha!

Headed back to the subway after figuring out the trains/buses we needed to take that night.

Check out this budget motel!?! Haha, a round bed! Uncomfortable as hell, and my feet hung off it, but the room was nice and warm in the freezing weather.

It was gorgeous at the beach. Don’t get me wrong, it was cold as hell, but still very nice.

Wandering the pier.

We went to Seoraksan National Park to go hiking. It was freezing. I actually had to buy ear cover things cuz it was so windy.

Hiked up to one of the water falls. Gorgeous hike, just cold and windy.

These guys were HILARIOUS! They’re old friends who’ve known each other since Jr. High. They played Rock-Paper-Scissor to see who was going to have to get wet in the freezing weather.

And after a few rounds… one of the guys lost. Poor guy, he had to have been freezing afterward.

The views around the park really were stunning though.

This soup was amazing after hiking in the cold. We still had one more hike to go, too.

This photo doesn’t show the scale of this 40 foot Buddha.

I’m sure it’s even more beautiful during the summer months.

Had to photograph this little dude at temple we hiked to.

I totally meant to crop this photo… damn it. Anyway, this is the bridge in Sokcho at night. Really beautiful colors. I need to do more night photography I think.

This little guy was still moving when he was brought out to us. I’m not going to lie… he was delicious. And he was still moving when we were done, too.

Now this was so cool it was almost creepy. It’s a squid farm/thing where they dry these squid on this poles in the yard. We also stumbled upon it the night before, when it was dark and dimly lit.

I’m not a fan of squid… but I’m sure this is delicious looking for many people.

Wandering the fish markets. Plenty of dried fish for your enjoyment..

Lunch today was made up of three things. One was a simple gimbap. The other was a squid/egg kind of thing. It was fried and tasted a lot like a Denver omelet to be honest. And, of course, soup.

There is no shame here on the streets of Korea… hahaha!

Caving!

The caves were actually gorgeous. We’ll be going to a larger one tomorrow, too.

Pretty sweet room this evening. I actually have internet and can update you all without going to a coffee shop!

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully you all actually took the time to at least skim these photos. I’m not sure when I’ll be back online next. Probably not for a few days. But feel free to leave any comments or shoot me a message. And check back soon, I may have the chance to do another post sooner than expected.

Peace Out, America!

This trip… requires one additional thing to carry…

I’m leaving the States! In about five hours or so I’ll be boarding Air China and headed to the East! I’ll be spending the next two weeks traveling around South Korea with my friend Colleen – whom I haven’t seen face to face since our days in college in Michigan.
And how cool is a little reunion in a completely different country, huh?

I’m bringing pretty minimal amounts of everything – including my camera gear. I’ll be headed there with only my Mark III, wide and normal L lenses, and one 580EXII. I’ll also have my laptop – so keep your fingers crossed that I’ll be about to post a mid-trip update!

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple weeks editing and booking more shoots for when I return to the US at the end of the month. My apologies for the lack of any serious update in the last two weeks, but, as I’ve said before, my contract work keeps me from releasing images until this project goes to press.

I’m potentially going to be updating my Twitter feed while traveling, but that’s still uncertain. Either way, keep yours eyes here on my blog for updates on my travels!

Have a great November everyone! I’ll be gone most of it ;-)