This was our hotel during the Ubud portion of our trip…
The entrance to our room. Hotel Tjampuhan was built in the heydays of the 1930’s when Ubud was a thriving artists community and a popular tourist destination. Our room was clean and comfortable. We paid around $40 a night but the view and ambiance was priceless.
The hotel was definitely a throwback, no TV, no phone. To summon room service, you’d remove the monkey’s
We’d enjoy a breakfast like this every morning on our patio overlooking the jungle.
So, the day after Christmas dawned sunny and warm (low 50s) so I decided to take the GF out for a visit to South Carolina’s only National Park. Congaree National Park is only about 30 minutes from Columbia, so let’s go!
There are numerous hiking trails throughout the park but we opted for the very easy 2.5 mile boardwalk loop.
According to the park brochure, the lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the hardwoods in the world.
Of course, they didn’t look to “lush” on December 26. But they were tall. Now, I have seen the Sequoias in the Sierra Nevada, so when you are talking big, everything is relative. I recall that when I first moved to the South I sent a friend a postcard of the Smoky Mountains. She wrote back and said “you call those mountains? Folks sure do exaggerate back there!”
Jee Yeun enjoys the view at Watson Lake.
Two and a half miles was about all I had in me on this fine winter’s day.
And so ends this tale.
My first Christmas without mom and dad. She sure did love the holidays. I have some of her decorations up around the house, but they just can’t capture her spirit.
Believe it or not, internet/cable/phone service in the ROK are actually quite excellent.
Daepohang is a little fishing village on the east coast near Naksan Beach.
The fish don’t come no fresher than live…
Our dinner selection.
Dinner is killed…
Dinner is served.
And for people like me who don’t like their fishee raw, they’ll cook it up in this tasty stew!
For an MT weekend with the dart team:
Entertainment at 300 k/ph.
Arrival at Korea’s second city…
Hope the weather in hell suits you.
Here’s a nice essay on the society Kim wrought.
A photo I took of Namdaemun gate, Korea’s No. 1 national treasure. It was burned down a couple of years ago but a madman, but is in the process of being rebuilt.
Back in the day I use to enjoy x-country skiing in the White mountains of northern Arizona. Nowadays, I like to remember having fun in the snow.
Probably the biggest dive in Itaewon and the closest thing to an old fashion Southern honkytonk you’ll ever find in Asia is the Grand Ole Opry bar. Dirty, dingy, and half way up Hooker Hill. Great place to go for country dancin’. At midnight they play Proud to be an American by Lee Greenwood, and folks stand and sing along with lighters held aloft. This is followed by The Star Spangled Banner. And then it is back to dancing with Skynard’s Sweet Home Alabama.
I didn’t frequent the place too much. But if I was ever feeling a tad homesick, this is where I’d go for a taste of deep fried Americana.
Sometimes after a night of darts and drinking at Dolce Vita we’d have a late night dinner at Don Valley and then head on over to the norebang for some music making. I must be good because my singing never fails to bring tears to my listeners eyes. Even when I sing a happy song!
I started a joke…
At the bus stop in Itaewon
Down on Main Street, er, Itaewonno Blvd.
Ok, where’s the damn bus…
…ah, here it comes
Woo hoo! A seat for everyone!
My tour guide (girl friend) suggested we switch to the subway…
Alright, this is where we are, now to get to where we are going
Maybe we CAN get there from here!
Here come da train!
After another short bus ride we reach Uidong…
The temple is up the mountain and we are going to join the hikers…
But first we’ll have some lunch at an outdoor cafe and enjoy the springtime flowers…
…and the view from our table
Meat on the grill…
…sides on the table.
We enjoyed this gurgling stream on the way up Bukhansan…
…and the blossoms just past their peak
Eventually we made it to the temple gate…
Even statues love flowers I suppose
A better photographer would have found a more pleasing way to capture what was really a very nice view…
The lanterns were nice too
Didn’t want to stand to close to this one for fear that I’d get my belly rubbed too…
I think this is kinda like a wheel of fortune, but what do I know…
Anyway, my girlfriend was there to worship and I’m also uncomfortable taking photos of the Buddha while folks are being reverent, so this is all she wrote.
Hiked back down the mountain (much easier that way!), lined up for the bus in Uido and reversed our trek.
And so ends today’s journey down memory lane.
Places I Go
John McCrarey: That's the plan. It