Now that I live in Korea, it’s easy for my life to be perceived as one fantastic adventure with only highs and never any lows. The truth is my life continues to have many lows dispite living many peoples dream. When I travel on my weekends I get hangry and plans often fall apart. This cases me frustration, tentions between friends, and heartaches. My weekdays are lonely, repetitive, and boring. I live for my weekends, so I tend to go hard, too hard.
The truth is amid my grand adventures, there are had times but its more often little things that bring me the most joy allowing me to forget the hard moments inbetween.
After a week of letdowns, broken travel plans, and miscommunications in addition too being burnt out and covid fatigued, I didn’t expect the start of my vacation to be as good as it was. Before I headed to Jeju 제주도, I spent a weekend in Yeosu 여수시 celebrating a friends birthday.
I met up with the birthday girl at our hotel in Yeosu 여수시, leaving our bags as we headed out to walk around the Admiral Yi Sun-Shin’s Plaza area.
With the sun high, we decided to explore more of Gosodong Mural Village 천사벽화마을 I had been to before, but my friend had yet to see. There is just something about wandering the allies finding new paths and murals I had missed before, plus seeing the joy on my friend’s face as she experiences this delightful village. We wandered around for a couple hours, making our way to some local shops and a cafe where we recovered from the heat.
Eventually, we made our way back down to a street filled with traditional seafood. They couldn’t figure out where to stop, but we ultimately got brave and walked into a restaurant. Of course, we chose a does off one, which made it even more adventurous.
Communicating by saying “this please” 이거 주세요 in Korean and the stop owner hitting the menu options above the kitchen, we ordered an adventure.
We thought we were getting the famed raw white fish Yeosu is famed for but what we got was a feast filled with fermented snail, squid, octopus, and more fermented fish parts that we still have no idea what it was. Of course, we had to try it all. Starting out slow, we tasted a piece of everything together and went for a culinary journey of a lifetime. The Cook kept bringing out more dishes as time went on for us to try, and they had the best grasp I’ve ever had.
There is so much joy found in food. Especially when you’re discovering dishes for the first time with a friend. It’s these little moments that I live for.
After lunch, we walked around more before stopping and getting these “bomb ass” as my friend says Strawberry mochi desserts to go along with our hotel charcuterie board that we did it up for an ending in at the hotel.
The next mourning we headed down (almost 2 hours) to Hyangiram Hermitage 향일암 at the bottom of Dolsan-do 돌산도 I’m going to admit it was way too hot for the short but steep climb through a street market to the Cliffside temple. However, this place does not disappoint the views, and the different temples set into the cliff are a world on its own as you have to walk through natural rock tunnels to see it.
Walking up, make sure you see the Seventh Gate with the hear no, speak no, see no evil, Buddhas leading up to it. This unique picturesque temple is also known for making dreams come true. Koreans come from all offer the reason writing their wishes on gold leaves that they tie around the hermatage in hopes that they come true.
After walking around, we ran for what we thought was our bus and made quite the harrowing journey through the mountains to Museulmok Haebyeon beach 무슬목해변, where we chilled till I got hangry and we headed back to find some food. Our food journey ended well after several places were closed, and your’s rule may have eaten someone since breakfast was a smoothie…oops.
What a weekend in Yeosu. A grand adventure, but the best part was the company and the raw fish feast on the first day. The meal seemed small compared to the hermitage but brought me immense joy. Good food, good friends, the little things are what really set me on a better foot for my week in Jeju.
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