Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Suwon | Chuseok

     My last destination of my Chuseok trip (read parts 1 and 2 here!), was an hour on the subway south of Seoul, to the town of Suwon. Suwon is the largest city in Gyeonggi-do, the province surrounding Seoul, which I'd been exploring (though there's still plenty more to see!). Many of the towns in the province are part of the Seoul subway system, and have almost been absorbed into the main city, by proximity at least, but are officially still their own towns. During my research, I'd found things to do in Suwon, but some were awkward to get to (for instance, the Mr Toilet museum is popular, but difficult to reach and far out of town), and what remained in the town was perhaps not going to fill two days. So, I came across the Korean Folk Village, regularly listed as popular attraction to the south of Seoul, and it worked in well enough with my plans, that I decided I may as well do it while in the area (Everland is also nearby, but I'm thinking of doing that on a weekend by itself!).

Korean Folk Village, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Seoul | Chuseok

     After I explored to the east of Seoul, in the Chuncheon and Gapyeong area, I returned to the city for the next two nights of my trip. There's so much to see and do in a city the size of Seoul, and I only had a day and a half, so I had planned in advance and decided to focus on just one area this time round, and tick off several of the most popular tourist sights. I had booked a hotel in the Myeong-dong area, on the north side of the river, and pretty central to everything I was going to see. On my first night there, after returning from Chuncheon, I more or less went straight to bed, since all my activities were great, but did leave me pretty tired! I was up early the next day though to start exploring the Korean capital.

Gyeongbokgung palace, Seoul, South Korea

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Chuncheon & Gapyeong | Chuseok

     So even though I've only been in Korea for a couple of weeks, I've already managed to do quite a lot of adventuring! I got lucky, because there was a public holiday last week (my vacation days suck, so I have to look forward to public holidays!) for Korean Thanksgiving, known as Chuseok. It's quite an important holiday apparently, and locals will often travel to visit their families, and we all get three whole days off. Add the weekend on to this, and I had five days to go exploring! Most other public holidays are just one day, or sometimes make a three day weekend depending on when they land, but five days is rare, so I was keen to take advantage and use the time to get out of Busan for a bit. So, on Wednesday morning, I jumped on the high-speed KTX train and zoomed up to Seoul in three hours. Seoul is also only an hour long flight from Busan, so it's possible for me to visit in in a regular weekend, so I decided to use the extra time to explore the areas around Seoul, as well as some of the city itself.

Guseong waterfall, near Cheongpyeongsa temple outside Chuncheon, South Korea
Guseong waterfall, Cheongpyeongsa temple

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Outfit - Sheer Fantasy

     I have new shoes! This is extra exciting for me, ok, because it is so difficult to get shoes my size in Asia, both Hong Kong and Korea. I've been wearing the same shoes for months, but I was in Seoul last week and the Forever 21 there stocks my size, so I've replaced my old ankle boots with this nice, new pair. Not everything was in my size, so I'll probably be ordering more online or whenever I'm back home, but these are good for now! The cardigan thing I'm wearing here was also a recent purchase, but from a couple of months ago now. I got it for taking travelling, as it's so light that it's perfect for when it's hot but you need to cover up. It was my go-to for temple visiting, when shoulders need to be covered, and I opted to wear it with this dress for work, since the dress shows my bra straps otherwise (I wouldn't care normally, but it's not ideal for work). It's still fairly warm here in Korea, but the temperature is starting to drop, so I probably won't be wearing this one for much longer. The dress has been a good standby for work for a while now, I'm just mixing things up with my accessories this time.

Sheer Fantasy | outfit of black and white striped skater dress, sheer black fabric cardigan, and brown suede heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Review - Young Guns: Echoes

     It's been less than 18 months since Young Guns's last release, 'Ones and Zeros', but they're back again already, with their fourth studio album, 'Echoes'. The band have been around the British modern rock scene for a good few years now, but their last album didn't make a huge splash. 'Echoes' just might though, as they've moved away from the pop influence and heavy synthesisers found on 'Ones and Zeros', and stepped back into more instrumental, riff-heavy, traditional rock music.

Album artwork for Young Guns fourth album, Echoes

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Exploring Nampo-Dong | Busan

     Welcome to my new neighbourhood! I hadn't really explored it yet, much beyond the walk between work and my apartment, so last weekend I decided to get out and about a bit more. Technically my address is Jungang-dong, but Nampo-dong is just the next one over, and where work is. It's in the south of Busan, next to the ocean and there's a harbour and lots of fishing boats around. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Seomyeon, the city centre, on the subway, so it's pretty well located I think. My specific street is pretty quiet, just lots of apartments and local shops (naturally I can't understand a word of anything anywhere!), and it's raised up above the lower street level on the hillside, so I can access it by steps up the hillside (I have to go up 6 flights in total to reach my floor). The streets below are a bit more interesting, with lots of cafes and restaurants mostly, but they're also lined with trees and there's statues of some sort at nearly every junction, which makes the walk to work a little more interesting. As well as the statues, there's also quite a bit of street art around, mostly tucked on random building corners and walls; it took me a few days of walking to work to notice all of it, since I was mostly focussing on not getting lost at first!

View over Jungang-dong, near Nampo-dong, Busan, South Korea

Monday, 12 September 2016

Outfit - Slouching Around

     Everyone should own a pair of trousers that are the comfiest things possible, and I believe these are now mine. I got them earlier in the summer, before going travelling, to give me another option of lightweight type trousers, for keeping cool while covering up. I find leggings to be pretty comfy anyway, but these are looser and slouchier (though it's a little hard to see in these pictures I think), so there's more room to breathe. They're also thick enough to wear as trousers, whereas I tend to wear leggings under something, since they're quite tight... Anyway, these are definitely casual wear, and also thick enough to stretch into other seasons I think. It's still warm enough for a vest top like this one though, and flip flops to keep everything very chilled and casual. Often I wouldn't even bother with jewellery on an outfit like this, but a crystal on a rope necklace seemed fitting, and I'm still enjoying wearing all my new earrings from my recent travels.

Slouching Around - casual outfit of grey pattern print top, loose black leggings trousers and turquoise flip flops

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Review - Twin Atlantic: GLA

     If Twin Atlantic's last release, 2014's 'Great Divide' was a progression into mainstream alternative rock, which earned them wider recognition and plenty of airplay time, then this, their fourth album, has taken quite the u-turn. 'GLA' is a return to scrappy, rough round the edges rock, where alternative meets punk. The pop edges on 'Great Divide' have receded, as the four piece step back towards their roots. And while I like bands to progress and develop with each new release, this apparent step back is so well done that I completely love it.

Twin Atlantic - GLA album cover artwork

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Room Tour | Korean Apartment

     Yes, the wallpaper is hideous. It's actually worse in person, because it's just a little bit sparkly. I have no idea who chose it, but it certainly wasn't me. Anyway, this is my new apartment, here in Korea, which I've been in for two weeks now. It's provided to me by the school I work for, as part of my contract, so although it isn't fantastic by a long stretch, I'm not paying for it at least! It's small, but I live alone, since it's a studio flat - it reminds me a lot of my studio back in France because of that - so there's enough space for one person. I do live on the 7th floor though (or 6th in British terms, I'm having to get used to using American English here, especially when teaching), and I have to go up 6 flights of stairs to get here, which is a bit of a pain, but at least I can tell myself I'm doing exercise! My biggest gripe at the moment (besides the wallpaper) is the window though, since there's only the one, it's very small, and I have to stand on my toes to get a glimpse out (and that's coming from someone who's 5'9"), and there's really no view to speak of, just the building across from me - it definitely makes me miss my view from my Hong Kong flat! Though to be honest, both my flats in Asia have really made me miss my Edinburgh flat - it wasn't perfect, but it was nicer than these!

Interior of studio apartment in Busan, South Korea

Monday, 5 September 2016

Outfit - All About Accessories

     First up, I'd like to say that this is my first outfit from my new flat, and the lighting situation is driving me nuts; I've got one very small window, and a very bright harsh overhead light. I was gong mad while taking these photos, so I'm apologising for the horrid lighting, and I'm going to try to find a solution. Anyway. So, anyone that's been following this blog for a while may recognise a lot of this outfit, since I posted a very similar one, way back ago here. I doubt many of you would have picked up on that though! Anyway, I'm re-using this outfit for two reasons; firstly, since moving abroad, my wardrobe has gotten a lot more limited, since I just can't have all my stuff travelling around with me, so there's plenty of clothing items back home that I now haven't worn in a year. And secondly, because it's fun to mix and match, and re-work outfits in different ways, rather than repeating the same combinations all the time. I've got a different pair of jeans this time (those acid wash ones wore out a while ago), and switched out the boots (though I do still have those) for more relaxed Converse. And I recently got a new handbag, which was long overdue! My old one was falling to pieces, but I hadn't been able to find a new one I liked enough to give it up. I'm playing around with several new pieces of jewellery too, which I picked up on my summer travels, at markets in Vietnam (the earrings) and Laos (the necklace).

All About Accessories | outfit of plain black shirt, magenta string cardigan, blue skinny jeans, Converse, and silver jewellery

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Scottish Tag

     So seeing as I'm settling into yet another brand new country, I'm naturally feeling quite homesick, especially since I haven't been home since Christmas (8 months now, the longest I've ever been away). So today I'd like to remember home a little bit, and given that I'm yet to have any interesting Korean adventures to write about, a quick tag post about Scotland will do the job for today. I got the questions from the original Scottish tag on this YouTube video, but then I added a few more of my own on the end.

Blue and green Campbell tartan background with white text reading "Scottish tag"

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Busan | First Impressions

     My first week in Busan has been and gone now, and it's taken some getting used to. I had thought that since I've already lived in Hong Kong - a big, metropolitan Asian city - that Busan would be different, yes, but not such a big change as it was moving from the UK to Hong Kong. And I guess in some ways it isn't, since I'm dealing with a lot of the same stuff as last, particularly in terms of settling in here. But in other ways, Busan feels completely different to Hong Kong, and where the latter now feels like a second home, the former is entirely alien to me right now. I'm still getting used to my area, and have barely scratched the surface of the rest of the city. I will definitely be venturing out a bit further this weekend, and all my following weekends of course (I hardly have any pictures yet!). All things take time though, I guess.

Busan harbour from Lotte skypark, Jung-gu | Busan, South Korea

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