The Korean peninsula is shaped like an elongated irregular rectangle, but according to the more poetic-minded people it is a tiger with an open mouth and stretched out paw. Tail as in “tiger” is on the body and only the tip of the tail sticks out a bit.
The “tip of the tail” is not named so by accident. If you look at the map of Korea, on the southeastern coast 40 miles south of Pohang is beautiful cape Homigot. Translated, it means “cape tail tiger.” So this is exactly the case when a beautiful association with powerful animals inspired the ofﬁcial name of the place.
The first thing I saw was Keimyung University campus. It was really big and beautiful. It has got its own church, temple and parks. It was full of trees and hills.
Dormitory experience was quite odd. Firstly, our dormitories did not have kitchen as they normally have anywhere else. In this case, we all had to go to eat to the campus student restaurant or outside of the campus area. It was not a big issue due to low prices in restaurants. In case people want to get something to eat desperately, many convenient alternatives are available in stores, for example instant noodles, boiled eggs, bread etc. Secondly, we all suffered the curfew. Students were obliged to return to the dorms before 11 pm. In case a person was late for the curfew, he would get a penalty of certain amount of points that would lead to the expelling form the dormitory. However, it was possible to stay out for a night when informing a floor leader beforehand.
Upon arrival, within the first days I already found friends who I went to my first trip with. The place we visited was Donghwasa temple. It is a buddhist temple located near Daegu’s northern border. The place was incredibly beautiful where we experienced so much Korean nature that was literally everywhere and the temple itself was made completely in Asian style including a huge statue of Buddha.
However, the weirdest point was that I hadn’t had time to buy good shoes that would be very well suitable for that trip that included hiking a very very high hill… So I went just with my flip flops. It wasn’t as bad as I expected.
Another Interesting place we visited was Busan city. It is located about 100 km to the south from Daegu. The first thing I experienced was the sea. We swam there a little bit no matter that it was in October, it was still quite warm.
The next day, we went to walk around the city, where we found a huge temple located on the seaside.
In places like that people usually do not speak English, but we had our Korean friends with us, so they helped us to communicate with locals. However, by that time, we had been able to keep a basic conversation in Korean, including understanding numbers that was one of the most important issues at the time we first arrived to Korea. During those three days of our stay in Busan, we also hiked couple of big hills in Busan and witnessed a nice light show that was conducted at the biggest bridge of the city. The music that was played on the beach was followed by the lights on the bridge. The thing was just amazing, so it just took the breath right out of me.
The photo above represents that bridge and beginning of the light show that lasted for one hour. My camera wasn’t good enough to capture as much light effect as I wanted. I would like to come back to the place again in the future.
Another thing that completely changed my mind was the lantern festival that was held in another town called Jinju. I went to that small city for couple of days and I did not regret at all. Everything that I could imagine was shining right in front of my eyes.
There were thousands of statues and figures shining around the city in the park, castle, in front of the temple and floating on the river. Probably one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed in my life.
If you are going to go to Korea, you better pass by that city in October and visit the lantern festival that lasts for twelve days, so you won’t miss it.