This past weekend was spent enjoying the southeastern part of the country while experiencing 2 very different festivals. This was a weekend I had been looking forward to since we planned it about a month ago. In addition to having a great time, we learned some very valuable lessons.
About a month ago, 17 of my fellow Daejeon EPIKers and I decided to go on this weekend of festivals through a tour group. We were all so excited and this past Saturday it was finally time to get out of Daejeon and travel to Jinahe and Busan. Since we were with a tour group, we had private buses but unfortunately that did not allow us to bypass all of the traffic. I’ve heard from my co-teachers that Jinhae is one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms and they have the best cherry blossom festival in Korea. Apparently everyone else in Korea knew that fact as well, which resulted in a massive amount of traffic. After about 4 hours on the bus, we finally reached Jinhae and were told we had 30 minutes at the first stop and then we would be going to a different location for the same festival. At this point, everyone was incredibly hangry so we all ran straight past the cherry blossoms to the food tents. While inhaling my food, I was able to take a few pictures. I wish I could have taken more pictures at this stop because the scenery was very pretty with the cherry blossoms lining the railroad tracks.
As you can tell, there are tons of people here so it was impossible to get a photo of just the trees and not 100s of people. Once our time was up, we hopped back onto the bus and went to a different location. Here, we were able to spend a little more time. We had about 2- 2 1/2 hours to wonder around, which was nice,but honestly how long can you walk around just looking at cherry blossoms?? This time was basically spent looking at cherry blossoms in different settings along a creek and the street.
Since this was a festival, there were tons of booths set up selling crafts and food and even games that would be found at a carnival. As we were walking through some crafts, I came across a vendor selling this:
I couldn’t help it and I just started laughing out loud at how incredibly random this was. Turns out I missed a golden opportunity and should have bought tons of artisan crafts while living in Ecuador last year. Lesson learned, from now on I will purchase all local crafts in bulk to sell at the next place I live.
Once we left Jinhae, we headed to Busan which is on the southeastern coast. On a normal day, this trip should take around an hour, but due to all of the traffic, it took us 2 1/2 hours. Needless to say, we were tired of being on the bus and felt like we spent more time on the bus than off the bus that day. While it’s nice to have a private bus, I think next time I would pay for the train and avoid all of this traffic. Upon arriving in Busan, we were let off the buses right by the beach at dusk.
From the beach, we went directly to our adorable hostel to check in and then grab some dinner. The hostel we stayed at was multiple floors and had a living area and kitchen on each floor.
Once we had eaten and were pleasant humans again, a group of us headed to the beach. While relaxing and enjoying the feeling of the sand under our toes, I ran into some of my favorite girls that live in Pohang. Pohang is about a 3 hour bus ride away, so I’m not able to see them often. Not sure if it was the smell of the ocean combined with the feeling of sand or maybe the fact that I had finally gotten some food/soju but I was beyond happy to run into these girls!
Sunday morning, we woke up excited to experience our second festival of the weekend. Holi Hai is a Hindu festival of colors, where people get packets of colored powder and just throw in the air or on others while listening to the traditional music. I would say this was way more fun that I was expecting it to be. Before the powder throwing part of the festival, there was a tent with face paint that we could use. Everyone created their own design and some just decided to paint their entire face. Everyone was having a great time while getting completely covered in powder. From the breeze coming off of the sea, most of the powder got blown off of my clothes, but trust me there was even more powder in my hair.
Nothing like throwing colored powder on people to celebrate the end of the weekend of festivals. After all of this fun, it was time to hop back onto our favorite method of transportation and drive 5 hours back to Daejeon, and then take a much needed shower!
On a completely different note, I want to try to redeem myself from mistaking simple syrup from hand sanitizer last month. I took a picture so everyone could see that this is a very easy mistake to make and hopefully y’all don’t think I’m as much of an idiot. Seriously though, would your first thought be oh yeah that’s simple syrup?
Anyways, hope you enjoyed my attempt at explaining some of the festivals!