Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stars and Stamps

On my recent post about winter camp I talked about my class management style and that I was able to keep the rowdy kids behaved.

Jason commented that it would be a good idea to share how I managed to do that, so here for you is a report of my class management style.

I have been teaching English for almost 2 years now, mostly at public schools. At my last school I was in charge of an afternoon advanced class that met three times a week for 1.5 hours each. Also I was in charge of seasonal camps. It is in these types of classes that I developed my class management style. For the regular classes (the ones with 32 students) the management style is not as developed due to co-teaching.

Stars and Stamps:
When I worked at the hagwon I observed classes for 3 days before I was allowed to teach. During that time I saw that the teachers wrote the kid's names on the board and used a star system to reward or punish kids. Basically you give a kid a star if they are good or answer a question or take it away if they are bad. This worked well at the hagwon and especially in small classes.

At public school I carried over this method when I first started teaching the afterschool classes. But instead of individual names I made groups and the groups got the stars. Kids were motivated to earn stars and have more than other groups. If one kid in the group was goofing off than the whole group lost a star. This last method is great to get a whole group to cooperate with each other.

Stars evolved into stamps when I was getting further into the semester at my old school with the advanced kids. I started to notice that individually they were lacking motivation and a way to tally up their achievements.

The solution I found was to create a stamp award system. After a long break I presented this system to the kids so that they knew it was going to be the new method. First I handed everyone a list of classroom rules with the number of stamps they would receive or get taken away. For example:
  • Talking while teacher is talking = - 2 stamps
  • Doing homework = + 3 stamps
  • Group wins (based on stars) = + 3 stamps
  • Cheating = - 2 stamps
  • Fighting = - 2 stamps
  • A on quiz or test = + 2 stamps
The stamps were placed on a stamp chart which they were to hold on to. The stamp chart was made up of 5 rows with 10 circles in each. The goal was to fill up the rows and you would get a prize.
  • Fill up the first row = sticker prize
  • Fill up the second row = Bag #1 (Bag number one was a grab bag full of pencil case stuff)
  • Fill up the third row = Bag #2 (This was full of snacks)
  • Fill up the fourth row = Homework pass
  • Fill up the fifth row = Big prize (usually a bag of chips...whatever was on sale).
Yes I bought all the prizes with my own money since the English department would not foot the bill. I didn't really care since this was my own method to get them motivated.

So the stars evolved into stamps and so on. But a class management system is only as good as the teacher. Meaning you have to stick with the rules you created. I tended to give out more stickers than take away so the students became too relaxed.

I think it helped for the most part manage the kids and get them motivated to answer questions and participate in activities.

Also this method can be adapted to the regular classes if one creates a stamp chart for each class they teach. The class then earns stamps and competes with the other classes in the school.

Some argue this is a form of bribery and is trickery. I disagree since it works pretty well and is a great method for first time teachers. As time goes on I am sure my methods will involve systems that don't use gimmicks like stars and stamps. Certainly I can imagine that if I worked at a middle or high school this style would not match well with the students.

I am going to use this system for the 2nd graders that I teach since I really need a way to manage them. I will combine it with call and response attention grabbers which work well in the classroom. (The teachers says "ABC" students respond "123"...etc.)

In my opinion, one's class management system is based upon how we survive in the classroom. As we are put into the classroom with no "Teacher's Guide Book" on how to go about teaching Korean kids we end up making our own style. For those lucky enough to come from backgrounds in teaching you must feel lucky.

If you have your own tips and methods let us know. I am sure there are plenty more creative and potent class management styles out there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jenny's Bread Hongdae

Tucked in a side street and inside a renovated garage / basement sits what is probably the best sandwich and bread restaurant in all of Seoul. It is called Jenny's Bread which is a sister restaurant of Jenny's Cafe, both of which are situated in the trendy area of Hongdae, Seoul.

Last Sunday JH and I met up with Gabi from Seoul Searching for lunch. I have heard from Roboseyo of the goodness of this place and so knew it was time to check it out. He was kind enough to send me a scan of the their map.

To get to Jenny's Bread I would recommend starting out at the entrance to the Hongik University. This is where the street with the Dos Tacos comes to an end where you are facing the uni. Turn Left going away from the usual right turn where more clubs, restaurants and that park is. Walk up the street on the "right" side. You keep going and you want to spot the Imsil Cheese Pizza joint. Before this is a side street that you want to take. Meaning make a right.

This is the area where you going to make that right onto the side street. It is an uphill climb so this should be a good sign you found it.

Some graffiti that was seen going uphill.

Go up the hill a little and soon you will see another side street on the left. Take that turn. The next picture shows us looking down the next side street where tucked in the brick wall, on the right, is Jenny's Bread.

 Walking in from the cold air I was greeted with the warmth of ovens baking fresh bread. The aroma of bread baking was enough to almost knock this westerner down. The place was also cozily decorated with a home-like atmosphere.

As for the food it was amazing! Thoughtful and very well prepared I can tell you that the price matches the quality and taste. I ordered a proscuito sandwich with the soup of the day. They got everything right. Meaning my sandwich didn't have any odd ball ingredients such as peanut butter with jalapenos.

The bread was seasoned with olive oil and inside was real mozzeralla cheese. I savored every bite and was grateful to know a place like this exists and cares about quality sandwiches.

The soup was also very delightful. I wasn't sure of the ingredients but we speculated it was a squash soup. It has been a long time, it seems that I can remember having a soup that both warmed me up and delighted my senses.

JH didn't seem too impressed with the taste of the soup and thought it to be strange. But he was hungry and ate it all anyways. Do you see those croutons in there? My goodness how they added a lovely extra texture, mostly because they were slightly dipped in olive oil first so that when you took a bite there was a smooth warm oil feeling in your mouth. Hmmm I don't know how to describe this~! haha

Let's just say I will look forward to my next visit to Jenny's Bread and would like to visit their cafe as well. I hope you go too and help keep their business alive.

More graffiti seen in Hongdae~

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Camp 2010

The last two weeks were the winter camp sessions at my school. The first week I taught 4th graders and the second week I taught a mix of 5th and 6th graders.

Last year at my old school I taught camp locally and then for one week taught it up in the mountains. I liked those times because it felt like I was out of town at a resort while at the same time teaching kids. Since I don't work for the city that sponsors the mountain English camp I couldn't go this year.

To be honest this season's camp wasn't really a smash hit. I started this job in December and they didn't give us much time to plan for it. Also I had to take over the initial plans leftover from the teacher I replaced, which to be honest were really crap. Thankfully I had a lot of activities and games from my previous year teaching. There were some clashes when we were preparing materials. For example, my coteacher thought that the lessons for the younger kids were too hard. Her idea of camp was that the kids would learn a few sentences in one day and just do activities that made them repeat that sentence over and over. First off I agree with her that this will likely help them learn to speak target sentences but it doesn't really work for "camp" which is meant to be "fun and active" (Principal's words).

In other words, English camp is a puzzling scenario where you are put with a team of 20 kids for 4 hours to learn English. It is fun, though, because you get control of the class and can teach whatever you want.

The 4th graders worked pretty well and enjoyed the activities and games I used with them. Although there was a group of boys that pretty much ruined it for everyone with their constant talking and laughing. They also teased others when they spoke English so that was difficult. But I focused on the good things and had a management thing going on that eventually made them be good.

The 5th and 6th graders were a lot more advanced in their English capabilities and so enjoyed challenging games and fun role play activities. Also there were a team of boys who were the nerdy funny type of kids that made everyday extra special.

What I found most rewarding was when my coteacher would praise me for good work at the end of the day. As we know I am trying to get it right this time with my relationships at work and so this was a great bonus.

Now that winter camp is over I am already thinking about summer camp. I really want to make a list of things to do that are more fun and challenging. I could get this started but it isn't entirely up to me, for there is my other foreign coworker to help plan with me. Sometimes when I bring up requests to start planning future projects she tells me that it is too early. Maybe as we get back into the semester I will bring it up.

For now there are 2 more weeks to finish off the semester and then the 6th graders will graduate and the new term will start. I was told my teaching schedule might increase since more 2nd graders are coming in. I don't really want to teach more classes but one or two more won't really hurt. They just need to understand that the more time I am teaching the less time I have to prepare.

Also with the new semester coming there is a chance we will get new coteachers, which might be a blessing or a curse. I just hope they give us someone who actually believes in English education unlike the coteachers we have now. sigh~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art Supply Lesson

Today I went to Hongdae to get some art supplies at an art / stationary store inside the Hongik University. When it comes to buying art supplies I tend to be very picky and brand loyal. Having left the great big art stores of San Francisco, sometimes it feels too disheartening when I can't find what I am looking for. But even though the physical stores here tend to not stock what I am looking for there is always virtual shopping to save the day.
What am I looking for? Paper

These days I paint in watercolor and thus I am looking for watercolor supplies. For the watercolor artist you have the following basic necessities:
  • Paper
  • Brushes
  • Paint
  • Paint additives (Gum Arabic and Ox Gal)
As opposed to Oil painting (which I love) watercolor painting is less toxic and supply-speaking less of a hassle. With oil painting you generally want to stretch your own canvas, prime it and paint in a setting that is ideal for oils (good ventilation). Watercolor painting set ups are generally less of a pain to deal with and clean up is a breeze.

Right now I have all of those supplies listed above, but if you have ever known an artist, or are one, then you would understand that "Paper" doesn't just mean one kind.

In watercolor painting the kind of paper you use determines the technical outcome of your painting. Here for you are the general terms used when speaking about watercolor paper:

  • Rough: The name says it all...for when you feel the paper it feels "rough". That roughness comes from a "tooth" in the paper, which is a textured surface. When the water hits the paper it flares out filling in those toothed surfaces. There is nothing wrong with "rough" but I tend not to like the look of the textured surface.

  • Hot pressed: As opposed to rough this type of paper is smooth and has a very fine-grained surface. Because of this the paint dries quickly which means you can make even washes of color. In other words, you can paint and know where the paint is going to go since there is less tooth to fill in. Currently this is my paper of choice and what I am looking for here in Korea.

  • Cold pressed: This paper's texture sits somewhere in the middle of Rough and Hot pressed with a slight textured surface. I guess because this type of paper has the capabilities of rough with the slight smoothness of Hot pressed that it is most favored amongst artists. After today's experience I can tell you that it is highly favored amongst Koreans. I don't mind cold pressed since using it is closer to Hot pressed than Rough paper. 

There are other factors to consider as well like the thickness and weight, which basically determine whether the paper will be able to carry heavy amounts of water. If not the paper tends to tear or buckle under the many layers of water. Let's just say the thicker and heavier the paper the more capable it is at supporting more amounts of water.

Today I was looking for hot pressed watercolor paper at the art store. But... they didn't have it and instead I went home with a watercolor block of cold-pressed paper. It's okay with me but I really wanted to find out whether Korean folks every buy Hot pressed paper.

Watercolor paper in the Korean Lingo:
After feeling defeated by yet another place in Korea that didn't have what I was looking for I figured that when JH and I got home we would try our luck at (Korea's "google")

Within our quest we discovered the Korean words for the different types of watercolor papers. Here for you are those words, because you never know there may be another soul out there looking for the same thing.
  • Rough = 황목 (Hwang Mok)
  • Cold Pressed = 중목 (Choong Mok)
  •  Hot Pressed = 세목 (Seo Mok) *Bingo
Korean Art Supply Websites and Navigation:
We went through several sites to see if anyone sold the 세목 version of watercolor paper.  I will share 3 sites that I feel are worth using.
  1. Ee Leo Hwa Bang: Sorry if I got that wrong...just call them the "Art Shop #1" since that is the English name on their site. Their choices seem to include all types of paper blocks and at reasonable prices. 

I like that they list their stock.
2. Homi Art Supply: This store has a location in Hongdae which I haven't visited yet. They too list a Hot pressed paper and seem to have other supplies for a picky artist.
3. Lovee: They don't appear to have hot pressed but their list of other papers is pretty good and I think this site offers competitive prices.

In the side menu of these sites are list of the type of supplies. For watercolor paper click:
Generally, if you are looking for other supplies I would click the menu options till you find what you are looking for and then make a note of what it means. As for getting to the purchase part this is where you will need some assistance from a Korean person.

In conclusion, I was disappointed to see that Hot Press paper is not popular at the art store but relieved to find Korean websites selling them. If all else fails I could buy my supplies from an overseas company and pay for the shipping. I think I wanted this post to show what it is like to go about finding specialty items here in Korea. Whether it is hand crafted cheese, a favorite clothing brand or in my case art supplies it seems one should not give up and find a way. And remember to be thankful for whatever you can find out here as we all know so many in this world live without the bare necessesities.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Expat Community Survey

Shannon from the Seoul Global Center sent out an email to several bloggers about forming an expat community here in Korea. The email came in last week and I finally got back to her today, which I hope isn't too late. Her questions are really important, I feel, because many of us have considered the status of the expat community here in Korea. This issue creates a range of opinions, but generally should be scrutinized carefully. I for one am all about pushing the expat community to become more of a real physical entity than just the satellite groups that thrive here and there.

And so here for you are the answers I gave to her survey. I would encourage you to think about your own responses and if possible post them here as a reply or on your blog.

1. How long have you been here and how long have you been blogging? I have been here since May 2008. I have been bloggin since March 2008.

2. Current state of the K-blogosphere: The Korean blogosphere is varied with different types of people writing on different subjects about living in Korea. Certainly you can find anything that will cater to what you are looking for. I think for a long time mostly people wrote about how much they hated living here and complained a lot. But lately a lot more thoughtful and considerate writing has taken shape. Also many bloggers have met each other and so formed sort of like alliances with one another. This building up of friendship bounces off onto the blogs and people can see that we are able to get along with each other. I think though that the current state is not entirely connected. PErhaps it is impossible for everyone to know every K blogger but I feel that people mostly tend to read a few blogs they like and leave it at that. In addition, though the current state is also evolving to a community like setting.

Current state of the expat community:
I think it is better off than it has been for a long time. Mostly people didn't really know about each other. But thanks to Facebook and other websites getting together and connecting as a community is possible. However I would say that the status of expats as a unified "community" is still in an infantile stage. There are different degrees to which expats create their lives here. Some have been here a long time, some just got off the airplane and some don't really bother with getting to know others outside their workplace. Also the expat community, in my experience, does not truly live up to what is thought of as a true community setting. Nationals who are non-native in my home country, for example, tend to have a very close-nit community. Examples of China-town, Japan-town or any part of a city where non-natives of that country thrive show what a "real" community should be like. They help each other with legal and adapting issues. As for the expat community here in Korea it feels there is no one center or place where I feel I can connect with my peers and receive help. Perhaps, the Seoul Global Center is one place that would be an example of this. But I  believe it was not set up by expats for expats. If I am wrong...well sorry. As you know not every expat lives in Seoul, which includes myself.

There is no place I can go to in my city to get help with my needs or to meet other expats and grow the community. If there were a center where I could meet other expats and share with them my knowledge of living in Korea than to me that would mean that the expat community is well established. In my opinion we are all here but don't know how to connect as one....i.e. a community.

Perhaps this is Facebook's role, since most of us are on it. On there are many groups and a marketplace. If someone needs a toaster oven it can be attainable. Same thing for blogging. If I want to find out what dentist is good to go to in my area I can ask friends on facebook or google it. But this is a virtual community and doesn't put people face to face with one another. It also doesn't help with showing our presence as a "community" amongst the Korean people.

Again if there were a true community of expats established than I would know where to go in my area to meet other expats, receive information or help and volunteer if needed. Therefore the state of the expat community is still developing and should really head towards such goals.

3.  Why did you become interested in organizing the K-bloggers into a community? What responsibility do you believe K-bloggers have to the expat community? First this was not my idea and instead was the brain child of Roboseyo and his minions. So I merely just jumped on the bandwagon. I think kbloggers have a desire to share their experiences and knowledge of living in Korea and so want that to manifest into daily life. Also I think there came a need to go beyond just the sporadic linkage of bloggers and make the connections become real-life. To take people off the virtual community and into reality was why we wanted to make a community.

Kbloggers responsibilites to the expat community are such that we need to be accountable for our beliefs and interpretations of our experiences. By making ourselves available in real person people can meet and greet us and see who we are behind our writing. It is important for us to show that we care about the community and not just our own personal fame.

4.  What outcome or effect do you hope the mobilization of a K-blogger community will have on the expat community as a whole?
The outcome I hope for is that people who blog or don't blog will be able to know of a place to meet in real life to get to know one another and create a true community. I think that the effect will be that new people coming to Korea for whatever reason will know that they are coming to a place where there is already a set up network for their needs. As a whole I feel the effect will make the expat community more fluid and able bodied to work with one another. I also feel it will help put more realism and warm-heartedness back into the community that has been plagued by the chat forums on Dave's ESL cafe. As of now that site seems to be the only place where expats deal out their issues. Therefore if the kbloggers create more of a community than others will see that they can share their ideas in an open-minded place.

5.  What responsibility do you think people in the expat community have to each other and/or to Korean society?
Our responsibility, I feel, is to help one another and not berate each other. It is the responsibility of those who have lived here over a year to help the newcomers and make sure they understand what is happening to them when they experience troubles. Also it is our responsibility to create an expat environment that shows to the Korean public that we are responsible and adult individuals. For example, I am sure it is okay to go out on a night drinking with your pals and walk home stumbling all over the place. But the ahjumma who sees you pass by will perhaps only get this impression of foreigners. I am not saying quit drinking or clean up your act. I am saying that perhaps the expat's role as a community is to also show us doing things besides drinking or appearing drunk. In other words our responsibility should be to represent ourselves as wholesome and good people.

As for towards each other I think we need to create more of a neighborhood feeling. We need to go beyond the comfortable boundaries of our work buddies and get to know other expats in our area. This is because we are all in the same boat, of having to deal with living here and so should create comfort as neighbors. I think it is time to make a way for us to connect locally. Finally we should try to give back to the Korean people and our neighborhoods. To do so we should find ways to volunteer for local functions or tutor children who are too poor to go to private schools. In this sense it will show to Korean people that we are kind and didn't just come to Korea to take advantage of the free housing and high salary. (Our salaries are often higher than theirs). In other words, we should try to get involved more with the Korean community around us, instead of just walking by as we go to the supermarket.

6.  Have you been a part of an expat community in another country?  How was it different or similar to the expat community in Korea?

7.  In your ideal form, what would the expat community look like to you?
As stated above I pretty much wrote a lot about this. An expat community that is accessible and well known is best. Ideally of course it would be a community that would expand and contract with consideration to the needs and desires of those in the community. It would be one where people would share their experiences and help each other understand life here. It would be a place where people can go to connect on terms where they don't have to drink or sit in a bar. In addition, the expat community should be available to Korean citizens. Not just because they want to practice English but to get to know foreigners. A community that thrives on creativity and compassion, would be best.

8.  Other thoughts and/or opinions not covered in the questions above that you'd like to add?
  • How would it form? Who would lead it?
  • What do Koreans expect from an Expat Community? Do they want us to form one or remain the way it is? Do they care?
  • What creative things will we do? (Community garden, community library....) etc?
  • How can we help new folks?
  • How will we help those individuals who are bitter and frustrated with Korea to the point they even hate their own peers?
  • Are there any pitfalls to forming an expat community?
  • How can we make it non-elitist?

I know I tend to sound very idealist on issues such as these. But I really do imagine with some work and getting together and having thoughtful discussions that we can transform and create a thriving expat community. 

What are your thoughts? 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Korea Road Trip: The Video

Throughout the trip I took videos of a few of the places we went and so here for you is a montage to enjoy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The rain today turned the snow into an icy slushy mix that made my socks get a little wet. It may also be the cause of my homesickness today. Sure I have been in Korea for nearly 2 years and the pain of being far from home is not as present as it use to be in the beginning. But I still feel this way every now and then.
I like this song and it's a good homesickness remedy... I guess.

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes "Home"

I can't help but miss the small town atmosphere of where my Dad lives or the sunny beaches in Florida. However, I still feel grateful for my life here in Korea even during these times.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dating in Korea: Potential Interview

I got the okay from the person who writes Dating in Korea to interview her for my pet podcast project. To accomplish a thorough interview I figured I should read her blog from start to finish. So far I am half way through.

If you read her blog then I would like to know if any of you have some questions that you would like to ask. Or if you just have some questions about dating Korean guys in general, that would be fine too.

I am not sure when the interview will get done seeing as we both are busy on the weekends, but I hope to do it sometime soon.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Korea Road Trip: Part 7

You made it folks, for I am finally going to reveal the last day of our road trip around Korea. As you recall we were in Busan enjoying New Year's Day. After we frolicked around on the beach JH said he was going to show me a special place, something called "Suicide Cliff." I put together in my head that he was going to take me to a special and well known sea-cliff.

We ended up driving to Taejongdae park which is located on the island of Yeongdo-gu in Busan. On our way we drove past the infamous Busan port where many foreigners have left to do visa-runs in Japan.

It was starting to get crowded at the park entrance, but I think we arrived at a good time. The air was a bit chilly but the sun was shining enough to make things warm.

We went up a road to the elephant-train waiting area and bought our tickets for the ride.

There we joined families and couples as they waited for the train. We waited for a long time, which was long enough that I noticed some people were eating snacks like steamed corn and Odeng (fish cake).

Finally,  it was our turn and so we got on and made the way up the winding hillside.

This park is known for many natural phenomenons, which include 200 types of trees, fantastic sea cliffs and exposed geology, along with a lighthouse and temple. It also comes with, of course, some history. For instance it is said that the park was named after King Tejong Meyeol from the Silla Kingdom because he practiced archery in this area after unification of the Three Kingdoms. In addition there is a social significance to this spot being:
At the entrance is a monument to the five neutral nations that contributed medical support during the Korean War (1950-1953).

 We made our way around up to the stop where the Observation platform was.

The observatory had a restaurant inside and also a deck outside for looking out across the Sea of Korea or South Sea....hmmm.

No matter what you want to call it, looking out at a huge body of water is always a breathtaking sight. Supposedly you can see far off islands if you look closely...
On clear days, you can see Japan's Oryukdo and Tsushima Islands from the observatory.

From here we left the observatory deck and moved onto the next attraction the lighthouse and the "suicide cliff."

To get to the lighthouse area you had to walk down a series of stairs to the edge of a cliff. I enjoyed the walking down part but not the walking up when we were coming back. But let's not dwell on the sad stuff, because what I saw was really great.

After many stairs you come to a point that is kind of in the middle. Here is another observation deck where you can also rest your legs.

We are getting closer~

What you are looking at here is called Shinsonhae or the "Suicide Rock". Basically it is a large and flat rock that was once under the ocean but due to geological reasons is exposed today.

Shinseonhae is a large and flat rock, which is located on the right side of lighthouse in Taejongdae.

Shinseondae got its name as it was told that Taoist hermits used to hang around here in the past.

Taoist hermit rocks in Taejongdae. It has been told that there used to be handwriting of 'Shinseondae' by Choi Chi won, one of the famous scholars in Shiila period.
Why "suicide rock"? Because the cliffs of the island were unfortunately famous for people jumping off of them. Since then the government has made a monument to these folks (the mother and child statue -- not pictured).

But I think nowadays one needs to look past this sad history and try to take in some of the mystical and geological wonders of this place.

On the way there...

Ah....the geology. I secretly love geology, because it explains so much about the Earth that is our home. And I was awe struck by what I saw at this island.

It was amazing that we could go out and walk on the "Suicide cliff" without anyone nearby really making sure we didn't fall off. There weren't any ropes or chained off areas with signs warning us of the big fall downward. So in this respect it felt like we were allowed to be little pioneers.

Looking at that picture you also have to take in the mythical tale that surrounds what you are seeing. Look in the upper right area where a spire (tall rock) is coming out. This has a legend behind it:

Under the lighthouse of this resort is a rock called Sinseon Rock, named after the myth that gods and goddesses came down here to relax. At this rock is a figure called Mangbuseok, named after the story of a woman who waited for her husband who had been taken to Japan. Taejongdae is also famous for the ritual of praying for rain, performed when there are droughts, and rain on the 10th of lunar May is called the 'Taejong Rain'.
Mangbooseok stands lonely right on the Taosit hermits' rock.

Moonbooseok means 'stone waiting for husband'.

The story is about a legendary faithful wife who died and was turned to stone waiting for her husband the stone on which a faithful wife stood waiting for her husband until she perished You feel sad just looking at the rock.

 Poor thing! I hope I never become a stone waiting for my husband... But seriously folks that is a nice myth to place upon this geological sight.

To get out there we headed down some stairs through a little tunnel where on the tiles many folks had put their well wishes up.

Once out of the little tunnel you make your way to where the cafe and museum are in front of you, along with on the left a view of another seacliff.

We made our way onto that big slab of rock.

To simplify the geological history of this area I am going to quote for you from a website:
Here is unparalleled scenery harmonized with fantastically-shaped rocks eroded by water, surging waves, and subtropical forests.  Sinseonam, an uplifted coast under the lighthouse and the most beautiful in Taejongdae, was formed 120,000 years ago. The present Taejongdae was formed after the forth, that is the last, thawing epoch by the intermittent rising of the ocean floor.
That first sentence that describes how we are able to see the rocks today is what fascinated me the most while I sat down and looked up at the sea-cliff. I couldn't help but feel small compared to the gigantic history before my eyes. In this area there are places where you can even spot dinosaur tracks. It was another travel moment in my life where I felt I had come to a special place and it was not by coincidence.

Another exciting part about this site was hearing the waves crash upon the cliff down below. No wonder this area possesses such spiritual and cultural significance to Korea.

I loved looking at the layers of different rock-beds that formed in this outcrop. Some were horizontally, while others came about in circular formations.

Well JH must of grown tired of me sitting and staring at the rocks, plus it was cold and windy out so we both figured it was time to get our butts inside the cafe. We did so and warmed up with some ramyeon and tea.

Afterwards we headed back to the elephant train to go back to the car, where we would head out to Seoul.

I took a picture of this sign because in those brownish squares were the listing of park hours during the seasons. I liked how they cut down the seasons to just Summer and Winter. It fits perfectly with the theory that Korea has only two real seasons. haha

On our way we stopped at a galbi place and had a bite to eat before the drive back.

And so our journey around Korea comes to an end. Although we explored just a fraction of what Korea has to offer I enjoyed the trip very much especially seeing new areas and many relics. I hope you enjoyed the trek I took you on and I promise to go on more all the while sharing with you my experiences.

Till next time!

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