Bicycle touring South Korea: Yeoju to Hahoe

Leaving the Seoul metro area it was surprising how quickly we got into agricultural areas.  South Korea is very densely populated — of the 15 most densely populated countries in the world the only one larger than South Korea is Bangladesh (most are city states and/or islands).  However, it’s the cities that are super dense.  There really are agricultural areas and natural areas.

We mostly saw rice growing,

IMG_20191006_114757 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191006_171507 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191006_174605 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191007_075038 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191006_154148_53 by bryandkeith on flickr

but we also saw more persimmons than I’ve ever seen anywhere.  Often they were ripe, falling off the trees ready to eat.  Ferda hated to see the waste and started her own “save the persimmons” campaign.  She collected them, and it was Jack and my job to eat them.

IMG_20191008_170645 by bryandkeith on flickr

Korean cyclists often stopped and gave us apples.  Korean apples are quite large, very tasty, and sell for over US$1 each.  We found a place to pick our own where you pay by weight.  However, when Ferda went to pay for the three apples she picked, the kind older couple smiled and waved us away.  They’re a gift, they said.

IMG_20191005_171517 by bryandkeith on flickr

Of course at almost every meal we ate kimchi made from leafy greens so we saw those growing as well.

All that kimchi has to come from somewhere by bryandkeith on flickr

Fermentation takes place in containers like these:

IMG_20191008_144900 by bryandkeith on flickr

And that brings us to food, the highlight again.  Korea has a number of things that are translated to English as “pancakes”.  We found this “pancake” at a festival:

IMG_20191004_123138 by bryandkeith on flickr

and this giant green “pancake” when we went for beers in Galjeon-ri:

IMG_20191007_202432 by bryandkeith on flickr

At that restaurant they also brought us a bowl of seaweed and a glove.  Well, under the seaweed was rice, fish roe, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.  Ferda took the glove, mashed everything together, and made us yummy sushi-like cigar-shaped things.  We learned later that these are seaweed rice balls if you shape them correctly. 🙂

On the weekend we rode by a group of Harley riders who invited us to their pork bbq.

The Harley riders shared their pork bbq with us. by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191006_130937 by bryandkeith on flickr

Climbers at the side of the bicycle path wanted to be sure we tried this, a acorn flour (?) thing with soft tofu consistency:

IMG_20191006_144708 by bryandkeith on flickr

Climbing at the side of the bicycle path by bryandkeith on flickr

We did manage to find a few attractions besides the food.  After striking out at the first royal tomb, we had slightly better luck in Yeoju.  The Royal Tomb of King Sejong was closed for restoration, but (yeah!) we got to see the Royal Tomb of King Hyojong with its well-preserved attendants’ house.

IMG_20191003_131605 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191003_132655 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191003_130733 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191003_131104 by bryandkeith on flickr

Here’s Yeoju from bike path:

IMG_20191003_143925 by bryandkeith on flickr

In Chungju we camped in a park so we were able to see the pagoda lit up with colorful lanterns at night.

IMG_20191004_173132 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191004_173912 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191004_203007 by bryandkeith on flickr

In Galjeon-ri we saw both preserved historic buildings:

IMG_20191008_122545 by bryandkeith on flickr

and new government buildings built in a traditional style:

IMG_20191008_121703 by bryandkeith on flickr

Our farthest diversion from the Four Rivers path this week was to head east to Andong to the UNESCO-listed village of Hahoe where both tile and thatched-roof buildings are well preserved.  It’s quite a picturesque area.

IMG_20191008_133807 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191008_134923 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191008_135030 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191008_135229 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191008_151217 by bryandkeith on flickr

I’ll end with a few random photos from the road.

IMG_20191004_100641 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191005_162041 by bryandkeith on flickr

IMG_20191006_081050 by bryandkeith on flickr

This entry was posted in Bicycle touring, South Korea and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bicycle touring South Korea: Yeoju to Hahoe

  1. Mike Painter says:

    Looks like a good time!

  2. Curt Niles Bradner says:

    Great to read this!
    Your food issues were not unlike those we faced in Malaysia – difference being Malaysia has 3 main food cultures – Malay, Chinese and Indian – all damned good. Gained back the 9 pounds I’d lost in Spain, now in Thailand I have to be more careful 🙁

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