Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 4: An Awesome Adventure in Osan

Travelled 1 hour by train to Osan to meet Giselle and Dohee, whom I both met when I worked as an English teacher at PhilEnglish, a Korean academy. I was also supposed to meet my first student from PhilEnglish on Day 3, but we weren't able to contact each other, so I suggested we meet at Osan instead. She's coming from Gong Ju, which was maybe a 2 hour train ride to Osan.
Downtown Osan.

Arrived at Osan and Giselle came to pick us up at the station, we then headed to her humble abode where Dohee was waiting. Didn't stay long there. We headed back downtown for the perfect Korean lunch experience. They chose this place because we haven't tried the 'sit on floor' Korean restaurant. Lunch was meat stew, rice and makoli. 
Meet the Kims: Dohee and Giselle.
Violet rice for the win!!
Meat stew!
Lunch place.

Perfect time for a long walk, I think we had too much to eat for lunch. After the hearty lunch, Giselle brought us to the Mulhyanggi Arboretum (entrance fee: KRW1,000 for adults). It has such awesome scenery. I've never been to an arboretum before, so this really excited me. All the different kinds of plants around and the weather was cool, it was simply relaxing. I really wished we had something like that here in our country. We weren't able to see a lot of the arboretum, another reason to be back.
Welcome to Mulhyanggi Arboretum!
Vine tunnel.
G and moi.
We cheated our way out of this maze. :))
Quick escape.

We then sped off to the Korean Folk Village. We got lost on our way because apparently, one should not always trust GPS. We needed to go back to Osan as fast as we can to meet Hye Jin, so we just got off the car and took pictures outside, and yes, just the facade.

Giselle's driving skill was tested! We had to be at Osan to pick up Hye Jin and then go to the Hwaseong Fortress before sunset. I was beyond happy when I saw Hye Jin again! She was just maybe 16 years old when she first came to the Philippines to study English, so I totally felt old when she said that she's already 21. 21?! I was just about that age when I was her teacher.
Hye Jin, all grown up.

With Hye Jin's help, it was easier for Giselle to understand the GPS, so we reached the fortress without getting lost. Adult entrance fee is KRW1,000, but since it was almost closing time when we arrived, they let us in for free! :D
Getting closer to the watchtower.

Finally reached the watchtower!

Different views from the watchtower.
What you'll see from the watchtower.
We all watched as the sun sets.

We didn't have the chance to see all of the fortress. Aside from it being such a huge place, we didn't have much time. From Suwon, we drove back to Osan for some dinner. Giselle bought some samgyupsal and vegetables. We did some indoor grilling, which was actually fun.
Hye Jin as the cook.

Dinner with good company was more delicious. I'd have to say that this was one of the most enjoyable meals I've had in Korea. I'd definitely love to share meals with them again.

It was getting late. Hye Jin has to be at the Suwon station by 9PM. I was really sad when we had to say goodbye. Good thing that we've always kept in touch. After dropping Hye Jin off at Suwon, Giselle dropped us off at Sema station. It was nice to see her again and do some catching up. 

Like what I've said, during the whole trip, my sisters and I were so sure that our Heavenly Father was with us. Going to Osan, we didn't have to transfer the whole time. It was a straight ride from Jongno. But somehow, going back home, we had to transfer. This was very stressful. We were waiting at least 10-15 minutes for a train, when a KoRail staff suddenly asked if we were going to Seoul. We said yes and he said that we were not supposed to be there, we should go to the other side. So we sped off. We waited a good 20 minutes at the other side, still no train to Seoul. Then I remembered that he said that we should go to 1 or 2. We ran as fast as we could to 2, and just as we reached the loading area, a train arrived! Thank heavens! We are blessed beyond belief! :D