Day Tripping in Rural Korea — Part 2

Posted by on Nov 21, 2010 in Korea, Sandbox Photography, Uncategorized | 14 comments

In case you missed it “Day Tripping in Rural Korea, Part 1”…….

Opening the window to fog as thick as I have ever seen I quickly dressed and headed out to have a stroll through fog shrouded downtown Punggi. I hadn’t seen fog this thick since leaving Nova Scotia 10 years ago. Korean towns are pretty much non-descript. Rows of gray buildings with neon signage. You’ll always find a couple of bakeries, several convenience stores, and a few beer hofs. “Hof” is Korean Konglish for bar. Bigger towns will throw a Lotteria, “Korean MacDonald’s) into the mix. Punggi did not disappoint:)

Then, it was back to the hotel to a delicious buffet breakfast of Korean and Western food choices. By 8:00 am we were on the road again.

Our first stop of the day was the Punggi Ginseng Market. The merchants plied us with everything ginseng including tea, candy, and honey. The Koreans are very proud of their ginseng, which they call Insam. The ginseng is farmed and can be harvested from year one through year six. The youngest ginseng sells for about $20.00 a piece, with the oldest selling at around $50.00 or $60.00 per piece. The ultimate ginseng is what grows wild in the forest. This ginseng is extremely rare, and if you can even find it, very expensive.

Ginseng Market --Punngi

The ginseng tea is tasty, although a little sweet for my liking. I tried the ginseng “honey”. UGH………..not a taste I like, and I don’t think it would ever grow on me. Love the ginseng candy, both hard and jelly.

Korean Ginseng

Another town famous for its Ginseng is Guemsan. Every second year they have a huge gineng festival. I attended a couple of years ago, and took loads of photos, which you can find over at Flickr in this set.

Back on the bus, we headed off down the road to Buseoksa Temple. We were there with what seemed like thousands of other weekend day trippers. Someone has been doing a great job of marketing the area. The day was perfect and the fall colors were at their height. I felt like I had stepped onto the canvas of a very talented painter.

Fall Colors at Buseoksa Temple, Korea

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Buseoksa Temple


Buseoksa Temple, Korea


Time for lunch. Today we were treated to Korean bibimbap, which is one of my favorites.

Jeonju Bibimbap

Our final stop of the day was Museom Village.

Museom Village Bridge

Taken from the “official” brochure…….

“This is a village that looks like an island because it is surrounded by Naeseongcheon (stream). Sixteen buildings of the traditional houses are typical houses of ancient noble people and are more than a century old.”




At one time this wooden footbridge was the village’s only connection to the mainland. We were told that it’s 350 years old. Now, maybe a food bridge has existed here for 350 years, but I have the feeling that this is not the original 🙂 (You can see how hazy it was that day.)

After several hours in this charming Korean village it was time to head back to Daejeon, and say goodbye to our hosts, Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. I would like to say THANK YOU for giving me the opportunity to get off the beaten track here in Korea.

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  1. This second post on the second part of your trip is just as fascinating as the first, Nancie. Beautiful photos, and that last one’s a stand out for the composition.

  2. Love the Autumn colors you captured here and am tempted to pack-up and come visit !

    • Come on over Mike!

    • Come on over Mike. You’re welcome here anytime!

  3. I’ve become more and more interested in visiting Korea lately. Thanks for sharing these great photos – it is nice to see what the country looks like outside the major cities. Korean food always looks incredible. ~Andrea

    • There’s lots to see and do here. As a travel destination it’s still off the beaten track.

  4. I was very impressed by the colorful trees that adds beauty to the nature.

  5. Glad you’re liking them Nicole.

  6. Love these posts exploring rural Korea! More please!

  7. The colors were at their height that weekend.

  8. Outrageously beautiful photos, Nancie! I love the picture with the egg. And you don’t like gingeng and honey tea?!

    • Thanks Sabina. Actually, I do like Ginseng tea. I don’t like “ginseng honey”. It really doesn’t taste like honey at all. it’s rather bitter.

  9. Beautiful photos as always. I have to say there is something about rural places that bring out the best in a photographer. At least it does for me.

  10. Nancie Hello!

    I like your blog and your philosophy of life, I’m from Spain and I’m also living in South Korea, particularly in Seoul.

    I really liked this article especially since I’m addicted to Korean ginseng and I think it is a fantastic plant.

    Just wanted to congratulate you, being freelance is not so easy today, but I see like me, you’ve fallen in love with Asia.

    Regards and see you for your blog;-)


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