With the time upon us to leave Samcheok and head to the other side of Korea, it was back to the bus terminal where a quick feed and some spacies sated us for another long trip, this time to Daejeon. Daejeon is the fifth largest city in South Korea and is a hub between many other destinations around the country. Lonely Planet would lead you to believe that that’s ALL it has going for it.
Seven hours later we arrived in Daejeon and after flipping a coin we decided we would stay here the night, contrary to what Lonely Planet had to say. The bus terminal, like in most places in Korea, was surrounded by a multitude of gleaming Love Motels. After walking for 10 minutes and scoping the possibilities, we picked one that looked super shiny, and, judging by the celebratory wreaths adorning the outside, was also fairly new. The MS Motel was an absolute ripper. When asked whether we would prefer the room for $50 or the one for $60 (and due to our limited Korean failing to understand what the price difference would get us) we did what anyone in our situation would do, and chose the $60 one.
The entrance held one of Dan’s favourite food items – coffee, and one of his least favourite food items – popcorn. This Love Motel’s entrance it seemed, was much like Korea’s Buddhist theology and all about the middle path.
Of course, a bath big enough for a tribe and with the bag of purple porn water bath salts that we hadn’t seen since our first visit to Gyeongju!It even had a nice little view overlooking some of the down town area of Daejeon. While the view from the top floor was pretty awesome, very quickly something else caught Dan’s eye…two pairs of 3D glasses…why, could it be? YES, we had 3D TV in our room!!!
In the meantime though, we were in a brand new city, were hungry and up for an explore. Turns out the area we were staying in was the more, shall we say, ‘seedy’ part of town. Even more fun, right?!
Daejeon was a friendly place. We even got some new friends.
After saying bye to our friends we rounded the corner and saw the bus terminal again, this time realising the sheer extent of this complex. Its not often you would say something like this, but the bus terminal was AWESOME! Upon venturing inside, we were quickly distracted by the spacies parlour and the challenge was set for a game of air hockey. Score: H-J – 6, Dan – 1. A whitewash.
Bellies still rumbling, we happened upon a chainstore that specialised in Irish potatoes, called, funnily enough, Irish Potato. They basically serve hot chips with a squirt of whatever crazy sauce you opt for. For some inexplicable reason, we chose the chilli-apple sauce. More sweet than savoury, we weren’t the hugest fans. The chips, however, more than made up for it – they were the best ones we had sampled in Korea so far. While most places serve pre-frozen thin french fries, these chunky chips were much more like what we eat in New Zealand with our fush and chups. Washed down with an ice-cold Hite (or maybe it was Cass – Korean beers all kinda taste like the same watery crap), it was the perfect start to a dinner tour of Daejeon.
Next we spotted a shop full of crap. Feeling the slightly beer-induced need to get ‘more Korean’ on it, we went a shoppin’. The result was Dan stepping out in his brand new Flava, lens-less glasses. All the rage here in Korea, now Dan could be down with the kids.
H-J, on the other hand, opted for the slightly more subtle but no less Korean accessory of summer – the fan, adorned with K-Pop ‘sensations’ (cough, cough), Beast. Now she too could be down with the kids AND keep cool on these hot summer days. The buzz of new purchases heightening our mood, we stepped forth into a number more shops all the while justifying our increasingly spend-y behaviour with…actually, nope, nothing. We were on holiday right?!
Still a bit of room left in our bellies and worn out from our exhausting day of travel and shopping, it was time for part two of dinner. We selected Daejeon’s answer to Fried Guy.
A plate of soondae and various organ meats were delivered to our tables, along with more crispy cold beers. Oh and we couldn’t pass up the Korean toast on offer too.
Stuffed to the brim with meat, beer and excitement, it was time to retire back to the 9th floor for a fashion show and 3D movie.
The next morning we awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to make the trek (okay, the train ride) down to the bottom of Korea to check out seaside Mokpo city and some of the little islands that lie just off its coast.
But it wasn’t to be. The Mokpo Railway Station was the last thing that our camera managed to capture before the hideous episode where we lost it, and all the glorious records of our adventure. After 24 hours of searching, filing reports and general whining, we gave up and headed back to the village to lick our wounds and hand-draw our recollections for the blog. But as you all know, this tale had a happy ending 🙂 And thus ends our Summer Vacation series.