MontanaRon

An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: October 2013

New at the Expo

Slowly, but surely, new recreation venues are being added to the Expo grounds. I was out there during the Chuseok holiday during the day and again a few Saturdays ago. As I’ve mentioned before, the Big O show goes off nightly, and I was surprised at the long line of people who had bought tickets to watch it and were waiting to enter the amphitheater. On that evening, at least, there were some large crowds taking advantage of the site.

In addition to a few outdoor food vendors who’ve set up shop on the long Ocean Plaza walkway, there are a few indoor restaurants that have opened at the Expo Digital Gallery. There’s a mini-mart, a small Japanese noodle shop, a coffee shop, and two Korean food restaurants. You can also get international fare at the food court in the aquarium. For some reason it was closed the night we were there, so it may have some odd operating hours.

Other new additions include a small pirate-themed children’s play area and a rather tacky (in my opinion) putting green. I think a decent mini-golf course would be a much nicer addition, if the powers-that-be are thinking of adding more areas of that type.

Pirate playground

Pirate Playground

Putting Green

Putting Green

There’s also a small area near the Big O where you can rent a kayak, and, in that same area, you can ride a zip line, as evidenced by the poster below. It wasn’t operating the first day I noticed the poster, but a few weeks later it was being used quite a bit. It’s only about a very slow 25-30 second ride from one side of the small lagoon to the other, near the aquarium. It didn’t look all that exciting, but I would guess people are paying a hefty price to ride it. I’ll have to try to find out what the going rate is; anything more than $5 would, in my opinion, be a ripoff.

Zip line poster

Zip Line Poster

Kayaking center

Kayaking Center

Zip lining at the Expo

Zip lining Above the Kayakers

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking

Kayaking Near Big-O

I wouldn’t recommend this (being a former Montana outdoor guy), but, in another new addition, you can set up “camp” near the MVL Hotel. This is “camping” Korean style–densely packed tents set up in a gravel parking lot. No trees, but I guess you’re right on the ocean, if that’s any advantage. This is more like apartment living, except there’s no one above you. In this highly urbanized country, this is about as close to the “great outdoors” as many Koreans will get. I think I’ll pass on this one.

Camping at the Expo

Camping at the Expo

Although the area is, usually, attracting large numbers of people, the crowd is nowhere near what it was for the Expo. Because of that, it’s easy to get some photos that would have been difficult to get last summer. Here are a couple of the Theme Pavilion, sans people.

Theme pavilion entrance

Theme Pavilion Entrance

I can’t make up my mind which of these two I like better.

Theme pavilion detail

Theme Pavilion Detail

Theme Pavilion detail

Theme Pavilion Detail 2

Here’s another area that was empty on this particular day, which was one of the Chuseok celebration days.

Quiet Expo

A Quiet Expo

Empty roads, too, on that day.

Empty Expo road

Empty Expo Road

There are still a couple of boats docked near the MVL Hotel. During the Expo, tours were held on both of them. One of the boats is just a regular large ship (I guess), while the other is a Maritime Police boat. I haven’t noticed any tours going on at either of them, but perhaps my timing has been bad. Here’s a close-up of the anchor on the regular boat, and the second is of the Maritime Police boat.

Anchor on Expo tour boat

Anchor on Expo Tour Boat

Maritime Police boat

Maritime Police Boat

The Big-O is starting to show some signs of wear at its base, but it’s still standing tall.

Base of the Big-O

Base of the Big-O

The Big-O

The Big-O

There have also been several concerts held at the site, so I’m very happy to see that this marvelous (for Yeosu) area is getting used (except for the putting green and the camp area). I’ll keep checking it out every so often and keep you posted about anything new and exciting or new and not-so-exciting.

Also, a fitting end to the day, from my dorm apartment. More later.

Sunset in Yeosu

Sunset in Yeosu

P.S. – Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that my apartment didn’t get “flooded” from the typhoon. I don’t think the wind was blowing from the wrong direction, the rain wasn’t as heavy as forecast, and the storm raced through the area, its peak lasting only a few hours. Lucky me!

Typhoon Danas and Yeosu

As forecast, Typhoon Danas is racing north-east ward through the Korea Strait separating Korea and Japan. It’s somewhat south of us, so we’re only feeling the fringe here in Yeosu. The KMA forecasts anywhere from 3-4 inches of rain (an inch and a half, so far), and winds close to 40 mph in Yeosu. Right now the rain is coming down pretty good, but so far the winds haven’t hit. Supposedly that’ll happen in a few hours, with the heaviest rain coming then.

That’s all OK, except for the fact that I’m teaching classes tonight. And that’s bad because when the wind picks up to that speed and it’s raining heavily, the rain gets blown through my windows, into the sill and then overflows into my apartment. It’s happened numerous times in the past, but, mostly, I’ve been around to keep up with the water. I’ll have to rig something up before I go to class, towels to sop up the water in the window sill and pans to catch the drip from the towels. As extra insurance, I’ve picked up everything off the floor and put stuff onto my bed and the sofa. Hopefully, it’ll all work out well.

I mentioned before that I couldn’t find any info on typhoons hitting Korea this late in the season. Here’s an article from the Korea Herald that states this is the first time since 1998 we’ve had an October typhoon, and it’s only the fourth that’s been recorded since 1950. And, there have been reports on CNN weather that there is another possible system forming in the Pacific near the Philippines that could target our area later on. I’ll keep an eye on it.

Typhoon Danas on the Way

As I posted before, Typhoon Fitow left us alone, but Typhoon Danas (to experience, to feel, which we probably will), formerly Tropical Depression 23, is heading our way. Below is the latest forecast from Weather Underground. It isn’t going to smack right into Yeosu, but we’ll probably get a lot of rain and some wind. It looks like Tuesday will be the day of greatest impact, and I hope it’s out of here by Wednesday, which is Hangul Day (hahn-gool, approximately) in South Korea. What is Hangul Day? It’s National Alphabet Day, believe it or not, commemorating the invention of the Korean alphabet. Pretty cool, eh? The Korean alphabet is extremely easy to learn. I picked it up after only a few days in the country, back in 2003 in Andong. Yup, I could walk along the streets or ride the bus, gazing out the window, and I was able to read almost all of the signs. I could read them, not understand them. Anyway, I hope Wednesday turns out to be a nice one.

danas1

Fitow Fizzles; Next Up-TD23

Yeah, it looks like Typhoon Fitow is not going to give us a visit, but instead is going into China as it turns toward the west. Here’s the latest Weather Underground chart:

Fitow2

Just behind it, though, is Tropical Depression 23, and the early forecast shows it coming our way. Well, the early forecast for Fitow showed the same, so, because of the capricious nature of these storms, TD 23 may very well end up somewhere else.

TD23

For now, though, we’re having some gorgeous weather. I may have to unleash the bicycle tomorrow and let it take me where it may. More later.

Late-Season Typhoon

Wow, just when I thought the typhoon season in Korea was over, here comes one steaming toward us from the south. Fitow (a Micronesian word for a type of fragrant flower) is still a tropical storm, but is predicted to eventually become a category 3 typhoon. According to the Weather Underground map below, it would reach us some time this weekend if it continues on the predicted path. It looks like it might come ashore west of Yeosu as a cat. 1 typhoon.

Well, why not mess up another weekend? Last week, we had gorgeous weather, but last Saturday was depressingly cloudy all day and it rained most of Sunday. So, it looks like another ruined weekend. Still, it’s interesting that a typhoon might reach us at this late date in the season. I did a quick search on historical typhoons in Korea and I couldn’t find any typhoon that hit during the month of October. In fact, the latest ones I could find happened in the middle of September, so this appears to be very unusual. I’ll keep you posted.

Fitow

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