MontanaRon

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

Category: Korea (page 2 of 30)

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

A Mini-vacation

Well, it’s that time of year when Korea celebrates its three-day Thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok. The date of the event is tied to the lunar calendar, so the specific date changes every year. This year it begins on Wednesday and runs through Friday. So, with the weekend immediately following, we’re lucky enough to get a break of five days. Unfortunately, we have to make up all the classes at a later date.

The weather forecast is predicting very nice weather for the rest of the week, so I’m looking forward to getting out and about without having to suffer the very high humidity we’ve endured since July. Looks like a good time for bicycle riding and/or hiking. More later.

Drought Buster

July and August are the rainy season months in Korea, but in Yeosu, we’ve had very little rain since the beginning of July. Some of my students told me that Yeosu is in a drought, although other parts of Korea have had ample rainfall. The last two days, however, have seen an end to the dry situation. According to the KMA, we’ve gotten about 4 1/2 inches of rain since Friday. The rain has stopped and today has seen a little sunshine now and then, but it appears the drought has been broken.

The weather is looking nice for this coming week and that’s good, since we’re off until the fall semester begins on Sept. 2nd. I hope to do some hiking in the mountains, take the bicycle out for a spin or two and visit the Expo grounds to see if any changes have been made since I last visited in the first part of July.

I’d like to write a longer post, but I have to go to a ring-exchange ceremony between one of our teachers and his Korean wife. I’ve been invited to do the photography for the event and for the reception at one of the local buffet restaurants afterwards. Wish me luck with the photos!

Heat Wave!

Yeah, it’s been quite hot for a while in East Asia, including in Korea. Not helping matters any is the closure of some of the country’s nuclear power plants. I believe a few were shut down for routine maintenance, but some have been closed because of corruption. In total, it appears that about one-quarter (6) of the plants have been closed. There’s an article about the heat wave here and one about the scandal here.

I’m doing my part by not using my air conditioner all that much, usually for only an hour or two if I’m not at work. The dormitory management gives us 250 Kwh free each month, but if I crank up the air con, I usually use much more than that. Not so, this summer. We only pay 80 won per Kwh over that, but it adds up. So, I’m cutting my usage. I have a good fan that fills in admirably.

Needless to say, with the usual high humidity in Yeosu (80-98%), I haven’t been out and about all that much, so I haven’t taken any new photos recently. Just working, reading and playing computer games.

Here are a couple of “heat wave” tunes. Martha and the Vandellas are singing about a different kind of heat wave here, but the Lovin’ Spoonful are right on track. (Check out the cool styles!)

Bangkok Skyline

We had an old-fashioned, rip-roarin’ thunderstorm claw its way through Yeosu earlier today, a nice respite from the bland, misty weather of late. It brought some brief, but heavy rain and cooled things down a bit, though it did nothing to relieve the miserable, high humidity. This is probably the worst time of year to be in Yeosu, July and most of August.

The storm brought back memories of Bangkok and some of the heavy rains that occasionally hit the city. In my previous post, Nai and I left Nongkhai, headed for the City of Angels. We checked into the same hotel, Silom City, that I had stayed at during the first part of my vacation. I had booked a room for 3 nights, unsure if we wanted to stay in the same area for the remainder of our time in Bangkok. The room we had was similar to the one I had earlier, with the same view out the window.

We decided not to change hotels, so I asked the front desk if we could book the room for another 4 nights. They said the basic rooms were full, but they could move us into a deluxe room for about the same price, if I’d want to forego breakfast. Sure, I thought, why not. Well, the 8th-floor view from the new room was incredible. We had a small balcony with a floor-to-ceiling view of the Silom area skyline, one of the best views of Bangkok I’ve ever had. I stayed at the Baiyoke Sky Hotel way back in 2004, in a room on the 65th floor or so. That, of course, had a fantastic view, but this one ran a close second. Here are a few shots.

Bangkok at night

Bangkok at Night

Bangkok at night

Bangkok at Night

Sunset over Bangkok

Sunset Over Bangkok

Several of the tallest skyscrapers in Bangkok are in this area. Here are a couple of (not very successful) panoramic shots.

Panorama of Silom Area

Panorama of Silom Area

Panoramic of Silom area

Panoramic of Silom Area

Anyway, I certainly recommend the Silom City Hotel, especially if you can get a deluxe corner room.

That about wraps up my posts from my recent vacation. Stay tuned for some other stuff later, though I’m not sure what!

End of the Semester

Well, it’s that time of the year. I’m pretty busy with end-of-the-semester exams, grading and paperwork, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that I’m taking off for Thailand and Laos on June 14th, returning on July 7th, a nice 3-week vacation of fun in the sun, I hope.

That’ll be a change of pace from the past few days, when we were drenched with 6 inches of rain from noon Monday until early Tuesday morning. Things are still pretty wet, and the students are attending and participating in the university’s annual 3-day festival down on the soaked, muddy grounds just below the campus. Just lucky it didn’t start Monday!

I’ve been going to the Expo site almost every weekend to check out any changes to the area, and I’m happy to report that a small Japanese restaurant, a mini-mart and a couple of outdoor food stands have opened. Hopefully, this is the beginning of bigger and better things for the area.

I’ll try to get some more posts and photos up before I go on vacation, but, as tardy as I’ve been lately (sorry ’bout that), I’m not gonna promise anything. But, I’ll try. More later.

Yeosu Mural Alley

I’d been hearing about the Yeosu Mural Alley for a while, ever since before the Expo began last year. A few reports that people published online stated that the alley begins near the Expo site and continues for about a kilometer. I searched everywhere near the Expo, but could never find the Alley. I recently found it, however, and it’s actually about a kilometer or so from the Expo. In fact, the entrance had been staring me in the face, more or less. It’s near the Jinnamgwan site, across a pedestrian overpass, which was built about a year ago. So, if you’re visiting Yeosu and you want to spend a pleasant few hours walking down the Mural Alley (a.k.a. Angel Alley), here’s a photo showing you the location.

Mural alley entrance

Mural Alley Entrance

To the left you can see part of Jinnamgwan. If you look closely, just to the left of the blue information sign in the bottom middle of the photo there’s a short road up to the pedestrian overpass. Cross the overpass and follow the road and the arrows, and you’re on Mural Alley. Pretty simple, really.

As I said, it’s a nice way to spend a few hours, strolling through the Alley and taking in the dozens of paintings along the way. Let’s take a walk and see some of the artwork, shall we?

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

In some places the route gets a bit narrow and the paintings are actually on the sides of the homes in the area.

Mural alley

Narrow Going

Mural alley

Another Narrow Alley

Mural alley

Tight Squeeze

In addition to featuring historical scenes and depictions of everyday life, many of the murals are quite whimsical.

Yeosu mural

Hitching a Ride

Yeosu mural

Sending a Letter

Mural alley

Mural Alley

Mural alley

Running Chair

About halfway through the walk you can take a break and catch a nice view of the city.

Yeosu Overlook

Yeosu Overlook

In this same area nature shows off its own mural skills.

Nature's mural

Nature’s Mural

Let’s continue with the walk.

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

The Alley draws quite a few interested people, but in the few days that I’ve visited, it hasn’t been overly crowded.

Yeosu mural

Yeosu Mural

Looks like someone is trying to take a shortcut out of the Alley.

Mural alley

Wall Climber

Mural alley

Butterfly Wall

Mural alley

Mural Alley

Mural alley

Mural Alley

Mural alley

Who’s Watching Whom

Mural alley

Mural Alley

Mural alley

Tiger, Tiger

Finally, near the end of the walk, across from the tiger, are these wings. Perhaps some people think these look like angel wings, hence the nickname of “Angel Alley.” They could be bird wings, too–I guess it depends on your point of view.

Mural alley

Wings

That’s the end of our walk, but there are dozens more pieces of artwork here. So, the next time your in Yeosu, take a few hours to visit Mural Alley.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2020 MontanaRon

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑