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

Category: Yeosu photos (page 2 of 6)

Yeosu Azalea Festival

Unfortunately, I’ve been a bit under the weather the last several days, coughing and sneezing, feverish and chilly at times, and a bit lethargic (lazy?). So, apologies for the lengthy delay between posts.

As I stated in my previous entry, I did manage to take in the Azalea Festival at Yeongchuisan (san = mountain) here in Yeosu last Saturday. Unfortunately, we caught it about a week too early, so it was a bit of a flop. There were some sparse regions of azaleas, resplendent in their pink blossoms, but the vast fields that spring up at this time of year were sadly absent. Like I said, we were a week too early.

Still, it was a beautiful day, with clear, blue skies, warm temperatures, and little wind. Corrie, another English teacher at the university, Anne, one of our Korean students, and I started our climb up the mountain about 10 in the morning. I thought we’d have to take a gentle hike to the azalea fields, but it turned out to be somewhat of a steep trek — not grueling, but a good workout. Was it worth it, considering the lack of the flowers? Sure, more than worth it. Here’s a few photos from the day.

One of the trails up the mountain, the one we took, starts from the enormous petro-chemical area of Yeosu. Many Koreans make the trek, so we weren’t alone. Here we go, soon passed by these guys as we took several breaks on the way up to catch our breaths and rest our aching leg muscles.

Yeosu Azalea Festival

Hiking to the azalea fields

Up we went, hoping for a bedazzling pink flower show, joined by many azalea acolytes. Quite a few tour buses drop off aficionados of the local flora, so the mountain does get crowded.

Yeosu Azalea Festival

Hikers going up to the Azalea Festival

Yeosu Azalea Festival

More people ahead of us

Unfortunately, the azaleas weren’t out on this part of the mountain. There were more blooming at the university, as a matter of fact. We could have just walked around there to see plenty of flowers, but it was worth going up Youngchuisan despite that. However, off to our left on a ridge below us, they were in full regalia. Corrie and I thought about going down to see them, but it was a LONG way down, so, a LONG way back up. There was a road there, but, unfortunately, it wandered off toward the farther mountains, away from Ann’s car. We had a good view of the flowers, despite our distance from their fields.

Azalea flowers at the festival

Field of flowers at the festival

Flowers at the Azalea Festival

Another view of the flowers

Eventually, we made it to one of the peaks. We saw another one about a kilometer from us and several dozen meters above, but we decided not to make that hike; the trail was packed and we were eager to take a snack break. Here’s Corrie, on the left, and Ann at the top of our little world.

Corrie and Ann at the Azalea Festival

Corrie and Ann

Despite the lack of azaleas on this weekend, I was fascinated by the area. The scenery was exhilirating, but the intricacies of the myriad petro-chemical plants enthralled me. Ann had to drive through several kilometers of the area to reach the mountain, and the road winds its way through the tanks and pipes and weirdness of these industries. The architecture of the area is monstrous and its pull on me is undeniable; I’m going to go back there on my bicycle or motorbike later in the summer and photograph this alien landscape.

Here are a couple of shots of the area, showing the new bridges linking the Yeosu Peninsula with the port of Gwangyang. Before the bridges were built, travel time from Yeosu to Gwangyang was probably a couple of hours, but now the journey has been cut at least in half. The bridges aren’t open yet, but they should be ready to go before the Expo opens.

Bridges to Gwangyang from Yeosu

New bridges from Yeosu to Gwangyang

New bridge from Yeosu to Gwangyang

New bridge from Yeosu to Gwangyang

The weather, as you can see, has been gorgeous lately. I also did a photo walk around campus this past Wednesday morning, an election-day holiday in Korea, and took lots of photos of the wonderful spring colors in the area this time of year. I promise I’ll try to get those up soon. More later.

Bicycle Ride to Jang-deung Beach, Yeosu Peninsula

Spring seems to be fully here, with the cherry blossoms beginning to bloom, and azaleas, camellias and other flowers brightening the landscape. As a matter of fact, there’s an annual azalea festival at Yeongchuisan (san = mountain) this coming weekend that I’m going to visit.

So, despite 3 inches of rain last Friday, I decided to take a bicycle trip Saturday down to Jang-deung beach here on the Yeosu Peninsula. My riding companions were a couple of the new teachers, Rob, a Scotsman, and Trevor, from Canada. Now, both of these guys are much younger than I (who isn’t?) and in much better shape (insert another rhetorical question here). Trevor, especially, is quite the athlete; he’s a dedicated football (soccer) player, rides his bicycle all over the place, jogs, plays tennis and who knows what else. Rob’s no slouch either. When they suggested the ride, I was all gung-ho. Even though it looked like a fairly long trek and that it would be my first time out on my bike in almost 6 months, I thought I’d be ok. Wrong! It turned out to be a 36-mile (60 km) round trip. I haven’t ridden that far in about 20 years. Plus, it was mostly up and down hills, hills which I mostly pushed my bike up (or maybe it was pushing me). I probably spent more time pushing than riding. And, as I said, it was the first time on the bike in quite a while, so my muscles were sorely taxed by the end of the ride. I’m still recuperating.

However, it was fun for the most part and the scenery was pretty nice. We made it to the beach and stopped at a small restaurant on the way back and had some delicious fish stew. By that time, though, anything would have tasted wonderful. I just wanna thank the young studs for waiting for me at the top of all those hills. At least they didn’t have to carry me back! Here are some photos of the ride.

First, here’s a map of the peninsula. The university, from where we started, is circled in red at the upper right and the beach is at the left center. Click for a larger image.

Here we’re getting prepared to start the trip from our dormitory. That’s Trevor on the left and Rob, already on his bike. My trusty steed is in the foreground.

Preparing for the bicycle trip

Beginning the bike trip

There are many small fishing towns and harbors sprinkling the coast. We all thought that it would be great to live in one of them as long as we didn’t have far to commute to and from work.

Yeosu fishing village

Fishing Village

There are, of course, many beautiful spots along the coast. Here’s a small sample.

South coast of Yeosu Peninsula

South Coast View

South coast of Yeosu Peninsula

South Coast Shoreline of Yeosu Peninsula

South coast of Yeosu Peninsula

Yeosu Peninsula South Coast View

South coast of Yeosu Peninsula

Yeosu Peninsula South Coast View

The above photo is actually the beginning of Jang-deung beach, which is out of sight at the bottom of the photo. Here’s a shot of the beach.

Jang-deung Beach

Jang-deung Beach

And, here’s a view from the end of the beach. As usual, it’s pretty hazy along the coast looking toward the sun.

Jang-deung Beach view

Another view from Jang-deung Beach

Rob and Trevor, showing no ill effects of the ride, mock my exhaustion. I took this shot just before I was put into the ambulance. 🙂

Rob and Trevor

Rob and Trevor

If you take a look at the map again, you can see that just to the east of Jang-deung there’s a small island called Baekyado (pronounced dough = island). Connecting the island to the mainland is this pretty little bridge. Quite a few of the islands are accessible by bridge, though many more require a ferry boat ride. Rob and Trevor are taking one of the ferries to another island this Saturday. I really wanted to go, but, like I stated earlier, I’m still recuperating and the rash I got on my, ummm, . . . well, you can guess where . . . is still bothering me, so no bike ride this weekend. The more sedate azalea festival beckons.

Baegya Island Bridge and Harbor

Baegya Island Bridge and Harbor

Our total trip time was about 7 hours, but that include dawdling on the way (the young guys waiting for the old guy to catch up) and stopping at the restaurant. I’m really looking forward to doing some other bike trips, especially later in the year when the bicycle muscles in my legs are in better shape. As always, then, more later.

Laos-Thailand Trip Report: Nong Khai

So, if you read my previous posts about Wat Traimit and Bangkok, you probably know that I took the overnight train to Nong Khai, in northeast Thailand, just across the Mekong River from Laos. If I recall, this train used to run, more or less, on time; perhaps it was late, but usually no more than 30 minutes or so. However, the last couple of times I’ve taken it, it’s been 2 HOURS late pulling into Nong Khai. It departs from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station at 8:30 p.m., but this trip, it didn’t pull into Nong Khai until 10:30 a.m. Hmmm, don’t know why it was so late, but perhaps the railway authorities were being cautious and slowed the train down because of possible damage done to the tracks due to the widespread flooding a few weeks before.

Anyway, I made it to Nong Khai OK and was met at the station by Nai. We checked into the Pantawee Hotel and stayed a few days there. The Pantawee had hung some new, attractive lanterns in the trees at the hotel since I’d last been there. I don’t know if they’ll be permanent decorations or if they were only seasonal, but they added a nice ambience to the property.

Pantawee Hotel Lantersn, Nong Khai, Thailand

Christmas Lanterns at Pantawee Hotel

Detracting from the usual peaceful ambience, however, was street construction going on right in front of the hotel. I usually like to sit at the outdoor patio in the morning to eat breakfast or just have a cup of coffee or two. The extreme noise and dust made it impossible to enjoy a quiet morning outside; sitting inside wasn’t too bad, though, and, occasionally work would halt for a short while, with the temporary silence standing in sharp contrast to the noise.

Nong Khai Street Construction

Street construction in front of the Pantawee Hotel

Another peaceful spot in Nong Khai is the promenade along the Mekong River. It’s quite pleasant to take a stroll, to sit in the shade of one of the gazebos, or to eat in one of the many restaurants. We usually have lunch and/or supper along here. Below are a few food photos of tom yam (tohm yahm), a spicy and sour soup, with fish, and fried rice with chicken. Nai and I shared the tom yam, and I had the fried rice. Both were delicious and cheap.

Tom Yam Thai Soup

Tom yam with fish

Thai Fried Rice with Chicken

Thai fried rice with chicken

You could also take a short excursion on the Mekong. Below are a couple of photos of boating leisure. The first was taken in Nong Khai and the second was taken last summer in Yeosu, looking down from the Dolsan Bridge. Which one would you prefer? I like both of them.

Taking a boat ride on the Mekong River

Taking a boat ride on the Mekong River

Lazy Day Fishing in Yeosu, South Korea

Lazy Day Fishing in Yeosu, South Korea

Probably the biggest highlight of the whole vacation was the chance to attend a live concert of Isaan music. Nai and I did just that on the evening of December 23rd. We enjoyed a 3 to 3 1/2 hour concert featuring traditional and modern Isaan music. Isaan is a region of northeast Thailand that features various aspects of Lao and Thai culture, including language, music and cuisine. I didn’t take any photos, but I did take about 50 minutes of video with my point-and-shoot camera. (I didn’t take the big DSLR with me on this trip.) The area in front of the stage was too crowded to get close, and I was handholding the camera in low light, so the videos aren’t all that great. But, I’m going to try to piece together the best bits into one video and get it posted here eventually. So, tune in for that and for a few photos of my visit to Laos. More later.

Jasan Park Playground

I’ll get the Wat Traimit photos up soon and I’ll also post some new photos of the Yeosu Expo 2012 site, since I took a walk down in that area yesterday. As usual, I hiked up to Jasan Park to get some shots and then walked down the other side of the hill to catch a bus back to my apartment. In Jasan, there’s a small kids’ playground area that is very colorful. I took a photo of it and played around a bit in Photoshop. Here’s the result.

Playground area at Jasan Park in Yeosu

Jasan Park playground in Yeosu

This took me quite a while to do in Photoshop. I added a new background layer and converted it to black and white. Then, with a layer mask, I brought out the colors in the underlying original photo using my mouse. Whew! It took quite a while to do (using a mouse) and it made me realize that if I want to do more of these types of “enhancements”, I’ll have to invest in a Wacom pen tablet, which makes things a bit easier and faster and which I think I can buy here in Yeosu.

So, be on the lookout for more of these types of shots. Next, though, I’ll get the Wat Traimit photos posted and then some updates on the Expo, followed by other shots of my recent trip to Thailand and Laos. (Maybe not necessarily in that order.)

Yeosu Indoor Fish Market

Here are a few photos taken in one of Yeosu’s indoor fish markets last April, which just goes to show how timely I am at posting some of my shots. 🙂 The fish markets are located in the area of town where there are dozens of folks selling vegetables, fruit, fish and other staples in a hodge-podge of outdoor and indoor markets. Here’s a view of the main street of this area.

Anyway, the outdoor market is still open, but the indoor ones, of which there are a few, are much nicer for winter shopping. Here’s a photo of the outdoor market, which I took way back in October of 2008 (and which I DID put in the main photo gallery, but not on the blog).

Inside the market, folks are busily engaged in buying and selling all sorts of seafood.

Following are several shots of various creatures from the sea; I know about the crabs and fish, but what the others are called, I have no idea. If anyone knows, please leave a comment. Enjoy.

Out and About in Yeosu Part II

Here are a few more shots of various Yeosu scenes. I suppose this post’s theme could be buildings and construction. There’s quite a lot of construction in the area as Yeosu prepares for the 2012 Expo. Naturally, most of the construction is centered around the Expo site, but there are other areas experiencing hotel and apartment building projects.

One of these is the Ocean Park Resort, out near the Soho Yacht Marina. The hotel being built on the property was originally supposed to be about 660 feet tall, which would have made it the tallest in Yeosu. I think that it’s been downgraded due to construction costs beyond the original estimate. You can see the original design and some early photos of its construction at the Skyscraper City website. Originally schedule to be open this year, it now appears that it won’t be finished until 2014. Here’s the most recent photo I took.

Here’s another shot from the Soho Yacht Marina.

Farther left in the photo above, out of the shot, is the Ocean Park Waterslide area. Unfortunately, it was closed on the day I rode my bicycle there. It’s fairly large and I’m told that it gets a lot of use. Here’s just a small section of it.

Back down the shoreline a bit is another hotel under construction. This one’s kind of isolated with not too much going on around it and it’s more than a few kilometers from the Expo site. Still, if it’s finished in time, it’ll probably get a fair amount of business.

And another view.

This apartment building near Lotte Mart and the Dolsan Bridge has been under construction ever since I arrived in Yeosu three years ago, and very little construction has been done on it. Recently, though, things have been picking up. I think the original outfit that was building it went under and a new owner took over. The original artist’s rendering of the complex has changed, as well as the complex name. Maybe it’ll be finished soon, but who knows?

And, just a few more shots taken on a walking trip. The first one is a view of the harbor where many of the fishing boats are docked.

Finally, there’s no sense wasting roof space above your house. While your laundry is drying, you can also dry a few crops up there, too. More later.

Out and About in Yeosu Part I

I have a lot of Yeosu photos that I haven’t posted yet, so I’ll start a new theme, so to speak, of Out and About in Yeosu, scenes from around the area, taken in August and September. I’ll try to get a new post up every 3 or 4 days (yeah, right) . . . OK, as often as I can.

First up, I thought I’d do something a little different. Rather than just put up the complete photo, I thought I’d show some close ups, some snippets of larger shots, kind of an abstract thing. First, I’ll show the small shots, followed by the overall scene. Let’s see how this works.

So here are the details. What are they? Shouldn’t be too hard to guess. Please click on each photo to get a larger view. Here’s Number One.

Number Two

Number Three

Number Four

Number Five

Now, so that you don’t see the main photos right off the bat, a little interlude.

Speaking of right off the bat, the first day of the MLB playoffs weren’t exactly heart-wrenching. The over-achieving Rays slaughtered the Texas Strangers 9-0 and the Tigers-Yanks game was rained out.

Looks like the Yanks game will be resumed tomorrow (Saturday in the ‘States) at the point where it was halted, bottom of the 2nd, tied at 1. Detroit scored with a cheapo 🙂 home run and the Yanks scored without the benefit of a hit. That’s one thing about the New York Nine this season–they can win with speed and savvy baserunning. They were 3rd in the American League with 147 stolen bases (Tampa was first with 155), their most since 2001. Jeter actually struck out in the bottom of the first, but still scored the Yanks run, hustling to first base on a third strike wild pitch, one of those baseball oddities. He subsequently advanced to second on a walk to Granderson (former Tiger) and went to third on a groundout to second. He then scored on a grounder to third. Hopefully, the game can be completed tomorrow, though Weather Underground is showing a 40% chance of rain in The City tomorrow night.

The two teams will probably play another game on Sunday, which is Monday morning in Korea, but that’s OK with me, since we have Monday off because of a national holiday. It’s Korea Foundation Day, a celebration of the (mythical) founding of the country, both North and South. Check out a description here.

All right, enough of an interlude; back to the photos. Here are the main shots.

Number One. This one is part of the steeple of a church down by the harbor. Here’s the original shot, which I took from the Jongpo Ocean Park Walkway.

Number Two. There were several boats lined up along the dock at the Jongpo harbor near the walkway and this is a close up of one of them. Here’s the complete shot.

Number Three. These orange balloon-like things appear to be buoys that might be put in the water as warning signals. You certainly couldn’t miss their colorful presence atop the murky water.

Number Four. Seriously, I don’t have any idea of the purpose of these things. They were lined up across the harbor from the walkway. Very odd looking, yes? If anyone knows what purpose they serve, let me know in the comments, please.

Number Five. I must admit I cheated a little on this one. I rotated the original photo a bit in order to cut out the bottom part of the building. Anyway, they’re part of a building housing, I think, a maritime organization, like a fisherman’s hall or something along that line. Again, if anyone from Yeosu is looking, let me know what you think.

Number Six. Finally, the front of the building that kind of resembles a face, I think, is actually a school. Cute, if you ask me.

OK, that’s it for now. I’ll try to get some more Out and About shots up in a few days (giggle, snort, guffaw–c’mon, Ron, get serious), so stay tuned for more later.

Some Yeosu Photos

There hasn’t been a whole lot going on around here lately, but we have had some gorgeous late summer/early fall weather; deep blue skies, plenty of sunshine, moderate temperatures and lower humidity have chased away the mostly oppressive summer days. This time of year and the middle of spring feature the best weather in Yeosu, in my opinion. I’ve been out and about, hiking, bicycling, walking and taking plenty of photos. Rather than making one or two huge posts, I think I’ll dole out a few photos at a time, hoping that y’all will keep coming back for more. (Plus, I get pretty lazy, at times, about processing all my shots. :wink:) Some of these might be interesting, some not. Enjoy, or not. Let me know what you think.

This is from earlier in the summer when the mist/fog lent an air of mystery to things. The humid conditions didn’t stop the local golfers, however, as the lights were on for the night owls.

On one of my walkabouts, I spotted these bright red flowers in a small garden plot on a small side street next to a small house. I think they’re pretty. Anyone know what kind of flowers they are? (I’m definitely not a flower guy, but I was, and am, a proponent of Flower Power).

Finally, it seems that we just don’t get that many good sunrises and ‘sets in Yeosu, at least from my vantage point, especially compared to those I had the pleasure to see in the Dominican Republic and Morocco. Lately, though, we’ve had a few nice sunsets. Here’s one. (Sorry, there ain’t nuthin’ I can do about the power transmission towers and lines in the photo–it was taken from the balcony outside my dormitory apartment.)

I’ll definitely try to get some more photos posted in a more timely manner, probably 3 or 4 shots per post, mostly just random stuff from around Yeosu, so stay tuned for more later.

More Yeosu Wall Murals

Finally, we’re getting some gorgeous weather. For the last week and a half or so, clear blue skies have banished the overcast conditions that we were experiencing, though it’s still quite humid at times. I got sunburned riding my bicycle last Sunday and while walking around town in the middle of last week. Marvelous!

Before the great weather, I went down to the Expo 2012 site to see how things had progressed since May, the last time I’d been down there. I got a lot of shots of the ongoing construction, but I also took some more photos of the wall murals that I mentioned in a previous post.

Here are a half dozen or so of the paintings. Peruse at your pleasure and, as always, click on ’em for a larger version.

Sadly, some of the paintings that I photographed in May are no longer there. In this area of town, crews are widening the road in preparation for the Expo. Walking a bit down the hill, I saw that the mural wall came to an abrupt end where it had been demolished by the “improvement.” Here’s what I saw at the end of the wall.

Yikes! Well, I suppose it’ll look better once they finish the construction. This area will lead into the international village where all the foreign workers at their various pavilions will be living while they’re in Yeosu.

Construction is ongoing at the Expo site; here’s a brief preview of the new hotel being put up. I’ll have more Expo photos in a few days.

More May Photos

The rainy, gray days continue, so I still haven’t been out with the camera lately. This seems like the worst summer of the three that I’ve spent here in Yeosu. I think I can count on one hand the number of sunny days in July and August. It was supposed to rain all afternoon today, but checking the weather radar, it appears that no rain is heading our way. (Typical bad forecast by the KMA.) Despite overcast skies, I think I’ll go down to the Expo 2012 site later this afternoon and take a few shots.

In the meantime, here are some more photos from last May. Some of these I’ve played around with in Photoshop, so click for a larger version to see how I’ve enhanced them (or screwed them up). 🙂

The western part of the peninsula is quite beautiful, but I don’t get out there that often; I don’t ride my motorbike around in town (too dangerous, I think) and it’s kind of far out for much more than the very occasional bicycle ride. Here are a couple shots of the area.

This one was taken a bit closer to the city, near the Soho Yacht Marina.

The tall ship trainer heads out to sea with a boat load of passengers to take in the yacht regatta that’s occurring farther out. Check out the guy up on the mast. All of the photos in this post were taken with my compact camera, so I didn’t have the Canon DSLR with it’s long telephoto lens. If you look closely, you can barely make out the small boats in the distance.

Here’s a different kind of ship, unladen, perhaps going across the bay to Gwang-yang to pick up a load of steel.

Finally, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom then, so here’s another one that I “photoshopped,” pink cherry blossoms in all their glory. As always, click on any of the photos for a large version. More later.

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