Pohang is the location of this photograph. If you do not know where that is, just do a quick Google search. Alternatively, just carry on reading…

I was here this past January 2017 for 3-4 weeks and wow, what a pleasure it was to escape abroad again. After my travels to the east in 2011, and 2013, it was really incredible to revisit some sights, and take some new ones in. Korea is a much-underestimated country to visit, and, when you ask most people about it (or rather, they ask you) they generally reply something like ‘Is that the one with the dictator, Kim Jong something or other’?

Luckily, it’s not. It is a vibrant democracy full of wonderful citizens, above-par government, and a hundred other wonderful things. Just read about it onlineto see what I mean. Actually, even read this book (One thousand chestnut trees) if you’re really, truly, super-excited to know all about it. I can’t recommend it enough. The country, that is.

One of the best things is that they sell these ice-creams that taste exactly like spanspeks (that is cantaloupes for you American folk); this is reason enough to visit. Added to that, the clothing is modern, trendy and cheap. The food is palatable, unique, and affordable. The people warm and friendly, much like their weather, and overall it is a fascinating country with an awesome culture for foreigners.

Their buildings leave much to be desired, unfortunately because of a civil war (after WWII, also after a lengthy Japanese occupation) that left them devastated in many ways. Thankfully they rebounded like no-one else could (or did, or probably ever will) and now are sitting pretty with many first-world benefits the world surely envies.

So, if you feel like teaching in Korea, or visiting, or just want to choose someplace distant and different, I’d suggest hitting Pohang up this summer (our SA winter). There is a world-class fireworks show (that only happens in Pohang, annually) among many other wonderful things. For more photos, scroll on down…

Korea korean life korea