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    Seokjeong Hot Springs Hue Spa

    Okay, this is not Caribbean Bay, but if you live near Gwangju, or Jeonju or anywhere in between, this is the place to go for families with young kiddos! Don’t bother if you are adults looking for excitement, but for family time (or adults looking for some quiet time) with a bit of excitement… this is the place to go!! This was our second year coming here. We first came, while living in Gwangju, for our daughter’s birthday. She loved it so much that she asked to come again for her birthday this year. We now live in Seoul, so quite a trek, but we combined it with a visit…

  • Baegun Valley
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    Where to Escape the Heat in and Around Seoul this Summer

    Korean summers are hot and humid, and if you can walk out the door without breaking a sweat, you’re a tougher person than I! I am Australian. I have lived through 30 something summers with 40° celsius days, but I’ve never felt as uncomfortable as summer in Korea. It’s the humidity! Still, there are plenty of places to cool off and beat the heat. Of course, there are beaches and mountain streams and even shady spots or air-conditioned oases within the city. Here are the top places I’ve found, so far, to escape the summer heat! I’d love to hear your ideas to add to my repertoire. Hit the Beach…

  • Gyeongju
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    Overnight trip to Gyeongju

    On our way home from Busan last month, we stopped over in Gyeongju overnight to break up the trip. The last time I was here was in 2007 with my parents. A LOT has changed in that time. Back then, we struggled to find a spot to stop for a pre-dinner beer or any restaurants that looked especially interesting. We did have a great time and resorted to Norebang (karaoke) for our nighttime entertainment. But now! Now Gyeongju is full of microbreweries, hipster bars and quaint cafes. Some complain about the gentrification of this small city, but the excellent rooftop pizza and gelati shop might make up for it! First…

  • Gwangju Family Land Observation Wheel
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    Gwangju Family Land and Uchi Park Zoo

    Gwangju Family Land is a quaint, little amusement park on the outskirts of the city. Nestled into a mountainside, surrounded by greenery, we were grateful for the shade and breeze on this sweltering August day. Family Land opened in 1991, but I felt transported back to an even earlier time. For a couple of thousand won, you can take a little train from the car park to the gate. Don’t expect too much! A colourful observation wheel stands by the entrance, with several small food outlets and shops, and then an average selection of rides. The merry-go-round, dodgem cars, pirate ship and small rollercoasters have a somewhat vintage feel. Still,…

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    History, art, culture, and food in Yangnimdong, Gwangju

    Yangnimdong is my hands-down-absolute-favorite area of Gwangju! It has a bit of everything. History, culture, art, nature, food! It’s busy enough to have a lively vibe but quiet enough to be calm and peaceful. It has cool, hipstery cafes alongside beautiful historical homes. And it’s pedestrian-friendly! History Yangnimdong has a fascinating history. It was where Gwangju’s part in the March 1st Independence Movement began. It was also where Christian missionaries from America first settled and there are many old homes, churches, and a cemetery from this time. Art Yangnimdong is full of small galleries and street art. The Penguin Village area is pretty much all a work of art. Cafe…

  • Eat

    Vietnamese in Gwangju, Namgwangju Market

    Back in 2006 when I first lived in Seoul, the hardest part was missing the variety of cuisines we could find in Melbourne. Along with Thai and Greek food, I often crave Vietnamese. Things have changed considerably in the last 14 years. There are now Pho restaurants all over Gwangju but, this one is particularly authentic. Even better, it’s just a short walk from our place at Namgwangju market. This is the first Vietnamese place in Gwangju that serves coriander with its Pho. Now, if only we could get some Vietnamese mint too. Apart from the cut of meat, which makes it more Korean-ish, the taste of the soup was…

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    Gwangju Lake Eco Park

    Are you looking for some fresh air, beautiful views and a bit of nature? Get yourselves to Gwangju Lake Eco Park! After weeks of trying to practice social distancing, we decided it was time to get out of the house and out of the city. Not wanting to go somewhere too far away or too touristy we headed out to Gwangju Lake Eco Park. Entry is a bit strict these days. No food, no bikes or scooters. They are also checking temperatures and applying hand sanitizer at the entrance. Thankfully, we passed the temp test and they let us in. We started the day with a snack. Hot dogs. Korean…