I have lived a year without owning an oven. It is a small thing really. For me it was an important piece I was missing.
You see, in Korea the culture is to eat out for most meals. Unless you have a family most everyone will go and spend money eating out. Most raw foods are bulked together, which makes it very hard to eat when your household has only one. What I have done in the past is split the cost with a co-worker and then split the veggies and fruit in half. It works well but can be a lot of extra work and pre-planning. To make things more difficult for me, I love baking. Baked chicken is may favorite!!! Baked potatoes are so good during winter. Okay so I might have a bit of a Western taste in an Eastern culture. Either way I am so excited to have an oven. Even if it is a very small cute oven.
During my long Chuseok break (kind of like Thanksgiving). I was able to bake dinner for two nights and bake cookies. This was a great addition to my life here in Korea.
So during Chuseok I was given a nice five day weekend. The problem with that is that the entire country is on the move during this holiday. Stores shut down, businesses like banks are all closed for days and so on. You have to plan ahead when you are in Korean during this holiday. Even large malls become shut down days before the day. The nice thing is that the city of Seoul seems to empty out a bit. Though, keep in mind that busses and trains do not follow the normal schedule on holiday weekends.
So after sleeping and resting I decided to explore a city that I haven’t explored much, Incheon. It is home to one of the best International Airports I have ever been in. It has a movie theater guys a movie theater!!! As well as a museum inside security! A MUSEUM IN AN AIRPORT.WHATTT!!!! Yep, its a great place to explore and have fun.
When I set out on my adventure I did not plan much. Which might be why it took hours to get to where I wanted to be. I decided to visit an island that I have wanted to visit since I came to Korea. Its just a small island off of the main land. Muuido. After having breakfast with a friend in Gangnam. We eat at a Western Pancake place (yep…there is that Western taste again). We then hoped on the train. All tourist sites told us to get off at the Incheon station. I tell you DO NOT go all that way. You will end up hopping on a the 306 bus and take a bus tour (without a tour guide) all the way around Incheon. I suggest to simply take the train to the Airport. Go to the B gates on the second floor (where you check-in) and catch the 306 bus. You will then have about two stops. Get off at the stop after the Hyatt hotel. Then walk to the Muuido island. The ferry seems to run every 10-15 minutes.
Once on the island there is a bus that you can take that will get you to the other side of the island. That is were you will find a great beach and hiking places. There is also a zip-line (I plan on doing that next time!!). The beach is nice and is located perfectly for a sunset. However, because it took us so long to get to the island (a good 3 hours) we were unable to stay on the beach for the full sunset.
The beach has little sleeping houses that you can rent. You can also camp in tents. They have lots of bathrooms and seafood restaurants. However, it seemed like you had to pay for things like water for the shower. There is also a couple of hotels but really I think camping or renting a sleeping house would be more fun. Also you would be right on the beach. You can also fish. There were SOOOO many fishermen.
To get back Seoul I suggest you get off the ferry. You can walk or wait for the 222 bus. However, it takes awhile to come and I am unsure as to where it drops you off. If you walk back to the bus stop for 306 (opposite side as to where it dropped you off) catch it and get off at Incheon airport. Take the train to a central location. It will be way less travel time.
Overall it was great to spend time experiencing the culture. Even if it was mostly on the train or on a bus. I hope to go see more of Incheon in the future. A lot of people think that there isn’t much to do there but I have discovered a lot of great places to check out. For example, they have a Chinatown, a few good historical places and temples. It also provides a little bit of a different place other then the other places in Seoul.
My Chuseok break was both productive and restful. I feel that I definitely used my long weekend to its fullest!
In true tradition (and again Western taste) we ended up eating dinner at Taco Bell. Which tastes the same as in America.
Here are some pictures!