Mystery train trip rules…PLAN NOTHING and KEEP TURNING LEFT.
Friday night we got the train from Paju to Seoul station and then went in search of a Motel. In order to do this we decided we would turn left 3 times then take 1 right turn. Following these rules, and after an encounter with a few bums who succeeded in stealing my beer, the first motel we showed up at was WAY over priced so we went next door instead where we found a pension style room for the 5 of us.
5 girls, one room, no beds. It was a bit like a slumber party, filled with goodies courtesy of Shanua and her parcel from Ireland…yummy toffee pops, grape juice and jelly babies! Still hungry after our snacks we went in search dinner and beer. 2 more lefts and a right and we found ourselves at a korean traditional restaurant (ahem ahem) a beer Hof. Aka a joint selling nothing but Beer and Chicken, any mans dream or in the case of 5 girls, any girls dream!
Up and ready to hit the road by 6.30am we headed back over to Seoul station. With a budget of 40,000 won we were all set to go just about anywhere. The first train turned out to be heading to Pohang on the East coast..but at 5 hours there and back it was a little far for our little weekend trip. Our next option was to a little city on the west coast called Gunsan. With a journey time of 3 hours and price of 28,000 return it was PERFECT.
Off to a good start, once on the train all our dream came true. Thats right, there was a mini “travel-sized” Karaoke room on board. 3 hours of chats, laughing and bad singing later and we arrived in the small seaside town (ahem shipping city) of..GUNSAN!
After getting the us to the city centre we found ourselves at a marine themed amusement park, where we had bundles of fun exploring old army tanks, navy ships, helicopters even firing off (pretend) rounds of artillery!
After a bit more exploring we made our way to Eunpa Tourist park where we came across the Cherry Blossom Festival, a beautiful lake, and pure sunshine bliss. After delicious lunch and beers by the lakeside we splashed out and hired a speed boat to whizz around the lake! Next we spent about 2 hours walking around the park with some beer breaks in between!
AFter hours of walking and somewhat of a mini disaster trying to find accommodation (SERIOUSLY Gunsan, where oh where are all you hostels and motels?!) we finally found ourselves in the red light district. This was an Amsterdam eat your heart out, stripper clubs the size of castles lining the streets alongside dimly lit, dodgy looking “love” motels.
Following our rules, we came across our first motel which looked like a white washed, fantastical hotel. Sadly, it was still under construction. The next stop was pretty entertaining to say the least. We managed to walk into the dirtiest, most dingy looking accommodation you could find.The woman spoke no English and kept misunderstanding what we wanted. She spoke Korean and broken english. We spoke English and broken Korean!
Us, ” We want 1 room for 5 PEOPLE. Han bang..ONE ROOM.
Crazy old drugged up receptionist, “5 girls, ONE MAN?!”
Us, “NO!! No man, 1 room, 5 girls”
Crazy old drugged up woman, “One room, 5 girls, ONE MAN?”
Us, ” No,NO, NO. We have no man, Look NO MAN! Just girls!”
Crazy old woman looked confused and horrified.
Us…Never mind…we’re leaving!
We finally found a decent motel, in budget and with beds! Hoorah! A quick dinner or pizza and a surprise birthday party in the room for Shauna and we fell into bed wrecked from all our adventures!
We broke all our “Mystery Trip” rules and planned to head to the islands on Sunday. I guess breaking rules comes with consequences as it was a bit of a (yet another) mini disaster. Our taxi totally scammed us, we were dropped off in the middle of nowhere, Tourist “information” had FECK ALL “information” and we never did make it out to the islands! Despite that we did fins 2 cool light houses so had fun basking in the sunshine and posing for some random photos much to the curiosity or random passers by.
All in all our little trip to Gunsan was awesome. Accommodation, food and transport ranged from Unbelievable (ahh Karaoke train, too cool!) to Unbelievably awful…Ox bone stew for lunch..NEVER AGAIN. But what really made it was the people, so thanks Jouelle, Shauna, Fran and Pam for a fantabulous weekend!