EPIK teachers trip to YoungIn MinSeok Cheon (Korean Folk Village)

15 07 2009

I hate early mornings. I hate even more the early mornings for no good reason, and 6.20am is just evil. Still, that was the assigned time to meet all the other foreigners, pile on a bus and drive 3 hours west to the YoungIn MinSeok Cheon, or Korean Folk Village for our day trip (aka, keep the foreigners happy time).

It all began bizzarely. At 6.30am most people want sleep, or failing that, coffee. Warm beer isn’t high on my list of desirables, but it is what we were given.

Beers on the bus, at 6.30am???

While some partook, others tried catching up on sleep.

Sleepy for some

Eventually we arrived, wasted some time waiting and headed into the village which was to be our next 8 hours.

Here we have a large stone mound covered in ropes with attached paper wishes. You write your wish on the slip of paper and attach it in order for it to come true.

Making a wish

(Just a note, some of these pics are a bit ghostly. I was playing with a new super dark camera filter so that should explain everything)

These totem-poles are decorated and placed in villages to protect the villagers and prevent bad spirits etc from attacking.

Korean totem-poles

A traditional Korean game where the aim is to throw the stick (maybe 60cm long) into the metal rings. I think the centre ring is best.

Ghostly games

Next were the performances. The traditional farmers twirling dance with gongs and drums was loud but spectacular. They have ropes or ribbons attached to their heads and spin around and around.

Whirling ghostly dancers

Whirling farmers dance

Bang that Gong

Ancient break dancing?

Then on to the tight-rope walker. I didn’t get an explanation of why but it certainly looked painful, bouncing down onto your crotch and then back up again. Oouch.

Tightrope walking

Sitting down on the job?

Believe it or not, but one of the highlights was the “haunted house”. Not a very good one but more giggles than not. Besides, its not everywhere you get a severed head out the front.

Severed head?

More scary things were to come, with Jessica determined to try to scare me after I scared her, making her fall backwards (sorry Jessica).

Monsters!!!

How can any trip anywhere be complete without cats? We found 3 wild kittens sleeping in the sun. Soooo cute. I think everyone wanted to take them home.

Sleepy sleepy.

Making a pot the traditional way was also included in our day.

Pottery monster

Some however let the warm beer and festivities get to them.

Take that!

While others just did the more modern traditional Korean things, cutey photo’s

The lovely couple

Overall a great place to visit to experience old Korea, but having been there almost 3 years ago (huge hangover an all), it wasn’t worth getting up at 6am for. Still, if you are only visiting Korea, its well worth the trip.

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