Daewangam Songnim

Or less impressively – the pine forest. This is a peninsular jutting out into the East Sea (Sea of Japan), next to Ilsan beach, in Dong-gu, with wonderful views. Legend has it that Queen Munma, who ruled  the Silla Region (which lasted from 57BC till 935AC!) one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, became a Guardian Dragon after she died, which is why the rock at the end does not have any seaweed growing on it.

Shabu shabu

Yesterday, I went to my first proper Korean restaurant, which is pretty poor as we have here two months now. I have been to Japanese, Italian and Indian but not Korean.

We met up with some new friends, their son was in Gregor’s class. The boys are really good friends and have a lot in common – they even have the same birthday, so it is great that they can meet up and play. We started in the foreigner’s compound but the clubhouse wasn’t doing lunch so we headed down to the beach area for lunch.

This is our restaurant.


It is a traditional sit on the floor type.


Shabu shabu is when the food is cooked in a bubbling bowl of stock right at the table, every table had it’s own gas ring.

In go all the ingredients.


Here it is bubbling away.


Whilst it was cooking you could make rice paper rolls; you had a bowl of hot water which you softened the rice paper, then you filled it with finely chopped vegetables.


I then lost my phone as Gregor and Sebastian took it over to play games.

I liked the meal, there were mushrooms but easy to avoid. Katrine tried most of it but Gregor was less adventurous. Drinking the soup afterwards was very tasty.

Once we finished the main part the waitress came back and removed the remaining vegetables and meat and then added rice and some pumpkin which she then boiled down into a rice porridge. By this point I was well and truly stuffed, which was a shame as it was really good.

After lunch we went to the beach,

Where we got to watch kite-surfing. This photo makes it look a lot warmer than it was, there was a very chilly breeze. So we simply had to warm up with hot chocolate and brownies.

Afternoon on the beach

Was all the hassle driving worth it? Yes, we had a fantastic afternoon on the beach.

Our closet beach is Ilsan beach, which is on the Dong-gu peninsular. Depending on which was you look it is very picturesque:

or very industrial:


The cranes you can see in the background are part of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which is the ship (or oil rig) building part of Hyundai. Which is, though not pretty, the reason we are in Korea.

Not that the children were interested on the view, they were far to busy with sand construction.



These structures are individual forts / nests. Here are katrine and Gregor waiting for the tide to come in.


As you can see, it was pretty overcast most of the day, but still warm so the sea breeze was welcome. Didn’t notice anything at the time but we have all come home pink.

The best bit about today’s outing? It has given me the confidence to explore a bit more and it seems there is a fair bit to explore round here.