Saturday, December 09, 2006

Korea Trip - Day 3 - Daegu

Morning call at 6.2o am. We checked out of the hotel at 7am for breakfast. To make up for not serving us the Abalone porridge yesterday, we were brought to this little restaurant near Yongduam Dragon Rock (龙头岩 ).

There was the usual side dishes of pickled vegetables. The porridge was cooked from rice grains and was too watery. I tried 'fishing' for the abalone. There were 4 tiny, diced pieces of it in my porridge. hahaha..... they call this Abalone porridge (鲍鱼粥).

After breakfast it was straight to the airport for our 9am flight to Daegu (大 邱), Korea's 3rd largest city. Our driver drove 5 hours from Seoul to pick us. He would be driving us the next few days sightseeing before heading back to Seoul.

Aaahhhh, it was very, very cold. We arrived at Donghwasa Temple (桐 华 寺) which has a history of more than 1000 years. There is a 33m high statue of Buddha, the largest in Korea, created as a prayer for reunification. The stone tower, stone light, the lion statue & the lotus flower that decorate the Buddha statue are all very large in size.

The temple was once used as the headquarters of the monk troops who fought against Hideyoshi's invasion.The religious tradition ofthe nation guarding Korean Buddhism has lasted from the days of adopting Buddhism to this day. Donghwasa Temple was built in A.D. 439.

It is a very beautiful & scenic place. It is so tranquil & appealing. Chris would love it here, maybe I should send him here for a month of religious studies.

After the temple tour, we went for lunch. This time we get to sit on the wooden floor which was heated by pipes running underneath it. The guys have to cross their legs while the ladies have to sit with both their legs placed sideways. It was uncomfortable for me so I sit like the guys and all the ladies followed suit. We had Mushroom Hot Pot.

I find the Korean dishes so simple to prepare. Boil a pot of stock and just dump everything into it. No frying, or oily dishes to wash. Wish my boys could eat like this. I am actually getting a bit sick of this hot pot thing. I haven't eaten fish nor fruits for days. I'm beginning to miss Singapore food.

After lunch, Xiao Lian brought us to Jungangro Street ( 中央路) for an hour of shopping. There was so much to see. The group members split up to do their own shopping. I went alone in search of a bookshop to buy my item.

The signs were all in Korean so I approached two teen school girls. And they brought me to a big bookstore - Kyoyo. I couldn't find what I want because I couldn't read Korean & the salesgirl couldn't understand English. I didn't buy anything. I would love to buy their books. They looked so attractive.

I saw The Face Shop. Kwon Sang-woo is their product spokesman. There is this life-size poster of him outside the shop, for a moment I was contemplating grabbing it & run. But I couldn't have run very far because the street was so crowded. I could see the headlines, "Singapore achuma grabbed Korean Superstar".

I met the group after an hour. On the way to the bus, Xiao Lian bought a Birthday cake. Ah, someone's birthday today!

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