We joined an old friend of mine (a professor at Chonnam National University) and some of his students on our second day in Gwangju to explore one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations — Mudeungsan National Park. It’s a mountain, so there’s a bit of a hike — literally. We decided to visit one of the Buddhist temples while we were there, and we showed up at lunchtime and were invited to eat with the other visitors.
The temple’s director noticed a bunch of Americans walking around in a group, and he very graciously invited us to join him for a traditional tea ceremony. He encouraged us to take pictures, too.
It was one of those terrific unplanned experiences that come with travel. When we were done, we thanked him for his hospitality and descended the mountain toward the bus stop. Our next destination was Chonnam National University.
Dr. Kyun Soo Kim and I went through the Communication Ph.D. program together at the University of Alabama, so it was extra special to have him join us for the day and give us a personal tour of his campus.
Afterward, it was time to eat! Dr. Kim’s students recommended a nearby Korean BBQ restaurant, and then several of us had dessert at a popular ice cream place.
Our visit to Gwangju was a quick one, but it was a great opportunity to catch up with a favorite colleague, make some new friends, and enjoy exploring their city.
Next Post: Arriving in Seoul
My initials are BBC, so I couldn’t pass up this photo opportunity.