The QiRanger Adventures

Behind the Wheel!

with 4 comments

Jo and I at Bongamsa!

Friday was a public holiday here in Korea, celebrating Buddha’s Birthday. To celebrate this festive day off, Jo and I decided to take a trip to Bongamsa Temple in central Korea (click the link to read and see more about it).

She found out about this temple on Thursday, and the holiday was Friday. As it was a fair distance away, I quickly made some calculations and found out that taking the bus would cost us W96,000 for the round trip. It would also force us to make a trip into Seoul at 6am and wait for the buses at the East Terminal before heading down the highway to Mungyeong.

So I decided on renting a car. Because of the holiday, and being lat minute, the fee was W80,000 for 24 hours and we’d have to pay W13,000 in toll fees on the highway. This really wasn’t going to save us any money, especially when you factored in gas. However, it would allow us to travel at our pace and up to the Temple gates. This was worth the roughly W50,000 we paid in LPG for the trip.

The whole experience was awesome. I had my employers arrange for the car to be dropped off at the school Thursday evening. The sad thing was that there was no GPS Navigation unit in the vehicle. Luckily, one of my co-workers allowed me to borrow his for the day. With rough maps and a GPS, Jo and I set out on Friday morning and were promptly halted by traffic on Highway 1.

It took us over an hour to drive 10km. Traffic on Highway 50 wasn’t much better, but to tell you the truth that was the least of our worries. The car ran on LPG (propane). I couldn’t find any LPG filling stations in Dongtan, so we left with a quarter of a tank and the notion that we’d fill at a road-side service area. By the time we reached the Yong-in Service area, we were down to less than a quarter tank.

But never fear, we pressed on.

The GPS was flawless and we drove like the wind. Highway 45 was empty, allowing us to make good time at 110kph. the hills and landscape reminded me of Northern California, a place I love visiting. Some people hate riding in taxis in Korea, and the thought of driving scares them, but for me, it was awesome. I can’t wait to do it all over again. I love driving and think that Jo and I will be driving more and more to Korean destinations.

On a side not, Jo and I shall be leaving for our vacation tomorrow, so there won’t be any entries until the second week of June. Keep safe and have some fun… I know we will.


Written by Steve Miller

May 25, 2010 at 5:00 am

4 Responses

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  1. Have a blast on your trip!


    May 25, 2010 at 11:27 am

  2. Man, driving in Korea is not something I wanna do if I can avoid it! I’m glad it went well for you.


    May 26, 2010 at 11:40 am

  3. Wow, I wish I would have known about Bogamsa temple while I was still in Korea. Looks and sounds like an amazing place.


    May 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

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