Sometimes, the weirdest things happen while traveling. Maybe it's something about the mode of transportation, or perhaps it's a fellow passenger — or maybe it's you.
It's time to tell your story — in conjunction with Groove Korea magazine, Chris in South Korea, and Travel Pants Korea. The top three stories will be dramatically read for your entertainment and voting, and first prize is a trip for two with Travel Pants Korea in April.
The rules are simple: write a story (in English) about your most unusual or bizarre travel experience in Korea. No more than 500 words. A photograph from the incident, or of some of the aftermath, is recommended (but optional). Preference will be shown to positive stores or those that encourage travel.
A little sample story to help get the creative juices flowing
The middle of nowhere - that's where the bus dropped us off. Sometimes that's what getting off the beaten path means - in this case it was doubly true. We were looking for the tomb of Kim Sat-gat - a 19th century vagabond poet - and the journey took us to one of the most remote areas on the Korean mainland. As boundaries go, we were about as far as you could get from a city, nestled in southern Gangwon-do and within a rock's throw of Chungcheongbuk-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do.
Apparently, the bus we jumped on (the one we were told to get on) stopped 5.8 kilometers short of the goal. Let the record show that neither of us was especially inclined to hike an hour to a site, complete with backpacks, in 30-plus degree heat. Instead, we opted to wait for the next bus to rumble through the countryside and towards the unmarked area where we got off.
Thirty minutes later, still nothing.
After nearly an hour, a miracle happened: a taxi with the magical ‘빈차’ (for hire) light passed by. We promptly took it up the hill to our destination, talking the taxi driver into taking us back to the bus terminal after our visit. That shouldn’t have been a lot of convincing, seeing as how he ended up making a few manwon for his hard work.
The tomb (and nearby museum) were both worth the visit, but what made the trip memorable was the adventure of getting way out there, and somehow finding our way back to civilization at the end of the day.
OK, your turn - write your story, send it on, and win a trip!
Send your stories to Chris — chrisinsouthkorea AT gmail DOT com.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Korean time on Feb. 20. The top three stories will be chosen by Groove editor Matthew Lamers, Chris in South Korea writer Chris Backe, and the founders of Travel Pants Korea, Angel Moreno and Daniel Ahn. The three stories will be read dramatically, and the winner voted on by you.