Korea Trip 13 – 20 May, Day 5

After a buffet breakfast at the hotel, we went to the Daegu Spa Valley for my virgin hot spring experience. Of course, their culture there states that no clothes are allowed in the hot spring, hence naturally there wouldn’t be any pictures to show you all as well. It was quite a big place with an entire floor of lockers and another floor for the hot springs. The lockers there don’t have benches or rooms for you to change or put your stuff down, so it was pretty weird because they smartly allocated all of us males to lockers that are way too closely adjacent to each other.

They had a hot pool of about 40-45 degrees and a ice cold pool of about 0 degrees, and the proper way to enjoy this experience is to soak yourself in the hot pool for about 5-10 mins and then take a dip in the freezing cold pool for about 3 mins. After that, you can go back into the hot pool again for a longer period of time like 15-20 mins before alternating with the cold pool of 3 mins. All these must be done after a good shower because they are very particular about hygiene in the shared hot spring pool. I tried this method but after a few minutes in the freezing pool I started to feel a bit dizzy, so I quickly got back into the warm comfortable hot pool.

They also provide a pink color cloth to scrub yourself to get rid of the lou nai or gao gei (depending on your dialect) or simply, the dirt/dead skin on your body. The tour guide says that all the Koreans will go to hot springs and their primary aim is to scrub out all these dirt after their pores opened up. It’s also a tradition as well for the dad to crack an egg on the child’s head for no reason whatsoever..

Anyway, after a relaxing spa experience, we headed to a fancy traditional Korean restaurant to have a 13-course lunch! The food just kept on coming and coming until the table was so full we had to hurry up and finish some plates or there would be no space for the new dishes to come. Some of the nicer dishes are below…

Actually their food is just overwhelming in quantity of dishes but I don’t really find it very spectacular. I did like the coffee machine outside that dispenses free coffee FOC! As proud Singaporeans, we all rushed to get a cup of coffee once we knew how it works.

Next up is strawberry picking! Did you know – strawberries are very sensitive to heat and physical contact. Therefore, all the Korean strawberries that are supposedly very sweet that you see in the supermarkets are actually not from Korea! The tour guide says that it was nearing the end of the strawberry season and therefore we were allowed to pick however much strawberry we want to fill up a plastic container he gave us!

The Singaporean nature in us surfaced again and many of the other uncles and aunties came back with overflowing mountains of strawberries that the container can’t even close. I already had my fair share gobbling up the big ones while plucking so mine was something like this!

Omnomnom. I look like an uncle with the camera pouch attached to my belt.

After we finished picking all the strawberries we could fill, we left to see the Maisan Provincial Park with a horse eared mountain (which I don’t see) and some stone structures built by Yi Gap Yong that is called the Stone Pagodas. He constructed all these by hand, rock by rock. This is a picture of the old guy and his rocks.

They all end off at the top with a lot of tiny stones precariously balanced on top of another, as if to tempt some itchy hands or the accidental tourist to knock down one of them and have cursed luck for the next 3 years.

I didn’t knock anything down =D

We then proceeded to the famous Hotel Tirol, Muju Resort and we stopped by on the way for a Spicy hotpot chicken dinner! The temperature then was about 8 degrees or so, and this warm soup really helped =D

The 6-Star hotel is Austrian themed and it’s supposedly very popular during the winter seasons for its ski mountain just behind the hotel. The architecture is indeed pretty.

I especially loved the part where we strolled along the empty streets at night drinking ice cold (literally) beer and eating ice cream as well. Basically as it wasn’t snowing, that place really wasn’t that fantastic. There was no air con at all I don’t know why and the person who came to fix it can’t really speak English and so we slept in a stuffy room the whole night.

At least it was a King Sized Bed!

Oh fun fact: Michael Jackson wanted to buy over this entire resort last time!

However, my verdict was it really isn’t worth a 3 hour bus ride just to come here to stay for the night, and another 3 hour bus ride back to Seoul after this.

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