Thomas Ross Hallock

Asia 2012 – Part 7 – KTX and Saemaul to Pohang

This post covers September 19th and 20th of my 2012 trip to Asia. Start with Part 1 if you want the whole story.

“포항 공대 여자 기숙사 앞으로 가주세요. 제 친구가 한국말을 잘 못합니다. 제가 데리러 나갈테니 조심히 데려다 주세요” — That’s the message Hojeong emailed me and said to show to the taxi driver once I arrived in Pohang. According to Google, it says something like “Please forward a female dorm Pohang University of Science and Technology. My friend can not speak Korean well, Please take careful I’ll get her.”

I got to the city via Korea Train Express (KTX) and transferring in Dongdaegu to the slightly slower but just as nice Saemaul train. Hojeong was my excuse for visiting Korea in the first place. I hosted her in my apartment in NYC a couple of times back in 2011; once on her way to live in Mexico for six months, and once on her way back to South Korea. She’s an amazingly eclectic and adaptive person, and always fun to be around. In fact, every time I’ve been around Hojeong, she always has an intensely diverse, interesting, and fun group of people around her, and this time was no exception. No sooner than I arrived did her Brazilian friends start giving a presentation on their country and its food, people, and culture.

I came to Korea giving Hojeong almost no prior notice, so I didn’t fault her for prioritizing her time for classes classes and tests. Since she would be in class all of Thursday, Hojeong recommended that I visit Busan overnight from Thursday to Friday. Busan is Korea’s second-largest city and is situated on the coast in the country’s southeast corner. It has lots to offer tourists: beaches, food, hiking, temples, spas and the like. Hojeong and her friends gave a few tips on how to get there and what to do. So, the next morning I took the non-stop bus directly from Pohang to the bus station that lies in the northern outskirts of Busan.

Continue to part 8 – Busan

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