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Sorta Korean Weekend

View Jilin 2018-2019 & Greece trip, 2018 on baixing's travel map.


I almost missed the train in the morning to Yanji because I took too long getting ready. Luckily, after jogging a little at the station, I made it, even after getting in line for the wrong train. Ha.

It was very cold once we got there, so I put on another pair of socks and walked to where I thought my hotel would be. The only thing open at that time of the morning was a shady looking massage parlour, but the ladies that worked there were very nice, and they took me to another nearby hotel, where I used the phone to try and find my hotel. It didn't seem to exist, so I called booking.com and they sent me down the street to another nicer place. They offered to pay the difference but I haven't seen any of that money yet. It was 84 yuan more, so it's not nothing.

By the time I found the new place, it was about noon, so I headed up Mao Er Mountain, which was the only recommended activity in that city. It's a free park, just outside of town, with an easy ascent and a boardwalk along the entire length. I ate all my peanuts and tangerines at the top and went back down to my hotel again.
I hung out watching Chinese TV for a while and then I put on some more clothes and went out for Korean miso soup, doenjiang. It was very rich and filling. I had a jug of makeoli alongside it. I hadn't had that familiar comforting taste in forever. It brought back a lot of memories of Korea, wowie! I went back to the hotel to sleep and couldn't wait to eat more Korean food the next day.

Once again, the Lonely Planet disappointed me. I went out in the morning to find the "busy" pedestrian street the writer mentioned, but all the shops on that street were closed and on top of that, I walked around for an hour on a wild goose chase because he was too lazy to mention the street was on the southeast corner of Quanming Jie and Ren Min Lu. (He also called it Quanming Lu in the book which caused a least 30 minutes of confusion back at the hotel, because there is another Quanming Lu in the north of the city) So awful.
Once I found it, I walked the length of the pedestrian zone and then back towards Ren Min Park, looking for lunch. Suddenly I saw a ton of little kids run into a place with a cartoon kim bap (rice seaweed roll) on the sign. The last time I followed kids into a restaurant was a huge success, I discovered bap burgers. So, I followed them again, and they were right again. I got some crappy curry but a really great kim bap (after fighting with some pre-teens who tried to steal my table while I was in the bathroom!) and went on my way.
I walked along the river back home, but it was not relaxing, it was just a dusty construction area. I'm sure it'll be beautiful next year though, ha.
I thought the street market I tried to find in the morning might only be active at night, so I headed out again, but only found one poor guy selling candied fruit on a stick. I bought one and dejectedly went back home with nothing for dinner, but some cheap wine and peanuts I picked up on the way back.

I was determined to make the day super Korean, so I threw out the useless guidebook. I finally figured out how to use Baidu Maps, so I found a popular place for barbecue bulgogi (which I burnt) and then went to a jim jil bang for the rest of the afternoon.

I was quite relaxed after the 70 degree sauna and cool water plunge. I lounged around in the plaid pyjamas they gave me and soaked in the hot baths. It reminded me that I still needed to find a Korean wash cloth! There are nothing like them in the whole world.

On my way to the train station, I stopped in at some fancy import makeup stores, but they didn't have one and couldn't understand why I was not satisfied with the Chinese wash cloths they had for sale. Finally, as a last ditch attempt, I went down some shabby stairs to a kind of discount store, and yes, under a pile of more crappy Chinese wash cloths, I found the Korean ones! They weren't exactly what I remember from Korea, but I bought one, figuring I'd give it a go anyway.
PS I got a new water bottle. It's way too big, but I couldn't resist the slogan on the side. Have a look, he was begging me to take him with me, don't you think? "Walkers fear nothing. Thank you for accompanying me all the way." Awww. I had to take him home with me.


Posted by baixing 17:10 Archived in China

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Wow! Fine reading and great pictures too!

by Shuggie

Thanks Dave!

by baixing

glad you found your Korean washcloth. Hope It's all you remember.
There's no way you could have refused that water bottle:)
Pictures were amazing!

by Marian Brown

Thanks I'll try it tomorrow.

by baixing

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