HOLIDAYS!! South Korea 2016: Photo Essay


Post by Portia


Hi there APJ,

It feels utterly sinful to be frolicking on holidays while the world implodes politically and in so many other ways. Still, here we are in South Korea with Jin’s family and friends.

Here are a few of the billions of photographs I’ve taken. Come see a slice of South Korea, its people and some fun things to do on a seven night getaway. Can I also tell you that South Korea is still incredibly affordable.

HOLIDAYS!! South Korea 2016: Photo Essay


Pick up from Ulsan station. You can’t tell but Mummy & Pappa are thrilled to see us. It’s very late at night.


Breakfast in Yangsan. You’ll notice the family has Pork Soup and I have a Croissant. I know, I’m a Philistine.


Visiting Grandma who has Alzheimers. 4 generations of family, from two branches, sharing love and special moments. Grandma remembered Jin so he was over the moon. We had bought her a bunch of Japanese sweets and treats because she studied in Japan when she was a teenager (unheard of for a woman in that time).



On our way to the mountains with Mummy & Pappa to see the autumn leaves. Sadly the leaves were not 100% co-operative because it’s been a really weird season. We did see some lovely colour and every new vista was so picturesque.




We stayed in the faded grandeur of the Jirisan Spa Land. Though the decor was tired and the maintenance on the gardens and building had lapsed we could still see what it was designed to be. Beds and rooms were comfortable and spacious. The spa baths were clean and neat and the family loved their time in the waters which left our skin soft and lightly fragranced with minerals and salts.


On our way home from BarBQ dinner in the village that night we saw some strange arguments and a boozy customer screaming. As we left the next morning the site was crawling with Police & CSI. Jin’s Dad got out and explained what we’d seen last night. We were all called into the Cop Shop for questioning and to give statements, also to identify the miscreant. It was super fun.


While Mummy & Pappa were in with the cops Jin & I went exploring and found this wonderful shrine. The plaque below explains everything. Nice find in rural South Korea.





The tip top of the highest mountain in South Korea you can drive to the top of. We wandered around, had some noodles and coffee. It was a great cheap family adventure. How handsome is Jin’s Dad?




Back in Busan they are having a Chrysanthemum show. While all the usual types were there I had never seen them trained into the tortured Bonsai experience. They look freaking amazing and I am now inspired to try it at home.




Jin thinks it looks like an ice-cream but I think it looks like a Butt Plug, making this photo extra creepy.



Dinner with one of Jin’s childhood BFFs Kinam in the Westin Chosun, Busan. We have stayed in this hotel and I really love the way they keep the 5* dream alive. Dinner in the Camellia Restaurant is always gorgeous.



Mummy & Pappa’s apartment block.


While shopping we found these crazy ETRO paisley slippers. VERY Roja Dove!


Hanging out playing Transformers with another of Jin’s BFFs, Jungyon, and her daughter. Loud screaming laughter ensued.


So next day we are off to the famous Kijang Crab Market in Busan. Below is a Korean Crab that came as a GWP for the huge monster King Crab we bought for lunch.



Yes, here it is. You can’t really see but the top of the shell was easily 3 of Jin’s hands. ENORMOUS! Mummy & Pappa had never had a King Crab before but their friends had talked of it for years after having the experience. I was completely unaware of this when I asked Jin to find out what the most delicious and meatiest crab they had. Not being a seafood eater my knowledge is pretty sparse.



Here they both are cooked and cut, ready for eating. You have no idea how much meat there was. The three of them ate till they were absolutely disgustingly full, then they ate some more. There was still a third of the meat left which will make delicious seafood salad over the next two days. Mummy & Pappa now have bragging rights for the next decade.




Then we went to the seaside Haedong Yonggungsa Buddhist temple. It’s about 100 steps down and on the way I managed to get a coin into the wishing pot, after many tries. We bought some candles to light and prayed for all of you, our friends, family and the world in general. I think in light of this weeks events that the world will need every ray of light.



Tonight I put my foot down. Dinner at HOME with the family. So we trooped out to Mummy & Pappas little farm with Jin’s BFF Jungyon & daughter and we gorged on Korean BarBQ, drank Whiskey & Soju and generally had a fabulous time celebrating Mummy & Pappas 4oth Anniversary and our 5th Anniversary, which are spookily only 5 days apart. Jin & I had procured a bunch of Roman Candle fireworks and we had a fabulous display after dinner. The whole night was magical and fun.



Back to Seoul tomorrow and then home.

Niki de Saint Phalle Niki de Saint Phalle FragranticaFragrantica

Been wearing Niki de Saint Phalle almost exclusively. It really seems to fit South Korea.

It’s been great. What’s your favourite family meal?
Portia xx

31 thoughts on “HOLIDAYS!! South Korea 2016: Photo Essay

  1. Love ALL the photos but my very favorite is the one of you all in the car! Jin and his funny face with his parents holding hands. Precious! Glad you’re having such an adventure! And thanks for the kind thoughts💖


    • Hi ClaudiaS,
      When we looked at that pic after I took it we all agreed it was the photo of the holiday. How happily and blissfully in love are his parents? Jin being a buffoon and me taking the shot, perfect symmetry really.
      Portia xx


  2. Did you buy the Etro slippers?

    Fabulous photographs and account of your trip. Thanks for sharing.

    As to favorite family meals, we like to go to go out and eat family style meals (e.g. 10-course meal at a Chinese restaurant), the more to spend time eating, talking and catching up rather than preparing and cleaning up afterwards.


    • Hi Hajusuuri,
      No, didn’t buy the slippers. I have a 10 pair of shoes policy and couldn’t think of a pair I would get rid of to have them in the collection. It was hard to let them go.
      Yes, love a Chinese Banquet. Can’t go wrong, and with 10 courses everyone gets something they love.
      Portia xx


  3. I love it! Mummy and Pappa seem to have enjoyed your visit immensely! Thank you for sharing with us. The crab bragging rights made me smile, they totally deserve it!
    Any meal is a favourite meal when it’s shared with my family xxx


    • Hey Latai Kaihea,
      Quite a bit of Jin’s & my time is dedicated to thinking things up that give Mummy & Pappa “Bragging Rights”. Having been so poor and struggling for many years just to get food on the table it was always their friends who got to do it and rarely them. Yes, they do deserve it but the joy it gives us to create the opportunities is even better. Selfish really.
      Yes, I miss my family so have a wonderful network of other people’s families that have adopted me.
      Portia xx


  4. Ordinary cooked crab is a favourite here when it is in season, I love to have it when I visit my aunt because we both love that taste (the smell in the house the next day not so much). I have had King crab a few times, it is really delicious (a sweeter white crab meat), but is taking over for some other species along our Northern coast,so the invasion has a downside, too.

    Love the account of your trip!


    • Hey Ingeborg,
      I think they are taking over everywhere, once upon a time they were nearly impossible to get. I wonder if they are being introduced by crab farmers because they are more expensive?
      Portia xx


  5. The parents holding hands in the back seat, so sweet!…my favourite meals are those that I share with my friends and family as long as we are together! Thank you for sharing your lovely photos Portia and Jin xo💋


    • Hey Anna-Maria,
      That will be you and Johnny in a few years. You guys are one of my “Couple Map” educators, still so happy and together after decades.
      Portia xx


    • Hi there Nemo,
      Yes, Jin’s Grandma started talking to us in Japanese she was so excited.
      Portia xx


  6. After a sad week, your photos are not only beautiful but uplifting. You seem to be having a great time, and Korea is exotic to me — I’ve never been farther west than Hawai’i, though I’ve had a couple wonderful experiences at a Korean bathhouse here in LA. I had a bottle of Niki de Saint Phalle back in 1983, and I just loved it. So glad we have this wonderful scent in common!

    As to my favorite family meal, as a child it was always spaghetti with a southern Italian sauce similar to
    Bolognese. Now I do a lot of the family cooking, so it’s anything my husband (he is a great cook) makes for me!


    • Hey empliau,
      Glad our photos have given you some respite. I can’t imagine living in the USA currently.
      YAY! We snap on Niki de Saint Phalle, what a wonderful scent eh?
      I too have wonderful memories of Mum’s version of Spag Bol. Still make it in her honour. She added finely chopped mushrooms and capsicum so we would get them in our diet.
      Portia xx


  7. Dear Portia, You both look so happy and relaxed and enjoying your visit with family. Beautiful pictures – love the bonsais – would love to see one in bloom like that. Thanks for sharing your pics. Sandra xoxo


    • Hey Sandra,
      It was happy & relaxing, they’re lovely people to spend time with.
      I am TOTALLY going to try the mum bonsai one day soon.
      Portia xx


  8. Dear Portia. Great photographs especially the crabs! Loving the family one too. Our favorite family meal would be turkey on Christmas Eve which is always a bit of a happening. The bonsais are amazing. Did you see of buy any scent related products? Xxx Esperanza


    • Hey Esperanza,
      Thanks. TURKEY!! I haven’t had it since Mum died, now I buy a couple of BarBQ chickens and cut then up.
      Yes, I bought a Granville by DIOR but that will be a post of its own soon.
      Portia xx


    • Hey Shiva-woman,
      Luckily Australia is far enough removed from most of the world’s drama. It has been a horrible year to watch on the news though.
      Luckily I have a brain full of joyful memories to bout me through the bleak times.
      Portia xx


  9. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip with us Portia. It makes me want to buy a ticket and fly away asap, escape the winter which is at the porch here. As always, you made me laugh out loud: ice cream vs. butt plug 😀
    Enjoy the rest of your vacation with Jin and his family!!!


    • Thanks Neva,
      We are home now. Already planning the next adventure.
      PHEW! I thought that joke may have gone too far, thank you for laughing and commenting.
      Where would you go if you could?
      Portia xx


      • I hope to see you in Europe soon 😉
        I’d love to go to the Caribbean…sandy beaches, a bit of diving, picturesque villages. Yes, that would be right now that it’s getting really cold here.


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