I live for autumn. Forget Christmas, autumn is by far ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ The weather’s perfect for light layers, the duvet comes back outta storage and turns the bed back into snuggle central, spiced candles are lit around the apartment, the trees come to life in bright red, yellow, and golden hues, and sunsets resemble candy apples sinking into the horizon. Even though autumn in Seoul means that the sidewalks become covered in festering piles of puke-scented ginko nuts, I can deal with it. That’s how much I love autumn.
When I booked our holiday to Hong Kong, I was honestly most excited about the shopping aspect of our trip, and that aspect did not disappoint! There were Topshops (yes, plural!), Marks and Spencers (so many!), and funky Hong Kong-born brands like 2% HK (where I managed to grab some pieces from their Miffy collaboration ♥ON SALE♥) and Ki.La.Ra (which sells Sanrio-licensed clothes for fully-grown adults; I’m not sure if it’s a Hong Kong brand, but I’ve never seen it or heard of it anywhere else.) Anyway, I wasn’t expecting to do much historical or natural sight-seeing, but I’m so happy we did, cuz these places were gorgeous!
Thanks to Japan’s awesomely efficient railways, we were able to travel from Kyoto to Hiroshima, with a stop at Miyajima Island, within a single day (we got home just in time for dinner at Matsuontoko, too!)
Heya folks! I can’t believe November has come and nearly gone so quickly; I feel like I’ve missed out on my favorite season entirely!
I’ve spent many Autumns in the US and the UK, and adored them both equally. Growing up in America instilled in me an appreciation for Fall festivals, and all the seasonal delights they brought with them: sticky, hot apple cider, funnel cakes, caramel apples, pumpkin and pecan pie… I love everything and anything containing allspice and cinnamon, so Autumn is when I’m in my culinary element. Along with all the sweet treats, I love how crisp and smoky the air becomes in Autumn; there’s something so ethereal about Autumn mornings, chilly without being too cold, and sunlight pouring down through canopies of honey-colored leaves.
Autumn in the UK is a bit chillier than in the US, and they don’t celebrate the pumpkin with the same fervor us Americans do, but there’s still that crisp, cinnamon-laced scent to the air. Around this time of year is when all of the Christmas markets begin to set up in the UK, too, bustling with people and scented with pine needles and mulled wine.
Needless to say, Autumn in Korea has been a different experience entirely.
We were looking for something new to do a few weekends ago, which can be a bit complicated and frustrating when you have to rely on public transport, but then we realized that the birthplace of the Silla Kingdom (Korea’s longest-reigning dynasty) is just a short 25 minute train ride away from Ulsan!
Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla Kingdom from 57 BC to AD 935, so it’s filled with super old stuff!
The most striking thing we noticed about Gyeongju’s landscape is the vast amount of perfectly rounded green hills:
Even though Ulsan is a coastal city, we’d managed to spend six months here without visiting any of its beaches; this is pretty much due to the fact that it is super fast and cheap to get to Busan, way faster than trying to catch buses out to any of Ulsan’s beaches. We finally decided it was due time we visited Ulsan’s most popular beach, Ilsan Beach, even if it meant sitting on a bus for over an hour…