by
on May 13, 2018 on 5/13/18 from

3 Bus Tickets to Gwangju

I have 2 more months in Korea!

Super sad that it’s almost over, but as cliche as it sounds, I’m so happy it’s happened.

Before I leave, I plan to visit places outside of Seoul. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you would know I went to Cheongju for a concert. You would also know the mess I got myself in with buses.

Well, I went to Gwangju two weeks ago and I haven’t learned anything from my last trek. Not in chronological order, but in order of content, here’s what happened.

Express Bus Terminal & Gwangju Bus Terminal

I got to buy my bus ticket online (which you would need a Korean debit card and a phone number to do). After ordering online, one way to receive the ticket is at the machines near the ticket counter.

You would think reserving my ticket beforehand would help me. However, even though I woke up 2 hours before my departure time, I still missed my bus… and I had to buy a new ticket.

Many people walk their dogs at this park.

There were many seats left over going to Gwangju. so, I assumed that there will be a lot of seats going back to Seoul. I decided to not reserve a ticket online for my return. Wrong move. I was fumbling in the bus terminal. The ticket machines only have buses to Gimpo Airport! By then, I was freaking out, because I needed to get back to Seoul before the subway stops. I ended up lining up at the ticket counter and speaking to the worker in my broken Korean. She thankfully understood me, and I got my ticket.

If my bus trip this time were to mimic my last trip to Cheongju, then it would end here, right? Well, it doesn’t. After getting my ticket, I go on a bus and sit there for a long while. One minute before departure, a girl comes to my seat and looks at me. Turns out, I was on the wrong bus.

Because of her, I’m here and alive.

A Day in Gwangju

My trip was 2 days and 1 night long. The first day was getting there and going to a cherry blossom concert. The second day was going to the memorial park and going back home.

The concert was so great. Every singer is so talented and sweet to the audience.

When my favorite artist came out to sing, I started to cry. A lot. Her name is Baek Yerin (백예린) and her music helped me during really hard parts of my life.

The concert poster!

I spent my second day in Gwangju at the 5.18 Memorial Park, which was made in memory of the Gwangju/Democratic Uprising. I learned about the Uprising in my religion class last semester, so it was powerful to be in its city and see the memorials dedicated to such an important event in Korea’s history.

A powerful memorial statue depicting the Uprising.

Overall, my trip was successful! I’m happy I decided to spend a weekend there instead of a day trip, because I got to walk around and see the differences between Gwangju and Seoul. I would definitely go back and spend a longer time there. Maybe in the future…?