We recently bought a little car here in Korea and it has been an absolute game changer. As we live out in the countryside, there is so much to explore, but very few ways of getting there. Having a car has also meant that we can just go off for the day to a new town, to parks, to mountains, lakes and rivers with a picnic, a hammock and of course our little gas stove for tea. We also found a tent and have dipped our toes into camping in Korea.
Camping here is very different to camping back home in South Africa. Koreans like to camp in parking lots, close together, no wait, scratch that, on top of each other. They don't mind not having a view and they certainly don't mind listening to whatever their neighbour has blasting out of their portable sound systems. That is completely not our scene, and so our recent camping trip up north to Gangwon province had us driving around for hours in search of peace and quiet (and a little shade). We finally settled on an old abandoned road (it was the smoothest surface we could find that had space for the tent and that was close to a stream) and it turned out to be the perfect spot. The road was closed off (little Cherry, being light weight and the size of a sandwich, was able to squeeze through the barriers - probably very illegal) and we found ourselves alone, with privacy and a flowing stream for my avid fisherman hubby.
Numerous cups of tea, plenty of relaxing and cooling off in the stream led to a wonderful camping trip.
Our iphones and their navigation system were life savers, especially as we were only able to leave work at 6pm and only got to Gangwon province at 11pm. They showed us each camping site in the area (most of which were abandoned with no toilet facilities) as well as showing us small, farming roads which we were able to navigate around to find the ideal place to set up tent. We spent our first night just outside the town of Jecheon and then settled on the abandoned road somewhere along the river, north of Pyeongchang.
Driving here in Korea has been remarkably easy to adjust to. The roads are pretty well sign posted (although a lot of the time only in Korean) and the toll charges for our little Matiz are extremely low.