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A few weeks ago, a couple of my Filipina friends asked me to go on an eco tour with them. “An eco tour? Really? Sounds lame” were my initial thoughts. But since I wanted to hang out with the girls, I bit my pride and told myself I could endure a weekend learning about how to save the environment.

I was expecting to visit a science museum or walk through a park looking at the bark of trees; I guessed wrong! From white water rafting, to cave exploring, to hiking, to visiting a famous temple, to touring the potential stadium for the 2018 winter Olympics, this weekend was far from boring!

Pics of the girls jumping on the bridge. My director was pretty stressed out all week dealing with numerous difficult cases. My advice: go jump up and down on the bridge and pretend you are as free as butterfly shaking the dust off your wings (so professional, right?).

Was I joking? Kinda. Did it work? Who knows, but it was sure fun for the moment acting like 10 yr olds again! And they loved it so that’s all that matters.

Snapping a few pics while waiting to change into our “cave clothes”.

Oh yah! We love our red jumper suits. This was no ordinary cave trampled by thousands of tourists a day. This cave was just opened a couple months before.

With the lights on our helmets as our only guide to see in front of us, we made our way through the most unexposed cave I’ve ever seen. We literally had to crawl on our bellies through some parts. I couldn’t take my camera inside so I only got the before pics. But believe me, it was pretty sweet. Saw a couple bats too!

There were 35 other foreigners on the tour along with us. Mostly Chinese, along with some Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Philippines, and a few Americans.


These Chinese students were hilarious!

White water rafting! Our raft was the only one that got stuck in the rapids.  :(

The water was a little cold, but well worth it! Picture taken by eco tour.

One of the biggest reasons why I love being around these girls is their fresh excitement and enthusiasm for anything new. From gasping over the vibrant orange colors of the leaves, to laughing over the Korean food, to squealing from the cold water while rafting, there is never a dull moment with these girls. Makes me love and appreciate life so much more…

That night, the girls surrounded their camera laughing and ahh over the pictures taken throughout that day. I couldn’t resist taking pictures of this moment.

Hiking! A couple of the girls have never gone hiking before and needless to say they were excited, but exhausted from the day before. We were the first ones to start the hike and ended up being the last ones to finish! Ha!

The second picture on the left side is when my friend shouted, “Tanya, I’m GOING TO DIE!” I couldn’t help but laugh.

We made it! The tour organization documented our experience by capturing our reactions with pictures and interviewing our responses throughout the weekend.

View at the top…

Soaking in the breathtaking view…

Walking through the forest by the temple. We loved the beautiful fall colors.

One of the great things about the shelter is that they offer training for the girls to learn a vocation/skill. Some of the girls take cooking classes, computer classes, or in this case becoming a manicurist. I told her that I would be a wonderful client to perfect her nail painting skills.:)

She was collecting all the different colored leaves along our walk; we had to get a picture with her gorgeous nails.

This eco tour also brought us to Pyeoungchang’s 2018 Winter Olympic stadium. Pyeounchang is one of the 3 candidate cities for the 2018 Winter Olympics. I guess from several sources, Korea will more than likely win the vote.


They gave us a tour of the resort and brought us to the field where the ski jumps are held. Since my uncle trains athletes for the biathlon, I was more than excited to be standing in the possible stadium that the Olympics will be held at!

You might be wondering how we got to go on a tour like this for absolutely FREE! (yes, all transportation, food, lodging, and sites were covered) Every month, the eco tour let’s foreigners experience sites around/in Seoul for free. The price: a good attitude and a 5 minute survey plus a written reaction at the end of the trip. For all you foreigners living in Seoul, check it out here. You gotta act fast since it fills up quickly each month.

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November 6, 2010 - 10:05 pm

Ur Bro! - Lucky!!! I still want to go Whitewater rafting! :)

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