I should start by saying I’m from a small town of around 10,000 people so I’m not sure if you can classify Andong as a town since it has more than 150,000 people. I have friends who are from towns with 700 people and they roll their eyes at me when I call my hometown small.
I enjoy visiting smaller towns and exploring their surrounding areas at a leisurely pace. I feel nostalgic and peaceful out in the countryside but I also shake my head at those who say small town life is perfect. Some days I love living in a huge metropolis and some days I want nothing but peace and quiet.
This trip made me want to return to Andong immediately. The mountains around the town are beautiful, there are plenty of cultural sites, outdoor markets, a river, and the train station and bus terminal make it convenient to get out of town. The people were more laid back, loved to eat, and were friendly to clueless tourists like me. One taxi driver played Alicia Keys for the drive, these are my kind of people.
Andong isn’t next to the ocean but one famous dish I was told I must try was salted mackerel. I love mackerel in all forms and this was no exception. I’m still terrible at picking out all the bones with my chopsticks.
I also went to a bakery specializing in organic doughnuts. They had ginger doughnuts, sweet potato doughnuts, sesame doughnuts, and various other super food flavors. I stuck with a coffee doughnut because I didn’t know how experimental the other doughnuts would taste.
I loved walking by the river and seeing the dam. There were a lot of couples in canoes on the river. If you want to test the strength of your relationship, paddling a boat together is a good place to start.
Being on the train for more than three hours was worth it!