Published: August 9th 2007July 9th 2007
I was suprised to see how developed korea is, in just 60 years or so they have created a country that has a higher standard of living than we do in the UK, but this does make it expensive for the budget traveller like me. Seoul is one of the most densly populately places in the world, however it is also one the cleanest and safest, getting around isn't too much of a proplem either they have an excellant public transport system which is relatively cheap, but also it doesn't seem like much of a headache to drive around as the traffic is usually flowing well, it probably helps that their streets are very wide.
Nearly all the women here have had some form of plastic surgury and everyone is walking around in designer clothers. Companies like samsung not only make electronics but they have hospitals, cars, supermarkets etc. The food here is amazing, in the pictures you can see the eal we treated ourselves too which was really nice, i really like the way alot of places have the grill in the middle of the table and you can cook the food yourself. MY favourite so far has been
the korean bbq which is a similar concept to the picture below from the eal restaurant but with beef ribs, I had it at a restaurant with Miyoungs family and i was really full because her dad just kept ordering more and more and then i was told there were noodles to be had afterward, but it didn't stop there because when koreans go to the pub nearly always order food aswell so when we met her friends later on i had to eat even more! I don't know how they manage to stay so slim. it
I have been taking it slowly seeing the sights as i have a long time to spend here, but so far i have been to the prison the japanese built to learn about what they did here while they occupied this country, which was pretty bad. In and around the city there is plenty of beautiful scenic places to visit like small mountins and there is an island in the middle of the han river is really nice at night - you can see the lights of Seoul shining all around you from the bridges and the city. A couple of days
ago we went to the palace which the japanese destroyed a few centuries ago but it was rebuilt in the 19th, it a simple complex made out of wood in the traditional korean style, however i think it is the grounds it is set in is what really makes it beautiful. Later on that day we met some of are friends we know from Bournemouth and i had probably the best night out since i've been in asia, in a pub which i first thought looked a bit dark and dingy but as always it is the people you are with that makes it fun and we turned it into a big party and got everyone around us to join in. Yesterday we took the 'freedom road' and went near the boarder to north korea with miyoungs parents to visit the whaseokjung river, as most of korea is uninhabited there are many beautiful places like this to visit however it was slightly foggy as it has been nearly everyday so far and that it is normal for korea but apparently on a clear day it is really spectacular and you can see well into north korea.
While talking about
the north I have been looking into doing the DMZ (De-Militarilised Zone) and JSA (Joint Security Area) tour, however it looks like it is something i will have to do on my own as korean nationals have to book a long time in advance and form a big group, whereas i can go when i want. I think it will be a fascinating experience to go the worlds most militarilised boarder, in JSA you can see the north and south soldiers staring at each other only 50 feet or so apart and you can enter the room where the building where the hold the meetings between the north and the south.
There are more photos below