Blogs from South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gangnam July 14th 2014

Heyyyy! This is not my first blog, but it is my first travel blog. To sum it up, I'm the epitome of a bad writer who does not have a schedule for anything. However, I will try my very best to keep posting everyday when I am travelling. Because, personally, I prefer lists than paragraphs, I will type up my little intro in a list. - Name : Kristie Lam - Nickname : KaiPo - Age : 17.5 - born in Hawaii, - spent most of my life in Hong Kong, - have gone to school in Hong Kong (Hong Kong), London (England), Toronto (Canada), Vancouver(Canada) - reason why I started travelling : moved around too much since little, can't seem to stand the thought of staying in one place - why I travel : for ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Incheon June 24th 2014

Many years ago I had my first sampling of Korean food back in my home country of Myanmar, and found it very much to my liking. Since then, I've always wanted to see South Korea, officially called the Republic of Korea. I had my chance when a Korean friend whom I had known briefly in Thailand when he was working there, invited me to visit his country. It was the first week of May in Bangkok, Thailand. I had just returned from visiting my daughter and her family in Los Angeles, USA. The new academic year at the college where I worked was due to begin in 10 days time, but I still had the travel itch in me. So, on a sudden impulse I shot an email to Mr. Kim in Seoul saying that I ... read more
S Korea 8 May 2008-3
S Korea 8 May 2008-8
S Korea 8 May 2008-11

Asia » South Korea » DMZ June 11th 2014

While intense and intimidating, I did not find the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) the scariest place on earth so called by former President Bill Clinton. I took a USO sponsored tour to the DMZ a few days ago and was actually kind of surprised how calm it appeared. After a US Army briefing, we were escorted on a bus from Camp Bonifas at the DMZ boundary right through to Panmunjeom which straddles the military demarcation line (MDL). Each country has 2 buildings right across the MDL (called the Joint Security Area, or JSA, here) and we could enter one of the South Korean's where there were 2 South Korean soldiers on guard: one standing across the MDL; the other entirely in North Korea. We then proceeded to checkpoint #3 which, through a demarcation oddity, is surrounded ... read more
JSA and North Korea
North Korean Soldier Checking Us Out
North Korean Building at the JSA

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangnam-do » Jinju June 7th 2014

While the title may sound like my last 2 years on the road, it is actually part of the teachings of Buddha that I tried to absorb during a temple stay in Jirisan National Park. Hwaeomsa Temple is one of many offering temple stays that can be reserved over the internet. Several are in or close to major cities but Hwaeomsa is in the national park (near Gurye) where there are several hiking trails including an overnight trip to Ssangyesa Temple. Hiking wasn't really part of the program at Hwaeomsa but is at a few temple stays. Almost the entire program was in Korean but there were a couple of Korean ex-pats who took me under their wings. Aside from waking up at o'dark thirty (a.k.a., 3:00 in the morning), the toughest part was the purported ... read more
Hwaeomsa Temple
Hwaeomsa Temple
Hwaeomsa Temple

Asia » South Korea » Jeju » Mount Halla June 1st 2014

It didn't take long to tackle the highest mountain in South Korea, Halla-san, located on Jeju Island. The mountain, actually a volcano, possibly extinct, is not that high, only 1,950 m (6,398') but the summit trail is 9.6 km making for a fairly long day. Halla-san is not the highest mountain in Korea as there are a couple of higher peaks in North Korea neither of which I will be tagging on this trip. The highest there, however, can be reached from China according to a South Korean peak bagger whom I met on the trail. Even though I only arrived in South Korea Friday evening after a very long trip from Seattle, I've been feeling pretty, pretty good and went for the summit on my second full day here. Glad I did as rain has ... read more
Next Break at Jindalaebat Shelter
Summit in View
Baekrokdam

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Asia » South Korea » Chungcheongnam-do » Taean May 31st 2014

31st May: First beach weekend of the year! We left Suwon around 10 am on the bus. The traffic was good and we arrived in Taean just before midday. We bought our return bus tickets and chilled in the Dunkin' opposite the station waiting for the others to arrive. I had the most god awful doughnut, it was meant to be a savoury one, or at least that's what the name implied. But no, it was coated in sugar, I really hate Asia's obsession with sugar at times, and they say us Westerners have a sweet tooth. We had a look around the station area for a restaurant to eat at. We couldn't find anything we liked so we headed deeper into downtown Taean. We found a pizza place and got a couple of pizzas to ... read more
Pinocchio
Pretty Flowers
Pinocchio

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 30th 2014

When I set out for The Trip To End All Trips (TTTEAT) back on May 1, 2012 it really was meant to be the ultimate trip. However, about ¾ of the way through TTTEAT I realized it was not going to be long enough to accomplish my travel goals. It could be argued that TNTTEAT is really just a continuation of TTTEAT as I only passed through the US for a few weeks and barely sat still long enough to grow any roots whatsoever. I arrived in Seoul, South Korea a few hours ago after an 11 hour flight from Vancouver, Canada which was preceded by a 50 minute puddle jump from Seattle. There's a 16 hour time difference between Seattle and Seoul so needless to say I am wiped out and eager to hit the ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 24th 2014

Prologue Heading back to Honolulu from Singapore, I had planned an 11-hour layover in Seoul (reduced to 9 hours because of a flight delay) to explore a new city. I had researched in advance and I planned to take the airport train to Seoul Station and from there explore Gyeongbok Palace, Insadong, the controversial Cheonggyecheon Stream project and a couple more places if time permitted. Landing in Seoul at around 10.45am, I got through immigration quickly and was in the arrivals hall by 11.15am. Despite the delay and the 3.15 am departure out of Singapore, I was well-rested thanks to Asiana's comfortable Business Class bed seat. While looking for the left luggage facility to deposit my roller bag, I chanced upon a counter for their free city tours. I picked up a brochure and saw that ... read more
Tacky Curtains on Tour Bus
Dongdaemon Design Plaza
Changdeok Palace

Asia » South Korea May 14th 2014

After a 3 hour flight from Hong Kong, we landed in Seoul where we spent our first night. Korea is very different from HK. For starters, most Koreans do not speak any appreciable English. As a result, we were compelled to learn a few phrases in Korean, which I am sure were mangled as completely by us as were the heavily accented English phrases tackled by the few brave Koreans (mostly taxi drivers and hotel desk clerks) forced through circumstance to attempt communication with us. The next day, we boarded the high-speed KTX train to Busan where we met Lydia who negotiates the logistics of life in Korea like a local. It was great to see her thriving so gracefully in the life she has created here. The first evening, we ate a traditional Korean meal ... read more
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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Jungrang-gu May 10th 2014

So Yongma Land... an abandoned theme park... on the outskirts of Seoul... I'd been wanting to visit this place for ages. There are tonnes of blogs going around on expats sites about the place, and I was hooked reading blog after blog. I knew the rough area that it was in, but had no real directions. Then, finally, one day when I was reading yet another blog about the place, I clicked the link to the girl's boyfriend's blog about the place and low and behold, this one actually had legit instructions on how to get there. Happy that I finally had decent instructions on how to get there and a new camera ordered. The cold in China had killed mine. So we penciled a date into our diaries for when we would visit. We took ... read more




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