Blogs from South Korea, Asia - page 2

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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

Asia » South Korea » Incheon » Baengnyeong-do May 6th 2014

We were up bright and early, to make the most of our final morning on the island. We got all packed up and headed out. Since it was Buddha's Birthday, we wanted to head to a temple on the island. Luckily there is only one. It was pretty much at the other side of the island, so it took a little time to get there. We knew we were heading in the right direction as we saw a statue of Buddha, in a field in the distance. The temple, (name), was tiny, so cute. There was a a really cute outbuilding. The yard was covered with lanterns and there was also a statue of an elephant. I can't recall seeing any elephants at previous temples I've been to Korea, so that was unique. The temple was ... read more
Mongunsa Temple
Mongunsa Temple
What's that?

Asia » South Korea » Incheon » Baengnyeong-do May 5th 2014

We woke up late today, the lie-in was lush. We ended up getting up around eleven and it was after twelve by the time we had all showered and gotten ourselves ready it was well after twelve. We were all starving, so we headed into downtown Baeknyeong-do to find some lunch. Most of the places looked seafoody or shut. We decided on a place, it was like a kimbap shop, regular Korean food, and we ordered lots of things to share. We ordered a shrimp fried rice, kimchi jjigae, bulgogi stew, and jaeyuk deopbab. It was all lovely and we scoffed it all down. Feeling full, we left but not before Mel got her photo with the signed Hyun Bin poster on the wall. He'd eaten here when he was staying on Baeknyeong-do, too. We took ... read more
Bulgogi
Jae-yuk-deop-bab
Kimchi Jjigae

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Asia » South Korea » Incheon » Baengnyeong-do May 4th 2014

So our original plan for this fluke four day weekend (Children's Day falling on the Monday and Buddha's Birthday falling on the Tuesday) was to go to Hong Kong. However flights were stupidly expensive, with crap times, so we had to come up with another plan. Yeri mentioned Baeknyeong-do ages ago to me, and I stored it away in my mind. With our Hong Kong planned scuppered, this seemed like a good opportunity, as we needed longer than a regular weekend to do it justice. However it was not smooth sailing, when Yeri got in tough with the travel agent, ferry tickets were already sold out for the Saturday, so we had to book for Sunday to Tuesday. The trip was cheap, due to the travel agent ballsing up we got our ferry tickets cheaper, and ... read more
Dunkin' on the ferry
Port
Port

Asia » South Korea » Incheon May 3rd 2014

We met up at Incheon subway station at around 1. I've been wanting to visit Incheon and its Chinatown forever, but the almost two hour long subway ride has always put me off. Luckily, I managed to get seats on both trains, I was surprised at how empty the trains were given that it was a Saturday and a holiday weekend. Chinatown is directly opposite the subway station, but before heading to Chinatown we took a taxi to the ferry terminal and found a love motel to stay in for the evening. We dumped our stuff and took a taxi back to Chinatown ready to resume our sightseeing. We headed into Chinatown, I'm not sure if it is the only Chinatown in Korea or was the first. Anyway, we took plenty of photos of the gate ... read more
Chinatown
Chinatown
Chinatown

Asia » South Korea » Jeollanam-do » Boseong April 26th 2014

26th Apr: We left from Pyeongtaek Station at around half eleven. I have to say Pyeongtaek Sation is really nice, it's a lot smaller and cleaner than Suwon Station. It has lots of nice new shops, cafes, coffee shops and a department store. It also doesn't have all the dubious characters that hang around Suwon. It's a shame it takes longer to get to or I would use this station more often. The train journey took about three hours, maybe a little more, as the train was late getting in to Gwangju. Not too bad as we had traveled pretty much all the way to the bottom of the country. After alighting the train, we headed to the tourist information office to find out how to get to Boseong. We headed to the bus station by ... read more
Gomangtae
Gomangtae
Gomangtae

Asia » South Korea » Seoul April 23rd 2014

I was so excited to be on a high speed train. KTX runs at 350 kph or so. Different sources say different things and I don’t care enough to find out how fast it really is. All I know is that it’s the fastest train I’ve ever been on. I first saw it while on a bus to Gyeong-ju from Incheon. It went by so fast I did not have enough time to pull out my camera and take a photo of it. There is no direct train from Gyeong-ju to Seoul. I had to ride the regular train to Daejon. It’s also my first time to be on an old school train that runs on the ground instead of underground or elevated. The trains come and leave on the dot. Some of the stations do ... read more
Deoksugung
interesting building
Statue in the middle of the road

Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju April 21st 2014

Warning: This is another boring entry about a boring city. Perhaps it's not a boring city. Maybe I was just homesick and lonely so that has clouded my judgement. Nobody else checked in to Santa's Guesthouse. It would have been nice to have someone to talk to. The sites to visit today are a bit far from the hostel and I can’t walk going there. I went to the tourist office and I was given the option to either bike or take the bus. I was too tired to bike and get lost so I decided to take the bus. I also considered just buying a bus tour if its cheap enough. Turns out it costs 20,000 won and if I take the bus it would only set me back 6,000 won. I’d rather risk getting ... read more
Bulguksa Temple
Seokguram
Bulguksa Temple




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