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Published: June 26th 2007
Up and up and up
There's a reason they call it the sky floor
One would think that spending the night on a hard wooden floor, after a public group shower and only a hard rubber block for a pillow would leave aches in places previously unknown and a night of no sleep... Well, not our Jjimjilbang. It's one of first places I'd recommend for a cheap, completely stress unwinding, rest-filled night
Our breakfast search lead us down into Namdaemun, one of Korea's oldest wholesale markets for a ho-dog (A thoroughly delicious cinamon flapjack), -I wonder what they call a sausage in bread?
Sometimes I have to stop and have a giggle at the lengths we go to try and save a penny. I think it's from having lived in an insanely cheap country (our beloved SA) that sometimes we just can't bring ourselves to pay a first-world's reasonable price for food. For lunch, we ended up splitting a single spaghetti, salad and mince tortilla meal...
What frustrates me most about buying postcards is when you get a pack of them and you can recognise only half of the places shown in the pictures! This was all the fuel needed for our next search. I wanted to see the
View from above
Seoul's night view
National Assembly on Yeuido island.
Yeuido is the financial and economic center for South Korea and is found just south of the Han River. We decided that the best way to see this tiny island would be to hire bicycles and ride around it.
Just for giggles, we ended up on a bicycle made for two! TRAVELLING TANDEM HERE WE COME!!!
The bike path was not a disapointment, the well paved path lead us along next to the Han river, passed the National Assembly, flower beds, parks -and when Darrell was in the front - we ended up doing a little off roading and bunny hopping too!! The best thing about being in the back seat is that it's ok to close your eyes when you get scared!
20min into our ride we came to the bridge connecting our island to the mainland, to make sure we saw everything on the island, we decided to head back around the less used path on the other side of the island. It was another 25min into the ride when we realised that we'd been doing more zigging than zagging and that if we didn't cut across the island (instead
A much needed break from the business of Seoul
of completing the perimeter) we'd be late for the bike rental folks.
As logic told us, because we were on a tiny island, if we cycled at 90degrees to the coast it would take 5... 10 min tops to reach the other side. (Mums stop reading! -we weren't wearing helmets because along the river front you really don't need them, so we elected to ride on the pavement and avoid the crazy Korean divers all together)
Well, it was a further 20min of dodging padestrians, cycling on and off curbs and through street markets on our bright yellow tandem before we thought to look at a map... and discovered that somewhere along the line, we'd cycled off the island and were now about 2 subway stops into the mainland!
Alive and grinning broadly, we handed the bike back 40 min late...
Search 3 was the tallest building in Korea and possibly south east Asia -also found on Yeuido. The 63 building, named after it's 63 floors (3 of which are under ground), is complete with aquarium, Imax theater... and of course, the sky floor.
On this sky floor, they've built a section called the Thrill
Corner, which isn't scary at all, until you look down and realise that you're standing on a glass floor, leaning out over the rest of the building, and are looking at the cars driving out of the parking lot 60 floors below you!
The evening called for another Jjimjilbang stay. All I can remember of this is a happy blur of hot showers, jacuzis, saunas, an orange slush puppy somewhere, and a night in an oxygen room.
This was one of the best jjimjilbangs we have stayed in. It had 4 floors, including one that was just for sleeping with no lights on. On the fourth floor I found a room filled with little pebbles, like a scratchpatch. They were so comfortable to lie on, I was sure that was where I was going to sleep. Turns out I was wrong. Cath felt sneezy in there, and since she had a bit of a cold, we moved to another room. We found a cool wooden room, where oxygen was bubbled through water into the air. They say it's goofd for you because the air pollution in Seoul means that you never get enough oxygen. Maybe it's
true, but what I do know is that it really makes you sleep. We both slept about 11 hours straight. On the wooden floor, with a guy snoring next to us. - Darrell
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