Blogs from Seoul, South Korea, Asia - page 4


Asia » South Korea » Seoul June 7th 2015

Hi everyone! 12:00 am marks the end of my third full day in Korea, and the beginning of my fourth (although I will definitely be sleeping for a bit before doing anything). It has been an exciting three days! Hanging out with Tanya has been trying and overwhelming at times but overall so much fun! Our apartment in Seoul is tiny--it seems more suited to one person than two--but since we spend most of our time out and about, it works. I think I am allergic to airports, though. It seems if I spend much time in them, I inevitably end up with a cold (or maybe it's just Tanya. It seems like I'm always getting sick when I'm with her! And she never gets sick, it's totally not fair). Anyways, the first day here was ... read more
Just a day in the life
Coffee Prince

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon May 19th 2015

Our research group had two amazing experiences today. We interviewed the Land and Housing Corporation (LH) as well as the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS). I personally went on the LH "tour" of affordable housing units in Seoul. Our guide was Senior Researcher, Meeyoun Jin, Dr. Lee (professor) as well as an interpreter. Both women were so hospitable and friendly. They picked us up at the hotel, took their entire morning to drive us to 3 separate areas, all while filling our research data with solid and interesting information. Our other group took the metro to KRIHS and had an unbelievable time with 3 lectures and a plethora of useful information for us to use in our project. After our interviews we had a free afternoon to explore. A small group of us ate ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 18th 2015

We landed in Seoul yesterday after a 12 hour journey from Los Angeles. It took about 90 minutes to get through Korean customs with our group of 30 but we managed to not lose anyone and made it to our gorgeous hotel, The Grand Hyatt, in one piece. South Korea is beautiful. Rolling hills and stunning mountain tops, wrap the busy high-rises creating a picture perfect landscape. The traditional Korean architecture mirrored with the modern buildings create a mesmerizing juxtaposition of textures and colors. Our hotel sits atop the southern mountain and overlooks the cityscape and river. It must be the place to stay because our very own Secretary of State John Kerry (and his brigade) are staying here as well! This morning we took a special trip to the Samsung headquarters. A communications specialist spoke ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul May 7th 2015

This past week has been one of the best so far. Last Friday was Labor Day, Tuesday was Children’s Day, and Monday was my birthday, so I just skipped class like the rebel that I am not. On Friday I went with a group of wonderful people who all happen to be native Russian speakers to climb Mount Apsan (or Upsam, or Apsen or some other variation… I kind of just try to say it quickly and confidently and hope people know what I’m talking about). We bought a bunch of Gimbap from Gimbap Heaven before hopping on the bus, took a cable car to the top, took a bunch of pictures of the great view of the city below, and had a picnic. A lot of Koreans stared at us and some even asked for ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Jongno-gu » Gwanghwamun April 29th 2015

Our connection from Athens to Seoul was in Moscow and I was pumped to finally be stepping foot in Russia. Binnson has heard stories of Russia being a pretty racist place for Asians to travel to which has deterred us from getting there so far..... but I won't rule it out just yet! Although we weren't leaving the airport, we still had fun walking around checking out babushkas, lavish faberge eggs, and other such goodies - my favorite being a Putin t-shirt and cell phone covers vending machine :-) We shot into the future and landed in Seoul late the next morning. As we were meeting up with some friends in Korea to tour around with, we hung out at the airport for a little bit waiting for one of them who was getting in to ... read more
Waiting for Russ at the airport
War memorial and museum
Street food lady

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gwangjin-gu April 26th 2015

A trio of mountains. I have previously hiked Yongmasan, many, many years ago, and when I did that hike, we had wanted to tack Achasan on to it, but couldn't find our way, so had to give up. However, this time I would start at Achasan to make sure I got there. Achsan, Yongmasan and Mangusan were all collectively called Mt. Acha or Achasan until the Joseon dynasty. So hopefully I would be able to tackle all three without too much difficulty. I took the subway to Achasan station. The blogs I had read about getting to the mountain form the subway station made it seem quite difficult, but I think I followed the directions from 10 magazine and it was pretty simple. And if you are there at the weekend, you can just follow the ... read more
Pretty Mural
Pretty Flowers
Park Entrance

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gangnam » Gae-po-dong April 25th 2015

I took the subway to Suseo station and came out of exit 6. The start of the trail is a one minute walk away. I spent sometime, looking at the trail map. There was the trail map for the mountain also for the Seoul Trail, which is spread over more than 100 kilometres, over the city, and seems to mainly be on the flat land around the base of the mountains. It looks like the Seoul Trail could be nice. I hope I have time to do a section or two of it. I started up the steps, which marked the start of the trail. the steps weren't too bad and didn't last too long, before giving way to a gentle forest trail. There were a few benches not long after the steps and some friends ... read more
The City Poking Through the Trees
Start of the Trail

Asia » South Korea » Seoul April 16th 2015

Here I am, sitting at a public computer in Seoul's infamous Gangnam district south of the Han River. Behind me a noisy group of Koreans and Americans are playing card games and make me wanna send them straight up to Pyongyang for "relax and recreation". I have been in the capital for the last 4-5 days or so, touring pretty much everything that I wanted to see. Unfortunately on my first day here I got a cold so I was a little limited, but a Korean friend of mine showed me around. Always helps to have friends around the blue ball! Anyway, let's focus a little on the title of this post: The faces of Korea. While some people might argue there are many (surgered ones), after my trip I would like to argue that there ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Seodaemun-gu April 12th 2015

Spring has sprung! The cherry blossoms were out in force and I wanted to head some where to walk about in their beauty and, of course, take some photos. I don't know what it is about cherry blossoms, but they just put a smile on my face. Maybe their beauty is amplified as they are the first real flowers after winter. I just wished they lasted longer, cherry blossom season is too short. The flowers would be at their peak on 9th April in Seoul. The KTO (at least I think it's the KTO) publishes a guide stating the dates when the cherry blossoms peak in different regions and cities of Korea. So I was only a couple of days late. Ideally, I had wanted to visit somewhere that wasn't too busy, but I knew I ... read more
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Seodaemun-gu April 4th 2015

Gaemi Maeul means Ant Village, and is located in northern Seoul. The village is in the foothills of Inwangsan Mountain. It is very easy to get to. I took the subway to Hongje Station and came out of exit one. I walked along the street for about 5 minutes and came to the bus stop. This area of northern Seoul is more traditional, since it was a Saturday, loads of adjummas had set up stalls along the path, selling fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This neighbourhood is a contrast to the modern, polished areas of Gangnam and the like, south of the river. I waited a little while at the bus stop, there were plenty of buses coming and going, but not the number 07, which I needed. The journey on the minibus took about 10 to ... read more
Trail to Inwangsan
Gaemi Maeul
Gaemi Maeul

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