Blogs from South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Gwangju January 12th 2019

Hey everyone! l hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! As many of you probably know already, l was able to travel home for the holidays to visit the family. l have signed on to teach for another year here in Korea, and during the negotiation of my new contract, I was able to get a little over a week off to go home and visit my family for Christmas. Just for fun, I wanted to keep my visit a secret from Sarah, although at times it felt like she was basically the only person who didn't know I would be home for the week of Christmas. There were a few occasions when the secret was almost revealed. She kept asking when I would be home next, and finally I told her I would probably ... read more
Christmas at the McGee's
Ben and Jerry's with Lianne!
Before going out

Asia » South Korea » Seoul January 5th 2019

Art is mightier than sword, and politics... read more
The sword of Soeul

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 27th 2018

We went in search of an animal cafe. These cafes are scattered around Seoul and each has an animal speciality: dogs, cats, raccoons, meerkats, goats and so on. Where these animals come from I am not sure. We decided to go check out the meerkat cafe mainly because neither of us knew what exactly a meerkat was. For once, we found the spot without getting lost first. But I was not prepared for what we walked into. Shoes are left at the door and everyone is given slippers to wear to protect the animals. The cafe doesn’t serve food or coffee (so I decided cafe is false advertising). You can purchase bottled beverages which maintain appropriate sanitation for both the animals and humans. The first shock was the cafe had more than just meerkats; there was ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 26th 2018

Things to remember about Seoul in December: cold, I hate cold, buy lots of coffee for outdoor sight seeing. We started walking part of the Seoul City Wall. Seoul was small back at the end of the 1300s and they built a series of wall out of mostly stone and wood to protect Seoul from invaders. The wall is 18.6 km and includes its four inner mountains. About 70% of the wall has been restored or replaced at various points (mostly during hthe Japanese imperial rule l1910-1945) but the wall and many gates still stand as a magnificent connection to Korean history. We followed the wall to Ihwa Mural Village which has an interesting history. This used to be a slum area of Seoul and the government decided to bring in artists to paint murals on ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 25th 2018

This may go on record of the longest day of my life. We left Kathmandu last night and our first play had a movie station for each seat. Now normally, I am not the movie person but after 2 months of almost no tv, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I ended up picking an incredibly sad movie (note to self read the summary first ’tear jerker‘ is a hint to pass). This had to be followed up with two documentaries: the truth about exercise and the rise of vertical farming (I recommend this one). All was well and good going into Seoul, found our hotel and was excited to check in a take a nap at 9 AM. The unfortunate part was we couldn’t check in until 3 PM. WHAT TO DO!!!??? Shelby ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Busan November 17th 2018

Our next visit was to the city of Busan. Our train from Suncheon arrived punctually, at 8.50 pm, after a journey in the dark. Our hotel, L'Idea Hotel, was about 100 yards from the train station, chosen by Steve for its proximity (as well as all the usual other things), and we were checking in within ten minutes of getting off the train! And what a lovely room! It was enormous, had its own entrance vestibule(!!) with a shoehorn to help those of us now classed as 'elderly' with our footwear, a wetroom with a Japanese style loo, a jet bath, a king AND a queen sized bed (it was a 'family' room), fluffy duvets, piles of pillows and cushions, slippers and dressing gowns, a separate seating area WITH CHAIRS, a heating system we could figure ... read more
Toilet instructions!
Finally, signs we can read ....
Keep it safe

Asia » South Korea November 15th 2018

We had decided to continue our travels in Korea on the trains, and we had booked our tickets earlier, so we were all ready to go. Mrs S, from our travels in Tibet, was Korean by birth and she had described the country as efficient and fast-moving. We asked our hotel to arrange a taxi to take us to the train station which wasn't the main station on this occasion, but another one, Yongsan, a short distance away. Two minutes, they said. Wow, I thought, Mrs S wasn't wrong! She was, as it turned out, because less than 90 seconds later the taxi arrived and I only had time for a very quick farewell to my old man bell boy! Apparently, taxi drivers in Korea don't 'do' luggage so this little chap had to manhandle our ... read more
Train sign
Another train sign
Empty countryside

Asia » South Korea » DMZ November 14th 2018

We set a 5.30 am alarm for our trip to the Demilitarized Zone and were in Reception awaiting collection bang on time. Unfortunately, Reception took a phone call to indicate the trip organisers were running late, though only by ten minutes. Ho hum. We were first on the bus so managed to bagsy the front seats. We stopped at various other pick-up points where feeder buses brought in more travellers, often after lengthy waits. Our driver clearly didn't like hanging around but our guide, Gemma (I'm pretty sure that wasn't her real name!), was quite relaxed about it all. In the end the bus was reasonably full and Gemma gave us all a potted history of the N and S Korea split and the various moves to re-unite the two countries. You can look up the ... read more
Barricades to DMZ
Me and Freedom Bridge
Imjingak Park

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Jung-gu November 11th 2018

Today, we were heading to Korea. That would be South Korea because the guy in charge in North Korea is a bit of a plonker and doesn't make visitors very welcome. And we'd heard it was just the opposite in South Korea where everyone was going to be friendly, welcoming, happy, family-orientated and enjoy inter-acting with visitors. I was already imagining a flag-waving, singing, dancing reception along the lines of the Olympic event in that country. Bring it on! I managed to keep my lighter through all the departure airport faff this time so things were already looking up. We had a Cathay Pacific 777 plane which was spacious, had wide seats and a British pilot, which I always find reassuring for some reason! It was only a three hour flight but the smiling cabin crew ... read more
Steve on the posh bus
Our Seoul hotel
A BIG statue

Asia » South Korea October 21st 2018

Montag, 15.10.18 Um 05.30 Uhr standen wir auf. Eine halbe Stunde später standen wir im Café, die Dame war bereits an der Arbeit. Sie überreichte mir das versprochene Sandwich und gab mir noch eine Thermoskanne mit heissem Kaffee mit. Als sie meinen Rucksack sah, bekam sie fast einen Schock, weil dieser überhaupt nicht angenehm zum Wandern ist. Sie ging kurz in ihre Wohnung und kam mit ihrem Rucksack zurück, welchen ich mir ausleihen durfte. Ich packte kurz meine Sachen um. Eunjung brachte mich bis zum Parkeingang. Sie hatte ihre Fahrprüfung erst vor einem Monat gemacht und war sehr nervös. Wir kamen aber trotzdem heil beim Park an. Sie begleitete mich noch bis zum Start der Wanderung. Von hier aus ging es eine lange Zeit über Steintreppen bergauf und es gab nicht viel Interessantes zu sehen. Erst ... read more
Jungsan-ri
Jungsan-ri
Jungsan-ri




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