To Korea and Back Again

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We had a great time on our trip to South Korea folks.  We flew from Regina to Vancouver to Incheon Airport outside Seoul.  Took the KTX bullet train to Busan on the southeast coast.  Visited there for two nights and then took the KTX to Gyeongju about an hour north of Busan.  Visited there for one night and a friend picked us up to take us to Daegu (an hour north) to catch the KTX to Seoul.  Spent the last five days of our trip in Seoul.  Flew back from Incheon, to Vancouver, to Regina.

Adjusting to Korean time the two weeks before I left was a wise move.  I had almost no jet lag or travel fatigue.  Hubby tried to do it too, but only got about halfway to Korean time.  He did fine, but slept a bit more than I did the first day.  In Busan we were able to:  go for a walk along the seawall just outside the hotel, meet our guide’s family for lunch, walk on Gwangalli Beach, visit Dongbaek Island, where APEC 2005 was held, visit Bay 101 – where they have open air restaurants, street food, and an open air pub.  In the evening it is THE place to be in Busan.  People were having a good time and taking selfies or photos all up and down the shoreline.  I took a photo of all the people taking selfies!

The next day we visited the markets.  We picked up some fish cakes at a shop in the Station, paid our respects to the people who died in the Sewol ferry disaster, we headed out and saw four markets in as many hours.  We checked out Jalgalchi Fish Market, Book Street, and a couple other general markets.

In the afternoon we headed to Gyeongju.  Had a great 24 hours there.  Gyeongju is the old capital of the Silla kingdom of Korea from 57 BC to 935 AD.  It was responsible for unifying Korea.  We walked the archaeological sites, the Wolji Pond and pavilions, an ate a delicious duck bulgogi for supper!  The next day it rained so we spent it indoors at the National Museum of Korea Gyeongju.  We headed to Daegu in the afternoon and caught the KTX to Seoul.

Seoul was a blast!  It is a happening city.  At first we had the guide rent a car the first two days.  We quickly realized this is NOT the way to get around Seoul.  Taxis, buses, and subway are the way to go.  Driving is downright dangerous.  Hubby has lots of photos of motorcyclists doing some pretty interesting driving with some very interesting loads.  We ditched the car for subway, bus, and taxi.

Places we saw:

Lotte World Tower
Lotte Aquarium
Namsan Tower (very commercialized)
Gyeongbukgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Dongdaemun Market (for fabric)
Korea House (for lunch and again for an evening show)
Folk Museum of Korea (we needed more time for this)
Seoul Museum of History
Bukchon Hanok Village (viewed from a private observatory and enjoyed tea in a traditional tea house)
Insadong
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple
Myeongdong Cathedral
Embroidery Museum of Korea
Chojun Textile and Quilt Museum
Gallery 1010 quilt exhibit by Lee Jae Woo (in an underground mall near Myeongdong Cathedral)
Myeongdong Market and street food
Gangnam Square and Street (Kakao Friends store, Korean Dessert Cafe, and Billy Angel Cake Co.)
National Museum of Korea – Seoul

We saw a lot and walked an average of 10-12 km/day, but I didn’t lose any weight.  I had too much fun eating at various restaurants in town.  Our guide took us for Korean-Japanese food a couple of times, pork belly (thick bacon folks), hot pot a few times, bibimbap a few times, and Korean BBQ.  It was all good, but my, I was full by the end of the trip!

I hope you enjoy some of the shots from the trip in the slideshow above. 🙂