I’ve been meaning to blog about my trip to South Korea for quite some time. It was suppose to be a multi-blogpost, but as time goes, the memories and excitement of the trip have waned somewhat.
I’ll just make this into one long post.
Being that it was my first trip overseas (and my first ever ACTUAL vacation, not leisure cum work) in almost 15 years, it was the most invigorating and memorably exciting 8-day, 6-night holiday I’ve ever had in a long time. No mommy duty, house chore or work deadline to worry over, but just indulging myself in new experiences, culture, and especially food, food, FOOD.
So I was pretty stoked when the first thing our tour did after landing at InCheon International Airport in the wee hours of 16th March was to have a typical Korean breakfast. You learn pretty quickly why condiments and side dishes are common for Koreans, as salt and other seasonings were almost absent in all their cooking.
Along with the natural taste of the food, kimchi never tasted so good.
We spent the better part of our tour on the east coast of South Korea, while staying in resort hotels with floor heating (I so love travelling in the cool, early spring). I had the whole room to myself, so I indulged in sleeping in both the bed and tatama.
My colleagues and I didn’t choose a tour package to the islands, but we still had fun visiting a lot of beautiful places. One of the places I enjoyed visiting was the Everland themepark. It boasts the steepest wooden rollercoaster in the world. The closest I got to a rollercoaster ride while I was living in the States was at Disneyworld Florida. Lame.
Suffice to say that my only thought as I rode the T Express was that I would never see my kids again. I felt my soul left my ever-screaming body for the whole three minutes.
My other memorable trip was the unplanned detour from Mt. SeorAk to YongPyeong Ski Resort, PyeongCheong. Many people would recognise this place as the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics. However, our main purposes were to have some snowy fun, and…
… for me specifically, an imaginary date with the casts of my all-time favourite K-drama, Winter Sonata.
Overall, the whole trip was a blast. The only times when I wasn’t having fun was while we were in Seoul shopping and visiting Tower 63. Why would I? I can have the same shopping experience back home, and visit a better and taller tower in Kuala Lumpur.
The only shopping place I couldn’t get enough of is the Ewha Womans University Shopping Street — so fashion fabulous and a dream for all fashion- and shopping-loving ladies! Why our tour guide would want to waste our time in DongDaeMeon is beyond me… I saw nothing of interest to me there, not even the food.
I must mention this funny but true fact — this is an excellent place for shameless men to oogle at beautiful women. I chuckled to myself as I observed said fellas flock to the street as soon as the school’s siren sounds, signaling a class break. As soon as those trendy, brainy women swarmed the streets, I can see a small smile forming on those men’s faces.
Shameless, but hilarious.
But wait. I must mention at least one other thing that you must absolutely do while in Seoul — see an arts/entertainment/musical production.
Drawing:show HERO at MyeongBo Art Hall was one such performance. Consisting of three cast groups — Superman, Jackson and Chaplin — we were lucky to be entertained by the handsome guys from the Chaplin cast.
I clapped, laughed, ooh-ed and aah-ed at their amazing mix of art, mime, dance and lighting effects, that I couldn’t help but give them a standing ovation by the end of the show.
I can’t say enough of how enjoyable my South Korean trip was, despite the disappointing truth about Koreans’ infamous politeness (or lack thereof, to be exact) that I experienced during my short visit. I’ll probably visit the country again in a few years’ time.
And maybe invest in an apartment in SinChon so I can shop at Ewha everyday.
Have a look at my Flickr photo album (updated 20 Oct 2020: link removed, page has moved to Google Photos where I made it slightly private) for a visual chronology of my South Korea vacation.
Updated 20 Oct 2020: Feel free to view the short clip on YouTube in replacement of the removed photo album.