It's been almost 10 years since the last and first time I went to South Korea, back in 2012. It had been nearly 3 years since the last time I traveled internationally, which was to Paraguay in 2019, shortly before the pandemic began. The urge was strong, and I was constantly checking for places I could travel to. The end of March was when the stars aligned and I booked my trip. Last time I went to Korea, I went with my friend, Joe, to visit my friend, Ed. Ed took the two of us around. This time, I went alone. The trip was relaxing, which was what I needed.

I spent the trip mostly just walking around, riding subways, eating good food, and reading comics in a comic cafe. I also hiked the city wall, visited a palace, and spent an afternoon petting cats in a cat cafe. The following are some of the highlights.

my first meal ramen dinner set chicken noodle soup Chinese dish (meat with rice) Korean fried chicken soft tofu soup curry rice coffee and cheese sandwiches seollungtang groceries comic cafe fried rice bulgogi soup and steamed egg Isaac toast Lotteria burger sundae (hangover) soup omelette fried stuff curry and croquettes skewers jokbal kimchi soup bibimbap bone soup cheese steak? chicken noodle soup ramen squid Oden? street ramyun street omelette midnight ramyun and tuckpokki fresh raw squid pork belly bbq

The food is delicious, affordable, and accessible. The amount of selection is impressive. Good restaurants can be found within walking distance from the hotel at anytime of the day or night. While some places are definitely better than others, I did not have any experience that was bad. Natives may think that the food I ate is trash, but from my perspective, it was tasty, nutritious and balanced. I would've liked to have eaten more seafood as I heard that is both reasonably priced and good, but I don't have anything to complain about what I did eat. In addition, I don't have to worry about recycled sewer oil infesting the food, like in China or Taiwan. So, food in South Korea is as good and tasty as in Taiwan while being as safe to consume as in Japan.

Dongdaemun at night climbing the city wall Seoul is surprisingly hilly Beomgye at night is where things are happening On a bridge near Dongjak during dawn a river near Dongdaemun (can you spot the crane?) traditional Korean architecture nicer part of town Myeongdong is actually pretty dead at night malls are nicer than in the US walking around in a suburban part of town my little hole in a comic cafe people playing Go in a park a cat waiting for food drinking cider and posing at Cheonggyecheon rural parts of town cat cafe! Looking down from Seoul Tower quiet walk home at night from the perspective of a train empty subway an old couple watching a fountain walking on a busy crosswalk rebuilt palace real life eBay karaoke room (curious roll of toilet paper) streets are dead at night street vendors, after hours talented waiter catches live squid crowded subway the last bus of the night Uljiro Co-op Residence, I will miss you! see you next time, Korea!

I went everywhere. I rode the metro as far as it would take me. Along the way, there were a few things I noticed. In general, everyone is very nice. People are pretty quiet. I fit right in, until I start talking. Then, my cover is blown. Shortly before going, I had read an article in the news about how poverty in South Korea is very high, especially among the older population. I can confirm this seems to be true. In restaurants, most of the time the people working are older ladies. The people who clean up the subways and stations are also older ladies. While this is probably the reason why the subways were so clean, it is unfortunate that the older ladies are the ones who have to take these jobs. Riding the subway, I also got to see people of all walks of life, from the elderly down to school children; from businessmen or white collar office workers down to the homeless beggars. Just about all of them are well behaved, albeit not very friendly. Everyone keeps to themselves. For me, one notable difference when compared to 10 years ago was that whereas 10 years ago, people would be staring at each other without actually seeing each other, now, most people are on their phones.

Seoul metro map start of the collection station closest to my hotel got within 10 miles of the DMZ rural area city halfway across South Korea small town countryside Snorlax cookies found here? had kimchi soup for lunch here with a nice little cup got a coffee from a nice barista here not much here of note the current battlefield between new construction and unspoilt nature nice train one of the terminals of line 1 very nice ramen restaurant on the way big station connects to trains to other parts of South Korea nice station for a sparsely populated area close to Incheon also gets very close to the North Korean border Incheon stop industrial part of town lots of old ladies shop here station for the actual city, not the airport end of line 1 small suburban station international part of the city ran out of time to explore
Written on May 30, 2022
Updated on August 6, 2022. © Copyright 2022 David Chang. All Rights Reserved. Log in | Visitors