I am currently at Incheon international airport and Liz and I are Bangkok bound, whilst mum heads back to Sydney.The week in South Korea has gone so fast and as it should in a ridiculously fast paced country!
Highlights of the trip:
- Dongdaemun markets – An opened aired marketplace which literally sells everything and where you barter. Namdaemeun markets and Meong Dong markets were also great places to do shopping as well as getting amazing street food!
- Seoul city bus tour – This is a great way to see downtown Seoul.
- Korean nightlife – It doesn’t matter if it’s a weeknight, every night goes off. They say that Seoul’s Monday – Thursday is like Sydney’s Friday and Saturday nights and their weekends just don’t even comprehend. I can fully say that this assumption is extremely true because the nightlife here is crazy! The funniest thing Liz and I thought was in clubs, girls would be so underdressed wearing sneakers but it was no big deal as they would be dancing all night long so it makes sense to wear something comfortable! In comparison to Sydney, it is bizaare but made it better for us as we didn’t wear heels at all!
- Hongdae nightlife – Zen Bar was a definite highlight with 1,500W (approx. $1) tequila shots! The night was messy and we had so much fun at Club Cocoon. Foreigners still had to pay a cover charge (although it was free before 12am) but we got a free shot so it worked out alright in the end! We were dancing all night long!
- The hello kitty cafe in Hongdae where we went with one of mum’s friend’s daughters. Best cafe ever!! Haha
- Meeting Pri – First at her hotel, The Lexington, and then heading to experience the Gangnam nightlife. We were drinking soju from the convenience store and a bottle costs around $1! We headed to Mass Club and it was good but the music was a bit too electro. Still, we danced away but then headed to Hongdae and went to Cocoon again as we enjoyed it so much the night before!
- Going to a bit further out from Seoul and riding a two person bike. Liz and I had to work together to get going and was a lot of fun. The weather was sunny and the scenery was beautiful.
- Going to Gongju to see my cutest grandma who I hadn’t see in 10 years!
- Going to Daejeon (about 2 hours from Seoul) to visit my uncle and my little cousins – 2 & 4 years old, so cute!! Doing day stuff in Daejeon with the kids and having dinner at a buffet restaurant
- Seeing the family in general and just exploring the city of Seoul!!
Things I’ve learnt from this trip:
- South Korea is a mountainous country. Unlike Sydney where beaches are aplenty, South Korea has beautiful mountains instead of the beaches. People love going bushwalking and hiking here as a hobby! The mountains look beautiful and are so serene.
- Seoul having a population of approximately 10 million people – people are everywhere! It is all round hectic!
- The weather in July is humid and hot. Seoul is quite polluted and so it is always cloudy but still hot! Also since July is the rainy season, we unfortunately experienced quite a bit of rain during our visit.
- There is a fascination and interest here about twins. Liz & I were asked at least once a day if we were twins – a day when we were both ridiculously hungover and when Liz was wearing glasses, I was not, they were so intrigued that we looked the same. Hello, we clearly look different?!
- The public transport system (mainly the subway system) is a fast, efficient means to get around the whole of Seoul. It is so cheap too and you only have to wait a couple of minutes for the next one to come, which means no waiting around! They use an electronic “T-Money” system, it is cash less and you only need a card and top up when needed which also makes everything more convenient and quicker.
- The whole city is buzzing, no matter what time of the day or night it is. Where in Sydney everything closes early. Seoul really is a city that never sleeps.
- Nightlife is crazy here. Everyone is out, drinking and dancing and don’t stop until the sun rises.
Things I wish I did here:
- Experience Korean noraebang (karaoke).
- Going to Busan (about 5 hours south of Seoul) – it is meant to be beautiful but we were unable to go because of time constraints as well as the rainy weather.
- Attend a baseball game. Our cousin was going to take us on our last night in Korea but you apparently need to book at least a week in advance and as it is such a popular sport here, we missed out! The atmosphere there is meant to be buzzing and it’s a well liked sport here, so it’s unfortunate that we missed out!
- Experience more of the amazing food and the nightlife!
Being in South Korea has been such a cultural, perspective changing experience. It was a pleasure getting to see and know more of the family as well as being able to experience the land that I am originally from. Really wished our stay was a little longer…
Now I am ready to experience the land of Thai now!!