Thursday, May 26, 2011
Finally, on this trip I stuck to writing down everything we did each day! I realized how often my mom had done this throughout the years of each trip we went on and can so easily relive the trip beyond just photos by doing so. This is the first trip I have ever stuck to that...even when I was tired and had zero desire to, I knew I'd appreciate myself for doing it later!! It wasn't even super detailed or like a journal entry - just enough to be able to remember or recommend to someone later...
So the next time you go to South Korea...here's some tips of what you need to do!
*Eat cheap for lunch at convenience stores - they are everywhere and you can buy a HUGE microwavable bowl of spicy/veggie/seafood Ramen ($1-2) and gimbop (just like sushi, but $1 and no fish)...and street food like waffles with honey and whip cream for breakfast ($1)
*Eat potato pizza, octopus balls, kelbi (barbeque - a MUST for like every other dinner...), bolgogi (spicy meat soup)...
(octopus balls above)
(kelbi with all the fixings)
*Gyeonbok Palace to check out a massive palace in front of South Korea's president's house
*Cheonggyecheon the manmade river with rotating modern art...a beautiful place to walk around at night
*Insandong area to check out the "crafty" area of Seoul - they have this at least 4 story outdoor mall that's just like Etsy in real boutique life
*Dongdaemun market to check out the craft accessory and textile-blow-your-mind-amazingness...just maybe try to know what kind of crafts you'll be actually making in the near future to help you!
*On a rainy, tired day, spend the whole daytime (and even sleep over for a couple more bucks) at Dragon Hill Spa - a 7 story sauna/bath house that is $10, gives you PJ's to wear, take naked baths with Koreans in a variety of temperatures, and rejoin your person in the public area for all the crazy sauna/charcoal kilns/firesweating rooms and ice/oxygen rooms...and sleep on the floor anywhere you'd like...
(traditional charcoal kiln rooms)
(sleep, sit, hang out wherever you'd like!)
*Korean baseball game...crazy fans...bring your entire dinner into the stadium and beers...and then get more outside to bring in...
*Get a fish pedicure (we couldn't find it, though...)
*War Memorial...which is an ongoing memorial for an ongoing war
*Two words - bubble.tea.
*Visit a cat cafe...omg.
*Visit the only Starbucks in the world that the logo isn't written in English (and yet another 4 story coffeeshop!)
*Stop by Olleh to try out new technology awesomeness
*Take the free bus to Gyeongju on the eastern side of Korea...especially on May 10 for Buddha's birthday
*Take the local bus to Bulguksa temple...hike 8km to the Seokguram Grotto to see a very large rock sculpted Buddha
*Rent a tandem bike to bike around the lake...and eat blueberry melon ice cream
*Stay with a couchsurfer
*Take the local bus to Beomeosa temple...hike around it
*Check out the local massive fish market (Jalachi)...eat at a table right next to the lady who sells you the live fish...if you have $40 and some courage eat hue - raw fish (usually octopus or eel) that is still moving as you eat it!
*Ride the cable car up the mountain from Gyeongmong Park
*Have coffee and a waffle at one of Korea's many many 4 story coffeeshops
*Visit an English teaching elementary class
*Moomoo's wine cafe for $3 glass wine and bugel-like snack
*Purple Haze for some western bar action and pool
*Be sure to bring Phase 10 cards to play
Jeju Island (candidate for the new 7 Wonders of the World)
*Fly from Seoul on a cheap airline like Air Busan
*Bagdad Cafe for the best Indian curry EVER
*Tapdong Hotel for the best hotel with claw-foot bathtubs EVER
*Jungmung Beach and hiking and wading out to sandbars
*Yeoshim Botanical Garden....Cheongjin Falls...
*Vetro Coffee (Seogwipo)...the man has his own little coffee bean roaster
*Seriously...couchsurf...it will blow your mind
*O'Sulloc Green Tea Museum and plantation...try some freshly roasted, free green tea...lay out in the sun
*Hike one of many, many amazing trails in Seogwipo along cliffs and lava rocks and turquoise ocean water
*Hallim Park - botanical garden, lava tube caves, stone and bonsai garden, reptiles, white peacocks that are right across the bus stop from the most gorgeous beach you can have a picnic on and swim in
*Eat samgapsal - BACON bbq
*Stop by Loveland (there are no nonoffensive photos except this bulldog love one that we could ever post here so you'll just have to go see yourself!!)
*Touch a Jeju Island statue's nose...so you can be sure to have a boy...
Yeah...it was awesome. My patient today found out we went to Iceland a couple years ago and Korea this year and as he was walking away he said over and over "you have GOT to travel when you're young and able...don't wait until you're old like me...I'm still traveling, but I'm glad I didn't wait..."