World Travel 2013-2014, South Korea Wrap Up

  • Overall what we did: 14 days split into: 6 and a half days in Seoul, a half day in Boyeo, 1 day in Daejeon and 3 days in Daegu, 2 days in Gyeong-ju and 1 day in Busan from 12 February 2014 to 26 February 2014.
  • Favourite part of South Korea: With out a doubt the people. They have been amazing to us. A very special thank you to Mr Park for looking up directions to our accommodation in Daejeon, paying for our bus ride, providing us with a list of key things to see in Daejeon and walking us to our accommodation. Also a very special thank you to the couple in Daegu who walked us from the train station to our accommodation, called up the guest house to get directions and gifted us grapes before wishing us well. Finally, to our guest house host in Daegu – thank you for sitting down and explaining things to see and do in Daegu even though it was 11pm at night and giving us ice cream to enjoy. We also appreciated all of your help navigating the medical system in South Korea, driving us the doctors clinic and hospital and then picking us up again and feeding us warm rice porridge at 4am in the morning. You all went above and beyond to help us when we needed the help, and we are very grateful and appreciative
  • Key tip: Learn the korean alphabet before you go – it will make negotiating restaurants a lot easier
  • Cultural points:
    • Language: People are very friendly; however, the language can be a bit of a barrier. Similar to Japan, I think some people were afraid to help us because of the language barrier, and not because they didn’t want to. If you can learn a bit of Korean and also hangul before you go to Korea it will make things easier
  • Highlights: All of the incredibly kind people that we met along the way from Seoul all the way down to Busan. Definitely will never forget everyone who helped us along the way
  • Best Experience: Visiting Kukkiwon! Can’t train in Taekwondo and not rate visiting the home of Taekwondo as one of the best experiences! Plus we got to see a board breaking contest so you can’t beat that
  • Kyung Min University, Kukkiwon, South Korea

    Kyung Min University, Kukkiwon, South Korea

  • Worst Experience: Being hospitalised. I think having to go to the hospital for any reason isn’t fun – and it’s certainly not fun when you’re the one being admitted. I had never had to go to a hospital before (never had a broken bone or any reason to be admitted), and it certainly wasn’t a great time to try it out when I was in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. Rather scary, don’t want to repeat it
  • Must See Attraction: Would probably be Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam. A very beautiful temple without the crowds of tourists. Also, Sung Sim Dang Bakery in Daejeon – highly recommend visiting this one if you love bakeries and want to try some Korean versions of pastries and bread
  • Inside Bongeunsa Temple, Seoul, South Korea

    Inside Bongeunsa Temple, Seoul, South Korea

  • Most Over-hyped Attraction: Most of the castles within the Seoul area. Once you’ve seen one, they’re all very similar – do a bit of research and pick which one you think might interest you the most and spend your time elsewhere
  • Would I go back? Undecided. There were aspects about South Korea which I loved, and parts which weren’t as great. I’m glad we got to experience more of the country than Seoul, and I would like to be able to go hiking (we missed out due to my illness). Would I go back though, not entirely sure – at this stage I’d have to say that I’d go back to Taiwan instead

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