S: Touring Korea 2011
BC: Korea 2011
FC: Touring Korea 2011
1: Itinerary 4.22 Seoul: Co-Ex Center, Aquarium 4.23 Seoul: Visit Family 4.24 Seoul: Insadong - Myungdong - Hongik - Sogang Elementary School 4.25 Seoul - Jinju - Geoje - Busan (Paradise Hotel) 4.26 Busan - Ulsan - Gyeongju - Daegu (Novotel) 4.27 Daegu - Andong - Danyang - Jeongseon - Pyungchang (Intercontinental) 4.28 Pyungchang - Sockcho - Seoul (Myungdong) 4.29 Seoul: Grand Amusement Park - Character World - Zoo - Lotte World 4.30 Seoul: Lotte World 5.1 Seoul: Visit Family
3: Co-Ex Aquarium Our flight to Seoul landed at 5:30a.m., on a rainy, cloudy morning. After 2-hour bus ride to Lotte Hotel in a Friday traffic jam, we were excited to finally get started with our journey. We got to the hotel too early, so our room at the hotel was not ready. While waiting for the room, we had coffee and rolls at the lobby coffee shop. Once we checked into the room, we got cleaned up and headed for the subway train to Co-Ex Center. The financial center with indoor mall and attractions is filled with restaurants, shops and department stores. We went to the Aquarium and saw lots of cool and interesting sea animals. After the Aquarium, we ate Donkatsu and Udon noodles at the mall for dinner. We were able to sleep well that night.
4: Visiting Family Our day 2 was reserved to spend quality time with family. Skylar's Great Grandmother is turning 91 this year. She seemed frail but happy to see us. Everyone was welcoming and gracious. After a well-prepared lunch by the aunts, we went for a drive to Provence Village and other key sites around town. It was delightful to spend time with family and catch up.
7: Strolling Around & Searching for Old Memories Taking the subway train, we strolled around the streets of Seoul, shopping for souvenirs in Insadong, trying street food and checking out trendy shops in Myungdong. One of the highlight was visiting Helen's old elementary school in Mapo. The building structure was the same, but the school has been completely renovated. Skylar enjoyed playing in the school yard and we took lots of photos. We also tried to look for Helen's old house in the neighborhood, but with no luck.
8: Tour Bus - Day 1 Lunch in Jinju (Damsowon) Jinjuseong Fortress Geoje POW Camp Geoje Bridge Dongbaek Island in Busan Dinner in Busan (Blowfish Soup) Busan Paradise Hotel Hot Springs
10: Tour Bus - Day 2 Ulsan Ulgi Lighthouse Daewangam Park Hyundae Industry Kimchee Jeongol Lunch Gyeongju Museum Bulguksa Temple Choe's Old House Bulgogi Dinner in Daegu Daegu Novotel Hotel
13: Tour Bus - Day 3 Andong Hahoe Village Garlic Lunch in Danyang Jeongseon Rail Bike Ride Wild Herbs Dinner Pyung-Chang Intercontinental Hotel
16: Tour Bus - Day 4 Snow at Pyungchang Intercontinental Hajodae Tramcar Ride to Mt. Seourak Sashimi Lunch in Sokcho (Dolseom) Back to Seoul
20: Back to Seoul The tour has ended and we have thoroughly enjoyed traveling the eastern part of Korea. It was full of beautiful scenery and history. The food was delectable and the view was amazing. Even with the heavy rain at times, it will remain a fantastic memory to us. As we pulled up to a stop in Seoul Apgujung Hyundai Department Store, we felt sad and relieved. We came back to Lotte Hotel by 6 p.m., but was ready to go out to town again. We headed over to Myungdong for more shopping and dinner at Pizza Hut.
21: Seoul Grand Amusement Park This small park was one of our favorite spot in Seoul, when we came to Korea last time. It has changed, even since 3 years ago - it seemed more lively and somewhat updated. The park was full with preschool and kindergarten children on field trips. It was delightful to see all the school uniforms and backpacks covering up all the grassy areas.
24: Spending our last days at Lotte World...
25: Last couple of days... Helen got sick with a stomach flu. It rained and thundered a lot during the nights. Helen's childhood friend Inky came to visit at the hotel the night before we left for home. The last day, Helen's uncle and aunt came to pick us up at the hotel and took us to their house. We spent a restful day with the family and got ready for the trip back home. We landed in LAX at 3 p.m. on Sunday, 5/1.