S: Korea 2010
FC: Korea 2010
1: Korea 2010 The reason behind my trip to Korea was simple: visit my sister. After being overseas for nearly 20 months I was down to my last few dollars and I hadn't seen any family in all that time. My sister was planning on staying in Korea for at least another 6-7 months so I wanted to see her; seeing Seoul itself wasn't actually a priority (and i could say that after all the traveling I had already done). But something happened when I got there... I fell in love with Korea. After a rocky start with a bus driver who literally left me standing in the rain with no idea of where I was supposed to go, I found a taxi driver who literally stopped traffic to help me find my destination. From that moment on, Korea was a blur of helpful, friendly, curious people. There was so much to do and see in Korea that even while my sister was working I had plenty to do. The food was fantastic, the sights were fascinating. My planned two weeks of hanging out in my sister's apartment became a full fledged tourist trip with plenty of quality time with my sister- which was my intention in the first place. I would go back there in a heartbeat. So happy I went!
2: Welcome to Seoul! | My first day in Seoul was literally spent in bed- I was so jet lagged. This was my first day exploring Seoul with my sister. Couldn't tell you where I was, but that's not the point. I enjoyed just exploring the streets and all the shops.
3: Just some random "I'm in Korea!" pictures :)
4: My first night out in Korea I met Samantha after work and we went to Wa Bar. I had my first taste of Korean beer, their equivalent of bar snacks (dried squid and various other things), used toilets with more buttons than your average remote control, and experienced the smartest way to order in a restaurant- you ring a buzzer. No wait staff coming around all the time to ask you if you need anything or coming to take your order when you're not ready to. If you want something, you press a buzzer. Brilliant!
5: Saturday, February 13th Gyeongbokgung Palace
8: Later that night we met Samantha's friend Rick for dinner in Gangnam (a trendy area of Seoul). It's crazy how much you try to fit into a day while on vacation!
9: After dinner, we met Sola, a friend of Rick's, at Rainbow Room for hookah
10: Sunday, February 14th Lunar New Year at Nicole's | That evening, Samantha's friend and coworker had us over at her place for the Lunar New Year. It was a delicious meal and my first visit to a Korean's home. Our drinks of choice that night: beer and soju. Mixed together, it is known as 'somek'
11: Nicole was a bit abusive...
12: Monday, February 15th Samantha had the day off, so we headed to an outdoor market with Samantha's coworker Mike and his girlfriend Ashley.
13: Friday, Feb 19th I met Samantha at work & we headed to Insadong: a popular tourist area. There are many art galleries, restaurants and shops that sell traditional items.
14: Samantha insisted I try bipimbap: a popular Korean dish amongst foreigners
15: Same day: Drinks with Nicole at Miller Time
16: NORAEBANG! After a few drinks at Miller Time, we decided that Noraebang would be a great idea. It's essentially Korean karaoke.
18: Saturday, Feb 20th Cheonggyecheon (Cheonggye Stream) A manmade river that flows through Seoul.
20: After walking along the stream, I found a random market on my little map. It definitely wasn't a tourist place- not a souvenir in sight! It was a place where locals went to eat, buy kimchi and various other foods, and buy household goods.
22: Later that night, we went to Ho Bar in Hongdae
23: Sunday, February 21 It'd be nice if I remembered the name of this temple :(
24: Namsan Tower After visiting the nameless temple, we met up with Rick and his friends and visited Namsan Tower for the best unobstructed view of Seoul.
25: After N Tower, we went to Meyongdong (which was crazy packed at night!) for dinner which consisted of shabu shabu. SO GOOD. And Rick ordered things that I never would've known to order on my own.I just remember him ordering something to add to the broth we cooked everything in and we ate that on its own- it was one of the most delicious things I'd ever eaten.
26: After a fantastic two weeks, it was time to say good bye. I will never forget my time in Seoul and my sister's hospitality. It was a fitting end to my 20 months of traveling. Bye bye Korea! | Homeward bound...