I am (unfortunately) back from Korea. It was too short a trip in my opinion; not enough time to savour being away on a holiday. There was definitely enough time to see the place and know that I probably covered most of the “should see” places BUT not enough time to let the “holiday” mood soak into my bones and make me feel happy being away from “normal” Singapore life.
In summary, what I loved about Korea:
1. The lovely cold weather; think it never went over 18 degrees or under 5 degrees. Stepped out of Changi Airport and I felt like ripping off parts of my skin. The air here never felt so wet for so long. *sigh* took me until today to get used to walking the short distance from home to MRT station. Korea, we walked for like an hour in the lovely weather…at night.
2. Krispy Kremes and Dunkin Donuts. Did I ever tell you what a big donut fan I am? I love donuts. Think the current Singapore franchises aren’t that good though.
3. Yummy food. Check out the photos below on some of the places we ate. But special mention goes to the Ginseng Chicken (Day one) and the raw beef sukiyaki (Day three).
1. Cold weather. Did I mention this before? I adore the not too low temperature, no biting winds cold weather in Korea. *long-drawn-out sigh*
2. The opportunity to visit the DMZ. Didn’t fancy the tour guide’s bloody long spiel on how Korea boys do national service and that makes them ‘men’. All that was going through my head then was “lim Beh in Singapore also do NS lor…also not so xiao zhang”. Didn’t help that I had to rush to wake up at like 7am in the morning to go through a 1 hour bus ride to reach the DMZ.
But going through the tour did give me a deeper understanding of the environment in which the two Koreas were seperated and why unification is taking such a long time. It’s not Singapore and Malaysia definitely. For more info, you can read up from Wikipedia here.
3. Catching a country in mid-Autumn before start of winter. The colours are brighter, especially the orange, and the cuisines becoming more geared to warm foods and more soups. Did I already mention the weather?
5. Lotte department store. I swear their version of Cold Storage has everything. And a lot of one particular item – Sam was right in naming it “kimchi paradise”.
Things I did not like:
1. Not being allowed to take photos in the DMZ area.
2. Compass Rose. 6 drinks = SGD$150??
3. Jackets sold along the street-side are like SGD$700!! WTF!
4. Their subway isn’t tourist friendly. The English doesn’t mean anything when it is simply translating the Korean name into English and the maps don’t list it.
5. Freakin’ labour protest in the same area that I was doing last minute shopping at. If the cab had driven slower, I would have missed my flight home. Details can be read here.
Some of the day one photos can be found here with the bulk of pictures on my Flickr account that can be accessed here or you can cut and copy the following link into your browser – http://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirethereal/
The rest of the photos are on my Flickr here. My wordpress is running outta space! *grumble* BTW, I upgraded to Flickr Pro so that I will have unlimited space and “sets” creation. *grin*