Day 29: Korean Landings Land-of-No-Engrish

Just another plain blog post with no photos again.  I flew with Jeju Air to get to Seoul.  They only have charter planes so the smaller kind and they do flights within Asia.  The service is actually really good, and for a chartered flight in Asia you get a total of 20kg as check-in which is a lot for this kind of plane.  The flight itself was pretty cheap, around $300 CAD for a round trip to Hong Kong.

I landed in Seoul last night.  Their airport here in Seoul (actually Incheon) is really nice.  “A” plus on the cleanliness of the washroom.  It was super clean.  Although, from where my plane landed it took a while to get to the exit gates.  I spent like a good 20 minutes looking for the bus stop I needed to get to.  As I was looking though I noticed that at the airport they actually rent out cellphones.  I ended up picking one up since I’d probably need one to call all the tour companies and sites for information.  They don’t sell pre-paid SIM cards here because in Korea they don’t use GSM cellphone networks like most of the world.  They use CDMA which doesn’t use SIM cards so you can’t even use your phone here if you wanted to.  I ended up finding the bus I need to take to get to my friend’s place.  There’s a specific booth that sells bus tickets in front of every exit.  Remember this when buying KAL (Korean Airport Limousine – Coach Bus) tickets that you can get round trip tickets.  They might try and scam you saying that they don’t sell them.  But just argue until they do.  Its generally cheaper to get a round trip.

Notable things in Seoul.  Remember to bring deodorant when coming here.  Its not popular at all and generally pretty hard to find in the less central areas.  Bring cash before arriving.  Most of the ATMs here won’t accept your debit card if you want to withdraw cash directly from your bank account, and only take credit card.  I had to find a HSBC that was a few subway stops away from where I’m staying, but it wasn’t exactly close.  Seoul is HUGE.  From one end of the subway system to the other, it can take up to 2 hours to travel.  So its definitely much much larger than Hong Kong.  If you love fried chicken, you’ll love Korea.  There’s a fried chicken place at every block! Better than KFC or Popeye’s any day!

Earlier today after getting my cash, I walked around the underground mall in Jamsil Station.  It’s pretty neat.  It’s kind of like Toronto’s PATH mall but slightly smaller.  From I was told, these underground malls are generally easier to shop at than the bigger malls.  I guess I’ll find out what they mean when I actually go see them tomorrow or later in the week.

Tonight I went out with my friend and her co-workers from the private school she teaches at and everyone there is Canadian save for one.  But, it was awesome.  They took me out to this ALL YOU CAN EAT Korean BBQ.  It was 100 times better than the ones in Toronto!  Actually, in Toronto, all the all you can eat KBBQs are pretty crappy.  The Chinese owned ones where they sell you cheap ass meat, but then I guess it’s okay after 10pm for $10.  But, this KBBQ here is EXCELLENT meat and it’s ridiculously cheap! Only 13000₩ which is roughly $13 CAD.  What made it so good though was that it wasn’t on a cheap grill either.  It was on a pretty high grade hot plate from what I can tell.  Cooking food on it didn’t really leave a dirty char film that you usually get with cheaper grills and of course the side dishes were great!  Oh and can’t forget the cheap soju here for like 2000₩ or $2.

I’m headed off to bed now though.  Going to check out Seoul’s multicultural area called Itaewon tomorrow and there’s supposedly a museum there too.