34,000+ miles in 2.5 weeks through 6 cities in 3 countries

  • August 7th, 2008

A brief stay in Korea

We spent a full day in Seoul Korea on our way back to the States. Not wasting any time, we checked out the night scene eating at an outdoor restaurant, checking out a Soju bar, and experiencing first-hand just how difficult it is to catch a cab in Seoul. It took Syl and I a full 45 mins. to catch a cab while the skys opened up and dropped a torrential downpour. Many times cab drivers would purposely pass us and pick up locals standing right next to us. On one occasion, a cab pulled up and rolled down its window briefly before speeding away the moment we spoke a word of English. Not at all a comfortable experience in Korea.

Noteworthy items

  • Bartering for items on the street or market is a challenge. The idea is to drive the purchase price down as low as possible. While I was more than capable of pushing for a lower price, I couldn’t help but feel guilty that I was cutting into a sellers profit (livelihood).
  • I found it strange that as we traveled from Vietnam to Thailand, and Thailand to Korea, internet access became more difficult. Despite each subsequent destination becoming more technologically advanced, internet access became more and more of a rare luxury. $16 USD a day for internet access in Seoul? No thanks, the Flickr uploads can wait until I get home.
  • Samsung makes cars.. In Korea.
  • McDonald’s in Asia serves fried chicken in buckets, KFC serves hamburgers. Something is backwards but oh so tasty.
  • I miss the food. Period. I have yet to stomach an entire meal here in the States – American portions really are quite large.
  • The full itinerary included: 1) Hanoi, Vietnam 2) Ha Long Bay, Vietnam 3) Nha Trang, Vietnam 4) Vin Pearl, Vietnam 5) Bangkok, Thailand and 6) Seoul, Korea.
  • There are 3 different Apple iPhone knock-offs available for sale in Thailand including a full suite of faux Apple accessories to match. [Sellers wouldn’t let me take pictures].
  • We caught the premier of the Dark Knight in Bangkok, Thailand – Thai subtitles. Before the movie started customers must stand and watch a dedicated video of the King. Oh yeah, seats are nice and plush – assigned seating.
  • It IS possible for a jellyfish to find its way up your board shorts without you knowing until it stings you – multiple times.

South Asia was amazing. I would not hesitate to do it all over again. Have you visited Vietnam, Thailand, or Korea? What were your best memories? A follow-up trip is already in the works. If given the choice, would you choose a vacation in Asia (Philippines, Hong Kong, and Maldives) or Europe (Eastern)?

Feel free to browse the rest of the photos taken in my Asia 2008 Flickr set. Alternatively, check out Sylvia’s Flickr set as well.

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