South Korea

SMS and I went to South Korea over an extended Memorial Day weekend.  It’s a quick, two-hour plane ride and something that we had wanted to do for awhile.  Well, May was perfect both weather-wise and in the fact that our time over here is rapidly winding down.  We even have tickets for our departure!

We left around lunchtime on Friday.  We arrived at Gimpo Airport, which is much closer to the city.  It’s the smaller airport that pretty much handles the regional direct flights from Japan and China.  The train system was fairly intuitive and so cheap!  The ride cost approximately $2 and we took it to the stop near our Airbnb rental.  After a slight misstep with the directions, we found our hanok.  We had booked a room in a traditional style Korean home with an amazing proprietor, Lee.  He was there when we arrived and throughout our visit, he was so nice and had great suggestions.  Even the ones we initially didn’t want to do (like go to the temple at night after a long day of sightseeing) were completely spot-on and worth doing.  The temples were beautiful as there were a lot of hanging lanterns with prayer inscriptions due to the Monday holiday of Buddha’s birthday.

Our hanok was in Insa-dong, which was a perfect central location for walking and taking short subway rides to nearby neighborhoods.  Over the weekend, we wandered in Insa-dong, Bukchon, Cheonggyecheon stream, Changdeokgung Palace, Namsan Park, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Gyeongbokgung, Itaewon, Gangnum, Noryangin fish market, Hangang Riverfront.  In addition, we took a day tour of the JSA and DMZ.  It was a packed weekend and the city was amazing.

More to follow!