4 wonderful solo weeks in South Korea

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Apr 5th, 2016, 08:10 PM
  #181
kja
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@ HelenaJ -- it sounds like you and your family are going to have an absolutely awesome trip. What a treat to be able to return, and to be able to introduce your children to places you hold near and dear! They are lucky. And you are reminding me of how many places I had wanted to visit, but couldn't fit in -- more than enough for another trip one day!

I'm glad you enjoyed my report and appreciate that you took the time to tell me and to share a bit of your plans. Best wishes!
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May 19th, 2018, 06:11 PM
  #182
 
Join Date: May 2018
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4 weeks in the fall!

I just read this entire thread. What a wonderful travelogue.You are truly a gifted writer. We are planning a trip for Mid October until mid November of this year. We plan on renting a car for the first 2 and a half weeks then turning it in for a trip to Jeju and our time in Seoul for the last week and a half or so. I took a quick look for the guides you used but there don't seem to be any new versions of your top two. Does anyone have suggestions for the best guidebooks that are more current? Since we will have a car I really want to take advantage of that and find the out of the way places and scenery. I would have thought there would be a ton of new ones out because of the olympics but that did not seem to happen. Is driving (other than seoul of course) difficult in S. Korea? On previous trips I have tended towards loosley structured. I tend to meander. I have a list of must dos but don't tend to make room or meal reservations ahead of time for fear of being locked into getting someplace by a specific date. Is this an ok way to travel in South Korea or will it be difficult to find rooms that time of year? The last few years on trips to Iceland and Scotland I've used air b and b. Can anyone here advise if this is possible? I briefly checked out the listings for Seoul and there seem to be plenty but I haven't researched elsewhere yet. In terms of maps is it possible to use google maps once you are in the country or is there a different mapping service that is reccomended?
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Jun 4th, 2018, 07:00 PM
  #183
kja
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@ hmr28: My apologies for the delayed response: I’ve been away from Fodor’s for a while….

While offering my thanks for your kind comments, I’m not sure I can be of much help with your specfiic queries. But for what it’s worth, and hoping I’m not too late:

- re: the car. Although at least one other Fodorite has reported a very successful experience with renting a car in South Korea, all of my South Korean friends strongly urged me to avoid driving there. The accident rate is so high that none of them will drive when they return, annually, to visit friends and family, and most reported that their friends and family have given up their cars because they simply find driving unworthy of the risks. I didn’t try to drive, and so can’t speak to what the experience would have been. If you decide to drive, you might want to make sure you understand your insurance options and consider more extensive coverage than you might do elsewhere – just a thought! And FWIW, I’ll add that taking public transportation in South Korea was, for me, among the great delights of being there – whether on high speed rail or a snail-paced bus, I saw people interacting with one another, and had interactions with others, that were among my favorite experiences of my trip.

- As for rooms: I made my plans in advance, so I can’t speak to the experience of traveling on the fly in South Korea. I suspect that it would depend on your requirements, your willingness to pay more than you might otherwise pay, and your willingness to negotiate accomodation without use of English (at least outside of Seoul, Busan, and Jejudo). Language probably won’t be much of an issue – showing up at a hotel with suitcases generally communicates your need. But whether the room(s) so found would be acceptable to you, or what you would have to do to find a place that is acceptable, is another matter entirely.

- Best wishes! And again, my apologies for the delayed response.
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