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advice for South Korea and Japan

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Apr 5th, 2016, 12:31 PM
  #1
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advice for South Korea and Japan

Hello, this is my first post and I am fairly new to the idea of international travel. I've never been abroad before and planning the trip is proving to be quite a challenge. I have been planning for a while now and have not gotten very far and decided that I may need a little help(I like to think that I don't need help it's a curse). I have many questions:
What is to be expected with international travel and will I have to deal with customs?
Are there any places in either of the countries that are particularly dangerous?
Where should I stay?
Any advice for planning or tips about any aspect of international travel would be very much appreciated. Even example itineraries would be helpful too. Thank you
faceofabum is offline  
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Apr 5th, 2016, 12:44 PM
  #2
 
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Let's start at the beginning:

Do you have a passport?

Where are you going? You list Japan and Korea - are those destinations firm?

How much time do you have? Count nights on the ground.

What interests you about these countries?

Have you travelled anywhere internationally? It's all very similar - you have to go through passport control and customs (which has only to do with goods you are bringing into the country).

Both Korea and Japan are safer than the US.

Where to stay? This depends on your budget. Neither of these countries is especially cheap, unlike SE Asian countries.

If Japan and Korea are your destinations, get guidebooks for both. For Japan, www.japan-guide.com is one of the best resources. Also, use the destination tab at the top of this page. The more research you do, the better your trip will be.

Happy planning!
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Apr 5th, 2016, 01:23 PM
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The public transportation system in Korea is awesome. You can get pretty much anywhere.

You could check out some Korea blogs and see what catches your interest, and go from there. I've really enjoyed http://www.10picturesinpohang.com/ and http://jasonteale.com/blog/category/korea/
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Apr 5th, 2016, 03:24 PM
  #4
 
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You need to go to a bookstore and check out travel books or to a useful website like . . . Fodors.com and dig around for ideas. You have provided no information why you listed these questions for RoK or Japan nor indicated if that's where you really want to go.

Your questions are unintelligible:

<>

What does "What is to be expected with international travel" mean? You will be in a foreign country, using foreign currency, and dealing with people, food, sites and customs foreign to you.

You will have to pass customs to enter another country. Are you trying to import items that you don't want officials to discover?

<>

What do you mean? If you walk off a cliff in any other country, it will hurt when you land. If you're asking about whether the yakuza is going to target you for taking finger samples, the answer is likely no.

<>

In some sort of lodging. Sleeping in public parks is not encouraged. If you're asking about destinations, you need to do more homework.

<<. . . Even example itineraries would be helpful too.>>

Again: BOOKSTORE. Fodors and its competitors publish . . . travel books. And those frequently contain example itineraries.
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Apr 6th, 2016, 09:48 AM
  #5
 
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What are you interested in? Historical sites? Temples? Beaches? Hiking? Wandering around with a camera and taking pictures of cool stuff?

This might give you some ideas: http://hedgersabroad.com/2016/04/06/...g-korea-cheap/
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Apr 7th, 2016, 10:54 AM
  #6
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First of all i want to thank you all for your feedback. Secondly i didn't realize my questions were unintelligible. let me elaborate, i have never travelled internationally before. Yes i have a passport. Time isn't really an issue i would like to spend at least 2 weeks in each country. In Japan i would like to see tokyo,kyoto,and hakone In South Korea i would like to see busan and seoul. When i asked the questions i was hoping for advice from someone who had been to Japan or Korea. By particularly dangerous i was wondering if there are any neighborhoods or cities that have a higher crime rate than others or that have high reports of human trafficking or anything like that. I know where to stay obviously, but i was wondering if anyone had any favorite hotels or hostels that they would recommend.
As for what interests me about these countries are of course culture, food, and scenery. I'm up for hiking and plan on doing lots of it.
As for sample itineraries i was actually meaning to ask if anyone thought there was something amazing that i should see and not miss out on.
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Apr 7th, 2016, 12:18 PM
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I have been to both Japan and South Korea and, whilst i loved our time in both countries, i much preferred Japan. the culture, the food, the architecture and scenery are all outstanding. Lots of hiking in both countries.

Japan is a large country and you could easily spend the whole month there. SK is a lot smaller. Japan is well served by public transport and so is way to get around. SK is ok but not quite so easy.

As far as safety is concerned, there are hazards everywhere but i would say that both are safer than many western countries. i am at loss to understand why you would think "human trafficking" might be a problem??

As has already been suggested, do some basic research, either online or via guidebooks to see what interests you.

In Korea we spilt our time, roughly equally between Seoul, Busan and Gyeongyu. Loved Seoul and Gyeongyu - Busan, not so much.

in Japan we visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Takayama, Nara, Koyasan, Himeji. all were amazing and we would do it all again in a heartbeat!

With both countries, timing is everything so choose your dates carefully. neither are cheap countries to visit but careful choice of accommodation can make it affordable.
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Apr 7th, 2016, 01:52 PM
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I don't think human trafficking is a large concern in Japan but with Seoul south Korea being so close to North Korea it's a little bit of a worry. And with more and more human trafficking incidents occurring in the U.S im always a bit wary.
The main danger that actually comes to mind is mugging. Lol i know that muggings can happen anywhere in the world though
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Apr 7th, 2016, 02:32 PM
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Muggings are much less an issue in places like Japan and South Korea than in the US.

I haven't been to South Korea, but have been to japan and loved it. Like crellston said, you could easily spend a month in Japan and not cover it all. We went to Japan in November and were there for the koyo (fall colors) which were spectacular. Summer is not a great time to go to Japan as it is very hot and humid.

You might find photos helpful (and there is a link to my trip report) http://www.marlandc.com/Japan-2013
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Apr 7th, 2016, 04:01 PM
  #10
 
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If I were going to pick my ideal time to go to Korea it would be late September to late October. It's so gorgeous in the fall. Hiking is kind of a national past-time, though, so the popular mountain trails get very crowded as everyone heads out to see the fall colors. (Weekdays probably aren't as bad.)

We're planning a family trip next year (early September, though, because of my husband's schedule, so probably won't see much of the fall color). A few places that I picked-- Naeyeonsan mountain near Pohang, which has 12 waterfalls; Daewonsa temple (very close), which is not a big temple but has a hall shaped like a dragon; Gujora beach on Geoje island; the cable car in Tongyeong; Hyangiram hermitage in Yeosu; Nagan folk village.
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Apr 7th, 2016, 04:01 PM
  #11
 
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Muggings are mostly a US phenomenon. Pickpocketing is the problem in Europe. I wouldn't worry about either in Japan and SK.

Are you a female under age 25? Because I'm sorry, but no one will be interested in trafficking you otherwise. And I've never heard of any foreigners getting trafficked to NK of all places! Getting imprisoned while there if you do something stupid or the government just needs someone to trade, maybe, so just stay in SK.

If you do a search on this site you will find a number of trip reports from people who have visited Japan and a few from South Korea.

For my visits to Japan and SK start here (links at the top of the page):
https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ping-to-kyoto/
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