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Planning for South Korea - comments please

Planning for South Korea - comments please

Jul 3rd, 2010, 01:28 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Also, you absolutely must make it your business to visit one of the Korean spas. I wrote about my experiences at one in Seoul in my trip report from 2007, when I spent about 10 days or so in Seoul.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 01:56 PM
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SeeHag - I seem to remember reading about your love hotel experience when I first researched South Korea - did you put up a trip report? I'm hoping for better luck - although Frommers does recommend a love hotel for Danyang! I've just sent an email to a place in Gyeongju recommended in Lonely Planet that someotherguy spoke well of here, and I'm going to try to stay in an historic building in Jeonju. Danyang I may wing it, and Seoul seems to have plenty of options.

ekscrunchy - thanks for the input! I'm pretty much leaving Seoul in the hands of the friends of friends, but will mention the market. It sounds like there are a number of craftspeople in Jeonju, so maybe I'll see something interesting there. Thanks for reminding me about the spa - I did read your TR when I started planning this, but the spa got overlain with visions of onsens in Japan. (A search on Danyang and spa turned up this: http://www.etourkorea.com/ena/SI/SI_...jsp?cid=313111 )
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 03:02 PM
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Gyeongju, Jeonju, and Kyongju appear to be the same place. The Bulguksa Temple there and the grotto are lovely. Try to see the grotto as the sun rises over the East Sea.

The Folk Market was not what I had hoped, just some little shops without much of interest, but the Folk Museum was enjoyable -- my first confrontation with a squat toilet! And the Tomb of the Heavenly Horseman and the Queen's Observatory.

I found many tasty food items in Korea - they differentiate north Korean and southern Korean - bulgogi and kahlbi, burdock root salads, some glorious grapes and melon, some tiny little pancakes with all sorts of fillings. I'm sure you won't go hungry. Tea houses are a big deal in Seoul -- as my friend said, it's a place for Koreans to have time and space in a very crowded city.
indianapearl is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2010, 04:39 PM
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indianapearl - I'm sure Gyeongju and Kyongju are the same place - k vs g and d vs t seem to come from different transliteration systems - but Jeonju is a different place further west. See http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/...e=1&cid=799726

Not sure about dawn and the grotto, but glad to hear it's worth seeing. I've never eaten burdock root, so that sounds interesting, as do the tiny pancakes.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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My son told us that he had stayed at much nicer love motels than the one he chose for us. He picked out that particular one based on location and the need for a larger bed because my husband is 6'6". He said that he found some that were as nice or nicer than modern US hotels. Hopefully you will have better luck then we did! I really don't understand the lack of hotels/motels in a really large city.
SeeHag is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Oh, yes, I did a trip report. It is under a different name. Long story but I guess I let someone nasty get to me and I was going to leave here for good! That didn't last!

SeeHag is offline  
Jul 4th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Thanks, that explains why I couldn't find it when I searched on your current name.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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Free buses from Seoul and Busan to Gyeongju and Jeonju for visitors. Seems legit: http://english.visitkoreayear.com/en...t_07_01_01.asp
Jeonju to Seoul might work for you.

While we're talking FREE, the guidebook and map from the tourist office are excellent: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/GK/GK_EN_2_7_5.jsp
someotherguy is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:35 PM
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Thanks someotherguy - however, those seem to be day trip buses, and I'm planning on spending 2-3 nights.

I already had the Korean tourist office send me their brochures - I am impressed with the office, and have told them so.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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My source was Flyertalk and the thread there says the buses are not intended as day trips (and actually are useless for that purpose as the turnaround is too short).
someotherguy is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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I have to put in another plug for the Korean Tourist Office. I had a lot of trouble trying to reserve for Jeonju - I wanted to stay in one of the historic buildings written up in the flyer from the Tourist office, but there was no email address, and a call made by a Korean friend of a friend was never returned.

I finally emailed the Tourist Office in Seoul, as the US branch had suggested. They've made the reservation for me, and I don't need to send a deposit, just reconfirm nearer the date. They also confirmed I probably don't need a reservation for Danyang, but asked me to check with them again in October.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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I was checking back on this thread and saw the post you made earlier. I was in Gwangju and did a program for the local radio station - GFN FM 98.7. Not sure if that was the station and if so, you son was there at that point (mid-July).

I also concur with your "love motel" information. Actually there are some very nice hotels in Gwangju, but they are pricey.

I had a wonderful time this summer...and did find the local baseball team Tshirts. We even went to a game--what a hoot! I also discovered the local market in Gwangju and snagged some really wonderful Korean shirts that I wear all the time for teaching. I am departing on Wednesday for Hanoi--another stint teaching geography--and those shirts are going to be my mainstay.

Another factoid for this trip. I ended up renting a telephone from ICN airport - used the Korean Tourist Office online coupon. I was very glad I did this. My phone cost me $55 for five weeks. I am not an avid text message nor phone person, but it worked very well for keeping in contact with the locals.
gailmo is offline  
Sep 14th, 2010, 10:07 PM
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I just found this thread. I have been to South Korea twice to visit my son who has taught English twice in Korea and loved it both times. There are many interesting things to see and do in Korea you just need to have some one to help you find them. Our son did a lot of research and took us all over. There are not very many old sights like in Japan because they all got wiped out by the Japanese in the war.

Mary are you SeeHag? Your son is home now? Joe's time in South Korea teaching helped him land a TA job in grad school which pays for his tuition and gives him a stipend to live on.

My son just got home from spending his summer break from grad school in Incheon taking a Korean business class and Korean language class, room and board all for $300.00. You sure can't beat that.

The first time we went we were in the southern part of South Korea, Busan and Masan areas. The second time we were in Incheon/Seoul.

We will be heading back to Korea in the future for our sons wedding.

hester is offline  

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