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Please help me plan 3.5 weeks in South Korea

Please help me plan 3.5 weeks in South Korea

Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 09:04 PM
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Can't really help, but am looking forward to the TR!

I did use a left luggage locker in Daegu train station (seem to remember having some trouble figuring it out) but didn't look for one anywhere else.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 01:19 PM
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kja, to answer your question about Jeju. For the other poster, I recommended that they not bother with Busan and Jeju, as they didn't seem to have much time in Korea at all. But for you with much more time, Jeju should definitely be on the list.

I think a rental car would be useful to get around there. I was there for a conference, and stayed at the Shilla hotel/resort in the southern part of the island. Got stuck in the resort most of the time and ate at their expensive restaurants since there was nothing walkable outside, as most resorts are. I didn't spend extra time there, but managed to go around and see some sights nearby by bus. Waterfall by the beach, some interesting rock formations, a temple by the beach, etc. Black volcanic rocks everywhere. Kinda like Kona side of Big Island.

Have fun planning for Korea. My DH and I really enjoyed our trip there in 2011. It was clean, safe and easy to get around as in Japan for a fraction of the price. People were very friendly and more outgoing than the Japanese. We even got free rides 2x from friendly locals while waiting for the bus in remote places. They even went out of their way to take us to our destinations.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Also for obscure questions, try emailing the official Korea Visit website. We found them very eager to be helpful and can look up websites in Korean, etc. for you.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 06:58 PM
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kja
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@ thursdaysd - thanks for the info about the left luggage locker in Daegu. I do promise a TR, but make no guarantees that it will be worth reading!

@ JC98 - Now I understand your comment about JejuDo - thanks for clarifying! Sounds like renting a car for at least that part of my time in Korea could be a good option.

And thanks, too, for your comments about the friendliness and helpfulness of the people you encountered. I've been fortunate to run into incredibly kind people on all my journeys, but one never knows what to expect. It sounds like you and DH had a lovely time in South Korea -- and that is ALWAYS good to hear when one is planning a trip! In general, I thoroughly enjoy planning my travels -- except for the part where I'm trying to cut things off my wish list and hammer out some of the details, or in other words, the part I'm in right now. Even at the worst moments, though, I am aware that I will be having a great adventure and I am excited by the many wonderful opportunities I know I will have.

By the official Korea Visit website, you mean:
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto ?
I sent them a couple of questions more than a week ago and haven't heard back. But maybe I made a mistake in addressing my query. I will definitely try again or contact them by phone.


Many thanks to both of you!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:47 PM
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I found the Korean tourist office very helpful when I called them. I also found the Korean people would go out of their way to be helpful.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:58 PM
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@ thursdaysd - very good news, indeed - thanks! Where do you plan to head next?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:08 PM
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@kja - I need to be in Detroit for a wedding at the beginning of August, so I'm thinking of staying in the Americas again this year. I had thought about Alaska, since I loved the glaciers in Patagonia, but decided it's just too expensive when all I'm really interested in is the scenery. Instead I'm thinking of northwest South America. But I'm feeling a bit lazy...
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:22 PM
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@ thursdaysd - hmm, I guess in this day and age, Detroit might actually be worthy of your intrepid spirit! (I sincerely hope they find a way to preserve the Detroit Institute of Arts. That city's troubles so often seem tragically intractable, even if potentially solvable.) Have you been to Chicago? It's one of my favorite cities and just a stone's throw from Detroit.... Whether Alaska or NW SA or your normal stomping grounds, I suspect, and hope, you'll find a way to make it memorable.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:44 PM
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@kja - I definitely plan to see the Art Imstitute while I'm there, assuming it hasn't aleady been raided. The wedding is actually in Dearborn, but I keep reading about pockets of bohemianism in Detroit proper.

I visited Chicago on my North American train trip in 2012, enjoyed it more than I expected: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/...lwind-chicago/
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 06:40 PM
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@ thursdaysd -- That was definitely a whirlwind pass through Chicago! You clearly saw some of its highlights. IMP, there are many more things that are worth seeing and experiencing there, so you might give some thought to a revisit when you head out to Detroit.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 08:25 PM
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Re: the Korea Visit web-site. I finally got a very nice reply to one of my questions -- it seems they delayed responding because they were trying to track down an answer. They weren't able to do so, but they sent me some very helpful links.
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 11:12 PM
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Hi! My son lived in Gwangju for a several years. We visited there several years ago and one of the things I enjoyed the most was a day trip to Boseong tea plantation. It was very lush and tranquil. We took a taxi but I recall my son saying it was reachable by bus.
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/...jsp?cid=264293
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 01:50 AM
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I can't help at all Kja. We spent a total of two days in Busan on our way to the Beijing Olympics. Workable subway, beautiful beach, practically no English, and some terrific thunderstorms. I will learn much more from your trip report than from our visit. Have a great time.
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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@ SeeHag -- thanks so much for sharing your experience of the Boseong tea plantation! I had read about it and wasn't sure if it was something that would actually be relaxing or whether it would be too touristy. It certainly sounds beautiful. If you or your son have any other suggestions, please pass them on!

@ colduphere -- don't be so modest! I hadn't even thought to add "watch terrific thunderstorms" to my plans for Busan. ;-) Thanks for the good wishes and hoping you aren't TOO cold up there these days.
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Old Jan 30th, 2014, 11:56 PM
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kja, I will see if I can get more info out of my son. He is currently living in Seoul and we are actually supposed to be there in May to celebrate his wedding. I know Gwangju is known for having good food. At the time we were there in 2008 it was totally lacking decent hotels. My son said he would book our hotel and when we got there he had reserved a room at a love motel! In his defense there were only a couple of hotels near his apartments and they were horrible. Some love motels are surprisingly nice but not the one he picked. We finally wound up at a resort in the hills outside of the city which was an improvement but still pretty tacky! I think the hotel situation has improved.

I do know that he and his fiance enjoy going to Busan for the weekend and when my younger son visited last year he enjoyed the trip they took there.

He just made a comment on Facebook about noticing an increase in foreign tourists. I check the Asia forum every now and then to see if there are any Korea posts and this time it seems there are more recent posts than I normally find.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 03:53 PM
  #36  
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@ SeeHag - Congratulations to your son and many good wishes to your families! I am coming to believe that my trip to South Korea will be incomplete without a night in a love motel, but I seem to remember a warning from thursdaysd that they can be very hard to find. Apparently, there is a downside to discretion. ;-)
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 04:34 PM
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I enjoyed the Love Motel in Danang, plenty comfortable, but short on electrical outlets and had to enter through the underground garage. My problem wasn't finding the love motel, it was failing to find the hotel I was actually looking for.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 04:38 PM
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According to my son they are all over! Perhaps more so in a city like Gwangju that Seoul. He and his friends made use of them when they had been out late (drinking) and didn't want to find a taxi home. He showed me photos of one that was very nice that had a nice flat screen and the furniture was very new and modern, like a regular hotel. The parking spaces in the one he reserved had long strips of fabric like you see in a carwash that obscured the cars and license plates! I guess they don't want the irate wife to see her husbands car parked there!

FYI, if you see a barber pole...it's not a place for haircuts rather a brothel!
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 04:54 PM
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@ thursdaysd -- sorry to have misrepresented your experience! Thanks for correcting my false report and for reminding me that I may have troubles locating ANY hotel! Argh....

@ SeeHag -- from what I've read, many Korean couples continue living with one of their parents after marriage so they can conserve their financial resources, and that is a key reason for so many love motels. I can understand that! A bit of a different reason than the one that justifies the "Knotty Pines" or "Secret Cove" variety of motel.

Good to know how to read the barber pole! OMG....
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 05:15 PM
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Not enough electrical outlets in the Love motel? What am I supposed to plug all my love paraphernalia into?
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