Destination Asia: South Korea

  Destination Asia Series

  Trip 1 : South Korea
  Duration : 3 days

  The first trip I embarked on in Asia was to South Korea. With less than 24h notice before I booked my flights and went on an adventure with complete strangers, there wasn't much planning. In hindsight, this was the trip that started my interest in travelling. Having just moved to Hong Kong a week prior and not knowing anyone, travelling was the last thing I had on my mind. In flight or fight mode, flight ended up the winner and continued to remain at the forefront of how I live my life now. But, more on that later.

  Why South Korea? In all honesty initially because they had the cheapest flights and we had 'piggy-backed' onto someone else's trip, but it ended up being one of the best decisions ever. One, because I made amazing friends that kept me sane throughout 12 months of adjusting to living in a different part of the world ( ... and subsequently never wanting to leave) but more relevant to why you're reading this article, because South Korea is a magical mix of culture, great food, the skincare kingdom and some phenomenal people that will guide the way.

A quick disclaimer before I tell you more about the places we saw and things we did. Back in 2017 my photography skills were.. well let's just say non existent so apologies in advance for the lack of aesthetically pleasing visual queues. I promise it gets a lot better with every post !

So here are the main places we visited:

*Gyeongbokgung Palace
*Bukchon Hanok Village

All fantastic places for various reasons but what the above places will provide is a quick snapshot view into South Korea and its gems. Using these as your starting point will give you a balance between culture, good food, the old vs new South Korea, a few hidden places and let's not forget a stop for some well deserved skincare. 

Food recommendations: 

* Bingsu 빙수: shaved ice with a variety of toppings and flavours. 

* Korean BBQ: okay I know that's a given but the quality of the food was incredible and hasn't beaten a similar BBQ experience in any other country I've been to so far. 

* Kimchi: if you like picked food with a pretty good spicy kick this is the one for you. A must try if you go to South Korea. You won't actively have to seek to find it as it pretty much comes with every meal you order. 

* Bungeoppang 붕어빵 : this is essentially a fish shaped waffle filled with sweet red bean paste. You'll come to see that as I continue writing about my journey across Asia, red bean paste will continue to be a culinary staple in so many countries. 

* Dalgona 달고나 : no, not the whipped coffee hype everyone seems to be on lately, but the original Korean sweet treat that bares this name. They are essentially thin cakes that taste like caramel. 

(the photo on the side is of the owner cutting seaweed by hand while watching VCRs ... yes, I'm a 90s kid and am feeling nostalgic looking at this too)

Biggest regret in hindsight : 

Looking back I wish we would have gone to Korean Demilitarized Zone but for a number of reasons we didn't hit that on our itinerary. For me the appeal was primarily historical though I have to say there is also a certain thrill from having one foot in South Korea and one in North Korea simultaneously. 

Would I go back?

  ABSOLUTELY ! South Korea was my first ever trip in Asia. Honestly it was rushed, on a whim and I was far more focused on making friends than I was on truly taking in South Korea's magic. I was yet to truly fall in love with travelling at that point and my photography skills were non existent, so was my equipment. 

  When I get into how I ended up landing in Hong Kong for a year you'll understand just how dazed and confused I was at this point ... but that's a story for another time ! 

But for now, enjoy your freedom, travel vicariously through my stories and plan your own adventures in this incredible world. 

Until next time, 

No comments

Post a Comment

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig