I’ve started planning my third trip to South Korea for later this year, and I’m starting to get all the feels. So I wanted to share some of my experiences from my second trip there from back in 2016. The trip started with a layover in Hong Kong. Step back in time with me to 2016.
Thinking about taking a 16 hour flight made me sooo nervous that I was almost sick to my stomach nauseous. My sister (who went with me) and I were excited that the flight was so late, so that I could sleep most of the way. I had some wine, though, and was able to sleep a good amount. I can remember looking at the flight tracker and seeing 8 hours left. It’s funny when halfway is 8 hours. Breakfast was Chinese congee, a rice soup with mushrooms and chicken (shown below).
It was much better than the salmon that was served earlier for dinner. I’ll give Cathay Pacific a 7 out of 10 for food. They get a 10 out of 10 for their In Flight Entertainment. We landed in our layover, Hong Kong, the next morning. It was so dark that I wasn’t able to see the Hong Kong skyline as we landed. I had really wanted to see the harbor. Oh well. I wanted a shower sooo bad by this time. Now back on onto another plane to South Korea.
Arriving in South Korea
After passing through customs we boarded a bus that would take us from Incheon, where the airport was located, to Seoul. We got off at Sinsa station and walked down a few streets to our hotel, the KW Sinsa. On my way down the winding street to the hotel, my suitcase started rolling away from me uncontrollably. I dodged cars as I tried to control it. Looking back, it was kind of funny. The room was small but included a kitchenette and washing machine. The room was bright and airy. The only thing I could have done without is the thing most Korean bathrooms have, a wet floor. So they wear shower shoes. Everything gets wet. The sink and toilet too.
After a much needed shower, we took the bus to the Gangnam area and walked and shopped. Gangnam is king when it comes to shopping. Subway shopping in Gangnam is one of the highlights of every trip to South Korea. Next we hopped on the subway to go to the Coex Mall. We rode the Hyundai Department Store escalators all the way up the 11th floor. Yes 11 floors! On the way back to the hotel, we treated ourselves to a Paris Baguette cake. Paris Baguette is a chain of one of the many French-inspired bakeries. There are many Paris Baguettes located in the U.S. as well.
That Monday morning we were on the KTX train to Changwon (1 hr from Busan). This was a bullet train. It got us there in 2.5 hours, much different from the old trains which used to go the same distance in 4/5 hours. We arrived at Changwon station.
Wednesday we visited an International market in the nearby city of Busan. We tried Hoddeok (sweet pancake pictured below) and just explored.
We also went to the Shinsegae department store, which is supposedly in the Guinness book for largest department store (I really thought that spot belonged to Harrods’ or Macy’s). It was complete with a skating rink. At Haeundae beach I snapped a photo of a jellyfish and wrote in the sand. You could tell all the foreigners from the natives. The natives were all covered from head to toe so they wouldn’t get tanned.
More of this trip to follow. Look out for it.