Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Layover in Seoul, South Korea

Rare is the direct flight these days from Bangkok to the United States. My choices of Hong Kong, Seoul and Beijing among others created an interesting choice of where I should layover for 12 hours. Hong Kong is, I have heard, simply a generic mega-city and Beijing would have required a $150 visa for exiting the airport.
Seoul it was.
Plus, I recently read that the Incheon Airport in Seoul was just voted the best airport in the world among people who supposedly know.
1. Cold (Seoul is at the same latitude as San Francisco - much cooler than Bangkok at about 55 degrees Celsius).
2. Clean and organized. Seoul and Korea rank as one of the most advanced Asian cities lacking a lot of the seeming chaos and disorganization found in other parts of Asia.
3. Kimchi, the well-known Korean vegetable dish - also well known for its smell - tastes a lot better than it smells. I had to at least try it in order to criticize it....
4. Korea is one of the few countries in the world that recognizes the wonder of baseball. Way to go, Korea.
5. Seoul would be a great city to spend about 4 - 5 days, then it would be time to get to the more authentic countryside.
Tough to be sandwiched between countries like Japan and China for all of history. Good to see Korea, at least the south, holding its own. North Korea is just a sad, sad story. These two countries should be united. Someday....
Pictures above:
1. In front of Gyeongbokgung Palace in short sleeves and 50 degrees.
2. The changing of the guard at the Palace.
3. Insadong market street - touristy, but fun.
4. Get this! I come around the corner on Insadong and see an auxiliary screen showing the World Baseball Classic taking place from, no kidding, Dodger Stadium. A live baseball game FROM Dodger Stadium while strolling in Korea. Globalization's a funny thing.
5. Cheonggyecheon River, a man-made but aesthetically-pleasing river through the heart of Seoul. Nice touch.
Watch for the conclusion of the Tuk-Tuk Talker coming soon! Home is a nice place to be now.


Anonymous said...

I was born there! Looks like a cool city to visit...

Anonymous said...

When is the conclusion coming?
Can't wait to hear about your US adventures.