My little trip around the world continues...
Seoul - Chuncheon - DMZ - Busan - Incheon
Driven by only curiosity I ended up in South-Korea. To be honest, I didn’t quite look it up and didn’t plan my trip as I use to mainly due to lack of time and it all went fine. The only things I overheard of was the pop music band culture, food on Netflix few months ago on a show ..
South-Korea is not visited so much as a country in terms of tourism. Many locals asked me "Why did you chose to visit us ?", they seemed to be shocked that I found interests in here. I just wanted to see how people live here and how they deal with North Korea too.
Google translate helped me with communication as in non-touristic area English is not easy ;)
Traveling within the country is super easy, if you know how to handle Paris and London then you are the boss ;) I easily used google maps but it's better to use Naver Map,
Started with Seoul I enjoyed many palaces to visit, huge and beautiful, including Buddhist temples.
This solo trip was a real treat! Korean people are very welcoming, smiling and very open, I found South Korea culture very rich and I ate so well, spicy and tasty food! I am ready to go back soon...
See below some videos !
- Wonderful mixed culture of modernity and old traditions -
The second biggest city in the country at the southern end of the Korean Peninsula.
Getting there from Seoul, as I had not planned, I travel with KTX train and bought my tickets for 2h30min trip.
Better to book ahead especially on Friday / Saturday [Price Seoul-Busan in KTX 51k wons about 40 euros].
Although the train was full, I still went to Seoul station and asked to stand and still go, to my surprise I was not the only one and it’s common... I had at least booked my hotel I couldn’t be missed for check-in. Rendez-vous @hôtel Laon, in the district of Haeundae. Fronting the beach, the sea view from my bed was just fantastic, superb for a good rest and retreat!
In Busan I enjoyed the BUTI tour hop on hop off bus, super cheap (15k -3lines) it was convenient for me to have an overview of some nice places as I was quite exhausted from previous walking day trip.
Gamcheon is an amazing neighborhood of Busan in South Korea. There is a lot of climbing in this zone, a real maze of little streets and stairs and tiny colorful houses very close to each other.
Food Love in Korea
The biggest discovery was the food with particular diverse very spicy South Korean Cuisine! Ravioli, soup, noodle soup, raw meat, bulgogi (Korean barbecue), all you ever wish on proper filling meals that leaves you stuffed! Unique, meat base, veggie friendly just for me to roll yourself back to your hotel because I've eaten so much!
Principals: it comes in small dishes that accompany a main course. Mainly Kimchi (spicy cabbage ), mushrooms, pickled vegetables...
Absolutely give it a try: Korean barbecue, Samgyeopsal, Pajeon, Dubukimchi, Gimbap: korean sushi; Bungeoppang, Dumplings, Hanjeongsik, Bibimbap, Chimaek: chicken n’beer, Tteokbokki: ramen style. I didn’t like much the fish cakes (‘eomuk’).
I also visited the fresh Fish market in Busan (video)
DMZ : THE KOREAN DEMILITARIZED ZONE
It stretches nearly 250 kilometers between the yellow sea and the Sea of Japan and 4 km wide.
Estimated that there are more than one million mines in the area, million soldiers guard the border between North Korea and South Korea. This border is dotted with barbed wire, undergrounds, gun batteries and watchtowers. The JSA (Joint Security Area) is the only crossing point between the two countries.
I got down to one infiltration tunnel and visited Imjingak Park, Bridge of Freedom, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dorasan station & Observatory.
This station was built to accommodate trains traveling between North Korea and South Korea. Nevertheless the border is completely closed and empty for now.
I felt the "tension" around there, it's really a nervous place to be...
There are many areas without packed tourists and allows a break from the city while enjoying nice spot of nature.
No car needed, I took the very comfortable bus limousine from ICN airport to Seoul city and then to move around used great public transport (bus and train).
Recommend to buy the T-Money card, (cost:2500W) it gives 100wons reduction per trip. Practical, it can be recharged and used in many places like cafés / convenience stores & taxi.
Find it in convenience stores (approved shop to redraw cash safely).
A half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon with beautiful tree lined roads
Very cute area ! video
Enjoyed the scenery at the National geopark (video)
Walked all around the Haedong Yonggungsa temple by seaside (Video)
Visit of La Petite France, a small vibrant French village that stands out with its brightly colored buildings.. Video
Places I Visited
Haedong Yonggungsa temple by seaside
Many temples (Yonggungsa i.e)
Places to Visit
Best bed & view
Beach view VS Hanok guest house
I have switch hotels four times on this trip looking for different experiences, city center, local, upgraded and usual... I can say I am surprisingly satisfied..