I find myself being more and more drawn to Korea, I don’t know if it’s the weather or the people, or the culture, but I feel amazingly good once I get through customs and have my visa in the form of a small piece of paper (Seoul doesn’t do stamps) and go find a bus.
When I first arrived in Okinawa, the prospect of travel was thrilling, but what I feared was how to get from airports to hotels. Each place you visit has different modes of transportations, the trains, subways, busses and taxis offer different options. When I originally asked about Korea, I was told two things, the taxis are not that expensive and the busses will take you just about anywhere you want to go, directly for about $10.
I am not a big fan of busses…I love train and subways, but for about 10,000 Won, that’s about $10, I can sit back and be delivered to my hotel. So, in Korea, I am beginning to take the bus more and more. This time, due to flying in at rush hour on a Friday night, the trip took about 2 hours…or as long as my flight over there. Also, while traveling I employ my busy world traveler personae and always wear headphones and sunglasses. I usually put on some BTS or BigBang when I am in Korea and listen as I look out the window. When I moved to the outer seat to prepare to get off, I heard someone saying something and grabbing my arm. It was a Chinese woman who kept saying something and looking at me, finally I figured out she was asking me if I was Russian. I laughed and said American. She seemed disappointed and said, ‘oh…’ but then kept smiling at me until she got off the bus.
I decided that next time it will be the train/subway combination. After getting settled in the hotel, I went out for a little stroll around and went to the subway station. When I was in Daegu, I bought a Cashbee card for a few thousand Won (think two to three dollars), and charged it up. Since I needed to charge it, I read on the website that I could recharge it at subway stations.
It was so easy, and I recommend this as an option to anyone traveling in Korea. It looks like a credit card that is behind the counter of most convenience stores. I would also recommend to anyone traveling in Korea to have a credit card because they do not use cash. In the morning, I went to the Starbucks across the street from the hotel, attempted to pay with Won and was presented with a small sign that says they do not take cash. In Japan it is a better idea to have cash with you all the time, in Korea, not so much.
The next day I spent touring some of the sites that I simply have not had a chance to get to, I still missed out on the War Museum, but it’s not going anywhere, any time soon.
I’m going to end the narrative here with the pictures from Jongmyo Shrine, the National Museum of Korea and the Seoul Sky Tower.
Everyone back in the States, take care of yourself, I think the next few months could be very interesting….also the only reason I will be on Facebook will be to notify of a new blog.