Busan, South Korea

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I feel like since I documented my trip to Hong Kong/China, I set myself up to a job of documenting all travels.

Which isn’t a bad deal, I get to sort of relive my experience while sharing it all with you.

It was a long, long route.  I started at Boston’s Logan International Airport to depart at 7 AM on Sunday, March 6th.  I was a bit bummed about that because I love Sundays, and I was about to miss it in so many ways.  We flew from BOS to JFK, in New York.  I sat first class on Delta in that short flight, which didn’t feel like much of first anything.  I guess you should definitely research your class seating if you’re looking for an experience.

I’m just going to skip through the unnecessary details of airport shenanigans.

From JFK I finally made my way over to Seoul, South Korea – Incheon International Airport.  Seoul is their capital, FYI.  I flew on Korean Air, on the Airbus 380, business class.  First of all, there is much talk about this airbus.  Their website made it look major – as the internet always makes things out to be.  I’m talking 2 deck, fancy staircase, lounge in the back, major.

Nope.

I was extremely upset with the lack of privacy in the seating arrangements.  From my experience with business class on international flights is, there will be a privacy panel between you and the next seat beside you.  The seating, that is available to lay flat, is positioned a way that you’re kind of just in your own space and don’t have to worry about anyone bothering you.  The privacy on this airbus was just enough for me not to see the next flier’s cheek.  I am not joking.  I was furious.  It took away all possible chances of me being comfortable for the next 13 hours and 55 minutes I would spend on the flight to Korea.

The TV monitor was available for all passer-by’s to see, which also upset me.  There was no way to re-position it, as it was apart of the seat in front of me.  If I’m watching one of their movies listed, say it’s a bit sexual, it makes me kind of uncomfortable to know someone can see it.  What if a child walks by?  It just really rubbed me the wrong way.  This entire airbus did.  The lounge was not as beautiful as the webpage showed, which was disappointing.  Hell, the whole thing was.

Foreign food can be tricky for some.  Airplane food can be tricky for some.  So, foreign+airplane food, well that’s just asking for a disaster.  I ordered some sort of Korean meal because all the other choices seemed out of my liking.  The meal description seemed good, but like I said – airplane food.  It was a mixture of minced beef and veggies, I think.  Who really knows.  I’ll just go ahead and say I didn’t eat it.  The attendant seemed a little bit annoyed with me, but I made it clear I “wasn’t hungry”….until she came around with the fruits, Haagen-Dazs mini vanilla ice cream, and other arrangements that made it clear I was actually super hungry.

All those hours pass, I’m finally in Seoul.

I’m exhausted at this point, but yet I still have to survive through another flight to my final destination, Busan.

I really made the mistake of not recording this experience when it was happening.  I’m sorry.  I’m just going to jump through life of Busan next.

I stayed in the hotel, Lotte Hotels and Resorts.  It was right in the heart of the city.  I was surrounded by tall buildings, flashing lights, traffic, and great mountain sights.  I was in awe for the entire 10 days I stayed that I was able to wake up and go to sleep with the view I had.  I arrived at about 10 PM, bathed and went to sleep around 12 AM.  I woke back up around 2 AM and didn’t go back to sleep until the evening time of that day.  I was in rare form, to say the least.  I was on Snapchat from 2AM until break fast time, 7 Am, making a fool of myself.  Not ashamed!!!

The hotel staff was exceptionally generous.  The cleaning of the rooms were at a golden 10.  It was just all above and beyond.

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The hotel is extremely popular because it is connected to a massive department store.  The department store had 9 levels.  To say it’s a maze is for lack of a better word.  It was humongous.  To understand the blueprint of that place must take serious work.  It had everything you could have possibly needed.  At the very top level and very bottom you can find food, beverage, and restaurants.  It was way too easy to get lost.  By the 3rd adventure in there, I think I was getting the hang of it.  Plus, I loved how it was apart of my hotel.

It was very interesting to navigate through it.  To enter and exit through the hotel to the department store was a journey in itself.  I walked through a mini-mall just to get to the mall (dpt store).  It was amazing.  You can’t knock the style over there, I fell in love with so many clothing items.  But if I didn’t purchase it when I saw it then it was tough luck because there was no wayyyy I was going to find it easily again to buy.  I used to be intimidated by foreign currency, but I’m getting used to it.  In Asia, they do everything in thousands.  So say $5 USD, 5,000 South Korean Won.  I kind of winged purchasing things.  If something was 35,000 I would just assume it’s going to be $28-$30 US dollar.  I took chances, definitely.

I was in a bit of crappy position the first couple of days.  It’s difficult to adjust to a new time zone, especially when you’re 14 hours ahead from home.  I had time to talk to family and friends in the morning or at night.  So during the day I was just wishing I had familiar people to talk to.

Business trips are for business, if you hadn’t guessed.  But I crave for exploring.  I can’t wait to see where I’m going is like.

I have to say, I like Korean food.  I tried different varieties of it, and they’re all cleared in my book.  They serve you green tea before serving water, and they will provide pickles, radish, and pickled-radish with every single meal.  I believe this is to give your meal flavor because some can be very bland.

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Can you tell I wasn’t totally thrilled about what was in front of me?  It was meat, beef, of some sort.  It actually had a really good taste, but I was constantly unsure of how cooked it was.  It was cooked right in front of me, exactly where you see it is placed.  There was a burner beneath that.  They (my co-workers) ordered a salad mix, I would say.  It had some sort of Korean hot paste on it.  It was actually really good.  Couldn’t get enough.  It can barely be seen in the left of the above photo.

Fun fact: I love Miso Soup.  It is so good, and I had enough for last me a year in just 10 days.

Listen, I’m a fan of sushi.  I’m on the fence about you if you’re not.  They have so many different arrangements, how could you not like at least one type of roll?  People think all sushi rolls contain raw fish in the middle.  Not true.  Go to a sushi spot and find out for yourself.  Eat.  Love.  Repeat.

I did have my normal sushi rolls in Korea.  But, to them, that’s a California roll.  The real sushi can be seen below.

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I damn near died.  I won’t shy away from trying new foods.  Especially in a foreign country where they may be a little insulted if you don’t at least try it.

Not. A. Fan.  I tried the piece of fish all the way to the left.  Almost threw up.  It took everything I had to chew and swallow that.  I like fish.  Raw fish, eh.  If those pieces of fish weren’t so large, I probably could have at that whole plate.  Green tea to the left, Miso soup to the right.  I don’t know what that bowl of noodle soup stuff is in the middle.  After my experience with the fish, I stopped trying all unfamiliar things that lunch.  The last 3 pieces are egg, beef, and then this rice thing.  I ate those 3 to at least have some protein in me, and I didn’t want to insult them more than I already probably did.  They felt bad that I didn’t like it.  I repeatedly told them it was NO problem, at least I tried it.  My co-worker finished off all that I didn’t eat.  Just to let you know, there was some rice underneath all that fish.

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This meal is Kanom Chin.  It is a Thai entree, with a Korean style twist.  It was so damn good I wanted to go back a second time before I left.  It was spicy, my favorite, and it was noodles.  If that doesn’t scream a beautiful disaster, I don’t know what does.  So damn good.  If you travel to Busan, find this entree at Pad Asia (I believe).  It can be found in the popular market area, near the Busan Museum of Modern History.  I’m sorry I don’t have direct location!!

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Do yourself the best favor and do not judge this meal.  It was probably the best thing I was able to have in South Korea.  It had egg, won-tons, Ramen noodles, and rice roll up things.  This is Korean street food, I was told.  That sauce that makes it almost like a soup was incredible.  I have to say, the location of this restaurant was kind of sketchy but wow, was it killer.

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Just as it says.  I don’t know if I would have ever put greens with noodles, but it worked out wonderfully.  The dressing was super tasty!

I’m at a 8 out of 10 when it comes to chopstick use.  I’m getting better and I’m so proud about that!  I tried not using a fork or spoon while I was there, but sometimes I had to break down and go back to what I know.

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at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.  I always wanted to visit a Buddha Temple, and I did for my first time!

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Peeking over the observatory at Taejongdae Park and was able to see this beautiful scene.  I was told this is where the South Sea and East Sea meet.

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Still at the Temple.  I prayed to this little guy and showered him 3 times for good luck.

Head over to my Instagram, adelec0imbra (with a zero), to see more pictures.

 

I truly can’t say enough good things about my experience.  Busan was beautiful.

It is a bit chillier there than it is on the East Coast of the US.  From the time I left, March 17th, two weeks later all the Cherry Blossom trees would have been blooming.  Super sad I missed seeing that, it’s my favorite tree.  They’re so beautiful.  But hopefully I return when they’re in season still!

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This was my view while flying over Canada on my way home.  Not a filter added, all natural.  I was in absolute awe.  It was one of the most beautiful views I have ever had the chance of seeing.  It made me seem so small and at peace.  I didn’t sleep much on the flight home.  I did watch a lot of movies!  The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert Di’Niro was pretty funny, and Burnt with Bradly Cooper – had me in tears!!  The movie had all the life feels in it.  From happy, to passion, to depression and disappointment.  Just wow, totally recommend.

As I remember things, I will update this post.  If you have any questions I will be happy to try and answer them as best as I can.  Waiting a month to document a trip was not a good idea.  I’m sorry I couldn’t properly share with you!

 

 

 

A.

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