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I've just been to...

Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

I've just been to...

...Korea!
I had to make a short notice trip for work. The journey out was very long and uncomfortable, but it is a great place to visit. The people are friendly, the scenery is nice and the food is amazing! I there for a couple of days, and stayed in Seoul, but I highly recommend it if you want to go somewhere a bit different.
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: I've just been to...

Odd to relate but I just bought something on eBay from Korea; it arrived in about 3 or 4 days.
An industrious place (the South at least)
Believe it or not, it was replacement ear-muffs for some nice Sony headphones. I couldn't get them anywhere else for love or money.
(these were only about £5 including postage!)
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: I've just been to...

Back in late 1953 I was pleased when the possibility of going to Korea was removed  Smiley
My current car did, however, start life there  Wink
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: I've just been to...

Grin
We don't do any business in the North, but I think if I had been asked to go there I would have politely declined. Wink
It turned out to be a good time to go, because Tuesday was a public holiday for the Buddha's birthday. I got taken to one of the bigger temples, which was full of people and colour, and beautiful old buildings. Later that day I was taking a walk alongside a stream near the hotel, and stumbled upon a ceremony with monks playing drum solos and lots of people cheering and carrying white paper lanterns. They set off down the path and I followed along for a bit, only for an elderly lady to thrust a lantern in my hand as if to insist I join in!
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: I've just been to...

I like South Korea too. I've been there several times during my business travels. I've been lucky and have visited several Korean cities, all of which were very pleasant. From what I've seen, when travelling by car and train, there is some fantastic countryside too. It can be cold in the winter though. I once did a journey to Korea in the winter via Vietnam. The temperature in Vietnam was 36C and it was -12C in Korea. People in Vietnam looked a little bemused when I arrived with a big Parka and heavy gloves.
During a couple of decades of business travel, I've stayed in hundreds of hotels. I must say that the Seoul Hilton hotel is one of my all time favourites. From outside it looks like a rather plain concrete box, but I always felt at home as soon as I walked into the place. It always feels genuinely warm and welcoming; there's none of the false deference you get in many other hotels. I think that is very much a reflection of the warm and friendly nature of most of the Korean people I've met.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: I've just been to...

I stayed in the Grand Hilton in Seodaemun-gu. Bit posh for my tastes, but then the company is paying for it. I took a walk to the top of the hill behind it the morning I left. Well worth doing - there are some great views between the trees at the top.
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: I've just been to...

The hotel I stayed in is called the Millenium Hilton. I last went to Seoul about seven years ago, and I don't recall there being another Hilton at the time, so it sounds like the one you stayed in is a newer hotel. The Millenium is on a road that goes round the side of Namyang mountain, near to Namyang market. You can often tell within minutes of walking into a hotel whether you will enjoy your stay there. This is one that never dissapointed me. One of the things that always amused me about this place, was that they held a children's tea-party on one Sunday of every month, open to the public; with an entry fee that was calculated according to the weight of the child.
Namyang mountain is worth a visit is you have time to go, on another trip. There is a television transmission tower at the top, which has a restaurant providing views across the city. I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall that it is a revolving restaurant. Probably best done in the summer though, because winter days can be foggy or overcast. Most of my trips to Korea were in the winter. One of my strongest memories is strolling through the underground shopping malls. (A bit like Canada.) As there are corridors connecting different malls, you can walk for miles while avoiding the cold weather.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,244
Thanks: 933
Fixes: 54
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: I've just been to...

Quote from: Denzil
and the food is amazing!
Obviously you tried Kimchi then  Roll eyes
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: I've just been to...

Oooh Kimchi. In Korea there are hundreds of different types of Kimchi, but we usually only see the pickled cabbage variety the west. In Korea it is made with every type of vegetable. Some is made fresh for immediate consumption and some is pickled.
I can recommend a great place to go for very nice Korean food, for anybody within reach of west London. It is a counter in the food court of a little Oriental-style shopping centre called Pacific Plaza, in a retail park next to Wembley stadium, just off Engineers Way. There is a fantastic Japanese bakery there too.