Arriving in Seoul


matt 120pxAfter all my stressing about arriving in Seoul, it actually wasn’t too bad. Immigration and customs were a breeze. The airport had an internet café, which we hopped on for a few minutes to get the names, addresses, and directions for a couple of possible guesthouses in the city. Then we took a bus from Incheon into Seoul. It was a really nice bus- big plush leather seats and even seatbelts! The drive took about an hour, but it was nice to relax for our first glimpses of Korea. Korea immediately reminded me of the US. It seems to be about the equal with the US infrastructure wise, although Joylani said that Korea looks a little nicer. But unlike other really developed Asian places (like Singapore, Hong Kong, or the huge Chinese metropolises), Korea was not crazy. It seems pretty mellow, especially given that Seoul-proper has over 10 million people (20 in the metro area). Once at our stop, we got of the bus and started looking for a place to stay. We started walking one direction and then the other…and then in the original direction again. Readers have probably long since recognized that Joylani and I aren’t the best navigators. When we finally found the road we were supposed to turn on, we walked down it and then back up it and then back down it, before coming back up it again. We just couldn’t find the next street to turn on. We asked some directions and got some bad ones, but in our wandering, a nice old man asked if we needed help. Well, he didn’t speak English, but he said something in Korea, so I walked over and showed him the hotel info we had written down. He didn’t know the place or location, but he called the number, got directions, and then proceeded to walk with us for two blocks until we found it. After thanking him, we walked into the lobby of Yim’s House (name of hotel) and asked if there were any rooms available. Luckily, there was a cancellation for that night and the proprietor said we could probably stay for two nights. Tired of walking around, we just took it and figured we’d worry about where to stay the other nights later. We spent the rest of the afternoon resting and exploring the surrounding area. Overall it was a pretty easy transition back to travel, made easier by the fact that Korea is a developed country and the help of a few kind people.

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