South Korea

South Korea

Curious what backpackers do in South Korea? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
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  • Day1

    Well it was time for me to go ‘From Russia with love’. The next part of my trip involved taking the once per week ferry from Vladivostock to Japan via South Korea - a journey that takes two days. The check-in at the Marine Terminal was chaotic - lots of Asian folk pushing and shoving to get on the boat first. A large group of Japanese were determined to get ahead, and their leader - I shall call her Hello Kitty - literally pushed folk out the way as she dragged great amounts of luggage into impossible spaces at the start of the queue. I tried to stand my ground but she pulled folk in front and frantically phoned others at the back of the queue to come up and join her.

    It was a lengthy process going through security and passport control. Of course I ended up with Irritable Irena from Immigration - non-smiling, she went through my passport over and over and kept saying ‘you are not here, you are not here’ looking for some kind of stamp. At one point I thought we were going to get the whole panto routine - ‘well if I'm not in Moscow, and I'm not in Ykaterinburg, I must be somewhere else - and if I am somewhere else, I can't be here.’ Next thing I knew two solidly built officials came over (both female), one with a sniffer dog who took some interest in my bag. ‘Sorry, Fido, but the strongest drugs I have in there are paracetomol.’ There was a lot of chat and I thought I heard the word ‘Gulag’ being mentioned, but maybe my imagination was just working overtime. Anyway, apparently Irena had been looking at the Belarus visa and not the Russian one and I was eventually waved through - without a smile. The only consolation was that I had held up the queue for 20 minutes, and Hello Kitty was right behind me - I tell you she was not a happy pussy!

    Eventually I got on board the DRS Cruise Ferry, Eastern Dream. All I can say is that it has seen better days. (Ken, I really don't think it is quite Celebrity Class!). Again I was booked 2nd class, which actually turned out to be a large room with 8 bunks with curtains, reading light and wash basin. When I saw the Economy class accommodation - dozens of Japanese and Koreans camped out on futons on the floor and enjoying picnics and card games, I was quite glad. Although the majority of the passengers were Asian, I noticed an American couple being shown to the Royal Suite. I had a peek in, and I could tell by their faces they were a little disappointed - no sign of canapés on the balcony! . Before we had left dock there was a big barney- two groups of middle aged Asian men and women screaming and pushing each other at the top of the main staircase - a true stairheed rammy! I was going to start clapping and shouting ‘fight, fight’, but I resisted.

    Finally we set sail. There were lots of announcements in Japanese and Russian but I couldn't make out a word until I realised it was the safety briefing on deck, but no one else seemed to be paying attention anyway. The only thing I could understand was Rod Stewart singing ‘I am Sailing’ as we pulled out of Golden Horn Bay and into the Sea of Japan.

    I tried to solicit some information in English at the Purser’s Desk. A drunk Japenese guy overheard me and said ‘Ah, England, England’. He was very animated and might have been on more than the vodka. I called him Super Mario. ‘Well, Scotland actually’ I said. ‘England’ he persisted ‘Manchester United, Liverpool’. I replied meekly ‘Queen of the South?’ and he looked bemused and returned to the bar.

    I had booked dinner in the restaurant and looked forward to a candle lit affair with a glass of wine and friendly banter with the Maitre D’. Sadly you were given a half hour slot to eat as much as you could from the buffet - a sort of Supermarket Sweep type of idea. I found I could not work out what most of the food was, and did not like the taste of anything, so I ended up with some boiled rice, sweet corn and tomato.

    The entertainment on board included a disco, a sauna and a karaoke (which was very popular). I sat on deck for a while watching the sun go down, as the ship sped towards Korea for our calling point at Donghae.

    The crossing was smooth and the next morning the sea was calm as we sailed into Korea. For some reason we all had to vacate our rooms, even if we were travelling on to Japan, and move to a different berth - very confusing, and again no English explanation - the joys of travel!

    Super Mario appeared looking the worse for wear and greeted me with a shout of ‘Chelsea!’ to which I replied ‘Patrick Thistle’ which seemed to shut him up.

    We docked in the South Korean port of Donghae at 11.30. There was the usual scramble to get off, with Helllo Kitty barking orders to her group. Those traveling on to Japan could get off the ship for about 4 hours so I took the chance to see a bit of Korea. To be honest, there wasn't much to see. By the time we got off the ship and cleared passport control (Republic of Korea stamp in my passport - yipee!) we only had about 3.5 hours. When I asked the lady at the desk what there was to see in Donghae she said ‘the caves, the caves’. So off I went to the local underground caves and, while it was interesting, when you've seen 20 stalactites …

    Donghae was a bit of a ghost town, but I thankfully found a brand new McDonalds with an interesting menu and wifi. Well, time to head back before I miss the boat for my next destination - Japan!
    Read more

  • Day132

    Nangmeyon and dumplings

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    Nangmeyong are cold, spicy noodles. They're usually served with a cold soup/broth thing that you can either drink separately or pour over the top. The scissors are for cutting; I don't remember seeing any knives the entire time I was in Korea, only massive scissors.

    Can't remember what was in the dumplings. I remember them being tasty though.

    ---

    As mentioned before, Incheon airport's a great place to get stuck/have a layover. This was all £5.50, I think.Read more

  • Day131

    Chocolate sulbing.

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    Sulbing's a Korean shaved ice-desert. This one included lots of chocolate sauce, squirty cream, brownie pieces, and what I think was condensed milk on the side. Pretty sure it was meant for sharing.

  • Day1

    A little rainy this day but the water was warm enough so we went in and swam. Afterwards we played Frisbee with this miniature Frisbee I brought along. It took a while to get used to it but we both were doing well towards the end. After that we got some chicken on a stick and a couple cans of beer.

  • Day1

    I don't usually like this stuff but these turned out to be really delicious. I think the couple sitting near us thought we didn't know how to grill it but we soon learned.
    Hyang discovered they still had her boyfriend's picture on the beer bottles here so we cleaned those out for them, along with a little Soju.

  • Day131

    Dave rinsed his last Korean won trying to win a Pokemon keyring, eventually he won this critter instead, then broke into the emergency stash and kept playing. He didn't win again.

  • Day8

    Unfortunately the whole beach was fenced off with lifeguards every 100 meters who were whistling like crazy if you would have been going deeper than to your ankles into the water... Rediculous!

  • Day55

    Gestern haben wir den Seoraksan National Park besucht - die Wanderung war ziemlich anstrengend, aber es hat sich mehr als gelohnt! 😊💪🏼
    Der Nationalpark ist wirklich unglaublich schön und man sollte ihn auf jeden Fall besuchen, wenn man in Südkorea ist 😊 Übernachtet haben wir in der kleinen Stadt Sokcho, welche etwa 2,5h entfernt ist von Seoul.

  • Day59

    Die letzten zwei Tage in Südkorea haben wir in der zweitgrößten Stadt des Landes - in Busan verbracht. Hier fühlt man sich, im Gegensatz zu Seoul, mal wieder richtig in Asien 😊 In der Stadt kann man super durch die verschiedenen Stadtteile schlendern und den Rest des Tages an einen der sieben Stränden der Stadt entspannen. Der einzige Nachteil ist hier leider, dass das Meer hier nur 21 Grad warm ist 🙈Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Korea, Südkorea, South Korea, Suid-Korea, Anaafo Koria, ደቡብ ኮሪያ, Corea d'o Sur, كوريا الجنوبية, Corea del Sur, Cənub Koreya, Паўднёвая Карэя, Корея, Южна, Worodugu Kore, দক্ষিণ কোরিয়া, ཀོ་རི་ཡ། ལྷོ་མ།, Korea ar Su, Južna Koreja, Corea del Sud, ᎤᎦᎾᏭ ᎢᏗᎵ ᎪᎴᎠ, Jižní Korea, Repùblika Kòreji, De Corea, Republikken Korea (Sydkorea), ལྷོ་ཀོ་རི་ཡ, Anyiehe Korea nutome, Νότια Κορέα, Sud-Koreio, Lõuna Korea, Hego Korea, کره ی جنوبی, Koree Worgo, Etelä-Korea, Suður-Korea, Corée du Sud, Corê du Sud, An Chóiré Theas, Corea do Sur, દક્ષિણ કોરિયા, Koreya Ta Kudu, קוריאה, דרום, दक्षिणी कोरिया, Koreja, Južna, Kore disid, Dél-Korea, Հարավային Կորեա, Korea Selatan, Sud-Korea, Suður-Kórea, 大韓民国, სამხრეთ კორეა, Korea Kusini, Солтүстік Корея, Korea Kujalleq, កូរ៉េ, ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಕೋರಿಯಾ, 대한민국, کۆریای باشوور, Korea Dheghow, Respublica Coreae, Koreya ey'omumaserengeta, Zuud-Korea, Korɛ ya súdi, ເກົາຫລີໃຕ້, Pietų Korėja, Kore wa mwinshi, Dienvidkoreja, Korea Atsimo, Јужна Кореа, ദക്ഷിണകൊറിയ, दक्षिण कोरिया, Selatan Korea, Koreja t’Isfel, တောင်ကိုရီးယား, Corea d' 'o Sud, Sør-Korea, Republikken, Süüdkorea, Republiek Korea, Corèa del Sud, ଦକ୍ଷିଣ କୋରିଆ, Republika Korei, سوېلي کوريا, Coreia do Sul, Corea dal Sid, Koreya y'amajepfo, Coreea de Sud, Южная Корея, Corea dû Sud, Mátta-Korea, Korëe tî Mbongo, දකුණු කොරියාව, Južná Kórea, Korea, South, Kuuriyada Koonfureed, Koreja e Jugut, Јужна Кореја, Sydkorea, Jamhuri ya Korea, தென் கொரியா, దక్షిణ కొరియా, เกาหลีใต้, Timog Korea, Kōlea Tonga, Saut Korea, Güney Kore, Південня Корея, جنوبی کوریا, Nam Triều Tiên, Sulüda-Koreyän, Salatan nga Korea, 韩国, Orílẹ́ède Ariwa Kọria, 大韩民国, i-South Korea

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