South Korea
South Korea

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  • Day101

    Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond

    March 15 in South Korea

    At night we visited the Donggung Palace including the Wolji Pond. It was one of our highlights in Korea so far. The view to the palace and the mirror lake was really great.

    Heute Abend haben wir dann noch den Donggung Palace besucht. Es war wirklich ein Highlight unserer Korea Rundreise. Die Spiegelung von dem Palast im Teich war wirklich super.

  • Day1

    The Eastern Dream / Korea

    June 29, 2017 in South Korea

    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!
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  • Day101

    Gyeongju - Bulguksa, Tombs & More

    March 15 in South Korea

    Tonight we will stay in a traditional hanok house in Gyeongju. It seems that we are the only guests. The houses are really great and in the rooms you can still smell the wood.
    After our arrival we visited the Bulguksa Temple and several tombs of former kings. The tombs are grass hills and they are almost everywhere in the town.

    Heute Nacht schlafen wir in einem traditionellen Hanok Haus. Es scheint so als wären wir hier die einzigen Gäste. Die Häuser sind wirklich toll und man kann noch das frische Holz riechen.
    Nach unserer Ankunft sind wir noch ein bisschen durch die Stadt gefahren und haben uns den Bulguksa Tempel sowie die Grabstätten von früheren Königen angesehen. Die Grabstätten bestehen aus Grashügeln welche überall in der Stadt verteilt sind.
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  • Day101

    Sea Life Busan

    March 15 in South Korea

    Today it rained a lot so we decided to visit Sea Life. It was fun even if we have seen better aquariums already. Good news we found penguins 🐧.

    After this visit we left Busan to go to Gyeongju.

    Heute hat es sehr stark geregnet weshalb wir den Vormittag im Sea Life Busan verbracht haben. Es war ganz lustig auch wenn wir definitiv schon bessere Aquarien besucht haben. Aber gute Nachrichten wir haben Pinguine🐧 gefunden!

    Nach unserem Besuch ging es dann mit dem Auto weiter nach Gyeongju.
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  • Day102

    We have left the southern part of South Korea today. The next two nights we will stay in Donghae, a city on the coast close to Pyeongchang. It is the last stop on our round trip through Korea. After the paralympics closing ceremony on sunday we will return to Seoul.

    The spring is over and we have winter again. It is stormy with some snow falls on the coast, but it should be a bit better within the next days.

    On the way to the north we found a cool Memorial and stopped for a short visit. After our arrival in Dinghae we had a great Korean BBQ once again.

    Wir haben den Süden heute in Richtung Donghae verlassen. Donghae ist eine Stadt an der Küste ganz in der Nähe von Pyeongchang und die letzte Station unserer Rundreise durch Korea. Nach der Abschlussfeier der Paralympics geht es für uns dann zurück nach Seoul. Der Frühling ist leider auch wieder vorbei. Hier ist es stürmisch und es schneit sogar ein bisschen.

    Auf dem Weg Richtung Norden haben wir noch ein cooles Denkmal gefunden. Zum Abschluss des Tages gab es dann nochmal ein koreanisches BBQ.
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  • Day103

    Donghae - Cheongok Cave

    March 17 in South Korea

    It is a big stalactite cave located in downtown Donghae. It was fun climbing through seeing all the stalactites and stalagmites.

    Die große Tropfsteinhöhle liegt mitten in Donghae. Es hat Spaß gemacht durch die Höhle zu klettern und die ganzen Stalaktiten und Stalakniten zu sehen.

  • Day104

    It was fun but now we have to leave for the closing ceremony in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium. (about 50km by car). Hopefully the show will be good.

    Es hat Spaß gemacht aber jetzt müssen wir schnell ins Olympiastadion nach Pyeongchang zur Abschlussfeier (ca. 50km)! Die Show wird hoffentlich genauso gut :)

  • Day104

    Paralympics Closing Ceremony

    March 18 in South Korea

    Another highlight at the end of our Korea trip was the closing ceremony. It was a fun show even if we had some light rain falls. Especially the fireworks were great.

    We only paid 10.000 won (8 EUR) per ticket and got a Pyeongchang cap and blanket for free (both from The North Face). It was a pretty good deal I think.

    After the ceremony it took us about 1,5 hours to get to the busses for the park & ride. Then another hour to reach the highway in direction Seoul because the organizers were totally overwhelmed with 35,000 people visiting an event. It seems that this was the first "big" event Korea ever had. At the end we arrived at 2:30am in Seoul.
    All in all the Olympics and Paralympics were great events and well organized. Only the traffic situation was terrible before and after all events.

    Now we will stay three more nights in Seoul before we fly to Japan on 21st March.

    Ein letztes Highlight bevor wir Korea verlassen war die Abschlussfeier der Paralympics. Es war eine super Show auch wenn es zwischendurch ganz leicht geregnet hat. Vor allem das Feuerwerk am Ende war wirklich gut.

    Für die Tickets haben wir nur 10.000 Won Eintritt bezahlt dafür aber neben der Show noch je eine Pyeongchang Mütze sowie eine Decke (beide von The North Face) geschenkt bekommen. Es war also ein wirklich guter Deal.

    Nach der Abschlussfeier brach dann allerdings das Chaos aus. Aus dem Stadion bis zu den Bussen zum Parkplatz haben wir 1,5 Stunden gebraucht (500 Meter). Was erstaunlich ist bei einem nicht voll besetzten und relativ kleinem Stadion (35.000 Plätze). Vom Parkplatz hat es dann nochmal eine Stunde gedauert bis wir endlich auf der Autobahn in Richtung Seoul waren. Man könnte meinen Korea hätte noch nie eine Großveranstaltungen ausgerichtet. Gegen 2:30Uhr haben wir dann unsere Unterkunft in Seoul erreicht.

    Aber am Ende muss man zugeben, dass die Veranstaltungen an sich alle super waren. Lediglich der öffentliche Verkehr vor und nach nahezu jeder Veranstaltung war eine Katastrophe.

    Jetzt bleiben wir noch drei Nächte in Seoul bevor wir dann am 21. März nach Japan fliegen.
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  • Day79

    Garden of Morning Calm

    February 21 in South Korea

    A garden of lights we have visited today. It is our start to a 26-day trip through Korea.

    Wir sind zu einer 26-tagigen Rundreise durch Korea gestartet. Unser erster Stop war heute der Garden of Morning Calm.

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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