South Korea

I have never been to Asia.  Jon went to Japan with Dave a few years ago and ever since, well actually since way before then, I have wanted to go, too.  Asia is a big place, so saying that I want to go there doesn’t narrow it down very much.  And anyone knows us knows that we want to travel the world and this is just one small corner.  So here is our next step in traveling the world together.  10 or so days in South Korea and we leave on Halloween.  That is just a couple of days away.  I speak zero words in Korean.  Jon probably has mastered 15 or so phrases like, “where is the bathroom?” and “my wife is vegetarian”, as well as “thank you” in four variances of formality.

Here is the basic plan for our trip:

We leave on Halloween and arrive the next evening.  We fly direct to Seoul from Detroit and I am super psyched about a very, very long flight.  I seriously love long flights.

For the first 5 nights we are staying in Hongdae.  Hongdae is a university neighborhood in Seoul that is jam packed with with a ton of music venues, bars, clubs, shops, restaurants, fashionable kids, themed cafes, and convenience stores.  Here are just a few things that we are planning on doing in Seoul:  going on a night food tour, seeing a variety of palaces, walking a lot (one of our specialties), renting bikes and biking along the Han River, hiking, basking in the beautiful fall foliage which is supposed to be simply perfect at the beginning of November, eating all kinds of weird foods (maybe some will be vegetarian), drinking all kinds of weird Korean drinks, getting naked at a Korean spa (kind of like the one in Philly but this one is 7 stories high), drinking coffee in cat cafes and in dog cafes, going to as many markets as we can and, well, more stuff like that. Don’t you worry!  Jon has a yoga routine prepared that we can do at the hotels but I have been checking out some yoga studios in town. One is in Gangnam and is very close to the Kimchi Museum.  Sounds perfect to me!

We then trek to Gyeongju by high speed train to stay at at the Golgulsa Temple.  The temple is a Buddhist temple which specializes in a particular form of Martial Arts called Sunmundo.  While staying there, we adhere to a very particular schedule.  You can read all about it here. The 4 am wake up time is really what I am looking forward to on vacation, almost as much as the silent meals and no alcohol.  We spend two days at the temple then two more days in the “town” of Gyeongju.  There, we will stay at a traditional Korean home, a hanok.  We will look at more temples, shrines, tombs, and take in the sights/ruins of the ancient Buddhist dynasty, Silla.

We will take the train back to Seoul for one last night before we depart home.  We will be sure to post updates here and take lots of pictures!

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