A Travellerspoint blog

Nov. 19th

Audra has Seoul

Yes; I saw THE Billy Joel in concert in Seoul. You should be utterly jealous. It was amazing. I went this past weekend with two girlfriends and had a blast - at the concert and in Seoul. Seoul feels completely different than Busan. For one, the gene pool up there is completely different. There are tall people there. I don't know what they eat, but it's something that the people of Busan don't. The men in general are much better looking. Busan really got handed the worst end of the deal. On top of that, everywhere I went there were foreigners. It's not too often that I regularly see a foreigner on the street in Busan, but in Seoul they were everywhere. Plus, Seoul just feels like a city, unlike Busan. It's crazy to think that because Busan has a population of 5 million, but it really doesn't feel like a city. Now I wouldn't change living in Busan to Seoul because Busan has the water and the mountains, but Seoul just has a different feel to it.

Alright, so we left for Seoul Saturday morning on the KTX, which is the fastest train in South Korea. It takes about 3 and a half hours to get there, where as it usually takes 4 and a half to 5 hours to get to Seoul. Right when we stepped off the train, it was three foreign girls in Seoul.

We first decided to hit up Lotte world, which really is a world of its own. It has underground shopping and then once you get out of the subway, there's Lotte world and then more random shops. This place is enormous. The big part has hot air balloons that you can get in and it takes you around the mall, a bowling alley, ice skating rink, shooting range, and loads of other shops. So we decided to go ice skating. And not to toot my horn or anything, but I didn't fall once. However I did play 'dodge the Korean that fell' on more than 20 occasions.
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After ice skating and grabbing a little bit of grub, we then hop back onto the subway. Here is the Seoul Metro subway map: yes it's enormous, yes we missed one of our stops once, and no we were never late for anything.
The key to managing the subway is just to pay attention and take your time. It can be overwhelming, but if you know where you're going and have a map handy at all times it's all gravy. This is also what most every Korean does on the subway: sleep. I've been told to be quiet on the subway on many occasions because apparently the humming of the tracks and the stuffed bellies of kimchi makes people tired.
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While on the subway, being the tallest women we decided to take advantage and show just how tall we really are, in comparison to the women here. The picture shows that there is a good difference, but I'll tell you, Sarah and myself are about 1 1'2 taller than the women here.
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So it started off: Busan -> KTX -> Seoul -> Subway -> Lotte World -> Subway -> Billy Joel

Then the whole reason why we came to Seoul was happening; Billy Joel. I was a little concerned on how reserved it would be because I had heard different experiences from different people on how concerts were dealt here, but people were singing, clapping, standing, dancing, ect. The regular concert stuff. We had a blast and it was so much fun!
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Then it was off to bed so we could do it all again tomorrow.

Sunday morning, got breakfast, wondered around Seoul more, and tried to decide on what to do for the rest of the day and whether or not to head back home Sunday night or Monday morning. Originally there was another concert that I wanted to see in Seoul on Sunday night, but the plans never came together and I could never get any answer. So once we decided that we weren't going to the concert, we then had to make the decision on when to go home. The buses that run from Busan to Seoul run so often that the latest bus left at 2am. However, it wasn't the cheapest. The cheapest train left at 9 and was 20 bucks so we opted for that. We got our bus tickets and then my two girlfriends had their own show to see;Cirque Solis in the afternoon. I couldn't shell out the doe, so yep, I wandered around some more. I ran into some adorable dogs, some men playing some board game, amazingly beautiful scenery, and a garden of cabbage. They do love that cabbage here!
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After the girls saw the show, we met up with some of their friends and headed into Itaewon, which is a popular area in Seoul to go shopping, get different ethnic foods, and not feel like you're in Korea. So... I finally fed the monster craving that I've been having; Mexican food. We went to a restaraunt called Amigos, which for trying to imitate Tex Mex, did a pretty good job. I was wanting tamales, but alas they didn't have any so I opted for enchiladas along with 2 maragaritas. Oh I was a happy camper!

Before our night was coming to an end, we stopped at an English bookstore called Whatthebook. It's a Korean company that offers English books by internet, and their actual store is in Itaewon. So popped in because there was a book that I'd been wanting to buy by Chuck Palahniuk called "Snuff". Got that and then headed to the bus station to go home.

So here we go: Busan -> KTX -> Seoul -> Subway -> Lotte World -> Subway -> Billy Joel -> Subway -> Sleep
Sunday : Breakfast -> Subway -> Wander around -> Bus tickets -> Subway -> Cirque Solis (wander around) -> Subway -> Itaewon and Mexican food -> Book store -> Subway (and this is where the one missed stop happend)-> Bus station

We left Seoul at 9 and got into Busan at about 1:30am. I then took a taxi to Jangsan which put me getting home Monday morning at 2am and it was totally worth it!!

Posted by almchenry 18:51

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