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Back to Seoul

Written on: Monday April 23rd, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

I've started to realise that my 'normal' travel pattern is to go all over the place with no particular direction. An advantage of this is that I can return to places that I feel the need to spend some more time in. Korea for example.

There are direct flights from Siem Reap to Seoul, which is handy. And since the weather in Korea now is pleasant and springy I thought I might come back and see a bit more of the country.

I was exhausted when I arrived, after multiple days of getting up for Angkor sunrises and an overnight flight. So on the train into town I googled 'sleep shower daytime seoul' (or something like that) on my Kindle - happy the the free 'experimental' web browser works in Korea.

I was hoping to find somethign like the media cafes that I stayed in a few times in Japan - clean comfortable booths that you can sleep in and shower at for a very reasonable fee.

What I did find was Korean spas - or Jjimjilbang. Of course I thought what any rational person would think - anything that starts with double J much be great. And well it was just what I needed. After some shower, sauna and eating I slept in the communal sleeping area for about 4 hours and was fresh as a daisy once more.

Day two involved being a guinea pig on a streetfood tour of Seoul - the lovely Aaron and Minseo have a business model in mind and they just needed someone to test it on. Since this involved wandering around some markets and eating fantastic food, I was more than happy to help them out. Korea's culinary delights continued to impress - as did the friendliness of people here - one fella who we sat down with insisted on buying me a bottle of Soju to go with my lunch - it was after 2:00PM after all. The tour was great and although I had not eaten breakfast (in anticipation) I was completely stuffed by the end of it. Actually I was pretty full half way through!

A couple of days later I went to Namsangol Hanok Village. It was raining so I put off going in until night time - the rain eased and I had the relocated traditional Korean houses all to myself (excellent that they are open until 9 and are either free or the person selling ticket had packed up and gone home). The caretaker was locking up the houses at about 8:45 without checking whether they were occupied - and he locked me in! I had to bang on the door to be left out - otherwise I may have had to sleep there! 

The misty night really added to the atmosphere of the place.