Asia Vacation: Day 13 & 14 / A to Z Challenge

E is for 'enough.'

After traveling for awhile, you get to the point where you've had enough and home sounds so good. Alas, this is my last post for my Asia vacation.

Day 13 marked our last full day in Seoul. I couldn't decide if I really liked Seoul or if I hadn't been exposed enough to it all. It just seemed lacking compared to Da Nang, but that could probably be attributed to the weather.

My sister, loves Korean culture. She love K-dramas and the food, so she really wanted to cross of everything on her to-do list. Unfortunately some things weren't open since it wasn't tourist season, but one thing we did do was the Korean bathhouses.

Let's just say it was an interesting experience.



When you enter, you get a change of clothes and strip down naked to go to the communal showers and hot baths. I don't know why, but it vaguely reminded me of what a prison shower would be like (not that I would know what one does look like). After that you can do an optional body scrub. For that, you're basically lying on a rubber mat while an Korean woman in her bra and underwear scrubs all the dirt off you. I was pretty stunned by all the excess skin that came off me, but it kind of hurt, so not sure if I'd do it again.

After that, we changed into our uniforms and went to the communal dining area for lunch then the fomentation rooms.






After this ordeal, I started to feel ill. I suspected I was coming down with a cold, but it started to hit me at full force. Our next stop was the N Seoul Tower, but I didn't want to miss it, which resulted in me being miserable the whole time. In hindsight, I should have stayed and rested at the hotel.

The tower was kind of a disappointment. It's placed on a hill, not that tall, and not a good looking tower either. The view was nice, but the skyline unfamiliar that I couldn't properly enjoy it. Sadly, it was letdown for me and the freezing temperature didn't make things any better. Nontheless, we did our love locks, took photos, then left.







We had planned to go to Insa-dong after, but I wanted to be closer to the hotel in case I needed to rest, so back to Myeong-dong it was for dinner. Again, we had Korean BBQ. As you can see, my family loves this stuff! We ended the night with karaoke, and then our last full day was over.





On day 14, Michael and I said good-bye to my sisters (they were on an earlier flight) and had lunch at Bulgogi Brothers. With a little time to spare we went to Cat Café before heading to the airport. The cat cafe was an interesting experience. About forty cats lived in the cafe, and I won't lie, it smelled pretty funny. We only stayed about fifteen minutes before our allergies went out of control. Oh yeah, and a cat jumping from a shelf and landing on my shoulder probably added to our haste. Again, interesting, but I prefer my Blaire Bear at home.




Asia Vacation: Day 11 & 12 / A to Z Challenge

D is for dawn.

We (my two sisters, Michael, and I) literally arrived at dawn in Seoul, South Korea on day 11 of our Asia vacation. The red eye had been long enough that it made us uncomfortable, but short enough that we couldn't get any sleep.

And right as we waited for our train I was pushed from behind. I turned behind me and found an elderly man. Everyone laughed and Michael informed me that the elderly here weren't the friendliest bunch. I'll say! What a stark contrast to my grandparents! During this trip, I was pushed a lot by old people. Perhaps they were attracted to my purple coat or something.

We dropped off our bags at the hotel and went to a Starbuck's for much needed coffee then explored Gagnum and had breakfast at Butterfinger Pancakes. Their portions were so huge we had to split our entrees, but so good. After we walked around for a bit and did some shopping.



My first reaction to Seoul was how westernized it was, that if I hadn't known better, I probably wouldn't have been able to distinguish it from any other city. Of course we weren't going during tourist season so maybe that would have changed my perspective?

And oh man was it cold. Freezing really, compared to the eighty degree weather we had just left. Now it was 30 degree weather which was a big adjustment. Throw in exhaustion from the red-eye flight and we were beat. We had an early dinner then all went to sleep.





To make up for our early night, Day 12 started off packed! We went to Gyeongbok Palace. The palace was expansive and well kept. It was pretty, and I expect it would have been even better in the spring of fall. But we made do and took photos galore!








By the end of it we were famished, so we headed to Myeong-dong and had lunch at Bulgogi Brothers.





After that we shopped and took a rest at the hotel before venturing out for the night. Street food vendors were everywhere and so enticing they became our dinner.





For dessert, we went to Poem Café and had waffles and tea (apparently they love waffles in South Korea, but I'm not complaining because so do I).