First Stop – Seoul, South Korea

With limited access to internet in my hometown, I’ve barely been able to update here!  For the next few days, I’ll be able to cover some highlights of what I’ve been up to the last few weeks.  After a 13-hour-and-20-some-minute flight, I landed in the Incheon International Airport late afternoon on January 30 dragging my semester’s worth of luggage to a storage service, which at that point made me realize that my Korean vocabulary only included “hello,” “thank you” and “goodbye” so communication was a struggle.

I was soon reassured that the language barrier wouldn’t be a problem by Konda, the owner of BiBim Guest House, a hostel located in the Hongdae district and about a ten minute walk from the Hongik University Station.  I was immediately welcomed into the hostel with a steaming cup of tea and soon conversing with Konda as if we had known each other for weeks.  He showed me some districts to check out and extended an invitation to dinner later that night.  We met up with an Australian student and went to a restaurant called EdaiJo Pyudaki to have HeiJangKook, a creamy spicy broth with pork and vegetables, known as a popular hangover dish for locals.  It was a little spicy to be considered comfort food, but the soup helped me warm up from the chilly weather outside.

Despite the low temperature, I decided to take a walk around the Hongdae District where it’s known for the reputable Hongik University and energetic night life.  Aside from the enormous amount of university students populating the streets, there was nothing too out of the ordinary in this area – it reminds me of the Shinjuku district in Tokyo.

I’ve been wanting to visit Seoul for a long time, but given the weather and time I had a limited amount of places to go.  I wasted no time asking Panda, the host of BiBim, about areas that would be most convenient to see in one day.  Next post, I’ll be showing photos of some villages and shopping districts that I was able to fit in the next day!

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