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London3 June 2010
Japan May 2010
London2 February 2010
London September 2009
SE Asia December 2005

Korea for the second time - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - March 2015 - Page 7

Day 19 - Saturday, 21 March 2015

Going to Jail

I am fast running out of days, but have planned what to do on those that are remaining, it wont take a genius to guess what that will mainly be.
So for a break today, I went for a huge 6.5 hour walk around the city, to a couple of smaller places I wanted to visit.
First I had to go get a coffee and bagel for breakfast, because one can never have enough pastry in them. The girl at starbucks decided to tell me she is practicing English, and with a dead on American accent, said 'Hello, how may I help you, can I take your order please, thank you for your business, have a great day!'. Now you may be thinking thats great, except she said it all in a row without taking a breath or letting me speak a word.

So whilst having my bagel with an inch of cream cheese on it, I studied the subway map, and decided walking is a better option, I will see more things. But it was further than I thought.
The walk was great though, going along the main historical boulevarde, to a jail used by Japan during the most recent occupation between 1910 and 1945. More on that below.
Why is it that everywhere I go is a monument or ten describing the horrible ways Japan tortured them?
However, dont be fooled if you visit, its not all Japan hatred, because Seoul only closed the jail in 1987, coincidentally, a year before hosting the olympics. Prisoners held here after Japan left were largely pro democracy demonstrators who needed to be silenced, for good.

After escaping jail, I found I was near the massive musical instruments mall, which was more massive than I imagined, too much to take in, and not all cheap Korean stuff but very expensive gear from the likes of PRS, Suhr etc.

Then I walked along some more streets with large buildings before finding my vegan lunch, because I am a vegan.
Now for the pics.

Selfie sticks are peaking, with dedicated stores, and new functions for the new season. Selfie Stick 2.0 is here.
Auto levelling, bluetooth, motorised swivel, count down timer with light, glow in the dark, change color with mood.

The first of many gates and whatever today. This is the Seoul city gate, at the start of the main boulevarde that leads up to the main palace.

This is city hall. It is stupidly large. I have seen all kinds of crap parking over pedestrian crossings, on the footpath, you name it, and I have seen people giving out fines. Therefore my assumption is that city hall is this big to accommodate all the people paying fines for their crap parking.

This is another, larger protest, for the Sewol ferry disaster that has implicated lots of corrupt government officials. Theres lots of photos of the dead children.
I recently saw a photo of the graduating class of the school they were from, theres like 20 kids left, and 200 picture frames of those who died.
Actually 295 people died, then some teachers suicided, then some divers pulling bodies out died, then the owner of the ferry company was found dead. He was also the head of a catholic doomsday cult, the same cult has / had / secretly has various Korean government officials as its members.

This is a statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin, often referred to as the greatest navy commander of all time. He bravely fought the Japanese on numerous occasions, including turning back a fleet of 133 ships with only 13 of his own, after sinking 30.
His famous last words were 'The battle is at its height...beat my war not announce my death'.

And heres the entry to the main palace in Seoul. I went here last time, so not bothering today. I do recall last time it was raining, and I caught the subway there, and I had no real understanding of where it was located compared to the rest of the city.
Walking everywhere has its benefits, most places become smaller as a result.

Instead of going to the palace, I went through a freeway tunnel, it got very narrow. I didnt really like it that much, so I jogged!

Safely through the tunnel without getting wedged or squashed by an out of control Hyundai, I found myself at the 1945 independence monument. Japan really lost a lot as a result of deciding to join the 2nd world war out of stupidity.

And now I am at the jail.

And I have entered the matrix, a matrix of dead women who lead the resistance movement. The jail was for both men and women, but the women who died are much better documented.

Me with a heap of dead Korean women.

In comparison, heres one of the rooms full of pictures of dead men. They dont have pictures of most though.

One of the torture techniques, they would put you in this and push you down the stairs.
There were all the usual torture methods too of course, however one in particular was quite creative.
For important dissidents who needed to be made an example of, they would 'plane' you. Which involved being taken up in a plane, having your hands and feet bound, then tied to either end of the plane, you would be pushed out, and hang below the plane.
A heap of Japanese soldier and VIP's would then gather at a nice long flat bit of land nearby, or perhaps the airport, and watch as the plane flew low and dragged you along the ground.
Presumably they would take some prisoners to watch this too, hoping to get them to talk.

Korean children enjoyed it like a fun fair. Actually so did Japanese tourists and their children, there were a few there. Unlike Nanjing, here they seem to be free to roam without security.

Now for a bit more fun, I am standing on an elevated viewing platform. Down each one of these aisles, would be a prisoner, each would be executed in a thrilling different manner, for the entertainment of the persons on the elevated platform.
Often they would get to pick which method for each death. Obviously there was decapitation, shot, but also one of those machines that fires 50 arrows at once, set on fire after having petrol poured over you, or just beaten to death with a stick.

Much of the prison is actually gone, but they have kept some of it in its original form.
There are still people alive who were here in 1945, many have identified their cells, and strangely, when they die they have been putting a big mural outside their cell, including a cast of their feet taken after they die? 90 Year old feet in bronze.

Nice brick buildings, there were areas they would not let you photograph too, and they were serious about it.
Especially the mass hanging room, inside the lepers pavillion, and the corpse chute that they would send dead bodies down. I cant really work out why those things werent to be photographed, perhaps because Korea used them as well as Japan.

Now its time for Korea to get revenge. Many years ago, the majority of guitars were made in Japan. Now its Korea. This is the Nakwon music arcade and its huge.
There are regular stores, and mall kiosks like these, as far as they eye can see.
Taking photos was a bit tricky as pushy salesman accompanied me everywhere.

There are 3 levels, each square is a shop. I couldnt walk past them all in an hour.

Its not just guitars, theres recording gear, synths, drums, saxaphones. This store had all kinds of apogee and euphonix gear.

The upper levels are recording studios and rehearsal spaces, but they seemed to be empty on Saturday. A bunch of old men have decided to make the roof top stage there own.

The reason became clear, theres also an old time cinema up here, with western style movie dinner and dancing. Tonight I could go see Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc.

Back down again, and perhaps the best bit of the music arcade was there is also a lot of secondhand stuff. In my opinion, secondhand guitars are better than new ones, they dont go out of date, and if they are still structurally sound after a couple of years they will remain so forever.

Nearby is a genuine ancient pagoda. So genuine that it needs to be in a giant glass case. Most genuine things in Asia are genuine re creations.

Time to admire the impressive skyline. The pollution haze detracts from nature, but it often adds to photos such as this.
The buildig in the foreground is a stupid design, theres no guts to it, must be on government land and public money.

I also walked along this open sewer last time I was here. It is a major feature of Seoul and is lit up at night. It really was once a sewer but they cleaned it up and turned it into an URBAN STREAM SANCTUARY.
Its very green in summer, as opposed to brown, grey and dead.

And finally, my lunch. I spent up big. Excellent tofu, with unidentifiable sea mushrooms, kelp, thinly sliced fermented acorn jelly, black rice and a soup which I think contained actual grass clippings.
And here I was suggesting all Korean food is the same.

Almost the airport

I decided I wanted to head somewhere quite far this evening, and relax on the subway, rather than just hang out in the awesome local area.
So I considered Gangnam for high end expensive Cartier and Lamborghini action, Itaewon to see all the foreigners looking for trouble, Hongdae for the University crowd, none seemed the ideal option.
Then I read that at Gimpo airport, Seouls second airport, they have a new huge shopping centre (who cares) with a Sky garden on the roof from which you can view the planes taking off and landing (lets go!).
This was overhyped, the mall is huge, and much like an Australian megamall in its design but with a huge flash department store in the middle. I kept looking for a way outside to see where I was, turns out the entire thing is quite literally under the airport.
The subway station joins to the mall which is between the international and domestic terminals underground. That was impressive. The department store sticks up out the middle into the sky, so to the top floor I went.
Unfortunately it was quite a way to the runway, and a glass screen ruined the spectacle somewhat. Oh well.
Nearby however, I saw an epic mythical battle between 5 year old girls. They were leaping off a wooden deck, spinning and kicking each other and having a great time, and making hilarious noises.
Things were looking bad for one particular girl, she was surrounded by 4 others who each had their own deadly pose and accomanying threatening squeal.
But then she pulled a pink umbrella out of her backpack, stabbed it into the ground, let out the loudest scream ever and thrust it above her head.
The others looked terrified.
Then, finally, she opened the umbrella and spun around really fast screaming, and one by one the others fell down dead. They even wriggled for a while before dying with frozen shocked looks on their faces. Their dora the explorer backpacks and hello kittie drink bottles littered the battlefield

Given that I spent ages crushed on the subway, and then was inside a mall, then repeated the crush, theres a record low number of photos, sorry about that.

The view of Gimpo airport from the department store roof.

Vertigo. I often wonder when doing this, what would happen to the people 12 levels below if I were to drop my camera?

Oh, hello.

It is a tradition, every trip I go on, Din Tai Fung. However this one is the worst I have ever been to.
The noodles and beef were not up to standard. The Xiao long bao, not pictured, were just as good as always though. It was also expensive, more expensive than Australia.
But the clincher, no chilli, I asked for chilli and they brought me out a squirt of sweet chilli sauce.
I have been to another one of their Seoul stores years ago, and got the full experience, so this was disappointing.
I even walked and looked at other peoples tables to see if they had been provided the real chilli, no. However I must say, disappointing Din Tai Fung meal is better than good Korean meal!

Now after spending an hour on the express subway, crammed in to record levels of uncomfortable, I came up out of the station. I forgot which exit I need, due to lack of air for the previous hour.
Not to worry, Im over the road from the giant Shinsagae store. Only I couldnt find it. Its huge.
I went walking off in different directions, and was quite amused that I could be lost.
Finally, in the darkness, I spotted the building. The photo makes it stand out much more than it did, I honestly could not see it. For whatever reason, the bright sings and all the lights are off.
My tour of backstreets near my hotel did however go past an outdoor free hair cutting volunteer station, and then I saw a big fat guy with no shirt on carrying 4 cats, 2 under each arm. Fat guys are rare, cats are not, do the math.

David on 2015-03-21 said:
No empty shops anywhere. Popup shops everywhere too. I dont understand how they all stay in business.
Restaurants are much more plentiful as basically no one eats at home, but the clothing, makeup and especially outdoor adventure clothing and shoe shops, I cant understand how their can be so many.

mother on 2015-03-21 said:
Airport view similar to ours from Ridges at Sydney airport. Like the shopping Mall. Are there many empty shops in these malls or is Korea doing better than the Myer centre in Adelaide?

adriana on 2015-03-21 said:
Very interesting day today.

Day 20 - Sunday, 22 March 2015

Yellow sand day

Sorry to disappoint, but it is again mountain hike day.
Todays hike was to Baegundae peak in the hugely popular Bukhansan national park, by far the most popular national park in South Korea and by some accounts, the world.
However, there wont be much of a view today, as most of the Gobi desert has blown in, yellow sand panic is peaking today, hourly updates on the news. It is due to clear up, and I think even as I look now, its not as bad as this morning.
Thats good, cause I had to cough a few times, and I cant think of a reason other than Gobi desert ingestion.
If various sources are to be believed, the sand issue has always occurred, it is seasonal. However, currently Paris has worse visibility than Seoul, and they are also blaming China, so I dont really understand how the wind can be blowing west and east simultaneously.

Getting to the popular park on the popular day of the week to the most popular peak in the park is quite easy. Theres a lot of entrances, and many are near the subway, as in 3km from the exit.
You can either walk, or wait hours in a crush for the bus, I walked.

The internet is full of misleading and contradictory information about Bukhansan, heres a couple of my favourites -
1. The park has an entrance fee - FALSE - its free, but tour bus operators have to pay to park the bus, so they pass that on to lazy people as the park entrance fee, lazy because they took a tour bus half way up the mountain.
2. Theres limited spots available to climb the mountain - FALSE - theres limited parking spots for tour buses, so that might sell out. If you take public transport and walk the extra 2km (5km if you walk from the subway) then there is no limit.
3. It is the most strenuous thing of all time, dont do it, you will regret it - HMMMM - todays hike was one of the easier ones from my trip. However, I did read a hilarious forum posting by an ESL teacher who did the hike the day before his first day of his new job. the next morning he was so sore, he couldnt even get down to the street to catch a cab to work.

I think if 3 applies to you, its time to reevaluate some of your life choices.

One of the streets I walked along instead of catching the bus. Eventually hiking gear shops appeared, thousands of them. Not as nice and shiny new like the ones from Gwangju the other day, but its still amazing how many of them there are.

I think the highest peak is in the centre here, behind the one in the foreground. Nice yellow sand.
If you take public transport, its on foot from here, if you take a paid package tour, theres a road up a valley to a temple, if you are me, you have been walking for an hour already.

I bought my supplies for the day from this lazy store cat.

Zoomed in here, this is a different mountain, I will see you on Tuesday.
My schedule is - Monday no mountain, Tuesday mountain, Wednesday come home and work out which mountains I missed.

I am already most of the way there, but this rock is my mountain for today. I picked a non direct path to avoid the crowds.
This is not a park to go to on a Sunday if you want to avoid people.

In fact, its so busy, it has a police station, a very isolated building in a valley.

And due to the density of people, public urination opportunities are limited, so toilets are plentiful.
That didnt stop everyone though, I still saw a few guys hanging out, and the girls they were with furious that they dont have the same superior appendage.

Then cliffs started to appear.

Half way up the cliffs is the mountain rescue building. Its made out of stone off the mountain. I took the opportunity to drink my first powerade and eat a muesli bar.
However, it is actually a bar of sorts, but may be for members only, I wasnt sure.

Parts of this mountain also have ancient wall, as was the trend in years gone by.

Getting pretty high now, the view across the valley and the many peaks is splendid, even with the yellow sand pollution.

And now the final ascent. The cables are required, you wouldnt be able to make it otherwise. Look at all the people dragging themselves up.
Because of all the people I found this to be less strenuous than it should have been, because I spent a lot of time waiting.

Yeah, thats Seoul. Can you see it?

A bit more of the dangerous path. People do occasionally hurt themselves here.

Todays panorama. Probably redundant, but here it is.

The busy summit area. People all amazingly happy.

Some so happy they wanted the whole world to know.

Nice view further away from Seoul.

Nowhere to put my camera for a good selfie today, had to hand hold it. It was very windy, some people lost their hats. I could see my camera blowing off anything I balanced it on.
Also I look like I have had a stroke.

This direction would be my way down today, well down and then around some. I planned a route with as little backtracking as possible.

There were many areas of wall, with gates. They mainly re make the wall where the gates were.

And then, as always, you know you are at the end when you come to a temple. This one is serving food.
Outside, at first I thought they were doing some serious gardening, as bags of potting soil were piled by the hundreds. Turns out it was rice, to feed all these people.
The 'free' meal consisted of rice with seaweed, or what smelt like seaweed.

For whatever reason, the entire temple area is covered with scaffolding supporting many thousands of small lights.

Strange tree. Inside all of the temples were more lights, there was a pink one and a blue one, but it didnt seem to be for men and women.
They dont like you photographing people praying, so I didnt.

The pagoda has to poke up through the lights.
The whole temple thing is a scam by the way. You can google things like 'monks seoul gambling prostitution' to read all the stories about the top buddhist monks being caught out.
Not the street beggars, the actual guys that run the show. In one undercover operation they were caught operating an illegal casino full of hookers and during a game of poker there was over $800k USD on the table.
When you go to the temple and give a donation, thats what its for.

And you may think I have taken this photo because of the temple gate. No. I was more interested in the recycled tyres. Theres miles and miles of doormats in Korea made out of old tyres.
They also do the running track style red path in many popular places too, which is also made from tyres, but doormat style is cheaper.
Its soft under foot, never wears out, non slip, and wheelchair friendly.

And just to balance out the day with some non mountain photos, heres some ducks. Real ducks. Not the Australian all brown kind, but the ones you see paintings of.

And finally, since I got no shot of it at the start of the day, thats the rocky peaks I ascended.

Much fashion

Note, I said Much fashion, I am true to my word, or in this case, lack of phrase, from page 1.
It is the middle of Seoul fashion week, and as everyone knows, I am Mr Fashion. You need only take a short gander at me to undertand the true influence I have in setting global trends.
Therefore, I was specially invited to attend the Seoul fashion week, with all of Koreas top weird freaks masquerading as celebrities, and what I assume were European celebrities too.
I briefly thought I saw Mugatu, but no. I didnt recognise anyone. There were lots of people posing for photographers, and there were western papparazzi there, proper ones with full on beards, chain smoking.
The event takes place in whats known as the Dongdaemun design plaza, which was only just starting construction last time I was here.
The building was designed by Zaha Hadid, and architecture fans like myself would know she is one of the worlds leading architects, and an Iraqi.
She is currently facing controversey over her work with the government of Qatar, in designing the world cup stadium, which has apparently killed thousands of migrant workers in its construction.
Her design for the Dongdaemun design plaza is one of a series of spirals, where you are never sure what floor you are on, inside or outside, and then you end up on the roof.
This does a fantastic job of amplifying the wind, and it was starting to blow hard. All of Seouls fashionistas were struggling to maintain control of their scarves and pantaloons. The women were having issues too.

It then became seriously cold, very suddenly. When I left it was 9 degrees, so I went with coat and tshirt. But then it was minus 4. And the running whilst screaming resumed. Some of the locals did it too.

I love to get a head start on whats coming this season. My fluoro yellow running shoes are just peaking now, I have had them 6 months already.

Seriously, they need a wind turbine here.

They light the whole thing up at night. Its not quite night here. Then I didnt take a night photo despite walking past again.

These houses lit up by the last rays of the dying sun on the hill looked interesting. Golden hour.

In addition to fashion week, this place has numerous art and design galleries. You can walk around the building at night on a Sunday, the interior is sparse and too hot to remain inside for any length of time. I think it was 30C in there.
Outside we have Korean optimus prime, made exclusively of Hyundais.

And if you keep walking, you end up on the roof, on the grass.

Its a walk off. Actually a warm up. Not sure who the label is, but the music they were using sounded like the end of the world. Apocolypse chic (pronounced SHEEK) is so hot right now.

Over the road is a neon jungle, all stores featuring fashion but restaurants behind it. The place has really gone upmarket since I was last here due to the new design plaza.
However, they have maintained the stages for people to put on their shows. I think its unscheduled busking, and features singing, but mainly dancing. Like these 3 boys, who have made a nice dance they enjoy doing.

The huge chilling wind and freeze determined my dinner. Omurice again. The place pretends to be Coco curry, but its so much better. When I walked past I had no intention of having omurice, but then I saw on their sign that they let you choose the level of chilli, and the scale goes to 11.
I got 11. It was actually quite good. Got a good nose run happening.

Adriana on 2015-03-22 said:
Definitely the most interesting looking mountain so far.

Day 21 - Monday, 23 March 2015

The other half

Today was split into two halves, split by the Han river. First I went North of old Seoul, to the arty tourist selling market area of Insa-dong.
Then I went south over the river, to the expensive and confused area of the city now globally known as a song instead of a city, but more specifically, Sinsa-dong in Gangnam.

Insa-dong is where old white English speaking people go to shop, and Korea knows this and embraces it.
When too many operators of tourist crap shops infiltrated the suburb, the Seoul government apparently intervened, and sent them packing. I think the rule was simple enough, they fined any store out of business caught selling stuff that wasnt made in Korea.
Therefore, the tourist crap you buy in Insa-dong is expensive, and made in Korea, but still crap. There are of course art galleries galore, happy to sell you a painted tile, a lacquered box, or a paper lantern.
There are also cafes, and again they seem to be of the independent expensive variety.
If you read about shopping in Seoul on the English internet, theres a particular small shopping centre that will come up as the first picture, every time. It is probably the best place to go to if you need to buy stuff old people pretend to appreciate.

By stark contrast, Gangnam has numerous huge shopping areas, each one named after another part of the world, theres Avenue Montaigne which the locals think is little Paris, often just called 'tree lined street' then theres Rodeo drive which is somehow like Rodeo drive, and until recently there was Ginza street, but thats now be renamed as Kpop avenue complete with cartoon characters.
Gangnam is the place to go if you are Russian, Chinese or especially Arab. Here you can find exactly the same Rolex, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Zegna as you will everywhere else in the world, for the same price too.
There are also lots of plastic surgery clinics, fast cars, fast car shops and Jewellers.
If you visit Seoul, dont assume you can just visit Gangnam, its about 1/3 of Seoul. Today I walked a fair bit of it, and that took 5 hours.
Eventually I ended up by accident at a huge mall underneath the convention centre and casino, my plan was only to keep walking until I hit a subway, and there was one here, I wasnt expecting the biggest shopping centre of all time to be under the ground.
So I had the most ridiculous lunch ever, at about 3pm. Probably wont be heading out to dinner until a bit later tonight!

This guy is taking photos of flowers up close, with a torch for light. The security guard is telling him off for doing so.
So I took a photo of the guy telling the guy off for taking a photo, how meta.

This is Insa-dong, its early, most of the action is down the alleyways. I think I disparaged it above, but its the nicest place in town to shop for stuff that is 'Korean'.
By Korean I dont mean Samsung, LG, I mean Korean Folk history and arty or both or something, I dont know what I mean.

I kept my camera poised on this scene for 10 minutes. I was certain this would end badly. Look closely, the guy standing on the backhoe which is eating this building, is operating a hose.
He is not the driver. He is just standing there performing dust suppression duties, without holding on, no safety gear. When the driver swings the shovel around, he ducks.

And this is the epicentre of white person package tour shopping in all of Korea. The place is called Ssamziegil mall, yes with 2 x s. Its so popular theres now a chain store called Ssamzie that sells phone covers and socks.
Just google 'shopping in Korea' and it will be the #1 result.

I cant add much to this, DICKFIST CORPORATION - ATTENTION OUR MESSAGE. Well I can add, I dont know what their message is.

On the roof of cruise ship tour bus destination mall, theres a cafe, and you can buy a piece of cardboard and write on it and stick it on the wall. Mine just says DICKFIST IS WEAKFIST

I do indeed. 3 today in fact. Typing really fast now.

Now we have crossed over to Gangnam Sinsa-dong. This is Little France street. Also called treelined street. Famous for being green and beautiful. Look at all those beautiful green trees forming a canopy over the whole street.

And here it is, proof that a Fiat 500 is no bigger than a shoe box.

Theres fancy cars everywhere all over Gangnam, but this one is parked on the footpath across numerous parks out the front of a surgery that says it specialises in 'Re beautification of the foreign women tourist hospital'.
They list their services too, and this includes labiaplasty.
So presumably, Lamborghini driver is the surgeon, and hes had to race in to perform an emergency Labiaplasty on a British woman who needs a designer vagina who just found out that its been banned in the UK due to the popularity of the embarrassing bodies tv series.
Do your own research, my logic here is sound.

And now, apparently, and I dont get why, this is Rodeo drive. It is very quiet. Part of me thinks PSY has killed off much of Gangnam.

This is the area formerly known as New Ginza, but now rebranded as kpop avenue or some such nonsense. Lots of new construction along here. Very loooong street.

Go round a corner and it keeps going. Not much pollution today.

A different street, all streets in Gangnam are wide and not very busy, also, photo 600! I dont think I got to 600 on any previous trip, must be all the mountains.

Gangnam has a temple too. LITERALLY, right across the road from the casino. See what I wrote about monks yesterday.

I went to go under the road to the station, and found myself here. Its under the convention centre, casino, intercontinental hotel and one of the in town check ins for the airport.
It is ridiculously enormous, long and very wide corridors.

But it does have at least 40 restaurants. In this respect it was like a new Chinese mall, every store was large, and many of them are full sized sit down table service restaurants.

One of them is serving ice cream on top of a salad. Last time I was here I got ice cream on top of fried chicken when I ordered nothing of the kind. It was tempting....

But instead I ordered a huge pancake meal with all kinds of fruit on it. Fruit is expensive, its cheaper to get it in pancake form.
This was delicious. Also it had an orange on it thinly sliced with the rind still on, that was too fiddly to deal with so I ate the rind and all.
I didnt really think before now that you could do that, I barely noticed.

Too full to walk much further, I laid on the ground and gazed at the moon.

Eventually, I rolled myself down to the subway, and came up by my hotel to discover that Korean homeless people dont push shopping trolleys, they drive trucks.
They still have all kinds of crap hanging off them for no reason, this guy also has a loudspeaker system, and drives around screaming abuse at people, people who are trying to steal his valuable collection of rubbish.

No dinner

Late pancake lunch has its consequences, I was still full, no dinner for me. I must maintain my girlish figure. Thats not to say I didnt eat anything.
One of the reasons for not many photos tonight is because I ate a few things on sticks, which probably equates to more calories than a proper meal. Yeah, I worry about calories.
Enough of that crap though, did you know that this week is the 3rd annual world foot festival? Its time to treat your feet to a new selection of shoes, not just a pair, you need a new selection, for all possible foot related eventualities.
This marketing campaign seems to be a combined effort across competing stores, with plenty of people in lab coats explaining why you need to replace your shoes now, due to new technology, and the benefits this might have on your health, such as preventing dementia.

Did you also know that its never too young to start a proper skin care routine? I have seen face masks for babies, special sheep placenta cream for babies with added baby juice to make for a smoother baby, and also whitening cream for babies.
So if you have a baby, and you arent buying these things, you are a bad mother.

Also, are you aware of the health benefits of chicago deep dish pizza? Apparently its good for your skin complexion, due to whole dairy, and because the base is made with a percentage of whole grains, its good for your figure too.

And last but not least, we must talk about ginseng. This magical root, sold in elaborate jars floating in voodoo water from the nearby temple, will cure every virus. Theres no point continuing regular treatment once you start adding ginseng to soup or tea, your issues are over. A guy on an old non flatscreen tv with a wizard beard told me so.
Apparently its fact, that ginseng will in addition to curing all known and unknown viruses - yes, I saw a sign that claimed it will cure known AND unknown viruses. Ginseng will also reverse baldness, improve sexual function, purify your thoughts, and whoever your chosen god is, he or she will love you and forgive you for your pre ginseng ways.

This is the Namdaemun market, which is near Myeongdong. They mainly sell fake clothes and hand bags. Theres a whole section of 100% polyester authetic Korean military uniforms, some dating back to pre world war 2.
Except there was no Korea prior to world war 2 unless we are talking prior to 1909, and there certainly wasnt polyester.

I went onto the roof to hang out in the kids playground and take creepy photos.

This is Myeongdong from above, through glass, at 8pm on a Monday night, the day of the week some stores traditionally close.

As mentioned above, skin care products for babies, photographic evidence.

Cafe advertising cat was annoyed I was taking his photo, lets see him chase after me in his cat suit.
The more hilarious advertising persons are the girls out the front of the skin care shops handing out samples trying to keep warm by dancing to whatever kpop they have blasting.
By the end of their 12 hour shifts they are so tired they resemble the infamous 'left shark'.

So busy even on Monday. Note: more socks.

Slightly out of focus, but I had a churros to round out my pancakes. I dont think thats a real VW, but they make good churros.

mother on 2015-03-23 said:
More shoppies! One thing I noticed during my very short sojourn in Korea was all the night markets and that it is an even later town than in Japan. Bit like HK I suppose. No one wants to go home.

David on 2015-03-23 said:
Food, and much earlier in the trip, a beanie.
I dont know what else I would buy? If I didnt buy boots and gloves before coming on the trip I would have bought those.

mother on 2015-03-23 said:
So all those shops, did you buy anything yet?

Page 8 is the last page.


Hi Resolution Panoramas

Latest Update

Day 1 - Tuesday, 3 March 2015
  Sydney is nowhere near Korea
  As per schedule
Day 2 - Wednesday, 4 March 2015
  My ears are cold
  I bought a hat
Day 3 - Thursday, 5 March 2015
  Both ends
  Get Pho
Day 4 - Friday, 6 March 2015
  Where did everyone go?
Day 5 - Saturday, 7 March 2015
  The hilarious hotel room
Day 6 - Sunday, 8 March 2015
  Getting down to business
  Shabu xiabu jiabu
Day 7 - Monday, 9 March 2015
  Recovery mountain
  Random nonsense
Day 8 - Tuesday, 10 March 2015
  Wrong buddha
  Last night in Daegu
Day 9 - Wednesday, 11 March 2015
  Short train ride
  Peak neon
Day 10 - Thursday, 12 March 2015
  Great wall of Korea
  Subway retiree fight
Day 11 - Friday, 13 March 2015
  Both beaches
  Worlds biggest
Day 12 - Saturday, 14 March 2015
  Mine zone
  The docks
Day 13 - Sunday, 15 March 2015
  Pirate cove
  I shrunk my pants
Day 14 - Monday, 16 March 2015
  Last mountain in Busan
  Barbecue zoo
Day 15 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015
  On the bus
  Ridiculous hotels
Day 16 - Wednesday, 18 March 2015
  Rain panic
  Rain annoyance
Day 17 - Thursday, 19 March 2015
  Rain gone, mountain time
  So many socks
Day 18 - Friday, 20 March 2015
  Last stop
  Tourists everywhere
Day 19 - Saturday, 21 March 2015
  Going to jail
  Almost the airport
Day 20 - Sunday, 22 March 2015
  Yellow sand day
  Much fashion
Day 21 - Monday, 23 March 2015
  The other half
  No dinner
Day 22 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015
  Fashion food
Day 23 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015
  Boring stuff - part 1
  Boring stuff - part 2
Day 24 - Thursday, 26 March 2015
  The end of boring stuff

Hi Resolution Panoramas