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Newer Page 522 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Korea Gwangju Hotel Neon

17 March 2015

Ridiculous hotels

The love hotels of Gwangju

My hotel is in the business and financial area of Gwangju apparently.
It is an area with very wide streets, a lot of things are under construction. The whole area looks like its being refreshed. It kind of has the feel of a newer Chinese city.
During the day time, there was hardly anyone on the streets. Those who were on the streets all looked lost.

So anyway, I headed off to the subway to go to the pedestrian shopping area, which is a few km away.
This area is very much like the rest of these areas in Korea, huge, busy, confusing. Even on a Tuesday there were people everywhere.
A few streets away there is an area called Arts street. Along here were lots of places where people were painting, sculpting, doing woodwork and whatever else, then expecting tourists to pay a fortune for it. It did look genuine, the dutch drip style coffee shops nearby selling single origin rift valley Ethiopian coffee in cups made from ancient clay for $12 a thimble would attest to this.
I fled back to the neon area.
Gwangju prides itself on being arty, edgy, youthful and rebellious. Stemming from the Korean version of the Tiananmen square massacre, and the large number of universities in the area.
Rain is forecast tomorrow, so I may not be able to do a mountain, so instead I might have to go see the massacare monument garden museum or whatever it is.

After dinner, I headed back to the subway to go back to my hotel. This city, being different, does not accept the same transport card as all the rest of Korea.
So armed with the name of the Gwangju card, a picture of it on my phone, my existing card that works everywhere else, and the right amount of money to buy the Gwangju one, I wandered from convenience store to convenience store to try and buy one. The website says they sell them.
No one spoke any English, they were all young people, but no one could understand what I wanted, or even speak a word to me, just looked at me with a dumb look on their faces until I went away.
I had to go to 5 stores and repeat this pantomime until I found a guy, who knew exactly what I wanted, pulled all the cards out from two competing card systems (like suica vs icoca in Japan), in multiple styles of each. All I had to do with him is say the name of it. Not sure what the other store clerks problems were. If a Korean guy walked into a store in Adelaide and said 'metrocard' I am fairly certain I could help him.

Card in hand, I now rode the subway without having to line up to buy a stupid token. I arrived back in the area of my hotel, which had undergone a total transformation as darkness had descended. It was now a bizzarre world of ridiculous enormous hotels and bars.

Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - In daylight, this was the most busiest area near my hotel in the CBD area, an outdoor mall with no customers.

In daylight, this was the most busiest area near my hotel in the CBD area, an outdoor mall with no customers.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - Not to worry, in 10 minutes I was back in the pedestrian zone, people watching. I never buy anything, I just stare at babies until they start crying a

Not to worry, in 10 minutes I was back in the pedestrian zone, people watching. I never buy anything, I just stare at babies until they start crying and make the locals feel uncomfortable when I walk behind them.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - One of many many sock ladies, this one has picked herself a prime spot.

One of many many sock ladies, this one has picked herself a prime spot.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - A temple celebrating shopping and eating.

A temple celebrating shopping and eating.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - This statue has no shame.

This statue has no shame.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - My dinner was interesting tonight. This is one of the side dishes. Its lettuce, with a strange pink sauce, and corn flakes.

My dinner was interesting tonight. This is one of the side dishes. Its lettuce, with a strange pink sauce, and corn flakes.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - All this food for $8. The dumplings (mandoo) were excellent. The main dish is vegetables on noodles in spicy bean paste. You cant see the noodles here

All this food for $8. The dumplings (mandoo) were excellent. The main dish is vegetables on noodles in spicy bean paste. You cant see the noodles here, but the serving lady wanted to cut them up with scissors for me.
I didnt want to cut them up as I wanted to leave half but eat all the vegetables. The noodles were also ICE COLD, bits of ice were on the bottom of the bowl.
So ice cold noodles, mystery meat dumplings and cornflake salad. A great night out.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - Weeny beeny is just a giant store selling jelly beans.

Weeny beeny is just a giant store selling jelly beans.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - And now we are back near my hotel, at first I was amazed that the wide boring streets were now lit up and interesting, but then....

And now we are back near my hotel, at first I was amazed that the wide boring streets were now lit up and interesting, but then....


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - I noticed all the amazingly brightly lit ridiculous hotels.

I noticed all the amazingly brightly lit ridiculous hotels.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - Each one was more impressively garish than the last.

Each one was more impressively garish than the last.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - There are at least 100 of them, and thats after I subtract my usual exaggeration factor.

There are at least 100 of them, and thats after I subtract my usual exaggeration factor.


Korea-Gwangju-Hotel-Neon - And then this is the street my hotel is on, its completely transformed itself. Might be a bit noisy for sleeping.

And then this is the street my hotel is on, its completely transformed itself. Might be a bit noisy for sleeping.


NewerPage 522 of 968OlderFull Trip Report