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Korea again - Incheon - Daegu - Busan - Gwangju - Seoul - 2015 - Page 1

Day 1 - Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sydney is nowhere near Korea

Before doing anything, I need to figure out how to use this awesome program I wrote that automatically encrypts everything I type here into a jumble of symbols so I can never fix it or update it again.
Now at least 10 years of refinements and programmatic shortcuts have got the whole thing to the point where I can no longer understand what I am doing.

After studying the idiots guide to web programming briefly, lets get going.

Today I am going to South Korea. I have been there before, so I am going again.
This destination was chosen based on available flights in the hour I allotted myself to choose a holiday destination for the time period I decided would be the most inconvenient for everyone.
Unlike last time, this time I am venturing all around the country. To small backwater towns of 2 or 3 million people no ones ever heard of.

Before all that, I need to get there, and that means a 6am flight to Sydney from Adelaide on Qantas, before transferring in a great rush to an Asiana 777, the very same airline and type of plane they bounced the tail off the ground in San Francisco last year before the fire engine ran over people escaping the burning wreck.
Wish me luck. Follow OZ602 on, let me know if it turns into a fireball.

Its me, out front of my house, at 4:30am, making sure my camera is charged. Also practicing my patented pose.
Brace for many similar pictures, most will be darker than this one.

Its me again. I look about 12. Since vanity is high on my list of commendable qualities in an individual, it pleases me to take on the appearance of someone much younger than my ageing self.

The now very familiar Qantas first class lounge in Sydney, for breakfast. Although I dont have much time as I have to type this whilst I am here.

For breakfast I had fruit and yoghurt. It was very good. For the next 2 and a half weeks I will only eat fried spiders and similar items, so this was the last chance for good healthy eating. Important due to my involvemnt with the live strong movement, and my hero, world champion liar Lance Armstrong.
I can learn so much from him.
I went off on a tangent already, get used to it.

Also, got to board now, just a 10.5 hour flight. They only have squatter bathrooms on board, so I better go use the last western toilet I will see for weeks.

As per schedule

Well, everything went to schedule.
The flight left on time. It followed the correct course. The tail did not snap off on landing.
It was however totally full, which was surprising, but despite that and being in economy, it was a very pleasant flight, and didnt seem like it went for a full 10.5 hours.

Highlights included - Korean babies, who are awesome, and never cry. Boys and girls have multiple pony tails sticking out in random directions on their heads.
Korean men, who spent more time doing their hair and make up just before landing than the women / girls. Its hard to keep your perm looking good in the dry air.
The food was excellent, hence I took a photo. Also, the 3/3/3 config of the Asiana 777 in economy is excellent, most other carriers go 3/4/3 these days.
Enough plane nerd speak.

I discovered whilst onboard that my mobile phone has an fm radio, so I briefly listened to Papua New Guinean radio as we went over, and then some kind of island service near Palau. Cause thats the sort of idiotic stuff you do when encased in a metal tube for half a day.

I went for a walk up and down the aisles and saw no other gaijin/laowei/whatever is Korean for idiot round eye (big nose?). I did see some others boarding but I suspect they were in business / first.
When lunch was served the trolley dolly tried to take away the bibimbap pepper sauce, telling me 'hot hot!'. I squeezed the entire contents directly into my mouth, then demanded another.
When they came around later in the flight for meal number 3, she gave me a tube to go with my bulgogi too.
Also they give out in economy, slippers, face masks, ear plugs, moisturizer made from crushed snails and kept up the service throughout the flight.

Once I arrived at Incheon international airport, constantly voted best in the world, I was stuck in an immigration queue. This rarely happens in such airports.
Many other people decided to try on the chat and cut, where you pretend to know someone and push in, I was having none of this, and just pushed back in front of them, using my death glare to great effect.
As I got to the front, I noticed a lot of people were failing their entrance exam and being sent to an interview room, pretty much 1 in every 2 people.
The benefits of being a white Australian are apparent here, immigration guy looked at my passport cover, saw the emu and kangaroo, and waved me through.

Next up was the airport train followed by the subway followed by a short walk to my hotel which seems to be in amongst a lot of Neon in downtown Incheon, more on that tomorrow. It was however so cold during my brief walk that about a litre of snot ran straight from my nose with a consistency of water, and then froze to my face.

Im really tired and suspect none of the above makes sense, so I reserve the right to rewrite it tomorrow.

The excellent bibimbap with above mentioned pepper sauce toothpaste tube. It was spicier than the packet ones they seem to carry in the Korean grocer in Australia, but then again I never thought to buy it in toothpaste form factor.

Its me, waiting for the airport train, looking pleased.
Apparently they are building a maglev that goes around in a bullshit circle for tourists to go on for no good reason, but its not finished....otherwise I would be on it advising that its useless cause the Shanghai one actually goes most of the way to Shanghai.

This is the inside of the normal subway train. I like trains. I stood up because I was excited to be on a train.
Why arent trains in Australia like this? I think the Perth ones are. You can fit a lot more people on when its busy.

View from my hotel room - in the other direction is an Imax, Homeplus which is like a Walmart, and about 10,000 restaurants selling dog meat and other such things.

Last pic today, my hotel room, because my mother likes to see photos of hotel rooms. I live in a hotel when in Australia, so yay, a hotel!
The internet is ridiculously fast. Check in like Japan doesnt need a credit card or deposit of any kind. I just showed my passport and they handed me the electronic key. Didnt even sign.

There are currently 10 comments - click to add

Jumbo Thai Fan on 2015-03-04 said:

It was a failed Jumbo Thai attempt today. There was smoke all over the place and no electricity. We did try your recommended thai place called lemongrass and it was a disaster.

First their water jug looked like it hadn't been washed for ages and the water tasted funny. We thought it was infused with lemon and herb but the lady said it was straight from tap. Must have been a good mix of rust and molds.

The food was so so and their spicy fried rice was so spicy that JT Fan #1 had to drink the water. Thankfully it was cold.

JT Fan 2 had pad thai and it had the volume but not the taste that only Jumbo Thai can offer. Successfully avoided drinking the water too!

hope you are getting better food there.

David on 2015-03-03 said:

@Mother - no, I refuse to ever wear a puffer jacket.
@Anton 10mbit on the wired connection, probably limited by the switch speed.
To everyone having Jumbo Thai - I have been there like 3 times, and you guys go every day. Maybe its just that you feel honored that I went somewhere with you. Understandable, it rarely happens.

mother on 2015-03-03 said:

Are you out buying a nice warm puffer jacket? Make sure it comes to mid thigh.

Anton on 2015-03-03 said:

What's the speed of your internet connection? On a separate note, having jumbo thai again today.

adriana on 2015-03-03 said:

Food looks better than on JAL.

David on 2015-03-03 said:

I seem to have a heap of new readers, I better step up my game.

Jumbo thai on 2015-03-03 said:

Must be all the massaman curry (cur cumin) keeping you look so young.

adriana on 2015-03-02 said:

many amusing lies already and you are not even there yet.

Anton on 2015-03-02 said:

You are going to miss Jumbo Thai.

Nino on 2015-02-22 said:

Excellent, looking forward to reading your next trip

Day 2 - Wednesday, 4 March 2015

My ears are cold

When I woke up this morning, it was too early to go anywhere, because Koreans get up late to sleep off last nights Soju or because they are lazy or both.
I paced around my room until 8am and headed out, and all coffee shops were closed until 10am. Someone tell me how that works.
Anyway, I walked further and eventually found one that was open, yes Starbucks, all others shut. They must make a stupid amount of money in Korea because they charge the same price as they do in Australia. The non Starbucks places are 1/2 the price, because, Starbucks! so fashion!.
However, my general rule still applies, when in a country without a creased upper eyelid (lookup Blepharoplasty on wikipedia), Starbucks is best option, but you pay for it through the (big) nose. When in Australia, worst option. In North Korea, the best coffee is existing.
By the way, the westerner insult of 'Big Nose' has backfired, as anything to describe a westerner such as creased eyelids, is now a desirable cosmetic surgery procedure, so Koreans are paying to get big noses.

After my coffee, I wandered around the local area, admiring all the citibanks from where I can withdraw money fee free at the current exchange rate. To celebrate this I withdrew about $20 from 3 different locations.
Eventually I found a hill, with a walking track around the top, and a heap of grandmas in full hiking gear engaging in the national past time of Korea, hiking.
Unfortunately the top of this hill was not accessible, as there was a high razor wire fence, shade cloth on the fence, and Korean soldiers posted at the gate.
I dont really know what the 17 year old conscripts were hoping to achieve up there, probably just happy to be posted somewhere where they can ride their fold up scooter home each night.

Now onto the cold. It was -5c when I left this morning. However it was also windy. The initial shock was, thrilling, I thought my ears had frozen solid. Also despite wearing gloves, my hands were frozen. Puddles were not puddles, dont be fooled, they are solid and slippery. I almost flipped, twice, despite wearing awesome new boots that I bought, which keep my feet perfectly warm.
Its important to realise that drain covers are the source of all evil, they normally collect a bit of water that freezes, I saw a guy on a bike pull off a front wheel drift making a left turn across traffic, no helmet of course, the look of terror in his now very widened narrow eyes as he came millimetres from grinding his ear / face off on the road was excellent.

Typical workwear for professional women in Korea. This particular shop specializes in uniforms for comfort girls employed by the Japanese.

A nearby apartment building complex. Dont worry, the novelty of these sort of photos will wear off fast.

My breakfast, it wasnt good. The coffee was ok, they had non fat milk. I now have bananas and similar stuff so I wont need anymore cake related items.

The local citibank building has numerous pointless sculptures they are paying for entirely with interest on my money.

This seems to be a sculpture for the 1988 Olympics, which were held in Seoul, not Incheon where I am. I presume that little black thing was the mascot.
I can remember the opening ceremony, they had a tae kwon do demonstration with lots of wooden board breaking, but due to over exuberance a guy got kicked in the face, hard, and had to be stretchered off.

Big tobacco companies have infiltrated the far east, and found some guys with beards to get the kids hooked on vaping so they can later decide its far easier and cheaper just to absorb nicotine through smoking it.

This is my local street, alongside the 'Arts Square', hence the vaping stores.

At the base of the local climbing hill is a compressed air gun station. Why? I dont know. I presume the signs are warning people not to shove the guns up peoples asses, because thats fatal, it really does happen, including at the Holden factory in Adelaide that since closed, because of bills over fatal anal compressed air explosion law suits.
Koreans (and Japanese) have a socially acceptable habit of doing that. Google Kancho or ddong chim. I am here to educate.
Back to the compressed air gun, they really do work, and all I can think of is that in summer you use them to blow dust off your boots?

Its not much of a hill but I had a good time. Its also very dead looking due to winter. New growth was starting to appear on things in some parts of the city.
Enough botany, the path got muddy in places, I am glad I had my boots. I now will clean my boots in the hotel bathroom sink using the free toothbrush they put in there.

The view back over Incheon from one of the lookouts. That is not Seoul, which is about 40km away (I think).

A unique feature of this lookout is the free open air library. In case you want to sit out in the freezing wind and read some sort of nationalistic saga about how Japan was defeated.

Like all hills / mountains / slight changes in elevation, there is a temple. I decided to photo the sea of buddah. There were a group of old folks sitting eating their little tomatoes (no. 1 hiking food for old people world wide).
One of them asked me where I was from, Australia I said, he said oh! why come here, Australia much nicer than Korea, want to have some of my Soju?
He handed me his flask, but I told him I dont drink. He asked if I was a priest or monk.
Yes, Yes I am.

So then I headed to my Church. Yes this building seems to be a church / TV station / money collection centre for the Korean catholic church.
Wisely, they have constructed it of a material that appears to be fire proof, so as to resist my god given right to church burning.

This is the local Shinsegae department store. Theres also a similar sized Lotte and a couple of others. All have excellent food courts, restaurant floors, just like similar ones in Japan.

The Shinsegae food court has an excellent ordering system. Theres about 20 stalls selling stuff, with basically no signs. Instead theres a few centrally located touch screens, and you can browse through what you want, with pictures.
The only English on the screen is a number, so I ordered the number 42 from the centrally located cashier by miming 4 fingers on one hand and 2 on the other.
She loaded up the same picture on the cashier, and we came to a mutual agreement that I would pay for the goods.
The only problem, when my buzzer went I had no idea which stall to get it from, so I had to wander past them all playing snap, looking for something that resembled the picture on the touch screen.

My lunch was again, Bibimbap, and was excellent. So healthy. Theres other things there I would like to try, things I would nore likely have for dinner, dog meat skewers are best eaten just before bed, for maximum virility absorption benefit.

Second coffee, epic disaster. No non fat milk, but I agreed to proceed. I got a cup of only froth, so hot that the plastic stirrer melted. I dont know how you can make froth as hot as they did.
Ediya espresso is now firmly on my list of places to avoid.
As I was leaving, the boss man decided he could speak English, and said 'best coffee in all Incheon!' I pretended to speak only Russian, NYET!.

I bought a hat

Tonight I went to Bupyeong, and bought a hat.
I have been to Bupyeon before, by accident, last time I was here. That time I tried to get to Incheon, where I am now, but got lost, and ended up at Bupyeong, and got lost.
Tonight I got lost there again. It is a massive maze of underground boulevardes of tiny shops. Future site of the worlds worst ever shopping centre fire.
Last time I never made it to the surface, this time I bought a hat to keep my ears from falling off, and ventured outside into the twilight.
Up top was a mish mash of everything, and lots of it. Not too many people about though, they mostly stayed underground where it was warmer.
None the less lots of boys in bad suits tried to give me beer vouchers or special discount on girl / room / girl + room combo, whilst I walked past many love hotels.
Apparently the love hotels are actually decent inside, and a good cheap option to stay, especially if you just want a room for 1 night, as I think they kick you out each day. Its also good if you are a fan of batman and want to sleep in a king size batmobile with neon lights pulsating.

Other highlights of the evening included seeing someone else slip on a patch of ice, only this guy fell over, much to the amusement of all his friends, jokes on them though, 2 of the 'men' had strawberry blonde hair.
Also, now that I have seen camo wear for babies, including a onesie with a belt carrying a tiny fake grenade, I have decided to kidnap one of my own and dress it in camo exclusively.

Just one of the kilometre long criss crossing corridors of confusion that forms the Bupyeong underground fashion market. It is genuinely famous for getting people lost.

Above ground, and the fashion market is more of a ghost town. Except you can see the fashion being made, out the back, nannas are strapped to desks, whipped, and fed only bean sprout soup (thats a real thing) until they have produced their quota of jeans with the crotch almost at knee level (also a real thing, unfortunately).

I was hungry, and one of the two Lotte department stores nearby seemed like a good option for a food court extravangaza.
No such luck. The food court was all western style pizzas, hamburgers, pasta and fried chicken.

Luckily I headed down a laneway, and found a place with pictures.
The first dish was a beef soup. It looked like beef anyway, in reality I had no idea what I had ordered.
I am fairly sure it was beef. Some sort of flesh that had been boiled for days. Boiled so long that pretty much anything might taste like beef.
The side dishes were nice, I like kim chi more and more. Maybe thats because I know what kind of meat is in kim chi, none.

Next course was mandoo. Thats Korean for dumpling. These were delicious. Now for these I really have no idea what meat was in them. They were top on the menu so I presume they were one one of the most popular things.
Probably Pork. Could be donkey.

Random neon, the further you go the less stores, the more bars, and then the love hotels start.
This is how the world works. You buy some poor girl something, you get her drunk, then you have her trapped in a room for an hour.
I dont make the rules, it is what it is. (work people - my use of 'it is what it is', is specifically for you, because I despise when anyone says that).

Looks a lot like Japan really. Perhaps less Yakuza, real or otherwise.

This is some kind of protest for the Sewol ferry disaster. I think its the people buying yellow ribbons to tie on zippers as a protest to make the government investigate the catholic religious cult that owned the ferry that sunk.
Look up Yoo Byung-eun, who ran the company that owned the ferry, and a cult church that had power over the government. Poor Yoo died mysteriously soon after the ferry sunk!
They like to make everything a huge drama in Korea, I will be back at some point to explain the nut heiress drama.

On the hunt for the train office, where I need to pickup my bullet train tickets at some point, I came across this cheaper food court on like the 8th floor of a 15 level building for no good reason.
This ones an interesting hybrid. Each place has its own seating, but not enough seating. Everything here was cheap, and many of the people eating here looked like they struggled to pay the bill.

Saving the best until last, here I am in my awesome new hat. Purchased from a surprised and slightly frightened lady at a random stall in the fashion market. So Fashion. I promise not to say so fashion again on this visit.

There are currently 9 comments - click to add

Boo on 2015-03-07 said:

Wait, did I read a comment about not getting a present? That's not a real thing...

Boo on 2015-03-07 said:

Gumnut Baby!

JT Fan on 2015-03-06 said:

Maybe the Mandoo had dog meat in it or cat

Jumbo Thai on 2015-03-04 said:

You look like Vlads Russian Cousin Devid (Russian for David) with that rather strange looking Soviet beanie.

Jumbo Thai on 2015-03-04 said:

Loving the beanie wheres your Korean pie!

Vlad asked where's your bikini!

bobule on 2015-03-04 said:

needs more beef obviously

adriana on 2015-03-04 said:

I see you took my advice about a hat, now for the coat. You will spend more time above ground.

David on 2015-03-04 said:

Yes they have mister donut, and dunkin donuts, and about 10 other such places.
America has had a big presence in many Korean locations for a long time, although its been scaled back in the last 10 years, or moved to areas outside of cities, much like Japan.
I dont drink iced coffee though, I want a skim latte, in a bucket.

adriana on 2015-03-04 said:

Do they have Japanese style iced coffee? Mister Donut? Best place for it.

Maybe you should buy a beany to keep your ears warm, or a Soviet style fur lined hat with ear flaps

Day 3 - Thursday, 5 March 2015

Both ends

Today I went to both ends of Incheon.
The northern end has a mountain, of sorts, the southern end has an ultra modern eco design city, of sorts.
Each end is connected by a subway line of some 40 stations. I am now very familiar with this subway line.

It is my goal on this trip to climb the highest mountain accessible by a combination of public transport and walking in each of the 5 cities I am staying in.
My goals are very specific, and somewhat pointless, but ask yourself, whats your goal? None. I have already achieved 1/5 of my goal. You my loyal readers, have managed to watch something on tv.

The highest point in Incheon is Gaesan. So thats where I went.
Its not particularly challenging but did have some great views. Its about an hour of steps to the top if you dont stop, and why would you stop, its cold! The further I went the less cold I thought it was, until I went over the top and re froze on the way down.
Most hiking locations in Korea have lots of people engaging in the national past time, this one was no different, with everyone decked out in full survival gear. I even saw one guy with an emergency locator beacon.
At the top, a Mr Song decided to chat with me, this would become a repetitive experience today. Mr Song deduced that I was from Austria, here for work, lost, in need of beer, and that I enjoy the rock roll musics.

The way down was off limits I think, so I went that way. There was no path as such, just lots of exposed rocks and tree roots caused by people scrambling over each other. Gravity pretty much dictated the way to go. I only slipped over once.
There were still quite a lot of people going this way, including a bunch of school boys who seemed extremely unfit and uncoordinated.
Meanwhile me and all the 70 years olds bounded past them.

After conquering Gaesan, it was time to ride the entire length of the subway, south.
This took me to Songdo, site of future city of the future, with ecological features.
I thought I was in China.
Lots of skyscrapers that look finished, but are empty, no people, piped muzak coming from speakers disguised as rocks everywhere, the odd futuristic windmill, man made canals without any water, surely the site of the zombie apocolypse (you know its coming).
The mall was nearly completely empty, apart from the Starbucks which was standing room only, I didnt go.
Instead at the end of the outdoor mall with 4 areas named after the seasons, I found a vegetarian restaurant to experience the wellbeing and happiness of vital life and wellbeing.
This turned out to be a great choice, except Mr Kim also wanted to chat. He was thrilled to learn I was a tourist and not a worker and that I had chosen to come to Songdo new city special ecological economic future zone of my own accord.
He was then very interested in where else I might visit in Korea, as it turns out hes never been futher from Seoul than Incheon in his life. The man cooked a great tofu stew though.

In related news, the US ambassador to South Korea had his cheek cut with a razor this morning in Seoul by someone who hates Americans and doesnt want the joint military exercises to go ahead. Perhaps he wants to rejoin with the superior north.
Turns out the guy that did the cheek slice previously tried to throw a slab of concrete at the Japanese ambassador, and has been arrested before, and written about his plans all over the internet.
Im not sure how this is related news, other than that I am hear in the capacity as ambassador for global vision for the future of economic virility.

Just after the dawn, looks cold. I stuck my head out of my 12th floor window to see how cold. Cold.

Could it be so! Australian coffee chain Gloria Jeans exist in Korea (as they do in China too). And they made me a great coffee.
I can now drink coffee here guilt free, as the Hillsong church, whos dead founder was recently found to be like all other cult leaders, running a church in order to recruit children to abuse, sold it off some time ago to the same people that own Brumbys bakeries, Michelles pastissassieeierrry and various other similar establishments.
That sentence was long and confusing.

Arriving at street level from the Gaesan subway stop. No idea what to expect. Turns out its a bustling neighbourhood. Lots to see, no time, mountains to climb.

On the way up the hill there were many schools, it seems each student gets to make a tile of their own.
If this was attached to the outside of an Australian school I cant help but feel it would be destroyed in an hour.

Now for many mountain pictures. Half way up or there abouts. There were actually 3 ridges to go up and down before the ascent to the summit.

Looking back from the second ridge at a hazy Incheon.

And onwards towards the summit.

Ancient concrete pagoda.

View from pagoda.

Very near the top, there were a lot of tunnels such as this. Presumably this was a military look out during the war. Also, note the ice.

Cats hanging out with the hikers stopping to eat their mini tomatoes.

And now, the view from the top. Mr Song was super excited to see me.

Yep. Me. My antics caused much amusement amongst the various old folks, who were posing on one leg giving the peace sign.

The path down. Actually one of the nicer sections. After this it was a real scramble and I needed both hands, so had to put my camera away. I only slipped on my ass once.

Part of Songdo special region for the economic ecology of glorious Korea.

The zombies come mostly from the swamps, mostly.

Cenotaph glorifying all those who died constructing the magnificent unfinished Songdo.

This is the NX Cube mall. Note theres absolutely no one here.

My excellent lunch, cost about $6. Basically the same price as a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Final photo for now, the polar bears felt right at home as it was again cold. I think they have eaten all the shoppers.
I probably could have taken my pants off and pretended to ride one of them for this photo without anyone noticing.
All the stores are open and have really bored looking workers sitting reading their phones.
To be fair, there are heaps of very nice apartment buildings just alongside this long mall, they are not yet open but look very close to finished.
Landscaping of the grounds around them was going on. It seems they are following the Chinese model of suddenly declaring a city open, and bussing in 50,000 people that day to their new lives.

Get Pho

Tonight I went to get some pho. Of course that wasnt the specific plan, there was no plan, thats the beauty of solo travel in foreign lands, there is no plan.
There are however rules, very important rules.
1. Never eat a meal in the hotel. No hotel restaurants, no room service. Only frightened white people do this.
2. Avoid white people. I need to be the only one wherever I am. So far Incheon has not let me down, I am the only big nosed round eye I have seen. I saw a half African half Korean at one point which was cool. Possibly some Korean war DNA in him.
3. No Taxis. A taxi is another example of failure. If the bus / train / ferry doesnt go there, or I cant walk to it, its not worth going to.
4. No sleeping during the day. I paid to be here, I dont sleep during the day at home, why would I want to pay to sleep?
5. No TV. See Point 4. You are allowed to have it on, as long as its news, but you must be doing something else at the same time. This a rule for me at home to!
6. Dont buy anything! Theres nothing you cant get from home either in store or on the internet for cheaper. You dont need it. You especially dont need to carry it around, and even more so if its for someone else. I am not buying anyone anything, ever.
7. An unexpected public toilet is a sign, this could be your last chance.
8. Shower often. 3 times a day! Its not like theres a water shortage here. Great when its cold outside.
9. Travel to places where its colder than Australia. Pick your season. Your stamina is much higher when its cold.
10. Pointless list is long enough, but every other list on the internet goes to 10, so mine does to.

Now onto the few photos that I took whilst wandering around the place tonight.

Much like Japan, vending machines are everywhere. However there are no beer vending machines.
This one is mostly hello kitty. Adelaide now has a hello kitty cafe, but instead of being pink, its brown. No one seems to know why.

Korean engineering at its finest. From the people that brought us Daewoo (now Holden) and Goldstar (now LG), comes wall reenforcement technique using metal poles and piles of concrete.

This is an entire street of BBQ places.
I wanted to go, but I dont think it works with one person.
The better ones have no exhaust vents, just rooms full of delicious carbon monoxide.

This dude dressed up as a cat wouldnt give me one of the pamphlets he was handing out. So I taunted him with the camera. Eventually he stopped trying to get out of the frame.
He still wouldnt give me a pamphlet though. Must be some top secret Korean only information. Perhaps its plans to assassinate all amabassadors tomorrow.

This is a street restaurant. To operate in winter, they all erect tents around their cart, and burn lumps of coal in pots to generate heat.
Most of them therefore catch fire. Its all part of the fun and excitement of eating on the street.

My Pho. Not too bad. Broth had not enough flavour and the beef was not raw.
Once I loaded it up with fresh chilli and chilli sauce, it was good.
The super hot soup was appreciated, along with hot tea.
I observed Koreans eating theirs, they dont add the bean sprouts, chilli sauce or herbs to the soup, instead they delicately place some noodles and beef in the spoon, then put a few bean sprouts on top, a tiny bit of mint or coriander, and a squirt of sauce.
This whole procedure takes about 3 minutes per mouthful.
They must look at me tip my plate up into the soup and simultaneously shovel soup and noodles into my mouth like I am some kind of animal.

Later on this trip I need to take a bus from Busan to Gwangju. I happened to be going past a bus station tonight so stepped inside for a look. No English.
I stared at the board for ages waiting for it to turn to English like they do in Japan or China, but it never did.
I better learn the Korean text for Gwangju. Either that or convince myself its a walkable distance of 200km.

This hairdresser has a guard dog. A racist guard dog. It did not like me at all. Jokes on the dog though, I dont get my hair cut by a hairdresser, my mother does it!
Yes really. Thats just one way I save money compared to normal people.
This could change though, I might get a perm and some blonde streaks.

This pictre appears here for future income tax claim justification purposes.

There are currently 5 comments - click to add

JT Fan on 2015-03-06 said:

Good observation on the Pho, didn't know you aren't supposed to mix them in the soup. And $6 for all that food?! They need to open a branch here in Pyrmont. It will give Jumbo a run for their money.

David on 2015-03-06 said:

Mountain cat is more of a summer food, as it cools the body.
In Winter one must eat dog, it gives warmth and strength. The hotel concierge tells me best dog is North Korean dog, he can smuggle me some, for a fee.

Jumbo Thai on 2015-03-05 said:

Did you try the Mountain Cat?

They say that Mountain Cat is a very sweet meat to taste; best served on a bed of fresh whiskers.

mother on 2015-03-05 said:

Make sure you go to the port area in Pusan/Busan and check out the night market and all the Russians there.

Adriana on 2015-03-05 said:

Give in and buy a warm coat!

There is a Maori warrior in that totem pole.

There is a Page 2 Now, Click the things below to go there. If you are new to this, its not all on one page, pay attention.


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