Final Thoughts on South Korea

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End May 15, 2011

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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Monday, November 15, 2010

As we depart Korea, and leave our home of the last two months it time to reflect on the experience we had here and start to look forward to what lies ahead. Mara and I both had an unbelievably good time here and the country provided us with many surprises and entertaining excursions. Here are some of the things that stick out about the first part of our nine month trip.

Things I'll miss about Korea:
* The overall friendliness of the people - There where so many instances of random kindness towards us, such as people walking many minutes out of their way to make sure we found our way.
* Feeling Safe - There wasn't really a time we felt threatened or unsafe and there was usually little to no police presence. All this in one of the largest and densest cities in the world. We could leave our bags unattended and no one would even think about stealing them. Shop owners go for lunch and don't lock the doors.
*Good cheap food- Some of the best meals we had cost only 5,000 won ($4.50) Noodles or rice with a variety of marinated vegetables, most the time served spicy. Also BBQ in Korea is cheap and delicious and is a do it yourself activity in which they bring your choice of marinated meat to the table which has a small coal fire burning in the middle where you can cook the meat and flavor it at our disposal
* Natural beauty- Most of Korea is Mountainous but the reality small size of the peaks makes it easy to get around to many great hiking spots. We were lucky enough to be there in autumn to see the foliage which was unlike anything we had seen before.

Things I wont miss about Korea:
* The Crowds - It wasn't always present but Seoul has many places where you can really feel the millions of people that are around you. Some of the hiking trails have lines that make it so that it takes an hour to walk a mile.
* The Smells - Whether it was decaying fish or sewage there was always something stinky in the air.
* Random Tentacles- Sometimes you think you ordered some vegetarian fried rice when sure enough there is half an octopus swimming inside your bowl.

Top Memories:
* Jeju Island - This volcanic island is a great place to spend a weekend
* Mount Sorak- We visited here during the peak week for fall foliage
* DMZ tour- very interesting and scary.
* WWOOFING- We lived on a farm in the countryside for a week
* Mara's Parents- It was great to visit with them for two whole months
* Friends Visiting- Two of our friends, Sandy and Zoe, came all the Korea and stayed with us for a week each.
* Daytrips to Seoul- We really enjoyed the close proximity to this huge and interesting city
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