Travelling can mean something different to every one of us. For some people, it´s the way to unwind and take a break from routine life and constant work. For others, it´s the best chance to learn about other cultures and see new places. Though I also have moments when I want to escape my normal life for a few days, still, traveling is much more than just relaxing for me. Maybe this is the reason why I´m constantly under time pressure while traveling. I can barely wait to see all the places and set the alarm clock to not waste my time. I just want to see as much as possible while staying somewhere.
I must admit that I used to be skeptical towards Asia. For some reason, I thought that I didn´t even want to go to any Asian country. I completely changed my mind the moment I went to Bangkok. The blog posts about my stay there can be found here and here. Staying in Bangkok, I understood that Asia is so worth being seen. I´m still daydreaming about all the Buddhistic monuments and buildings I saw there. That´s why I couldn´t resist going to Seoul, even if it was just for a few days. My way to South Korea took about 12 hours of flight (from Frankfurt to Seoul) and a massive jet-lag, but I don´t regret it. Unfortunately, my too short trip doesn´t allow me to make a traditional travel-guide in this post, but there are some interesting things I found impressive in South Korea which I want to share with you.
South Korea is a high-tech country
You can see it the minute you enter the airport in Seoul where cameras will measure the body temperature of every passenger who´ve arrives in South Korea. In case your body temperature is too high, and you have fever, you´ll probably end up at the quarantine section for a complete body-check. This is how Koreans protect themselves against diseases and viruses. I personally think that it´s a great way to protect people from any epidemic disease. Additionally, there are systems at the airport at the ID and visa control which see what nationality you are (of course, the airport employees see that) and activate the option to get all the needed questions asked in you mother tongue. I was surprised when the computer started to talk with me in Russian. It´s very helpful, especially for people who don´t speak English.
All in one, South Korea is very high-tech driven. All people have huge smartphones which they use all the time. They spend so much time surfing the internet which I would also do if we also had an internet flat-rate in Germany. The toilets in South Korea are literally smarter than some people. I ´ve never seen better toilets than there. They all are so high-tech and have any possible and needed functions for any kind of hygiene. You can choose and control everything including the water temperature and seat heat. Isn´t it cool?
American flair – not really
South Korea is known as a country, more or less influenced by the US. It is logical when we think about all the US military stations based there and a good relationship between the two countries. Knowing it from many people who had been in South Korea before, I expected to see something very America-like. Surprisingly, Seoul doesn´t look like I supposed it would do. I could even say that South Korea is very authentic and proud of its culture and nationality-spirit. I expected people there speaking English fluently, but it also wasn´t the case. Practically, the situation was similar to Bangkok where I´d got to show taxi-drivers my desired destination with all possible ways. Many people in South Korea don´t speak English at all.
Size does matter
Seoul is one of the largest cities and has 25 huge districts. They are so big that to get to them will take you hours of driving, provided the streets are empty. The city is a nice and tidy metropolis with broad and even roads, so driving in Seoul is very pleasant. Still, Seoul is one of the cities where people rarely go on foot just because everything is too far away for walking. To me, the best thing about Seoul is that there are numerous big parks in the center of the city where you can relax and unwind and still be in the stone jungle. I couldn´t help myself and took pictures in one of such parks for another outfit of mine which you´ll see very soon.
I´m wearing: t-shirt by Bershka / pants by Missguided /sandals by Office / bag by Furla / sunnies by Zara /
Have you ever been to South Korea or any other Asian countries?