Exploring South Korea


For the Easter holiday I took a trip to South Korea in a mindset that it's both exploring new country for traveling but also a place to live and work in. At first I was thinking to stay just in Seoul but at the end I was 2 nights in Incheon, 2 in Busan and the last 2 in Seoul. From Incheon I took a bus ride to Busan, and I could see a west-to-east-cut of the country, cherry blossom and feel how is it to travel around. South Korea isn't actually very big in size but population is about 50 million, I guess pretty similar than many Asian countries.

In Incheon I visited the Landning memorial hall which is established for the pride of Korean war, it appreciates the help of US and its allies who came to help when the north got help from China. It's a pity that so many families are still separate after the war, from the people I met quite many has some relatives living in other side. I also checked a buddhist temple and a city museum. The museum opened eyes to see why South Korea is developing. They have a high governmental impact put also a lead company in each program which takes responsibility of the development of different areas for example tourism industry or free area for logistic. I'm not sure about the model so clearly put it's similar to Finland when we have projects or programs in some regions. I guess in South Korea the responsibility is more in companies which get tax reducement or other priviledges. For the evening I was able to catch up with locals and have a dinner at China town, visit a ”cartoon” kind of a village where people paint their houses with pastel colors and an amusement park. The amusement park was some sort of a freaky experience in dark, rain and with no people.

Busan was the second destination to go. There I enjoyed art and checked out Spaland. In the Spaland they have different hot springs and saunas, including the ”Finnish” one where you couldn't throw water (not really a Finnish one then). The second day was relaxing, walking on the beach front and a concert of traditional music and dancing (Gugak). The highlight of the last evening was Korean barbeque which I enjoyd with a Korean lady and a Chinese woman who we invited to join because for a one person it's a bit too much to eat because of minimum orders.

Gangnam style is something to understand in South Korea. I had a luck to meet my friend in Seoul who lives in that area and runs a restaurant. In Gangnam I wandered around, some temples, Korean SM Music company show room, shopping and a local lunch. I also checked old houses and some sightseeing spots with my other friends. Seoul N tower was a nice way to understand how you can run successful tourism business.

You are not allowed to take any photos (people do it though) but they take a photo of every person on entrance and then sell you some when you enter the highs. My friend also took me to a famous market where he buys groceries for the restaurant. This kind of bidding isn't usual in Finland for food but that's the way it works in Asia.

After these days I know something about Korea, understand a bit better how it differs from Finland but I also know it's very similar to my country. I'm not sure if I could live there, it's important to speak the local language, at least now I concentrate in Chinese.