We once had the chance to visit South Korea, a country with affordable prices for small and medium budgets, a country where you are going to be surprised… ;-)
Many things are truly amazing in South Korea: the household buildings are most of the time all the same – with identical size and shape – the only difference being, here and there, large patches of color on the walls; golf courts within the towns (we hardly figured out what those large fenced areas really were) ; the lack of restaurant menus translated in another language but Korean, with the local specialty called “kimchi” (very spicy salad with fermented cabbage) ; the cutting-edge subway in Seoul – so Gangnam style ! – ; the modern road structure (with indicators written in English :-) …
Before traveling to South Korea, we read a lot about Korean gastronomy but we have to admit that it is not what we encountered there… It is the Asian country where we had the worst eating experience… Sadly, it has been impossible for us to eat in local restaurants because nobody does speak English, they have only Korean menus without any picture from dishes (from which – say – you could choose from). Until the end we managed to eat some specialties… in supermarkets :-) … in the famous “food courts” where, even if the waiters do not speak any foreign language, you still can show what you want to eat because there is a display where all the proposed dishes – plasticized – are presented. All is nice and clean, the organization is awesome: you show the different parts of you meal, you pay and get one or more numbered tickets. Afterwards you may sit down and wait a short time until your number(s) show(s) up on one of the “cooking desks”: you only have to take your tray, pick a fork and a knife, a glass from the UV sterilization machine.
South Korea has beautiful landscapes and sceneries, with well-maintained monuments (a large majority were rebuilt after several wars). Most of the Korean people we met are kind and helping but you may be surprised when a taxi driver does not understand (or does not even try to) where you want to go and leaves you off his car right away after losing patience.
The hotels are of many kinds: you may find “super kitsch” rooms (painted in pink with white and golden flowers), large rooms with traditional beds (only a big mattress directly put on the floor) and luxury rooms with lavish decorum. In each and every room you will find an internet connection :-) !
You will also be amazed of the large number of churches among town areas… you will see crosses of every color and dimensions, on the most unexpected buildings ;-) Christianity is the fast-growing religion within towns in South Korea, where Zen Buddhism is traditionally implemented in the country area.
But who loves the mountains will certainly fall in love with South Korea, with all its marvelous hills and heights ;-)
You will find some of our photographs just below. Enjoy!