I crafted a blog post about my experiences in Korea, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to incorporate all of the photos. As a result, I’m devoting this entire post to showcasing the collection of pictures from my journey.
A Few Words About My Trip to Korea
My visit primarily revolved around work, we went to Korea for connecting and writing music originally. So despite spending a considerable amount of time there, my collection of travel photos is rather sparse.
I was also there to support a person before transitioning into a new phase of my life. Without delving too deeply into that matter, I felt an urge to give away what I had gathered over the years to a select few individuals. Since these insights were no longer serving me, I hoped that in some small way, they could support others before I embarked on a new chapter in my life. It’s important to note that I’ve also been fortunate to receive a tremendous amount of support in return.
On Our Way to Korea: Airport
The arrival of my suitcase was a close call, occurring just a single day prior to my planned departure. It all started when I had placed an order earlier, under the impression that it was a complete set. The product title boldly stated “set,” leading me to believe that all the components were bundled together. As it turned out, the term “set” in this context meant that I could select the specific item I preferred from the options available.
Regrettably, the pre-selection process was subtle, and I ended up unintentionally selecting a suitcase that was too small for my needs. I promptly sent it back and reordered the appropriate size but with time ticking away, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma. Would my new suitcase make it in time for my trip?
Thankfully, my worries were laid to rest as the suitcase arrived just on time. But even if it hadn’t, I had devised a backup plan to ensure a smooth journey. In the end, I’m relieved to say that this suitcase saga reached a positive resolution.
Upon Arrival in Incheon, Korea
Curiously, upon my arrival at Incheon Airport, I found myself refraining from capturing any photographs. The hustle and bustle of ensuring a seamless transition seemed to occupy all our attention. Accompanied by our little companions (cats), we embarked on a journey that entailed an additional process. Waiting in line for the cats and their passports to undergo examination took longer than expected.
As soon as we stepped out of the airport, we noticed that the air felt much fresher and easier to breathe. It was so noticeable that we commented on it right away. But what surprised me was when the taxi driver mentioned that the air quality had been quite poor for the past few days (⊙_⊙)!
First days in Korea
On our first day, we took some time to explore the area around us. This temporarily marked the end of my healthy eating streak and the beginning of some indulgence in less healthy foods. Generally I tend to be careful with my diet, keeping sugar to a minimum and avoiding wheat products.
Visit to Hangang River in Winter
The second day, we visited the Hangang River, where it was super cold.
Staying in the Seoul district, Yeongdeungpo-gu
I lived just a few minutes away from Times Square, a large shopping mall, and a charming neighborhood that had a strong local vibe – quite fortunate for me as it provided ample opportunities for language practice. Rather than focusing on the typical tourist attractions, I was more intrigued by experiencing the everyday life there, I liked the authenticity of the place.
City Lights of Seoul
The city was still adorned with Christmas decorations in January.
Restaurants in Yeongdeungpo-gu
Since this area is less frequented by tourists and veganism or vegetarianism is not naturally part of the Korean culture, it was quite challenging to find suitable dining options that aligned with our dietary preferences. The local culinary landscape predominantly revolves around meat, grills, and fish.
Spicy food in Korea
Interestingly, my friends used to associate me with having a low spice tolerance. However, I’ve actually developed the ability to handle quite spicy foods. I had anticipated that the spiciness in Korea would be off-the-charts, given its reputation among foreigners, but surprisingly, I found it to be, not light but mostly bearable.
Except for one puzzling incident that still baffles me to this day. Typically, spice affects the tongue and mouth, not the stomach. But this particular time, the spice didn’t trouble my mouth; instead, it caused a burning sensation in my stomach. It was a sensation I had never experienced before, leading me to suspect there might have been something unusual about the dish. I suffered from food poisoning shortly after that episode. While I can’t definitively explain what happened, that experience left a lasting impact, and I’ve become much more cautious about my choices since then. I advice you always check out the reviews of restaurants you walk into.
Exploring Korea and Tourist activities
During business trip in Seoul, we made it a point to infuse our journey with a bit of travel and tourist activities.
Shopping Contact Lenses in Korea
One thing that I can’t easily find back home are contact lenses with such a diverse range of colors and high quality. Therefore, I made sure to buy some before leaving Korea. So yes, I knew I could order contact lenses online, but there’s no need to argue – shopping online and shopping locally are two entirely different realms.
Contact lens shops are a common sight all over Korea, and they’re not just limited to regular stores – you can find them even in the underground train stations. What’s intriguing is that train stations in Korea often serve as shopping hubs themselves, creating a unique blend of transportation and retail experience throughout the city.
When it comes to purchasing contact lenses in Korea, there are a handful of shops that stand out as popular and frequented options.
- LensMe: LensMe is a popular contact lens brand and store in Korea that offers a wide range of contact lens colors and styles.
- O-Lens: O-Lens is another well-recognized contact lens brand that offers a diverse selection of colors and designs. They often collaborate with celebrities and influencers for special editions.
- Dari: Dari is known for its unique and trendy contact lens designs. They also offer a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes to suit different preferences.
- Optical Shops: In addition to specialized contact lens stores, many optical shops throughout Seoul offer a selection of contact lenses.
Times Square Yeongdeungpo-gu
In Times Square, the big shopping mall I mentioned earlier, there’s a mix of things like clothing stores, restaurants, and even an emart, which is a popular retailer in Korea. We often went to this emart for our grocery shopping and food needs. It was really convenient.
Korea in Winter: Seoul covered in Snow
Experiencing winter in a foreign land was a first for me, and my affection for snow made this journey all the more special. The atmosphere and sight of Korea draped in a blanket of snow was truly something to cherish.