A Travellerspoint blog

First day in Seoul

sunny 68 °F

I had an early flight and managed to get on a local train to the airport rather than the express, so I was under a bit more time pressure than I like. Fortunately, check in and security went efficiently. This was my first leg outside the Delta system, using Korea Air. Unfortunately, I couldn't check in in advance online or by phone - there isn't seamless transfers of info among the systems.

Anyway, off I went on time. Here's a pic of the seat and of the nice big TV in business class on Korean Air.



This was only a 2 hour flight so we had time for a meal and that's about all. I had bibmbap. I was presented with a bowl of vegetables and meat and a package of rice. I started by putting some of the rice in the bowl and then picking up a few veggies. The flight attendant, who was a very cheerful soul, saw me and immediately came over to help. She took my spoon and put all of the rice in the bowl and then spent several minutes carefully mixing the various ingredients to her standards. Only then was I able to eat. Pretty cute. I googled bibimbap up later and found that it literally means 'mixed rice' so I was just doing it totally wrong.

Finding the apartment was a bit of a challenge. My host suggested taking a taxi to the address. I took the train and subway to the nearest train station. Here's a picture of the very futurey train station at Incheon Airport.


I hailed a taxi but after some time talking to online interpreters the driver wasn't sure where the apartment was. There is a volunteer interpretation service called BBB that you can call if you need help with the language-and boy do I need help. 5 ways to say thank you depending on who you are talking to? After much back and forth he was able to deposit me in the vicinity of the apartment without being able to identify the building. I emailed my host Sangwon and he came over and led me to the door and introduced the place. Very comfortable, off the main road on a side street. Here's a shot of the neighborhood.


Sangwon then kindly drove me out of Seoul (no, took me in a car to a place outside of Seoul, not banished me....) to a country inn for dinner. It was a beautiful old building. We sat on the floor and dish after dish kept appearing. Tofu with kimchi, beef with vegetables, half a dozen pickles/treats (one was a somewhat sweet dish of tiny dried fish-surprisingly good), kimchi fried in an egg roll type wrapper, sliced pork with scallions, more kimchi, a rich pork-based soup, and on and on. The dishes kept coming so fast that I only had time for one representative picture-yum.


It was pretty dark so I wasn't able to get a good picture of the inn, but here's one try.


Time to crash.....

Posted by tdeits 18:03 Archived in South Korea

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Looks like a comfy local inn. Kimchee and tea for breakfast?

No, it's not residential - just a restaurant. Country restaurants like this are pretty prevalent in Korea - I was taken to another on a prior visit to Daejong Korea - specializing in homemade wine - fun was had by all!

by willtyler

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