Welcome to the land of Harry Potter glasses and ankle-length pants! More accurately, I'd call Korea the land of shattered expectations. I loved this place! Why is it not higher on the list of asian countries to visit? Truth be told, Korea wasn't high on our list either, and we only ended up traveling there because we decided last-minute against other travel plans, but I'm so glad we came!
We spent three nights in Seoul, which is a far bigger city than I realized. In getting a view of Seoul from near the N Seoul Tower, the city seems to stretch on forever, swarming around hills, and does so with an almost alarming density. 15- to 20-story apartment buildings as far as the eye can see!
Korea has incredible food too. I had my suspicions that Korean BBQ (like Mongolian BBQ) was going to be one of those things that doesn't exist in the country it purports to represent. I was wrong! And not only do the Koreans cook (or have you cook) BBQ at your table, but they take the same tactic with other dishes as well, including the delicious Dakgalbi (chicken, rice cakes, sweet potatoes, numb tongue). I love it all. The Koreans also love fried chicken...guess who else loves fried chicken? This guy!!
Speaking of food (sort of), we attended a cooking show/play/act called Nanta on the recommendation of a friend who lived in Korea for a couple of years, and we loved it. It's sort of a cross between Iron Chef, Stomp, and Blue Man Group, but is more interesting than any of those. If you're in Seoul, I highly recommend you see this.
The nightlife in Seoul was great too. We had such a good time perusing food stalls, stopping in bars, perusing other stalls, and stopping in other bars. Everyone was so kind too, and seemed to genuinely appreciate how much I struggled just to say "thank you" in Korean (five syllables...thanks guys).
We also took a train across the country (less than three hours) to stay a night in the city of Busan. Busan was also much larger than we realized, and it would have been nice to stay longer, but we picked it primarily so we could take a ferry from Korea to Japan in a short amount of time. I did learn one thing in Busan though: my wife is a darts ringer. I don't think we had played even once in our 11+ years together and she cleaned my clock!
In other news, we finished watching The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. I give it a solid B. Conceptually, it's very strong, but the acting and dialogue writing leave a little something to be desired.
I hope you enjoy the photos below and thank you again for reading!