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Josh and I headed to South Korea for six days at the end of April 2003.  When we arrived in downtown Seoul, we set out to find the guesthouse we had reservations at.  We stopped to consult our map and a friendly woman asked if we needed help.  We showed her where we wanted to go and she said that she knew exactly where the guesthouse was, and that she would take us there.  But, she really didn't know where it was.  We wondered in and out of back alleys, and everyone we asked for directions sent us in the opposite way.  Our guide finally resorted to banging on any door that resembled a guesthouse.  She also, out of kindness (and maybe a little guilt) offered to let us stay at her house.  Just then, a pack of rowdy high school boys arrived.  They helped us bang on doors, and then one of them had the brilliant idea of calling the guesthouse on his cell phone.  The guesthouse operator knew where we were from the boys descriptions (and probably our noise) so she came out to meet us.  The whole parade marched us to our lodging and along the way the guesthouse operator pointed out all the signs with the guesthouse name and direction arrows on them.  Somehow we had all missed them.

In Seoul there were many beautiful palaces and buildings to explore, and lively night markets.  Seoul is a more international city than Kumamoto, so instead of trying much Korean food, we gorged ourselves on western food not found in Japan.  We ate delicious, sticky cinnamon buns and dined at restaurants like T.G.I.Fridays and Pizza Hut.  Mmmmm...

Two other things kept us from eating much Korean food.  One is their propensity to eat dog meat, and the second was the number of street vendors selling boiled up beetles and crickets.  Boy, did they stink!  It was very surreal to see women, wearing only designer fashions, scarfing back dixie cups filled with bugs.  Yum.

We also visited the Korean Folk Village, and got to see many traditional farmer's dances.  They were so acrobatic and quite amazing.

In addition, we visited the city of Suwon where they have a World Heritage fortress wall which surrounds much of the city.  You could walk all along the top, and periodically inspect some of the gorgeous gates.


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This site was last updated 04/27/04