By John Liu
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
This article will serve as a brief overview of some highlights on my trip in South Korea.
My girlfriend and I are fascinated by South Korean culture (e.g., K-pop, fabulous cosmetic products, great Korean BBQ, and the constant threats of war by Kim Jong Un). In November 2017, we finally found time to book a tour to Seoul.
Our tour started in Hong Kong since we booked it on the Hong Kong travel website, Wing On Travel. We met up with our tour group, made up mostly of Hong Kong citizens and only one other couple from the United States. Then we flew to South Korea and the first thing I noticed was the beautiful scenery in Incheon airport. There were mini gardens with fish, lakes, and a variety of plants that adorned the terminals. I wished SeaTac Airport looked like this. It was very calm and relaxing after a long flight.
The local Korean food was delicious. I got to try banchan (selection of small side dishes), kimchi (most commonly cabbage and Korean radishes, with chili powder), bulgogi, japchae, and bibimbap. Thank goodness we had to sit on the floor only once to eat. I am not used to sitting cross legged for even one meal.
We stopped at a number of interesting hotels, but one that really stood out was the High1 Resort, which was the largest casino/sky resort in South Korea and run by the government. While we were getting settled, my girlfriend’s phone started beeping with an emergency alert. A few minutes later, an earthquake struck. Luckily, it was a minor earthquake and we were in one of the newest buildings in the city. Later, I tried my luck at gambling, but I had no luck at even getting a seat at the table games. The waiting time to get a seat at a table game was one hour, and multiple floors of the casino were packed. I went to sleep instead of waiting for the chance to lose my money!
Of course there was at least one stop on the tour for the women to purchase cosmetics.
We got to try out the latest cosmetic products and practically every female on the tour purchased thousands of (US) dollars worth. The tour guide explained that plastic surgery travel packages are very popular nowadays.
After being in South Korea for 5 days, I think we experienced less than 1 percent of the country. I hope to return one day to see some other cities and buy the latest cosmetics!
John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.