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Halfway – A Trip to Korea

Hello my dear blog-followers, It’s been a while – And in a while a lot of things can happen, especially in China.
So what did I do since my last blog? After I returned from Shanghai, I was in the office a couple of days and then it was time for me to leave China: the first 90 days of my double-entry Visa were over. Sure I could have just walked across the border to Macao and returned but that would have not really been satisfying. So I took the chance to finally return to my second home-country: South-Korea!

I have been there last year in July for a Summer School Program during which I learned to love this amazing country. Saturday morning I took the 9.30 airport ferry from Zhuhai to Hong Kong where I then took a three and a half hour flight to Incheon Airport in Seoul, SK. By the way, Hong Kong Airport is quite boring. 😛  When my phone  immediately connected with the Wifi after switching it on, I knew I was back. Korea has the fastest Wifi in the world and you can find free Wifi everywhere! A train ride later, I arrived at Seoul station where Jungsam, a friend from Summer School, picked me up and took me to my hostel. The hostel was awesome – cheap, clean, new, very nice and on top of all – it was located right next to Insa-dong (the traditional quarter), Myeong-dong (the shopping quarter) and very close to two palaces. Just let me know if you want the name of that hostel. 😉

That evening we met Jongmin, another good friend from Summer School, for some traditional Korean food and Makgeolli, Korean rice wine. We drunk one that tasted like a sweet chewing gum and one with honey (my favorite). Really tasty! We talked about the Summer School and our future plans, for example mine plan to return to Korea for a longer duration. Also, what most Korean guys like to talk about: the Korean army.

InternChina - Talking about old times with Jungsam
InternChina – Talking about old times with Jungsam
InternChina - Traditional Bibimbap with Jongmin
InternChina – Traditional Bibimbap with Jongmin

For my stay, I did not make many plans as I just wanted to meet my friends, visit my old university and enjoy Korea. Also I already visited most sightseeing places during my last stay. So I just walked around the city during the day wherever my feet led me – traditional Insa-dong, an area where you can see the really old traditional Korean houses called Hanok, the area around the university where I studied and the street market in Dongdaemun. I also spent a couple of hours in the huge underground market at the Express Bus Station shopping some beautiful dresses. Sure I bought some Korean cosmetics which are known to be really good – especially the famous BB-Cream that is now also taking over the European markets and ate some Ttoekboekki, sweet and spicy rice cake. Here is a cool site which gives you some tips on where to stay in Seoul: https://triphappy.com/seoul/where-to-stay/84746.

 

InternChina - Traditional House: Hanok
InternChina – Traditional House: Hanok
InternChina - Inside a Hanok
InternChina – Inside a Hanok
InternChina - Shopping in Korea
InternChina – Shopping in Korea

One evening I met Jongmin and Jungsam to eat black bean noodles at the back gate in a restaurant we often went to and we also went for Patbingsu, the best dessert I have tasted! You can get it in many different versions so that everybody can find one he can call his favorite. Mine is green-tea Patbingsu. 🙂 I tried to eat one each evening of my trip. Afterwards we met Ruth, a Canadian girl who stayed at the University for an exchange year after the Summer School, in my old dormitory.

InternChina - Green Tea Patbingsu
InternChina – Green Tea Patbingsu

One day I went to see my old Korean teacher during one of her lessons. She was unaware I was coming and was very surprised to see me. It is good she is not that strong otherwise she would have probably strangled me when she hugged me. I had to promise to have lunch with her during my next visit. Afterwards I went to eat the delicious rice burger they sell at the universities front gate filled with tuna, kimchi (spicy cabbage) and mayonnaise.

 

InternChina - Back to where it all began, University of Seoul
InternChina – Back to where it all began, University of Seoul

But the best thing of my whole stay was to see Maha again! She was my ‘buddy’ during the program and we became really good friends during that time. I was really happy to meet her again and it felt like I never left Korea.

InternChina - My best buddy Maha
InternChina – My best buddy Maha

What more can I say? I think from reading this you can tell that I love this country and I hope that I can return very soon. Unfortunately my trip was over far too soon and after a last dinner and Patbingsu with my friends and a short night of sleep I took a flight back to Hong Kong and a ferry to Macao. But about that trip I will tell you in my next blog.

 

InternChina - Last evening
InternChina – Last evening

See you then, Gianna aka Gini aka 吉娜

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