Life In Korea
This page is about my general experience in Korea with a focus on travel and culture. (and occasionally some food)
I am Korean, and I was born in Korea, but I immigrated to Hong Kong when I was two. I lived in Hong Kong pretty much all my life so when I first came to Korea it like like I was in a foreign country. I could speak the language and communicate with people but there were cultural barriers that got in the way, and my general mentality was closer to a foreigner than it was to a local Korea.
When I first came to Korea I was pretty lonesome because there wasn't anyone that I could hang out with and I had no reliable social skills to begin with. I spent about six month solely at home and then at work. After six month I was starting to feel pretty frustrated and rather than gathering dust at home I had decided to join and internet site called 'meetup' where you could meet other foreigners for group activities. This kick started my interest in the cultural and traveling experiences and ever since then I have been keeping pretty consistent with my traveling and cultural studies, whether it be with a group or alone.
Travel & Culture
Korea is a beautiful country where all four seasons take turn in commanding the weather and atmosphere, so each destination has it's subtle nuances and perspectives as the seasons change. Korea is also a very mountainous countries surrounded by many large mountains almost wherever you go, so avid explorers and mountain climbers can experience the clear air of nature and the spectacle scenic views from up above. There is a very big mountain climbing culture in Korea with many active participants so very rarely will you find yourself climbing alone up a mountain. There are also many buddhist temples located around Korea and many of them are around the mountain regions, or even atop one. You may find yourself visiting a few temples here and there when you visit Korea.
Buddhas Birthday Lantern Festival
Buddhas Birthday Lantern Festival
Jinju Sea Parting Festival
Festivals and events are of plenty, scattered throughout the year, located all around the country. The events vary from traditional experiences, music, food and a variety of niche events designed to bring people together. Something always seems to be going on keeping you on your toes, scheduling and re-scheduling, trying to fit in as much as you can within the week or month.
One of the great things about traveling in Korea is that it has a wonderful metro system and express bus system that makes traveling very simple. The subways are clean and well kept, and the metro is relatively easy to navigate. The station names are translated into English, Chinese and Japanese so I would assume a fair amount of tourists will be able to get around the subway system. The express buses are a little bit trickier because some website are only available in Korean but most of the widely used bus terminal systems have English options and there are a fair number of competent English speaking staff. When you visit the places further off the cities is when things can get a bit complicated, but with the help of google things seem to work out pretty fine. Just remember to bring some extra batteries just in case. (Also, South Korea is a relatively small country so as long as you have a day or two available during your week you can pretty much hop on the metro or express bus and sip over to your desired destination.)
I cannot stress enough the amount of pleasure and satisfaction one can experience from traveling, whether it be for a day or two, close or far away. Like any traveling newbie I struggled here and there but over time I started to get the gist of it and eventually I was able to plan things ahead, stay prepared and adjust my schedule accordingly. With a little bit of flexibility and adventurousness I believe anyone can experience the beauty of the world that surrounds us.