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Korea Tips
Posted: 03 August 2009 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So, as many of you know, in exactly one week I’ll be traveling to Korea.  I’ll be mostly in the city of Busan (Pusan?), or as kyoppo has told me, “the Pittsburgh of South Korea”.  Haha.

Anybody got any suggestions of things to do / see / eat?

Thanks in advance!

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Posted: 05 August 2009 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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...

So I searched “Busan” on YouTube and found this…

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Posted: 05 August 2009 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Eat lots and lots of fresh sea food.

I’ll ask and let you know.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 02:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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try a jjim jil bang, or steam room/sauna. nowadays they are coed in the main areas (you get cute uniforms of course) and different rooms where you can relax (ie. salt room, eucalyptus room, stone room, etc) usually also a cafe, and/or tv/pc/comic rooms. then at the end after sweating it out you can go to the mens bath and get nekkid and get scrubbed down like never before and come out glowing like a shiny new penny. nothing like it.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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June - 06 August 2009 02:28 AM

try a jjim jil bang, or steam room/sauna. nowadays they are coed in the main areas (you get cute uniforms of course) and different rooms where you can relax (ie. salt room, eucalyptus room, stone room, etc) usually also a cafe, and/or tv/pc/comic rooms. then at the end after sweating it out you can go to the mens bath and get nekkid and get scrubbed down like never before and come out glowing like a shiny new penny. nothing like it.

Sounds good, but do they have a “no tattoo” rule like in Japan?

I’ll go on record as saying that I do like public bath houses for the relaxation element, but I didn’t have my half-sleeve then and it was easy to cover up my other tatt my tying a bandanna around my shoulder.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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i highly doubt they have any kind of policy, you might get some stares but that’s about it. even though my tattoos are small i still got some looks at the women’s bathhouse. other than some guys avoiding you i don’t think you’ll have any trouble. japan probably has that rule bc yakuza are still around? correct me if i’m wrong?

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Posted: 06 August 2009 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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now that i think of it, tattoos USED to be illegal in korea. i think it was the actual act of tattooing that was outlawed. but that was done away with a few years ago. it’s still not as popular as in the states but it’s becoming more accepted amongst young people.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You should be okay. In case you are worried you can buy a sock and cut yourself a little upper arm cover.

Are you going to be in Pusan only or will you venture to Seoul?

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Posted: 06 August 2009 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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(o’_’o) - 06 August 2009 07:16 PM

You should be okay. In case you are worried you can buy a sock and cut yourself a little upper arm cover.

Are you going to be in Pusan only or will you venture to Seoul?

Mostly Busan, though on my way back home… I have a long ass layover in Seoul.  I arrive at ICN at about 9:00 AM and my flight back to the US isn’t until 6:30PM.  I’m contemplating checking my luggage and doing some exploring of Seoul for a few hours; at least having lunch outside the airport or something.

Any IIStixers in Seoul wanna hang out? 

Haha.

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Posted: 06 August 2009 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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June - 06 August 2009 06:52 PM

now that i think of it, tattoos USED to be illegal in korea. i think it was the actual act of tattooing that was outlawed. but that was done away with a few years ago. it’s still not as popular as in the states but it’s becoming more accepted amongst young people.

cool, thanks.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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nskripchun - 06 August 2009 07:58 PM

(o’_’o) - 06 August 2009 07:16 PM
You should be okay. In case you are worried you can buy a sock and cut yourself a little upper arm cover.

Are you going to be in Pusan only or will you venture to Seoul?

Mostly Busan, though on my way back home… I have a long ass layover in Seoul.  I arrive at ICN at about 9:00 AM and my flight back to the US isn’t until 6:30PM.  I’m contemplating checking my luggage and doing some exploring of Seoul for a few hours; at least having lunch outside the airport or something.

Any IIStixers in Seoul wanna hang out? 

Haha.

One thing I didn’t get to experience while in Korea was ordering a bowl of chajjangmyung (noodles in black sauce) and having it delivered to me.  You can try that, if you’re bored.  I hear that restaurants basically deliver to wherever you are but the language barrier may be an issue.

As far as Seoul goes you can try walking around Hongdae or Apkujongdong.  Hongdae is more the artsy type place and Apku the more high end plastic place. 

If you’re really hard pressed for a tour guide in Seoul let me know, I can try to ask a few people if they can show you around.

addendum:

I forgot to mention that the ordeal of buying a subway ticket can be confusing so my suggestion is you try to deal with one of the people who work at the subway station. 

Also ICN I believe is a good 20~40 minute away from Seoul proper so make sure you count that into your plans.  Make sure you ask how much the bus ride is going to be and where it’s going, you don’t want to be suckered into paying some crazy amount of money.  You know common sense stuff.

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Posted: 07 August 2009 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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They will deliver food anywhere. Middle of crowded beach. Middle of a mountain while you are camping. I even saw a video of a guy ordering food from moving bus. He told them his bus number and where he is currently and guy on a scooter delivered the food at a red light. Crazy.

Also best thing about ordering black bean sauce noodle is (other than it’s delivered to you in less than 15 minutes) that, they will deliver the food in an actual plastic bowl with all the fixins. After you are done eating, you just leave empty bowl outside and someone will come by and pick it up later on.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’m here in Busan!

http://2besureofwhatwehope4.blogspot.com/2009/08/chasing-taxi-and-other-fun-in-korea.html

I looked more into getting out of ICN and there is an express train that leaves for downtown - it takes about 30 minutes to Gimpo, where I can then catch a subway or a bus to where ever I want to go… which I still haven’t figured out yet.

But yeah… my layover is pretty long.  I arrive in Seoul at 9:00am and I depart Seoul at 6:30pm.  So if you figure it takes about 45 minutes travel both ways (just in case… extra time) and I need to be back at ICN at about 4:30PM, I have time to kick it in Seoul from pretty much 11ish-3:45ish.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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it depends on what you want to do. south of the han river, apkujung-dong / chongdam-dong are right next to each other, lots of high end boutiques, sleek little cafes, and more western-type foods.

north of the han river, myong-dong is full of younger people and lots of street carts with various street junk foods and lots of little knick knacks to buy. namdaemun street market is just west of myong-dong, you can probably walk to it. it is fun to walk through, lots of different things to see and eat. just south adjacent to both these places is namsan tower, pretty cool place you take a cable car up to, then take the stairs down. south adjacent of that is itaewon, bunch of foreign knock-offs, lots of military like to hang out there.

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Posted: 11 August 2009 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’d totally avoid Itaewon, if nothing else, it reminded me of all the things I didn’t like about the US.

dongdaemun and namdaemun would be my suggestions. lot of cool things to see and take pictures of.

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Posted: 12 August 2009 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Awesome!  Thanks June and Allen.

Funny tattoo story:

I was riding a lot of trains yesterday, and during one section, I sat down on the seat.  There was an empty seat to my left, but nobody sat down in it because my left arm was partially exposed and the bottom of my tattoo was visible.  Anyways, nobody sat there for the longest time, even with the train starting to get crowded as it passed through downtown Busan until one stop, a little girl (maybe 4th grade age?) saw the open seat, just walked over, and sat down.  No fear!  Hahaha.

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