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Hey folks

Been a while since I was here.

Wondering if those of you who have travelled to Asia or continue to visit here have any "hotspots" that are a must see.

I visit Korea for work. I'll be here roughly every 3 to 4 months for 3 weeks at a time.

I travel all over South Korea, from Seoul to Suncheon, Busan, Ulsan, and more.

Currently I am in Pohang and really like this city.

I have weekends free and would like to do some sightseeing in my free time.

I know some of you have lived here in the past (and maybe currently - hamilton?)

I also work in the Philippines and Vietnam and less often (but occasionally) in China.

Hoping to do some hiking and visit any nice public gardens during my trips.

Cheers

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if you haven't been to Gyongju yet, definitely visit. Very cool. Cheju do is nice, though not terribly exciting. Hiking in Korea is honestly some of the best hiking I've ever done. Chirisan is a great hike, and Seoraksan is very nice as well. You can visit the terracotta warriors in Xian, China, which is close. Then there's loads of cool spots in Japan (too many to name). Hope this is a start.

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Thanks folks

I'm headed to Gwangju tomorrow for 4 days...is that the same place as you mentioned in your post Blane?

After that I am off to Busan for the last 7 days of my stay here in Korea. Then I'm headed to Cebu and finally Ho Chi Minh City.

I've had a fantastic day getting lost in Pohang. Wandering the Jukdo market and eating some crazy food.

So far this trip I have had raw cow spinal cord (which was delicious), Stingray (which was terrible), live octopus (hacked up just before we ate it, and still moving on the plate) and god knows what else. I'm trying everything and anything!

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No, Gwangju is north of Busan. It's the old capital (like, thousands of years ago) and has a lot of very cool historical interest.

give the steamed silkworm larvae a try if you're interested in strange food (bon dae gi). THey sell it on the streets all over the place there.

great, thanks !

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Thanks for the tip.

Most of the time I have no idea what the heck I am eating.

Keeping an open mind and if my colleagues are eating it, then I am willing to give it a try.

I thought i was staying in Gwangju, but after my 5 hour bus ride and being met by my contact there, discovered i had another 1 hour car ride to Muan...make that Mokpo.

Now this city I like !

My hotel room overlooks the East China Sea. It is right on the beach and quite nice.

The scenery on the trip here was spectacular.

My biggest surprise about Korea so far is how gorgeous this country is due to all of the mountains. Great time of year too as the weather is beautiful and the trees are all turning colour.

Looking forward to seeing more over the next 2 weeks.

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I recommend going to Dok Jeok Do for a weekend getaway close to Seoul. It is off the coast of Incheon, takes about 2 hours on a ferry from the Incheon boat terminal. Good beaches and good hikes to be had!

If you are in Seoul and want a break from Korean food check out Marrakesh Nights (Moraccan), Indigo (greasy spoon breakfast) or Taco Amigo.

I second the Seoraksan hike too.

There is a bar on 'hooker hill' in Itaewon called Old Town. One of the sketchiest, weirdest places I've ever been. Stop by there at 4 or 5am to see what I mean. Bar Nana is a spot in Itaewon that used to get the odd good live band. Hongdae has a fun night life too - I remember a lot of cool, comfortable, dimly lit hookah dens found tucked away down hidden alleys.

Mapo (in Seoul) has the best galbi restaurants. I wish I knew the name of the place I used to go to for huge beef galbi feasts. There are plenty of galbi restos to choose from though in that area.

Jeju is worth a weekend trip as well.

Sorry, my memories from Korea are a bit hazy!

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A great way to link up with people in Korea is through the ultimate frisbee league. I imagine it's a whole new set of people there now, but while I was there it was a great mix of Koreans and expats. There are leagues in several cities and weekend tournaments throughout the year.

http://www.koreaultimate.net/

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fantastic recommendations !

Thanks a lot DevO.

I will be returning here roughly every 4 months so there will be lots of opportunity to take you up on those suggestions.

As far as the ultimate frisbee is concerned...dude, I'm old now. That is WAY too much running for this guy.

Disc golf = hell ya

Ultimate = hell no

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I was set to leave Korea this week and head to the Philippines and then Vietnam.

That plan has changed in light of the super typhoon that hit the Philippine Islands the last 2 days and it's now headed for Vietnam.

1200 people are reported to have died in the Philippines as a result (and that is just early reports), with numbers expected to climb higher as the next few days approach.

Watching the devastation on the news has my heart feeling very sad for all of the great people I met in Cebu last spring.

I'm sure I would be terrified if I were already there and am very thankful that I am not caught up in this disaster.

I had a great day today, hiking in the mountains around Changwon here in Korea. But all I can think of is getting on a plane and heading home.

It may be colder in Toronto than here, but right now that doesn't sound so bad!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/typhoon-haiyan-hits-philippines-deaths-could-top-1-200-1.2420971

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Hey Blane

I visited Gyeongju today.

Thanks for the recommendation, what an amazing place!

That's exactly the Korea I was hoping to witness.

On a sad note, 10 university students were killed there last night when a roof collapsed while they were at a concert at a resort.

It has been snowing here all day and a few days ago they had a massive snowfall that is being blamed for the accident.

Resort Roof Collapses

I'm off to Changwon tomorrow and then to the south of China next week to Guangzhou. Population 13 million.

I end this trip back in Cebu, Philippines.

It will be great to see all the beautiful people I met there last spring. Especially after the terrible typhoon that hit in November.

Bring on the tropics!

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  • 3 months later...

The Koreans sure know how to put on an amazing spread of food!

Just finished a huge lunch of Sashimi, with lots of raw octopus, squid, sea cucumber, and about a dozen types of fish.

I'm a little disgusted that some folks eat whale here.

That I am not willing to try.

After going whale watching in Mexico a couple weeks ago and seeing those amazing creatures first hand, there is absolutely no way I could ever eat them.

It's incredibly expensive too at 190,000 KRW ($200 Cdn).

Hopefully the price deters a lot of people from ordering it from the menu.

My client was quite happy to order me some, but I kindly refused.

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Hey Blane

I visited Gyeongju today.

Thanks for the recommendation, what an amazing place!

That's exactly the Korea I was hoping to witness.

On a sad note, 10 university students were killed there last night when a roof collapsed while they were at a concert at a resort.

It has been snowing here all day and a few days ago they had a massive snowfall that is being blamed for the accident.

Resort Roof Collapses

I'm off to Changwon tomorrow and then to the south of China next week to Guangzhou. Population 13 million.

I end this trip back in Cebu, Philippines.

It will be great to see all the beautiful people I met there last spring. Especially after the terrible typhoon that hit in November.

Bring on the tropics!

Just spotted this. Glad you enjoyed it! I have fond memories as well. Happy trails!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Jeju is worth a weekend trip as well.

Thanks DevO

Here in Jeju now.

I'm baffled by the different spellings for the same places.

Is it Jeju or Cheju?

Busan or Pusan?

I give up trying to figure this out.

On a side note I ate some delicious scorpion soup the other day!

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If you are in Seoul and want a break from Korean food check out Marrakesh Nights (Moraccan), Indigo (greasy spoon breakfast) or Taco Amigo

I am staying at the Hamilton Hotel in the Itaewon and can see both Marrakech Restaurant & Taco Amigo out my window.

I'll give them a try this weekend.

Went to Agra Indian Restaurant last night for some delicious curries.

This is a fun neighborhood.

I plan on wandering around the back alleys of this area today.

Earlier this week I was in the Wolchulsan National Park, near Mokpo visiting 2 Buddhist temples.

They were spectacular. One of them dating back to the year 1430.

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