dinsdag 9 juni 2015

Facts & Figures of our Korea holiday May-June 2015

Roadmap of the trip we made starting and ending > 2 weeks later in Seoul.
The trip by bus to the DMZ is indicated with a red line.

Rental car info:
Our rental car was a Kia K5, which was booked with Avis The Netherlands.

It took some time for the Dutch Avis office to arrange this due to the fact that we wanted to fetch the rental car at an Avis office near our hotel in the middle of Seoul city and NOT at Incheon International airport. This was by the way about EUR 200 cheaper than renting it at the airport.
Don't forget to mention you want an English navigation system because that is an absolute MUST for foreigners. 

Hotels we visited are indicated on the map.

We booked all hotels upfront with and most of them were ok (a few we didn't like) and not too expensive. More info see our blog posts and/or find them in

It was a super trip, we loved it. 
Peter & Carina

maandag 8 juni 2015

Korea: last day in Seoul, relaxing in the park (Day 26)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

This is our last day in Seoul before we will board the KLM flight home to Amsterdam around midnight.

After packing our suitcases we passed men playing go in the Jongmyo park while on our way to the Changdeok park, where we visited the Changdeokgung palace and spend some time leisuring, coz it was too warm to be very active. 

At about 15.30 hrs we had a lovely late lunch at a 'Korean Japanese' restaurant. After returning to the hotel I worked on my blog post in the business centre of the Rian hotel and Peter went for a walk in the neighbourhood. 
After returning we had a beer and started the journey to Incheon International airport by subway & train.

The end of an awesome trip.
dikke kus

open air 'sport school' for the elderly

Changdeok park with the Changdeokgung palace

Sunday afternoon leisure in the park

last late lunch in Seoul: Japanese sashimi, although accompanied by a lot of  Korean side dishes 

while I was working on the blog post of the day before in the Rian hotel business centre, Peter walked around the neighbourhood and made some pics

our home for 10.5 hours that brought us to Amsterdam

zaterdag 6 juni 2015

Korea: Namsan tower & shopping at Shinsegae (Day 25)

on top platform of Namsan tower

Saturday, 6th June 2015
Today we will visit the Namsan tower, although it's not really clear weather we hope to have a reasonable view when up on the platform. We take the cable car up to the 1st platform. A lot of activity there; food, places to sit, make selfies, artificial trees loaded with 'love padlocks', etc. We take the elevator up to the platform where you can walk around and see the city at your feet.

frying fish early in the morning in 'our alley' near the Rian hotel, which we always have to cross to go to the subway.


it's all about love ^-^

Namsan tower from the 1st platform

a long way from home

not so far from home

When back on the ground we decide to go shopping at Shinsegae Warehouse Store, which is a big one and very posh. They have all the famous couturier clothes, make-up, perfumes, all the European brands espresso machines, pottery, pans, you name it they got it; it's amazing. Gave us the 'KDW feeling'.
There's of course vallet parking, young good looking boys in beige trousers with red ties are waiting for the rich and beautiful.

We visit he restaurant on one of the top floors which has a rooftop garden with fountains. Parents take there children to play there. Funny to see Korean children don't like water that much as none of them is playing with water in the fountain.


here the poster is till intact, but a few minutes later the guys distroyed the enormous poster to make way for a new advertisement

demo of WMF non-stick frying pan

the roof garden

'our bar', which is near our hotel

vrijdag 5 juni 2015

Korea: back to Gagnam (Galleria) & Seoul (hotel Rian) - 'carless' (Day 24)

fetching our car from the 'car elevator of the hotel' - fun

Friday, 5th June 2015
Today we will get back to Seoul and return our rental car. We will stay in Soeul till Sunday nite when our return flight to Amsterdam is planned.
We are a bit melancholic coz it feels our endless holiday is gonna end soon.

We decide to make some photos of things we see when travelling Korea and that became 'normal' to us.  

We visited the Galleria Department store in Gagnam to have lunch at Gourmet 494, which is situated in the basement of the West building of the super luxury store complex of Galleria.
As we had no idea where to park our car we entered a garage as a boy was beckoning us. Ahum, this was the garage, with valet parking service, of the Tiffany & Co. part of the Galleria. We walked along corridors with diamond rings, fancy couturier bags etc. and found .... yeah the Gourmet 494.

Peter driving in the chaos of Seoul, he has adjusted well to the Korean traffic and has fun 

When we left the garage of The Galleria we were asked by a kind lady of Tiffany's if we had a purchase ticket of something we had bought. We didn't ... no problem we had to pay WON 2000 (= EUR 1,60) now that's great parking. 

traffic jam on the bridge into the other (old) part of Seoul 

Seoul traffic 

beer in 'our bar on the corner' & a face mask (MERS virus around atm)

We revisited the Japanese restaurant near our hotel and ordered our fav dish: tuna salad and sake. Sooooo yummy

donderdag 4 juni 2015

Korea: hiking in Songnisan National park, Beopjusa temple, Italian wine in Daejeon ( Day 23)

Thursday, 3 June 2015

This morning we left our hotel, the Good Morning residence Hue in Daejeon, to go for a hike in Mt Songnisan National park, which is about 1,5 hrs drive away from Daejeon.

entrance of the park

Mt. Songnisan National Park is comprised of Mt. Songnisan and the valleys of Hwayang, Seonyu, and Ssanggok. Situated in the middle of the Sobaeksanmaek Mountains. The sharp granite peaks of Mt. Songnisan and the deep valleys of sedimentary rocks are great. 

One of Korea's largest temples, Beopjusa, can also be found on Mt. Songnisan. Uisang indicates a sitting Buddha statue and Maaeyeoraeuisang describes the Buddha sitting on a lotus flower. The years have damaged the figure quite a bit, but it still maintains its original beauty. 

inside the temple

the enormous buddha statue

Visitors to the temple will witness the Cheongdongmireukbul, which is the largest Buddha statue in the world. To me it looked rather 'plastic fantastic' but I guess that's not sounding very devote. I personally loved the scenery with the bright coloured lantern. Couldn't stop making photos

Devote: the guy bottom right of the collage walked with us over the temple complex explaining how many times one had to bow for specific buddhas.

telecommunication pole (no Wifi for us though) 

We did a lovely hike into the forest, climbing the mountain: some pics


isolated monastry, which we passed during our hike; 
monks have to wash their clothes too 
enjoying a beer after the hike with the locals

After a shower, back in the hotel, we went to an 'Italian' restaurant, which looked very modern and posh, where we had pizza (more a sort of focaccia with toppings) and ordered a bottle of red Italian Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, which we cooled coz it was too warm.

Tomorrow we will return to Seoul. The end of our trip is coming near.