Seoul: Hello Myeong-dong!

Myeong-dong, Seoul

I flew from Bali via Kuala Lumpur to Seoul, and since I had a 3-hour wait in KL, I decided to go to the airport lounge that I had access to with my Visa card. I sat down in a corner to blog and relax, when suddenly, the lights were turned off. 

I thought that this was probably done, so people could get some sleep, so I just continued writing until it was time to go to the gate. I then realized that the staff had shut down the lounge completely and left! The door was locked, but luckily it was possible to open it from the inside, so I could escape and get on my flight. Yikes! Can’t believe that they didn’t check if there were still people inside before they closed the lounge for the night.

I came to Seoul this morning, and since I thought that AC would be flying in a couple of hours later, I sat down to wait for her in the arrival hall. However, a closer look at our WhatsApp conversation revealed that she wasn’t arriving in Seoul until tomorrow. Turned out I had a day in Seoul on my own.

I took the airport train to the city and checked in at the hotel, which is located right at the beginning of the big Myeong-dong shopping street. Myeong-dong used to be the place to go for all the young fashionistas in Seoul, but nowadays, it’s primarily other Asian tourists you’ll see browsing the stores. Until recently, China was the biggest supplier of foreign purchasing power, but because of political friction between China and Korea, China has imposed a ban on tours to Korea, delivering a big blow to Korea’s tourism industry.

The Koreans are a bit ambivalent regarding this, because as much as they could use the steady inflow of Chinese Yuan, the Chinese tourists have long held a reputation of being boisterous and bad-mannered, and many Koreans have frowned upon how the most popular tourist sites in the country have been invaded by Chinese tour groups.

When AC arrives, we will be spending one night in Seoul, before we travel to Pyeongtaek, where we’ll be attending the wedding of my friend from Dubai, Shinae’s, brother. Then we’ll take the train to Gwangju, which is the city where I was born, before we go to Jeju Island and then back to Seoul.

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