Saturday, March 06, 2010

Trip to Hong Kong, Macau and South Korea - Jan 29th 2010

The news this morning said that it was -6.6°C outside at 7:15. Went downstairs for breakfast as it is included in the stay at the hotel. Beats rushing around looking for somewhere decent to eat. Had a big breakfast. About 8:30 we made our way to a bus stop on Jong-no which wasn't far away. Bus 5500-1 took us to Suwon and about 1km from the traditional Folk Village.

"Welcome to Hell ladies and gentlemen" - shop sign captured from the bus.

Advertising for a marathon from 4 months ago. What's up with that?

Why not watch TV whilst stuck in traffic?

Huge noise barriers alongside the Expressway.

Fuel prices. I always like to take a photo of them when I travel.

Bang Bang - clothing not weapons store.

Frugal Bastard rugged up against the cold.

Yep, it's winter alright. The landscape is quite bereft of leaves.

Here we went sledding for a couple of hours. It's great fun but gloves are definitely recommended. I didn't have any and made sure that I bought the first decent pair I came across afterwards. The Boy beat me 8-7 in races down the hill. Hundreds of kindergarten age kids were there also. At lunch time there was an announcement and the place was nearly deserted afterwards. There were a few kids that wanted to talk to me and one of them was pretty difficult to shake off.

Frozen lake (or river). Pretty impressive sight.

Kiddies day out at the Folk Village in Suwon.

Ready for the first sled run.

The big sled run at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon.

Here comes the leader.

Miky enjoyed the sledding.

The Boy had more fun with snowballs than sledding.

So long sucker!

Frugal Bastard finishing the sled run first with The Boy a very distant second.

At one stage the snow came up through a couple of holes in the bottom of my sled and sprayed my face for about half of the run. I felt like, and resembled, the abominable snowman. Pretty cool pic, eh?

Frugal Bastard's impersonation of the Abominable Snowman.

Trying to get lunch at all of the nearby restaurants were catering for the kindy kids and so were out of bounds to us. Had to go deep inside the village for lunch - dumpling soup, seafood pancake and mung bean pancakes - absolutely delicious.

Best seafood pancakes I've ever had.

Kimchi anyone?

Korean-style village houses.

Old fashioned toilet - Korean-style.

I think that a better translation would be "Put rubbish here".

I don%'t know why the tree has been decorated this way but it does look nice.

Horse riding show.

Great trick horse riding.

Archery on horseback at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon.

Great horseriding skills on display at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon.

There was a fabulous horse riding display put on in the village. They did all sorts of tricks, rode on top of the rider's shoulders, performed an archery show and were very entertaining.

Took a ride on the amusement park pirate ship which was great fun although I was covered in snow afterwards. There was a museum within the village which was good although the Korean children that visited don't understand the signs asking them to be quiet. Also wandered about more of the buildings and there was a frozen lake where you could do a primitive form of skating. Not bad fun though.

The Pirate Ship was great fun in the falling snow.

Snow to greet the afternoon.

I love the old style.

Ice-covered lake.

Anyone for skating on ice?

We were worried about money as the cash had nearly run out and surprisingly Miky discovered that the banks weren't open anymore on Saturdays. Had to leave the folk village about 3pm and we had until only 4~4:30 before they closed. I spotted a KEB, Korean Economic Bank, and we alighted the bus. Luckily this bank had an ATM that would accept my card and allow me to withdraw money from my own account. Pity that the account it accesses didn't have enough money but I did manage to find out how much was accessable. Withdrew some money to get us by. Success and a lot of worry put to rest. As I said previously I didn't bring an awful lot of cash on this holiday.

Caught another bus to Suwon Station and took a train to Seoul Station. Went to Myeondong so that Miky could cut her hair and The Boy and I could have dinner in Shinsaegae department store. We ate a spicy bibimbap (mixed rice and vegetables) with octopus. The Boy had to mix it with macaroni and mayonnaise to be able to eat. The four cups of water that he drank also helped. We had a chocolate ice cream and went to the arranged, or so I thought, rendezvous point one minute later than agreed. When someone says that they'll meet you at a subway entrance to Shinsegae I expect to wait at the building entrance and not outside the subway when the temperature is -8°C. We played cards for the 50 minutes that we waited. When the store closed we decided to go home.

I thought that it would take only 20 minutes so a walk wasn't too stupid an idea. It wasn't long before I realised that we weren't heading in the right direction. And I didn't have a map with me. I was just about to grab a taxi, on account of the lack of a map, when I spotted a foreigner standing outside the Sejong Hotel with a map in hand. I asked if I could borrow it to get my bearings and the guy was most agreeable. On the walk back to our hotel I did pick up a map from an information kiosk. Forty minutes after we started we arrived at the hotel. Miky gave me quite an ear bashing for having The Boy out in -8°C for 40 minutes after having been sledding and walking around the folk village for most of the day.

Luckily, for me, our friend Keiko from Fukuoka arrived. She wanted to catch up with Miky and booked into the same hotel. We talked for an hour before hitting the sack.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow that must have been great. Take care.