I went to Korea for just over 3 weeks (12th July – 4th August) and had the best time of my life! It was the first time I had been on a plane by myself and going so far away from home. The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Korea was how humid the country was! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced humidity like that in the UK.
Since my boyfriend’s father works as a soldier I stayed in the Korean army base for the majority of the time. I think I was quite lucky because I think even the American soldiers are not allowed inside. I remember coming back to the base from meeting my boyfriend’s friend in the town nearby and the soldier at the gate asked “What is a foreigner doing here..?” and we explained and he didn’t want to let us in. My boyfriend told the soldier my name and I showed him my passport and he went behind the gate to check some sort of name book. He came back and finally let us in. It was crazy.
I tried so many new dishes but unfortunately I disliked the majority of the food. My favourite Korean food (now) is Bulgogi with rice, the different type of sausages with rice, Odeng(?) with rice, basically all meat with rice haha.
My boyfriend and I went to Seoul for a week where we stayed in a hotel right outside the 청계천 river! We visited 신천 (Shinchon) on the first night to meet a friend to go to a 치맥 bar (chicken and beer bar) and then we drank 옥수수술 (I have no idea what the English name is) and went to 노래방 (Karaoke) until midnight. The next day we went to 이대 (Edae) to visit a friend who was coming to the UK to study. She took us to her university (Edae(hwa?) Women University) and the place was HUGE! She told us that the university was the first and oldest women ONLY university. Classes were in progress so we had to kind of sneak inside. We made a plan that if anyone asked why a man and a foreigner was inside the university we would tell them we were exchange students haha. Afterwards the friend took us to a waffle cafe where I tried waffles for the first time. I AM IN LOVE! It was so sweet and sugary…I would definitely recommend trying the waffles in Korea!
(There was much more nicer pictures of this university but my boyfriend has those pictures on his hard-drive so next time I’m at his I’ll upload them!)
I didn’t get to visit Hongdae or Itaewon although I really wanted to. However I did go to Namsan and we climbed the mountain to Namsan Tower. It was so cloudy when we went so the view of the scenery wasn’t great but I enjoyed it nontheless. We left Seoul to go to 경기도 (kyunggi-do) to visit my boyfriend’s grandparents. They were lovely and kind to me and they made food I could eat which I appreciated so much. I also met my boyfriend’s Taekwondo teacher and his family. He has a daughter who is sooooo cute! She was so shy at first when she met me but after the second day she was calling me 이모 (auntie) haha.
(I made a video of my trip to Namsan, however the quality of the video is very bad! Samsung phones are supposed to have good quality…)
After my trip in Seoul we went to Busan to stay with my boyfriend’s aunt and uncle. They were so kind and understanding and their sons were so cute! Of course we went to (해운대) Haeundae and had an amazing time! We only stayed for 3 days which I was sad about but had the best time ever.
I spent the rest of my holiday at the army base and on the last Thursday before leaving I visited a place called the Princess Cafe in Edae. It’s a shop where people can go dress up in wedding dresses, hanboks, pretty dresses, anything really. I wanted to try a hanbok so the friend who came to Edae with us last time booked an appointment at a hairdressers for me to get my hair done and my make-up done. I was so thankful to her and the artists did an amazing job! When we went to the cafe I chose a red and black hanbok and my boyfriend suddenly wanted to wear a hanbok too haha. We got lots of pictures taken together and we also got polaroid pictures to give to our families. When we showed my boyfriend’s parents they said the pictures looked like wedding photos!
On the last day I went to a local hairdressers and decided to get a perm. I’d never done anything like that to my hair before but I saw lots of Korean women with a perm and I really wanted one. It took 3 hours which was agonizing but worth it in the end! My boyfriend’s mum also got a perm and when it was finished I loved her hairstyle!!
I was really sad to be leaving but I didn’t want to cry in front of my boyfriend’s family because they wanted to give me a happy send off. I was late to get to my gate so I had to quickly say goodbye. I spent the rest of the flight (about 12 hours) trying not to cry which was horrible. However I had the best time of my life and I really want to go back!!
If you’ve read this far, I congratulate you!
If you’ve been to Korea tell me your experience and where you went!