More Korea and a bit of Hong Kong

Well we arrived back in Israel this morning so that concludes our second year in China.The trip to South Korea was really fantastic-far surpassed my expectations mainly in contrast to China. It was outstanding both because of the scenery that we saw,the lovely people we met,the cleanliness everywhere (in stark contrast to some places in China) and the amazing food,much of which was far too spicy for me but which I enjoyed having a shot at nevertheless.As promised I will add pictures here,having managed to upload them to the computer I will put them all here not on the previous posting.After Jeju we went to Busan (by air) for 4 days and were very lucky with the weather.We visited the Fish Market,and sampled fish straight out of the sea.We went up the Busan Tower for a view of the whole city,and we saw two lovely beaches. We found Busan to be a little like Haifa,more laid back than the capital,with a different feel to it,but with plenty to see and do.It also,like Seoul has a clean,cheap and efficient subway very easy to negotiate and you can use the same transport card that you use in Seoul,but you can’t top it up.

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Kindergarten kids eating lunch at the War Memorial,Seoul

 

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Secret Garden in The Changdeokgung Palace,Seoul

In Busan we also met William Clark,an American who has been teaching English in Busan for 15 years,He is a Couchsurfer who wanted to host us but had building troubles at his apartment and didn’t want us to suffer from the noise so he met us at the subway station and took us to his apartment where he made us dinner,and then helped us get to our guest house.He was leaving to go to Italy a few days later so bid us goodbye and we hope to run into him again someday.He was very charming and we enjoyed our evening with him a lot.The next day was raining so we just went to the Busan Museum, and visited the fascinating UN Military Cemetery where soldiers who helped South Korea in the Korean War.

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After Busan,we took a fast train back to Seoul for the last days of our Korean adventure and stayed a couple of days in the same hotel we had enjoyed before, and saw Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine where the past kings of Korea are honoured (but not buried) and checked out the lovely neighbourhood of Insadong,which is kind of like reconstructed but very cool and full of lovely arty shops and cafes.We also took a day trip to the DMZ to see the border between North and South Korea.This is a fascinating thing to do if you have any interest in history whatsoever.You can only do it by organized tour and you have to be accompanied by the UN and obey all the rules,eg no jeans,no sandals,no shorts,and behave as instructed to avoid any unpleasantness with the North Korean solders.WE went down the 3rd infiltration tunnel dug by the North Koreans and were even able to photograph the North Korean soldiers.

 

 

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Lovely sunset in Seoul

 

We returned to our friends Jongsoon and Won for the last couple of days of our trip to say goodbye and collect our heavy luggage which they had so kindly stored for us.WE went with them to Seoul Tower and out to a restaurant. I also went with Jongsoon to her high school to see what a Korean classroom is like.I told the students about myself and my life in Israel and in China,which was a lot of fun.One lovely day we had a walk along the Han river at sunset and saw bike riders and joggers,it was so serene,it made me love Korea a lot.

 

 

 

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