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Travel Korea - Mongol Style

May 16, 2017

 

 

KOREA is not cheap for the budget traveller, 50USD is the minimal if you stick to dormitories, cheap food and public transport which is limits you to cities and major tourist destination. Fortunately, car rental is relatively cheap on mainland Korea, and very cheap on Jeju island.

 

FOR 2 PEOPLE, YOU CAN:

  • Rent a small car. I managed during spring season, a Hyndai Avante from AVIS (AJ Rental Korea) for 37000W, and a Kia Morning for 25000W from Sixt, per day.

  • Park and sleep in the car for 75% of the journey, and be ready for the morning shoot for the photographer

  • Wash up at public toilet, they are everywhere and often at parking areas

  • Self-cater from local and supermarket

  • Have instant noodle and kimbap (Korean rice rolls) at convenient stores for 1500W

  • Have the best coffee in Korea at the many coffee machine for 300W

 

THEN YOU WILL DISCOVER:

  • Security is easy. No questions asked at immigration points, no need for passport at Hotels, nobody seem to bother if North Korea is going to attack

  • Entrance fees for attractions is cheap very often FOC.

  • Prices are almost the same throughout Korea, no cheap meals whatsoever. 

  • Roads and infrastructures are impressive, but toll roads are expensive.

  • Google Map does not work in Korea, route with Waze (not so good). Koreans uses Navel map, Korean only.

 

MY JOURNEY OVERVIEW

  • 2 weeks with a car picked up and return from Incheon Airport

  • fly to Jeju Island for 5 days to travel around on rental car

  • fly to Busan, then ferry to Tsushima Island in Japan and back (expensive!)

  • bus from Busan to Seoul and out

 

KOREA & THE MONGOLS

  • Yuan Dynasty Kublai Khan invaded Goryeo many times, which became a vassal state.

  • Korea built ships for the Yuan, and it became the staging point for the Mongol invasion of Japan.

  • Empress Gi of Goryeo was the favourite concubine to the last Yuan Khagan Toghon Temür, who eventually control the Yuan dynasty together with her elder brother Gi Cheol.

  • Half of Jeju island was given to the Mongols for horse pastures in history, and they are back in Jeju island as Equestrian performers.

  • Mongols conquered Tsushima Island of Japan, which is less than half way between  Korea and Japan, before landing on Hakata Bay.

 

KOREA SURPRISES

  • Korean Flag has Taoism element.

  • Korea is a very Confucius society, with almost every Buddhist temple as tourism destination, but has Churches everywhere and it host the biggest missionary movement in the world.

  • Korea has more influences from the Chinese, compare to Japan.

  • Koreans are not as good looking as those portrayed in Korean TV drama.

  • Middle aged ladies looks almost the same throughout, permed curls and often with a big sunshade across.

  • Koreans consumes crazy amount of seafood. Octopus, shellfish and all kinds of seafood. Not good for the sea at all.

 

STAY TUNED FOR UPCOMING POST ON KOREA....

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