South Korea and Thailand Fall 2011

Posted by Lisa Wilkinson on

8/29/2011

After much hassling with shady cab drivers, I took a bus into town. They take safety very seriously and walked around to make sure we had our seat belts on as well as watch a safety video. We then got to enjoy Korean daytime tv.

The drive takes close to an hour as the airport is far from the downtown. As you get closer to downtown you notice that what they lack in open space, they make up with having so many trees everywhere. More trees line the busy and congested streets than most parks in the US have.

Our first day is always a recovery and explore day. We picked out hotel due to its easy access to the shopping areas. There are over 20 wholesale markets and malls within walking distance. Not to lose anytime we start right away.

We have learned that we never really buy a lot, if anything, on the first day. We usually take it all in and see what there is and what things cost at the different vendors. Seoul was different than most markets we had been to. It took us a lot longer to find what we thought would be good to bring back. The first night was disappointing to say the least. Think lots of junk, pure junk.

Our first night we got to experience authentic Korean food. It was an adventure that proved too much for me as I ended up eating white rice.

8/30/2011

Today was our first full day shopping. The markets are overwhelming and we had to wade through a lot of junk. I mean a lot of junk .I found a pair of earrings that had Audrey Hepburn on them. I held them up jokingly and Erin was very serious when she replied, For the love of God, no.

We traveled by foot and cab. Our first cab driver spoke little English but it was not hard to understand how much he loved basketball. In very broken English he asked where we were from. His eyes lit up when we told him we were from Utah. He loves Karl Malone. He then listed all of the players he loved (LeBron James made the list). He also informed him of his love for Beyonce and Angelina Jolie. He loves America!

We noticed there was every kind of coffee chain imaginable from the Coffee Bean to Starbucks and everything in between!

8/31/2011

We visited Isadong today and it is cute and quaint full of art. As usual young boys flock to Erin and I got to take their photo with her. It was creepy and charming all at the same time. Then it got comical when a 30 year old woman wanted her pic taken with us…..once you start taking photos everyone wants one.

Although Isadong is cute and quaint it is not a lot of shopping for 2 Vagabonds (way too expensive!) but it was super fun to look around. Plus Erin and I walked away with some Korean prints.

9/3/2011

If I could live anywhere abroad, Thailand tops the list. I have been close to 10 times and I still get excited every time we go. I can't put my finger on it, but the food and people really make it the most charming place to visit (not to mention that $5 massages that I get at least once a day). Bangkok is the best place to shop.

The weekend market is a maze. They have a map and even with that map it is hard to navigate. But we learned there is an animal area and to stay far, far away. You would think it would be fun to see animals you have never seen before (and it kind of was) but then you come across the dog section. These poor puppies are in cages and its 99 degrees…panting and crowded. It takes all your will not to buy and free them all.

The weekend market has everything you could ever want (and stuff you didn’t even know you needed). We stocked up on silk table runners, pillows, jewelry, scarves, sushi sets, wooden products and bags.


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