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Old 12th March 2016, 18:31   #1
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Default A Trip to South Korea

Visit to Korea is normally a very welcome trip,even though I never owned an Hyundai car nor am a fan of its design language.

So after last visit in 2013, three years back - there are no visible changes. What else can you expect ? It is considered a developed country and confirms that once you step out of the airport. South Korea's economy is considered as one of the world's fastest-growing developed countries, along with Hong Kong.

Process of getting a Visa for Korea is not an issue (for business purpose through a company), there are some additional documentation needed of the Korean company like registration and balance sheet, apart from the normal personal details like bank statements, income tax proof, etc.
Visa takes normally a week after submission the visa documents and is given for a month or two.
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Travel card and a couple of hundred $ in currency is always my way of transaction during travel,
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Route : Bangalore- Hong Kong - Pusan
Fare: ~74k INR ( round trip)
Airline - Cathay Pacific/Dragonair

Kempegowda/Bangalore International airport - Dragonair counter,
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Inside the KA513 flight- 1:30 am
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Hong Kong airport - 9 :15 am
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Cathay Pacific Lounge,
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Pusan ( S. Korea) @ 7 am, Hotel Pullman - Ambassador ( @ $170/day)
Set in a contemporary tower block adjacent to a shopping complex.

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The Room -spacious and tastefully done
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Moving on to the streets and more specific in the auto world dominance of Hyundai is visible. Having a market share of above 30% and along with sister concern Kia wil cover more than half of the Auto segment.
German cars are dominated by BMW, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen.

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Suddenly one night we notice this near the lobby, browsing we see the N. Korean threat - our team ( Europeans ) panic and consider a case of bad planning for the meet - restless night follow

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Having Germans in the team, they are very uncomfortable in this situation and hence we try to get more information on this though sources at the hotel, but was told this is a yearly ritual and not an issue at all.
We also get confirmation from our colleagues (Hosts- Koreans) of the same and hence tension is diffused.

Such trips always have less time for exploring the place but this time was lucky to explore more than normal- one such place was the Haeundae Beach in Busan.
It is one of the most famous beaches in South Korea but since it was off –season it was pleasant (otherwise understand it is overcrowded)
A very popular down area and has several high rise building and upmarket hotels and shopping centers.

Marine City is an expensive and prestigious residential area in Haeundae District, Busan, South Korea. Most of the buildings are very luxurious skyscrapers.

Downtown
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Marine City in view
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Last edited by GTO : 28th May 2016 at 11:35. Reason: Removing some excessive spacing from the end. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd May 2016, 12:13   #2
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Some more pics of the beach, the bridge seen is a two tier one connecting Marine city to Busan town.

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Driving through Marine City visually one of the richest place (in Busan) to be,

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Dinner at Westin Chousin Hotel,

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View from the restaurant,

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Welcome change from the Korean food, most of us opt for steaks,
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And here in an authentic Korean restaurant -Forget vegetarians, even for non-vegetarians it will a challenge , at times here!

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Partly cooked starters (Veg+Meat)
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Raw meat as delicacy!
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Last edited by volkman10 : 23rd May 2016 at 15:56.
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Old 23rd May 2016, 16:01   #3
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Default re: A Trip to South Korea

And cooked meat, for those preferring that!
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And the rest of the Korean dishes,
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Korean famous traditional 'Kimchi '
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In such trips you spend your free time more in restaurants due to late meetings,

Another Typical Korean food and restaurant,
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If you a vegetarian then the 'salad bar' is the only place for you!

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..and for the rest there is variety of food to choose from,
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Well business trips never last more than 5 days and these are the highlights during this trip.

This being my 3rd trip to Korea here are my top 5 impressions of this great country,

What you would like
1. Very friendly, hospitable, disciplined and hardworking people.
2. Clean , wide well maintained roads and disciplined traffic ( Indian view , European and Americans could differ in this view)
3. Well-connected public transportation system
4. Food – all types are available and would enjoy if non-vegetarian

What you would not like
1. Communication is the main hindrance – Korean seems to be the only language known to both elderly and even the young generation.
Most labels and instructions have no English as optional.
2. Food -If you are vegetarian it will be a very big compromise.
3. Korean restaurants do have a distinct odor due the sea food ( sea weeds)which is their main dish.



Coming up next - Trip to Europe - Germany or France

Last edited by volkman10 : 27th May 2016 at 11:45.
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Old 27th May 2016, 13:20   #4
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Default re: A Trip to South Korea

Beautiful pics of a country that has started getting more and more ingrained in our day to day life without being very obvious about it.
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Old 27th May 2016, 15:23   #5
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Wonderful post volkman10. Brought up memories of my business trip there at the beginning of the year.

I would rate my stay there as one of the best business hotel that I have stayed in. I think that opinion is driven a lot by the extremely high level of courtesy on display by each and every member of the staff - one got the feeling that they were trying their best to make the stay as pleasant as possible in a personal capacity, and not just as part of their professional duties. Loved the automated unit near the bed that allowed you to control the lights, AC, TV, door, alarm everything from one panel.

(Not sure if the forum allows to mention hotel names, but if anyone is interested, please feel free to PM me).

That's my lasting impression from my visit - everywhere I traveled, the people were very courteous, polite, willing to help, even though language was a barrier at times.

The food spread at the restaurants was also something quite extra-ordinary. Our hosts took us to an authentic Korean dinner, and course after course followed until I was absolutely full, and then the hosts asked for the main course and dessert!

Finally, the heated toilet seats were a blessing in the middle of January
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Old 27th May 2016, 16:34   #6
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Originally Posted by BertieWoosert View Post
Wonderful post volkman10. Brought up memories of my business trip there at the beginning of the year.

I would rate my stay there as one of the best business hotel that I have stayed in. I think that opinion is driven a lot by the extremely high level of courtesy on display by each and every member of the staff - one got the feeling that they were trying their best to make the stay as pleasant as possible in a personal capacity, and not just as part of their professional duties. Loved the automated unit near the bed that allowed you to control the lights, AC, TV, door, alarm everything from one panel.


Finally, the heated toilet seats were a blessing in the middle of January
Was it the Lotte hotel? The automation is the thing that stood out the most for me. They have automatic sliders(for doors, windows and curtains) and buttons for nearly everything! Buttons on the commode! Man, how many ways of washing your butt are there! Many apparently!!

As an Indian, the food was, well, very bland. Cold noodles, no! Honey on chicken, Nein! Raw or lighty cooked meats, Nahin!!! But i think its one of those things you get an acquired taste, maybe just like every other cuisine in the world. The Koreans give importance to the natural taste of an ingredient hence spices and heavy sauces are non existent. The beauty, color and mild tastes of the ingredients on the plate is what they appreciate. 10/10 would go to Seoul again.
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Old 28th May 2016, 12:30   #7
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Just curious. What were the Germans scared about? That North Korea was going to invade South Korea? Poor buggers. They scare easily, don't they? South Korea seems to be an awesome place worth a visit. Communication is probably the biggest issue for a visitor to SK.
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Old 28th May 2016, 12:52   #8
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Just curious. What were the Germans scared about?
For a German in a situation when you see American marines the next is only War they see coming
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Old 28th May 2016, 21:32   #9
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Originally Posted by Yusha View Post
Just curious. What were the Germans scared about? That North Korea was going to invade South Korea? Poor buggers. They scare easily, don't they? South Korea seems to be an awesome place worth a visit. Communication is probably the biggest issue for a visitor to SK.

Having a senior US military officer at a place would make it a target for terrorism or an attack. That was probably worrying the folks.
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Old 28th May 2016, 23:23   #10
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Default Re: A Trip to South Korea

Looks like a beautiful city, with high levels of cleanliness.

How is the food scene for vegetarians there? I can sense it must be very difficult, but would like to hear from someone who has been there.
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Old 29th May 2016, 08:26   #11
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Looks like an exciting trip!

In a couple of your pics there appears to be a Renault Fluence but the badging on the car is different. What car is that?
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Old 29th May 2016, 11:14   #12
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In a couple of your pics there appears to be a Renault Fluence but the badging on the car is different. What car is that?
It's a Samsung

Renault Samsung SM3
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Old 29th May 2016, 14:30   #13
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Nice Pics!

Food looks super yummy !!!!
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Old 29th May 2016, 17:19   #14
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How is the food scene for vegetarians there? I can sense it must be very difficult, but would like to hear from someone who has been there.
For Vegetarians, it is a bit tough in typical Korean restaurants , but in McDonald's and Pizza places it is available.
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Old 29th May 2016, 23:57   #15
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Originally Posted by whoztheman83 View Post
Buttons on the commode! Man, how many ways of washing your butt are there! Many apparently!!
I first experienced this in Japan and wondered how they have put in the research for these things. All the markings were in Japanese, had to try out all the combinations.

When I visited Daegu, Korea during the 2011 world athletics championship, was amazed to see the levels of automation. They have buttons for everything. The net connectivity and speed were mind boggling. Wonderful people.
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