A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace


Here I am in yet another internet place full of teenagers playing RPGs, though the Korean ones are markedly less smelly than the Chinese versions, and all the keys usually still have their letters on them, which certainly makes typing easier.

This morning I took the local bus into town and then the very fab high speed KTX bullet train to Seoul. This was like being in a library or gentlemen's club; cool, quiet, barely a murmur from other people or the train as we shot along at over 300 km/h through neat green countryside and unvandalised cities. Made me a bit conscious of how our country must come over to some foreigners. I passed the time with my I-Pod, having gone back to learning Japanese again in preparation for flying there on Tuesday, though no doubt that will further confuse my already dubious Korean. When I got off the train I got on the wrong metro line, but worked it out in the end and am now settled for the rest of this time in Korea in a hotel in Insa-Dong, an area like a nice and trendy version of the West End. Its another so-called love hotel (and at least recommended by Rough Guide) and though very cheap for the centre of a modern city, sadly without internet in my room, hence why there are all these WHOOSH! PEEOOW! noises around me (though being Korean, the kids themselves are mostly quiet).

I tried to organise going to the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and Wouth Korea - what Bill Clinton called the scariest place on Earth - but the JSA is closed Sundays and Mondays! What kind of a cold war closes for the weekend?! So I spent the afternoon with a Japanese Tour (It was them or not at all) in Changdeokgung Palace, World Heritage listed and very nice, like the nearby Palace I went to a week ago but with lovely gardens also. I have finally found some postcards and when I finish this missive I will post them and go in search of more multi-dish culinary spicy extravaganzas before settling down to another night of reading my book. Exciting stuff this middle-age solo travelling!



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