Monday, May 2, 2011

Trip to Korea by Vago, LeX Paradise Contest Winner

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A guest post share by Vago, LeX Paradise Contest winner with his experience about journey to South Korea.

Getting My Kimchi On

When I signed up for Lex Paradise contest, I didn't expect to win. That's why I was so surprised when I did. Still, what a cool thing to win a free flight from Malaysia to South Korea. Never mind that I was in Turkey...

So, I bought a flight on Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur and booked my ticket from KL to Seoul and back. I've been writing about many of the places I saw on my mini-Asia trip on but I wanted to just write a short guest post for Lex Paradise about my flight with Air Asia X and my impressions of South Korea as a whole.

First of all, Air Asia X. Without a doubt those flight attendants are the sexiest flight attendants I've ever come across. Those tight mini skirt uniforms and the bright red color. Wow. I've often regretted living in an age when flight attendants all seem to be over 50, gay, or appearance challenged – Air Asia X has said “Never mind the complaints about equality” and done something wonderful. They've made flight attendants glamorous again. This alone makes air travel more bearable.

On board, the flight attendants were courteous, friendly, and even flirty. The service was great and the onboard meals were actually tasty and regionally oriented. The airport in KL is the LCCT or Low Cost Carrier Terminal and a bus can get you there from KL Sentral for about 10 Ringgits. Inside the terminal were plenty of places to have coffee or lunch and the check-in process was easy and enjoyable to the eye, thanks to the very cute employees they also have working at the desks.My only complaint with Air Asia X was that I wasn't in business class since the seats looked incredibly comfortable but that's my own fault for not upgrading.

Korea Beach
Arriving in South Korea, I was astounded by how beautiful and filled with activities the airport at Incheon was. As I said in my video, I wanted to eat Kimchi, so I decided to go straight to it by booking a room at the Kimchi Hostel in the party center of the city, Hongdae. The Kimchi Hostel is quiet but well connected with the Hong Guesthouse and the owner invited me to go out, drink shoju, and party with the guests and staff within minutes of my arrival. First though, I asked where a good Korean BBQ place was and I sat down with an Italian guest to have a feast of Korean deliciousness. BBQ beef (kelbi), three types of kimchi (pickled cabbage and vegetables), a miso soup, salad, and a bunch of things I didn't know. It was sooo delicious.

Korean Palace
Over the next few days in Seoul, I toured palaces, visited museums, and seriously explored the underground world that is connected by subterranean shopping centers, the metro, and even underground museums. Seoul is vibrant both above and below the surface. In the nearby traditional village (reachable by the subway) I watched farmers dance and learned how to weave a straw rug.

Vago and Korean Friends
I wanted to see more of South Korea so I headed out of Seoul to visit the town of Sokcho and take a short trip up to the DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ). With two new Korean friends, I gazed out at desolate North Korea and toured the DMZ Museum. One thing I found for certain is that Korean people are polite, kind, and generous. They are almost always in a hurry though so don't get offended if they shove you out of the way.

Korean Traditional Dance
From Sokcho, I headed south to Samceok (you can read about the Penis Park at Vagobond since it might be a little much for Lex Paradise). From there a visit to Andong and then on to the coastal city of Busan where I had a lovely walk on the beach, ate more and more and more Kimchi, and finally took the bullet train back to Seoul. Back in Seoul I did some amazing shopping and of course, I ate more Kimchi with my friends at the Kimchi hostel. I was sad when my time was up, but happy that the ride to Incheon was as simple as a subway ride. To be honest, I scheduled a whole day to explore Incheon International Airport with its shopping, starlight gardens, bars, pubs, and massage.

Back in Kuala Lumpur, I was unable to find the time to go meet Lex in person in Penang, but to be sure, I am grateful for the opportunity to visit South Korea and hope to go back again sometime in the future. 

Thanks Lex! You Rock!

If you have any though to share, please do not hesitate to share it here! 


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