This concludes my journey to Thailand for Lunar New Year. Its been a blast I’ve seen temples, ancient cities, monkeys, Grand Palaces, and shopped at markets. For anyone looking for a fun and inexpensive trip in Asia, I’d recommend visiting Thailand.
A Cab to the Airport
Nicole and I wanted to save some money and we both had a long day of travel ahead of us so we booked an early flight home. This meant waking up at 4am and getting a cab to the airport. The cab was only 3 dollars for a 20 minutes trip across town, talk about cheap. We tipped him another dollar for the early cab ride and for getting us there so quickly. Inside the airport we breezed through check-in and walked to our gate with plenty of time. It was surprising the number of people who were at the airport at 5am, but it wasn’t overly crowded.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
The flight was smooth and the movies were pretty much the same as when we left with only a few changes. Both Nicole and I were incredibly exhausted so we slept for most of the trip anyways.
We landed in Incheon International Airport about 5 hours later at 1pm Korea time. It felt surreal returning to Incheon Airport. During our Japan trip we flew in and out of Busan so this was our first flight through Incheon after arriving in Korea.
It was interesting to compare the experience arriving this time with our first arrival to Korea 8 months before. This time Nicole and I were traveling together and we knew how to get a bus to Gwangju, what the buses would be like, and how to get a cab from the bus station to my apartment. We knew all the little details and what to expect in Korea.
The first time I arrived in Korea, I was alone. It was my first time flying to Korea and I had no idea what to expect. I had some many thoughts.
- What would the airport be like?
- How would Korea compare with America?
- Would it be easy to communicate with other people?
Short Answers to all these questions: Korea is a developed country with nice airports and many English speakers. You have nothing to worry about.
Arriving in Incheon all over again brought all of these comparisons back to me and it was funny to think about how concerned I was then compared with how calm I was now. To anyone thinking about coming to Korea to teach English. I say do your research and find a good job, then go for it. Teaching in Korea is a blast and its given me a lot of time to travel and grow as a person. I highly recommend the experience.
Incheon to Gwangju, South Korea
The first time I arrived in Korea I was alone and unsure of which bus to take or how to get to Gwangju.
There are two Gwangjus: one is just south of Seoul and a very short/cheap bus ride. The other one is in South South Korea and a much longer more expensive bus ride.
This time Nicole and I were traveling together and it was nice to have her as company on a 5 hours bus ride across the Korean Peninsula. When we finally arrived in Gwangju at the bus terminal, we hailed a cab back to my apartment and dropped off our heavy bags before grabbing a pizza from Dominos just up the road.
Like I said, Korea is a developed country where globalization has, for better or worse, reached its monopolous hand and sprinkled the seeds of international business all over Korea.
There are parts of home here in Korea like fast food and international clothing stores. However there are also parts of Korea that are completely alien and unique like temples, Noribangs, and Jinjabongs. Nicole and I try to strike a balance of the two every time we travel or do anything really.