South Korea : between flashy and traditional

It’s getting modern. A bit shrill. Seoul is pulsating. I find the contrast on the way south to Busan. The east coast shows a lot of nature and tradition.

Seoul : booboom, booboom

I don’t have that much time in the city. Finally, there are two important to dos on my list: celebrating a birthday (not mine) and getting a new camping mattress. That takes you through the city, but not necessarily to the typical sights. Doesn’t matter – I like it this way much more anyway.

Seoraksan National Park

And then we’re heading east. We start exploring the east coast just 50 km from the border to North Korea. In and up to Seoraksan National Park. What a view! I can’t say whether I prefer mountains or the beach. But I know one thing: the view up there always blows my mind.

First-Time-Things : Hitchhiking

Somehow frowned upon in Germany. Fixed with the seal “dangerous”. As a hitchhiker you are kidnapped, as a driver robbed – it is said. Inspired by the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling, I am currently looking for the corresponding figures: What percentage of all crimes occur while hitchhiking, how much on the open road, how much in a private environment? Even if I don’t have the numbers yet, I’m sure that they contradict German myths. What you miss when you leave it: Great encounters with nice, helpful people from very different circumstances in life. And you have a lot of fun if you find that the vehicle is not really designed for two more passengers plus luggage. Further inspiration on hitchhiking can be found in the book “Hit the Road” by Thomas Weber (I have not read it myself and the ad was not commissioned).

Golgusa Temple

Somehow it is part of a visit to South Korea. We limit our temple stay to one day for cost reasons. Still fascinating. Fascinating to participate in a “very normal” daily routine. We meet French, Argentinians and Austrians who live in the temple for up to a year.

Busan: on my way to Japan

With our last hitchhike it goes down to Busan. We don’t really get warm with the city at first glance – it becomes love at second glance! Gamcheon Culture Village is a particularly charming district. And for a change, we do “completely normal” things: cinema (incidentally, this is only advertising for digital products – regardless of the age of the target group), bowling, billiards. And pizza!

Things I learned in South Korea

1. Monastery life – insights into real deceleration. So this is what a typical daily routine looks like. Clear routine, a busy schedule. And all with a lot of time and little stress. I have deep respect for this kind of life.

2. Not every landscape is suitable for camping. It was not always easy to find a suitable place to sleep. Either you found steep slopes, closely overgrown, or flat land, ideally used for agriculture. The beach always “saved” us.

3. Hitchhiking – cliché and great moments. For me there were really great moments while hitchhiking. Even if the reputation is not the best, I don’t want to miss this experience. And it has to be said that South Korea and Japan are probably the safest countries for this adventure.

4. Traveling in pairs or solo – both have advantages and disadvantages. And plenty of it. In pairs, you are simply less alone. You make decisions together, have ideas x2 and – as a woman – you can do easier / safer things like hitchhiking or wild camping. For this alone, you come into contact with other people much easier ans faster and do not have to rely on anyone. In summary – I have a clear opinion: I like both! But I don’t want to miss traveling alone.

5. South Korea and Japan – not a big love. The South Koreans copy ideas, the Japanese have an engaging personality. At least that’s how the widespread opinion on the other island / peninsula seems to be. I myself do not have enough experience to form an opinion on it – at this point I am only a water heater for the reputation of both countries.

6. Even “normal” things are sometimes just great. Above all, you don’t do them so often in everyday life. When was the last time I bowled?

This is the second time I’m getting on a plane. Next destination: Tokyo.

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