When I told people – even Koreans – that I was planning to travel in South Korea for a couple months, the question I almost always heard was ‘Why’? And ‘what is there to do?’ And now that I have left South Korea, people are surprised that, in two months, all I did was travel.
So why did I go there?
I have been interested in South Korea since I was in college. I read Korean comics. I took a taekwondo class. I got a cookbook with a ‘Korean’ section and starting making kimchi. Things like that. Heck, I even read Everlasting Flower, a History of Korea. I had seriously considered moving to South Korea before I decided to move to Taiwan instead, and I considered moving from Taiwan to South Korea. I finally decided that what I really wanted was to travel in South Korea, not to live there.
My travels in South Korea were heavily influenced by my experiences in Taiwan. I never intended to stay in Taiwan for more than a few years, so I felt I had to take nearly opportunity to explore Taiwan that I could. The result was that, in Taiwan, I ended up spending almost any off-work day with good weather travelling, and over a few years I managed to visit many, many corners of Taiwan. I have not been everywhere in Taiwan (that would take a lifetime), but I have been to every region and to many of the less-known places of scenic, historical, and/or cultural interest.
Thus, I wanted to travel South Korea thoroughly, and try to get as much of a handle on what South Korea is as can be done in just a couple months.
For all of those people who wonder what there is to see and do and South Korea, this blog will answer that question. I didn’t see or do everything, but I did go to every province, and I covered a lot of ground.
And of course, I noticed that the initials for South Korea – S.K. – are the same as the initials for my own name – S.K. – which is why I named this blog ‘SK in SK’ (or ‘SKnSK’).
I am not going to do this in chronological order. First I am going to start with my favorite province, Chungcheongbuk-do, which also happens to be one of the most rural, and then spiral clockwise around South Korea until I end in Seoul, forming a nice spectrum from remote and rural to urban and cosmopolitan.
(Hint: the only two cities in ChungCheongbuk Province are Chungju and Cheongju, and ‘buk’ means ‘north’, so I remembered the name ‘Chungcheong-buk’ by thinking of it as ‘the Northern province of Chungju City and Cheongju City’)
Settle down in your armchair and come to South Korea with me.