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Last updated : Nov 2009
Arrived in Seoul
Seoul and Basan, Korea South
July 19th, 2004

Pros : culture and people
Cons : None

Yahooo, back in Korea! Back in Seoul! God I love this place. Everyone should experience Korea, and it's amazing culture and people, at least once in their lifetime. This is my second trip to the Land of the Morning Calm. I first came here during the previous Winter to teach as part of a 4 week English language camp for Korean children. At the time I was at a loose end, having returned from my Round-the-World trip a few months previous. When arsing around the World on the aforementioned trip somebody had recommended to me to give teaching abroad a go (hey, you never mention settling down when on among fellow travellers) and even though I had no teaching experience whatsoever it was certainly a more attractive prospect than rejoining the Irish tax paying public. So mainly because I have the guts to try it and the tongue of a native English speaker (and no doubt because they were stuck for English teachers!) I was accepted as an ELT, or English Language Teacher, in a 4 week camp in Korea. I recall being very nervous at the thoughts of teaching but kept reminding myself, Hey Dave, it's only for 4 weeks! How bad can I/it be? The safety net of the 4 weeks was comforting. And so on St Stephens day 2003 I boarded a plane bound for Seoul. As it turned out I had a great 4 weeks and promised myself it wouldn't be too long before getting back.

And here I am! Except this time I have company. Bairbre is with me for the stay in Korea which involves seeing a bit of the country and being ELT's in the Summer version of the English camp. We then plan on a week in Beijing after camp before we go our separate ways; her returning home and me staying to see a bit more of China.

So what of Seoul. Well, it's certainly a shit lot hotter than it was in December! No skiing this time. Safe to say July isn't Seoul's peak tourist period; it's hot, muggy, wet (very wet) and generally uncomfortable. Thankfully I have a high tolerance for such conditions but all the same we did decide to leave Seoul after 3 nights, and a bit of sightseeing in between downpours, to seek out more friendly weather conditions (we hoped) down South. And so it was onto Koreas 2nd city, Busan. See ya there!

With no end to the rain in Seoul we decided to head for Busan, Korea South's 2nd city, in the hopes of finding sunshine. We weren't disappointed. Handcuffed by the inclement conditions in Seoul (which was unfairly dubbed 'Seoul Hole' on more than one occasion!) it was here in Busan where we managed to stay dry without staying indoors. Again it was my second visit to the city so as a rather amateur tour guide I was able to show Bairbre around the city and we effortlessly passed 5 nights before the attention of the trip turned to our imminent arrival in the northern city of ChunCheon for the 4 week long English camp.