My winter 2018 trip to Asia. Day 11. Seoul, Korea

At 06:00 in the morning, I take the Hotel airport shuttle bus to Pudong International Airport. There is something about flying that makes me really tired. This time it took almost 2 hours from the bus to the gate. I tried to check in online, as I am only carrying hand baggage. But, all I get is a PDF that tells me to go to the counter. So, half an hour to get the ticket, half an hour to pass the foreigners country exit check, and to pass security and get to the gate consumes the 2 hours. The main problem with a trip that visits so many cities (Delhi, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Shanghai for now) is that you will spend a lot of your time onboard planes and trains. But, there is no other way of seeing so much in so little time.

Pudong Airpot Shuttle Bus Schedule. It shows all the times the bus goes to Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. There are some other flyers over the table about a guide book and a "We Value Your Opinion" survey.

When I get to the Incheon airport, the first thing I do is to get a pocket Wifi rental. The prepaid Unicom SIM card that I used in China was very useful, but I prefer the extra bandwidth, price and multiple-device connection from a pocket Wifi. Also, I get back connection to my Facebook and Google accounts that was lost behind the great Chinese firewall.

Pocket Wifi device over a table.

One interesting fact is that I was able to get all the push notification from Apple devices. So, I knew what emails I received while being off-line and I will get updates from the New York Times. I was not able to access the services, thou. The push notifications feature is an Apple service, and it is not blocked. It can be frustrating to see messages that you cannot answer, or for Facebook, to know that you got “messages” without any information of its content. (Facebook: If you don’t tell me what is the content I am forced to open the App. That’s good for engagement numbers but not so good as user experience.)

Today, it will be a short day. I was tired, as I have shown by ranting a little in the opening paragraphs, and didn’t have so much time left after flying.

To get back some energy, I stop in a market and buy something to eat. There are some tourists but most of the people at the market are Korean. Traveling in December usually means to not find too many Americans or Europeans.

On my way to the hotel, I visit the Deoksugung palace. The place is built in a similar style than other Asian palaces. But, the colors are quite different than in other places. Also, there is a European style residence. tourists guide from the museum helps me to get in and gives me an audio-guide as the tour is only in Korean. At the Deoksugung doors, there is a performance with actors dressed in traditional clothes reenacting some historical event. I stop to watch it for a while and enjoy the performance.

Deoksugung was originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the older brother of King Seongjong. This residence became a royal ‘palace’ during the Imjin war after all of the other palaces were burned in 1592 during the Imjin wars. King Seonjo was the first Joseon king to reside at the palace. King Gwanghaegun was crowned in this palace in 1608, and renamed it Gyeongun-gung (경운궁, 慶運宮) in 1611. After the official palace was moved to the rebuilt Changdeokgung in 1618, it was used as an auxiliary palace for 270 years and was renamed Seogung(West Palace).

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, September 9). Deoksugung. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

That is all for now. Tomorrow, I will also take it easy and get some strength back. In two more days, I will be on the move again.