Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Busy

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Melbourne, Australia

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that depict busy or working people.

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Seoul, South Korea

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Pekanbaru, Indonesia

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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Seoul’s Cafes

When I lived in Seoul there weren’t anywhere near as many kinds of cafés. I remember going to a Barbie™ café, but it ran out of business.

The lamb café was quite close to where I was when I visited in April. Too bad I hadn’t seen this video.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

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This week  bloggers are challenged to post photos that embody the word:  Face.

Some good photos:

Touring Seoul

When Tanis and I visited Seoul we saw lots of young women in traditional hanboks, which gave our tour an extra sense of history. Above I’ve added a video of two Korean vloggers who explain that if you come in traditional dress, you get in free.

Another tip: As we exited the subway we passed a group of high school students volunteering to take tourists around Gyeongbuk Palace. I’m so glad we accepted the offer. Jin, whose English was quite polished, gave tours once a month to further his English and deepen his understanding of history. The tour was more than just your run of the mill “Look to the left, look to the right.” Whoever devised the tour included lots of Q and A so it’s very interactive and exceeded my expectations. It’s absolutely free.

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Tanis (center) with two Korean women

Hotel Review: Grand Hyatt Incheon

For the long Qing Ming weekend, I’ve come to Seoul. My friend and I arrived at 9:15 pm and I figured it would take an hour to get through immigration (which turned out to take much longer) so we opted for a the Grand Hyatt Incheon which promised a 24 hour shuttle and was just a short distance from the airport.

The problem was the lines in immigration were so long and we didn’t get through till about 11:30pm. The lack of signage at Incheon airport caused a short delay in finding where the Hyatt shuttle stop was. At the Information Desk we were told that the shuttle stopped at 11 so we should use the free airport shuttle. Once we found that stop we saw that the next shuttle would be at 12:12. Ugh!

Had I known, I’d have done something different. We considered getting a cab, but were tired and the idea of changing money and sorting through the touts and cheats seemed too much.

The bus appeared on time and several of us got on board. A few minutes later we were dropped a few blocks, yes a few blocks away from the hotel. The driver who spoke little English just pointed in the distance. We got out and searched for a hotel sign. It was dark and desolated. Not what we wanted upon arrival. We eventually saw what looked like might be our Hyatt. Then the bus approached and the driver, who’d just been waiting for his next run, pointed across the street. That’s the Hyatt.

We crossed and entered a building that had a dark sign that you couldn’t read from the sidewalk. Inside we determined we were in the back of the hotel amidst the restaurants. Eventually, we found the lobby without the aid of a sign.

The receptionist was graceful and apologetic but offered little  to make our unpleasant feelings dissipate. She told us we could have called them and we’d have been picked up. Well, then instruct the staff at the airport Information Desk to tell your guests that. We just did what made sense — asked Information and followed their directions.

We had expected that since our booking was done by a friend with Diamond status that we’d get access to breakfast in the lounge. That’s what happened in the past. The receptionist said we didn’t and that he didn’t have Diamond status, which I know is wrong. In the end we got newer room, but it was a long unpleasant experience. It was really odd that a staff member offered to assist us with our bags and then took us to the elevator put our bags on it and left saying goodbye.

Now I do feel guilty for whinging about “First World problems” but we did pay for this hotel room and chose it based on the 24 hour shuttle promise on the website. Just change the website to state what actually is offered. 6am to 11pm is not 24 hours. Every 15 minutes is not twice an hour.

Traditional Korea

Insadong is one of my favorite places in Seoul, South Korea. It’s a neighborhood of tea houses, shops, art galleries and cultural demonstrations. It’s just fun to wander around.

My favorite way to wind up an afternoon in Insadong is to stop at the Old Tea Shop where little finches fly around the antique filled, funky tea shop.