Korea and Taiwan by Pam C.

We are yet to experience a trip that we haven’t liked, although some are more memorable than others and this was certainly one of them. - Pam

We are avid travellers and have travelled extensively through Asia, so we were a bit ho-hum when we decided on a trip to Korea and Taiwan, sightseeing in Seoul on our own followed by a flight to Taipei which connected with a seven-day ATM Travel tour of Taiwan.

Departing Brisbane Airport on Korean Airlines, we flew direct to Seoul. Unlike a lot of travellers, we love the whole in-flight package of food, drink and entertainment and Korean Airlines did not let us down. I did however have a ‘senior’ moment when the hostess asked if I would like the ‘bibbop’ or the fish and noodles for dinner. After asking her three times to clarify what was on offer and three times hearing ‘bibbop’, I decided the safest option was the fish and noodles. After arriving in Seoul, we visited a restaurant and there on the menu was ‘bipimbap’, which was the dish the hostess was trying to offer me. It is a traditional Korean dish of rice and vegetable with an egg thrown in for good measure. If you are a ‘foodie’ this dish must be experienced along with a Korean barbecue and dumpling soup.

Taiwan

Seoul is a very modern city with plenty of skyscrapers. With a subway near our hotel, navigating the city was surprisingly easy. Maps are in Korean and English and very user friendly. Gygeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace are must-see places and both are near Insadong, an area renowned for its traditional antiques, art and craft and souvenir shops. A stroll along the six-kilometre Cheonggyecheon Stream, which is in the busiest part of Seoul, was another highlight as was our visit to the Demilitarized Zone and the Folk Village in Suwon.

After a week on our own we were happy to join our tour. Our group consisted of 20 and to our surprise we were the only Aussies. We had a mixture of Europeans, Americans and Asians. Our time in Taiwan was equally as memorable as Seoul. We set off from Taipei travelling to Sun Moon Lake situated in central Taiwan. This is a very picturesque area of Taiwan. We then travelled along the western coastline to Kenting National Park and then up the eastern coastline to East Coast National Scenic Area. This area stretched for 170km and is spectacular. Taroka means “magnificent and beautiful” and that describes Taroka Gorge. For the more adventurous (us) there was a few grueling hikes which were well-worth the effort. Chi Mei Museum in Tainan was another highlight. It is a privately owned museum and one of the best we have seen.

We are yet to experience a trip that we haven’t liked, although some are more memorable than others and this was certainly one of them.

Maverick Travel would like to thank Pam for putting pen to paper (there’s a bottle in it for you Pam!).

 

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