Sunday, October 14, 2018

Disney around the World - Day 1.5 - Landing in Korea

Welcome to Korea! After a 13.5 hour plane flight, we have arrived!
Our very first steps in Korea!

I've been keeping track of all the states the kids have visited. This is their very first international destination! I'll wait to get a few more under their belt before I start coloring in a world map.

Unfortunately I missed a "Welcome to Korea" photo. The clock is ticking and everyone was hustling.

There were no issues getting through immigrations. Just a short 5 minute wait in line.

Don't have to wait around here. All our bags are with us.

And because we had all our bags, it was a quick walk through customs and a over to the train station.

And this is why everyone was rushing. The Express Train to Seoul Station runs every ~1 hour. If we missed this one, it was going to be a long wait for the next one. Luckily for us, immigration and customs went quicker than planned and we had 15 minutes to spare before the train left.

Speaking with the attendant (in English) the four adults bought tickets for about $8 each. He suggested the kids could sit on the parent's laps and not have to pay. But since it's a 50 minute ride and because it only cost $7 for the kids, we bought 1 seat for the two of them to share.

Scanning our tickets through the automated gates and off we headed to the train station.

It's 6:30pm and it's empty down here.

And now everyone has slowed down enough to get a proper picture with everyone in it.

This express train only goes between Seoul Station and the Incheon Airport, so it was going to be a pretty empty.

Turned out that it wasn't necessary to buy the kids a shared seat either. Our tickets are for the back car of the train which is themed for kids.

It's 7pm and by now the sun has long since set. It's too dark to see anything interesting outside the windows.

50 minutes later the train has arrived at Seoul Station. The signs on the train are convenient. They flash between Korean and English and even tell you which side of the train the doors will open on.

So far the kids are doing well with their travel day. Just that little nap for them in the middle of a long day. They've been excited by all the new stuff they're seeing.

After getting off the train, I don't know how many escalators we took to get up to the surface, but it was a lot!

What are those people doing over there?

Ooh! Our first Korean money! We can recycle our train tickets...

And get back a 500 won coin for each of them! 500 won is equal to about 50 cents.

Comparing their coins. We don't get a ton of souvenirs, but different coins are something we'll bring home for sure.

Just a couple more escalators and we're into Seoul Station. Their train network must be huge here!

Finally we made it outside. Brr. It's a little chilly here. The kids got their warm winter jackets on which is probably overkill, but they do look cute in them. And the jackets pack down really small so they're convenient too.

Traveling has become so much easier now that cell phones exist. Translation apps, currency conversion, but especially GPS and the maps. It's about a 1 mile walk to our hotel from the train station. Sure we could have used a taxi, but after being stuck in a plane for that long, I was happy to be outside and stretch my legs.

Along the way everyone pointed out things they saw. Unfortunately there were lots of homeless people here. Sleeping on the sidewalks, blocking walkways, crowding in the under-street stairways.

I was really proud of Ian. He walked the entire mile holding Uncle Ruston's hand.

Alli wanted a shoulder ride pretty quick.

On the walk we ran into our first bit of Korean culture. Namdeamun is an ancient gate built in the 14th century.

Right across from our hotel, which we were pretty excited about when we booked it, was a 7/11!
Once we arrived though it looked more like a 3.5/5.5. It's tiny. But just across the street was a bigger shop, right beside our hotel.

Before stopping in to the convenience store though, I think it would be a good idea to drop off our bags.

A short time later we were in the lobby and checking in.

Let's go see our rooms!

T and I got adjoining rooms with the kids. A nice king sized bed for us.

And right next door a couple beds for the kids. It's nice to have a separate area for them so we can make it nice and dark for them and still do some planning in our room.

Looking out the window, it's super dark for being such a big city.

Back outside and exploring the shop, the kids were immediately drawn to the unique candies. Like the Tsum Tsum candies!

And I like seeing the different flavors of chips that are here.

Time to wrap things up for the night.

Dinner is a meal from the convenience store. They got microwave rice, grapes, apples, bananas, and fortune cookies for dessert.

I got a spicy ramen as well as these tasty Butter Caramel Pringles. They tasted a lot like the Salted Caramel Pringles that come out around Christmas.

After dinner the kids showered and we went through our normal bedtime routine. Both kids took a nap on the plane though so we'll just have to see how well they sleep tonight. 
Hey! That's not your bed!

It's 10:30pm Korea Time (which is 5:30am California time). I've been up nearly 24 hours and I keep catching myself drifting off. Hopefully tomorrow we're well rested and ready to tackle the day!

1 comment:

  1. Recorded the kids' 1st international steps...that's an occasion to capture! Felt freeing not waiting in a luggage line...ready to literally hit the road running. Ian had a big smile when he saw "500" on his coin...easy souvenirs to hold and store, and up his alley since he "collects coins" at the airport :-) Nice night photo of the Namdaenum Gate...really makes you feel like you're in Korea when seeing that with your own eyes. 3.5/5.5 store (lol) that nickname!!! Mmmmmm...butter caramel Pringles sounds like a fun, sweet/salty snack. Being such a big city, Seoul suffers many of the same issues like other big cities (e.g., homelessness) Whew...that was a long "first" day...a good night's sleep on a comfy bed sounds heavenly! EOM