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Client Blog: Veena in Korea

It's a real pleasure to help Veena with her plans, and I admire her willingness to travel solo and see the world. When she reached out to embark on a long-haul trip to Korea, I made sure all her “must-see” boxes were ticked and was delighted to hear how it went...


I've always harboured a deep curiosity about Asia, and during the lockdown, Korean culture further piqued that interest. It all began with a few TV shows and K-dramas, which not only entertained me but also introduced me to the tantalising world of Korean cuisine.

Following the passing of my husband, Dharmesh, I found solace in immersing myself in K-dramas and exploring K-pop. The desire to experience firsthand everything I had been watching during those times sparked a newfound sense of adventure within me.

Eager to step out of my comfort zone and embrace solo travel, particularly to a destination as foreign to me as Korea, I reached out to Susan.

True to her nature, she was incredibly helpful every step of the way. From meticulously planning the trip to securing accommodation, Susan was a constant source of support.

She readily addressed all my queries and provided invaluable guidance on visa procedures and navigating the ever-changing landscape of COVID testing, which remained mandatory during that period.

I embarked on my journey to Seoul with Turkish Airlines, which offered excellent service, including a stopover in Istanbul.

Armed with extensive pre-trip research, I had a fair idea of what to expect in terms of language and culture. I even managed to pick up some basic Korean phrases, which proved to be quite handy.

Seoul greeted me with its vibrant energy and impeccable cleanliness. There was never a dull moment, and I felt secure exploring the city - both day and night - on my own.

After spending three nights there, I joined a small group for the tour segment of my trip, which took us to Daegu, Gyeongju and Busan.

The camaraderie within the group was delightful, sharing experiences and exploring together. Our mode of transportation, a spacious minibus, facilitated our travels between destinations. Our guides were gracious, treating us to local delicacies and offering valuable insights plus letting us tag along on the first day when we were all unsure where to go for lunch.

Accommodation throughout the tour was excellent, with ample space and modern amenities, especially in the more remote areas.

The juxtaposition between bustling cities and serene countryside was striking, each offering its unique charm.

A standout moment was the overnight temple stay, where I delved into meditation, interacted with monks, and savoured a peaceful meal.

Unmun-sa in Cheongdo also left a lasting impression with its tranquillity and the presence of only female monks.

The tour provided a splendid introduction to the country, preparing me for the solo exploration that awaited.

Eager to discover Jeju Island, I arranged a few nights' stay at what would become my favourite hotel of the trip - a centrally located gem with a remarkable restaurant and even a steaming machine in the room!

For my final leg of the journey, I returned to Seoul for a couple of nights, savouring every moment. One evening, I embarked on a ghost tour, which offered a unique perspective of the city, introducing me to captivating stories of its various districts.

Navigating around was simple, thanks to its efficient subway system, with English signage everywhere. The locals, while generally reserved, were polite and willing to assist when approached.

I found the staff at restaurants, shops and hotels to be exceptional, providing impeccable service with a warm and friendly demeanour. Most of them were proficient in English, which made communication effortless.

In addition to immersing myself in Korea's rich history, I was eager to explore its culinary treasures, and I wasn't disappointed - it was an absolute gastronomic adventure!

One of the highlights was indulging in street food, which had been high on my list of must-try experiences.

The spicy and chewy rice cakes known as tteokbokki, and the crispy pancake stuffed with seeds and honey, hotteok, were beyond my wildest expectations - they were simply phenomenal.

I spent a memorable evening in Busan enjoying a delightful Korean BBQ experience with some of the tour group.

And the renowned black pork of Jeju Island was indeed as delicious as its reputation suggested.

Travelling in September meant encountering a still-warm climate with occasional showers, but it was never uncomfortable. It was the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable journey.

Reflecting on my time in Korea, I can only describe it as brilliant. The allure of returning one day, especially to explore more of Seoul, beckons strongly. While I had the pleasure of visiting many cultural and historical sites, I would also like to explore vibrant districts, like Gangnam and Hongdae.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Susan for her exceptional planning and support throughout. Her expertise always impresses me, and I enthusiastically recommend her to everyone who asks how I plan my trips.



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