I've used the heck out of Wikivoyage, destined to become one of the greatest places on the internet, at least until the apocalypse. I've even made a few edits, so maybe it's well past high time thirty for me to make myself a user page here. Some other dude on the internet has used "Wyote" (rhymes with peyote, which is almost entirely a coincidence) but I am the original, the genuine article, the famous one, the jjincha myeongpum (genuine brand-name good) in a world of dangerously watered-down, modifier-deficient counterfeits. Evidently "Wyote" is actually some people's family name, but even they are anachronistically ripping off yours dang truly.
Me, I've lived and traveled in South Korea for over ten years, and mostly I'll contribute a bit to the articles there a bit. Nothing too ambitious. I know some sweet little spots in Seoul, and some travel tricks. I've also been to a few other countries....
As for my contributions here, contrary to my original intentions, most of my work so far has been on the Literary travel article. Like a weird sister, I'll do, and I'll do, and I'll do.
Some more stuff I want to remind myself to do:
- Apgu: the dalk-galbi place, the tiny little mandu place, the blue collar buffet place, Pungwoldang
- Cheongdam: the silly beer place
- Seoraemaul: the deli, the "southern" restaurant
- Brandenburg Cafe
- Korean liquors. I might as well contribute stuff that I know about, right? ... the makkeoli places...
- stuff about cigars, coca, cheroot, and hookahs for smoking page - LEGAL stuff only of course, for I'm neither brave nor foolish enough to discuss the illegal chewables or smokeables
1 Day in Seoul
If you're in Seoul for a single day, you need to make some choices. What are your priorities?
If traditional culture is your answer, you can go to Gyeongbokgung to see some traditional Korean royal architecture. When you're finished walking around the grounds of the palace, you can try the museum behind it. Next, you probably want to go to Insadong for some old-fashioned Korean food and souvenir shopping. Classic Korean souvenirs are the light blue-green celadon pottery that you will find everywhere, the masks, or jewelry boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Make sure to get your favorite health fiend some ginseng. You can then visit the big Buddhist temple, Jogye-Sa. If you still want more, there are more palaces nearby. For dinner, consider "han-jong-sik," a bit of a splurge but something you won't want to miss.
If you want to see postmodern Korea, head to Gangnam Station (only one part of Gangnam, as in "Gangnam Style") and just walk around. Most of the really great stuff - Chicago pizza, Korean-Mexican fusion restaurants, singing rooms, board game rooms - is northeast of the subway station, but you can't go wrong in any direction. If you want to hunt for bargains on clothing, head directly to the Dongdaemun Market, but if you're more of a mall rat, your best choice now is probably Lotte World and Lotte Tower at Jamsil Station.
If you want to find expats and have a beer, Itaewon and the areas just to the north of it are for you.
Or, if all you want is to relax a bit between your flights, try one of Seoul's many (and surprisingly peaceful) parks. You can stroll along streams like the Yangjae-cheon and the Tan-cheon all day, or you can hike up one of the mountains--Achasan is not too overwhelming or crowded, but if you want an even bigger adventure, Bukhansan in the north of town will suit you. And if the weather's bad or you just want to stay inside, Seoul has fervently embraced "café culture." You will find at least one of the big chains (Starbucks, etc.) on almost every major corner, but if you look around a bit you'll find gourmet shops as well. Coco Bruni in Itaewon is a new, trendy place with both high-end coffee and chocolate. A third option is to find a good makgeolli bar--a favorite is Yemak, near the flower market--where you can while away the day like a wealthy traveller in the old Joseon Dynasty with "dubu kimchi" (tofu and fried kimchi) and other healthy snacks and as much makgeolli as you can handle--lots of flavors.
Finally, you can spend a late night high above it all at Marco Polo, the top of the Coex World Trade Tower. It has its own elevator, but you'll just have to ask for directions.... Or, if you have made some Korean friends, go to a singing room! (The question isn't whether or not you "can sing." The question is whether you've had enough soju.)
You can do two of the days described above, or...
If you haven't had enough Korean culture, head to the National Museum. It's large enough to fill half a day if you're serious. A too-little-known gem of a museum is the Gansong Museum (as of 2018 its collections are in the Dongdaemun Design Plaza). You might also enjoy the Hanok Folk Village.
A day-trip to the DMZ is seriously worth considering.
For dinner, "dalk-galbi" (chicken galbi) is a dish that foreigners usually love, and you will not easily find it outside of Korea. You can get it made traditionally, or you can get it modernized with the addition of melted cheese, but you can't get it wrong. When you've finished the main dish, be sure to have some fried rice afterwards.
Or if you want to splurge on high end "fusion" food and discover the range of Korean alcohols, find White Bear in Apgujeong. You will need a reservation.
A very nice "day trip" from Seoul is Suwon Fortress. Take your time walking along it, with luck you will stumble upon a shamanic ritual--you won't get more authentic or traditional than that!
60 Days in Europe
This is the big new thing....
Mrs. Wyote and I are back at work full-time now, trying to save more money.... It turns out, we're too old for the backpacker lifestyle! We can no longer do $100/day style traveling.... Also, it turns out, there is something positive to be said for having a home--a place with family and friends nearby. I guess there's a reason most people do it.
Anyway, we're hoping to take a huge gigantic enormous awesome trip to Western Europe in a few years. I'm planning it right here. Feel free to help us plan!
Here are some parameters:
- We hope our budget will be US$45,000 for a 60-day trip.
- We are most interested in culture: art, architecture, food and drink, and of course music (especially classical music). Secondarily, we're interested in history--not necessarily in the sense of just going where something happened, but going to places where we can really learn stuff. But finally and most importantly, we're anything pretty (see Mrs. Wyote's instagram account).
- We don't want to rush around too much. Fewer activities per day, more days per place. At least one day out of six we will leave completely open, planning to do nothing but sit around, i.e. at cafés. We hope to take about 10 different 60-ish-day trips to Europe over the next 20 years or so, so we don't have to see everything the first time. Instead, on the first time, we want to just "get a feel for" a few different places, hit a few highlights, and perhaps a sense of where we'd like to spend more time....
- It may be worth mentioning that among our future goals are: being in Amsterdam at the right time to see Keukenhof in its full glory; attending the big Götterdämmerung deal in Bayreuth....
- A bed every night. No overnight busses or trains. Also, we prefer busses and trains to flights: we want to see where we're going!
So here's our draft itinerary:
- Amsterdam. I assume we will fly into Amsterdam initially because so far every time we've checked the prices of flights from Seoul to Europe, flights to Amsterdam are least expensive. Based on a bit of research, I also assume we will be arriving on a Monday at about 6 PM, in time to get to our hotel, enjoy a late dinner, and have a gander at the red-light district. I haven't researched restaurants or hotels in Amsterdam yet.
- Amsterdam. A walking tour of the city and the Van Gogh Museum. We will go to Provence in a few weeks, so we must go to the Van Gogh Museum. Ideally, after dinner, we'll go to a performance by the Concertgebouw, right around the corner from the Van Gogh Museum.
- Amsterdam to London by bus or train (we will look into that later). I want to save the rest of our Amsterdam exploration for the end of our trip. If we have extra days, I would like to go to Antwerp in between Amsterdam and London; I would want at least two days there (at least one for tourism and one just for cafés). In the evening of the day we arrive in London, we could go to a concert, perhaps at St.-Martin-in-the-Fields (we will do that at least once). I haven't researched restaurants or hotels in London yet.
- London 1. The British Museum (all day) and Covent Gardens. We don't have to do the days in this order, but I am trying to put things within walking distance of each other together. Something fun in the evening.
- London 2. Buckingham Palace and Westminster. I might want to see what I can of the school as well as the palace and cathedral. Something fun in the evening.
- London 3. The Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, and a play at the Globe Theater in the afternoon. Something fun in the evening.
- London 4. The Victoria and Albert Museum.
- London 5. The National Gallery.
- London 6. A "rest" day. We will do whatever we feel like.
- London to Paris. I haven't researched restaurants or hotels in Paris lately. We spent 3 weeks in and around Paris and Normandy something like a decade ago, but our budget at that time was... charming.
- Paris 1. But I would like to go back to le Louvre...
- Paris 2. ... et le Musée d'Orsay and le Centre Pompidou (pour le Musée national d'Art moderne naturellement)...
- Paris 3. ... and just to hang out at some cafés.
- Paris to Orléans for the Loire Valley. This will be a short trip, so we should have a nice breakfast in Paris and still get there in time to stroll around the Parc Floral de la Source.
- Loire Valley 1. Orléans. We could stay downtown: the Cathedral, the Musée des Beaux Arts, the la Maison de Jeanne d'Arc, maybe (time-dependent) the Hotel Groslot and/or the Hotel du ville; a cafe at the Place du Martroi.
- Loire Valley 2. The Château de Chambord (the big one) and Blois.
- Loire Valley 3. The Château de Chenonceau (the "Women's castle" with the bridge) and probably Tours.
- Loire Valley 4. The Château d'Azay-le-Rideau (seems to be the prettiest) and maybe the Château du Clos-Lucé (Da Vinci's). If we had more time, I'd love to visit more... the Château d'Ussé (Sleeping Beauty), Cheverny, Saumur... And maybe we will.... Tonight we go to a château to indulge ourselves....
- Loire Valley 5. Rest day at the château.
- Marseille... thinking about this ... At lest 4 days in Provence... ideally, more...
- Madrid 1: Museo del Prado
- Madrid 2: Palacio Real. A break between the big museums!
- Madrid 3: Reina Sofia.
- Marseilles and Provence
- Florence and Tuscany
- Back to Amsterdam
So that's clearly not going to work...
I lived in Korea from 2002 to 2015, and return there for at least a few weeks every year. So I've been places....
On my most recent trip, I got my first bottle of Jindo Hongju, (purple) Goguma Makgeolli, Samsan Duryun takju, and Okcheon Ulgeum Makgeolli (Okcheon is in North Chungcheong), made with turmeric ("ulgeum" in Korean).
Mrs. Wyote and I are planning to travel the world for many years. As we do so, I hope to make beaucoup de contributions à Wikivoyage. I'm working on the itinerary here.
You should check out her instagram account, because she takes amazing pictures. Don't take my word for it.
If we make any Wikivoyage friends, please, please, please invite us to your homes! We're desperate for free places to stay!
After living and making a living in Seoul for a decade, my wife and I sold or gave away everything we had (gave away lots more than we sold), and set off to travel the world.
We travelled in North America for just over two years. We went lots of places.... The highlights included Olympic National Park (the Hoh Rainforest Hall of Mosses walk), the Misty Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast in Forks, the Oregon Coast following US 101, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, Saguaro National Park, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Santa Fe (New Mexico), Monument Valley, Zion National Park, the Red Cliffs Lodge outside of Moab, Canyonlands National Park, New York City (especially Ellis Island but of course the Met too), Homestead National Monument in Nebraska, New Orleans (we the entire Mardi Gras season; his was a bucket-lister for me, one of the highlights not only of this trip, but of my life), St. Augustine, Grand Teton National Park, Marin County (which is where I'd live if I had millions of dollars), Glacier National Park, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, Misty Fiords National Monument, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Badlands National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, driving all over New Hampshire and Vermont appreciating the foliage, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Big Bend National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, White Sands National Monument, "the Wave" in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, the Chief Joseph Highway and the Beartooth Highway, Crater Lake National Park, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Mount Rainier National Park, Kentucky Bourbon Distilleries Tours (Maker's Mark and Buffalo Trace are the best ones), Poverty Point....
Southeast Asia 2018
We set off again. We went to:
- Hong Kong
- Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Georgetown/Penang, Cameron Highlands, and Langkawi.
- Thailand: Bangkok, Koh Lipe, Ayutthaya, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Chiang Mai.
- Cambodia: Siem Reap for Angkor, Phnom Penh.
I hope go to Harbin one of these winters (maybe even this one, money permitting); to India for the Kumbh Mela in 2019 (at some point, I'd like to spend 2-3 years on "the subcontinent)...
Hopefully we'll WOOF in Australia or New Zealand, maybe hitch rides through Polynesia.