Friday, February 20, 2015

22 hours in South Korea

After three weeks abroad, we are back in Taiwan!

We started the process of coming home three days ago.

What took so long?

Well, it is a 12 hour flight from New Zealand back to my neck of the woods in Asia, but we also had a 22 hour layover in South Korea.
About three days ago, when all four of us were ready to be back in our own beds after three week of misadventure in New Zealand, the fingers started pointing.

Whose mad idea was this? This South Korea nonsense?

Well, technically speaking, mine.

However, because we flew Korean Air, it was a question between a 10 hour layover in Seoul or a 22 hour layover in Seoul.
And, frankly, I thought the 22 hour layover would be better. 

I once spent 10 hours in Beijing's airport. 

It sucked-- a lot, so 22 hours seemed perfect.

I thought that we could leave the airport, spend the night at a nice hotel, and explore a little bit of South Korea, a country none of us had been to before.
Sometimes our ideas and reality are two very different things, though.

Our flight landed at 6 p.m.

We got to our hotel after the worst taxi ride ever, which included the driver pointing out the most popular bridges from which the locals like to commit suicide, at 7:30 p.m.

It was Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated in South Korea too, so everything was closed except for TGI Fridays, California Pizza Kitchen, and the Outback Steakhouse.

Plus, we were all really, really jet lagged and exhausted from an epic and hugely busy three week road trip through New Zealand, 
We ate burgers at Fridays, passed out face first into our beds, and then spent the next morning frantically rushing around Seoul trying to see something before hopping on our last flight headed home to Taiwan.

We did manage to see some neighborhoods, palaces, and temples, but it was not quite the experience I thought it would be.

I was super tired and ready to be home, and I was really, really cold.

Sorry South Korea-- you did not win my heart this time, but maybe we'll try again later.

Have you ever done an insanely long layover? 
Was it awesome or awful?

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  1. Sorry to hear you didn't have a great time in Seoul. It is a great place, although when everything is closed and the weather is freezing I can imagine it wouldn't be very appealing. My longest layover was only 12 hours, although I had to spend it stuck in Doha International Airport, Qatar. Not the most exciting place to kill half a day!

    1. Yeah, I am thinking maybe in the spring would be a good time to return.

  2. Too bad that you didn't have a wonderful time during your layover. I would have also gone with the 22 hour layover because who wouldn't want to see a new country?

    1. I still think it was the best idea. I cannot imagine how cranky I would have been sitting in the airport for 10 hours after a 12 hour flight.

  3. Bad timing with the lunar new year holiday! Otherwise, I think it would have been an exciting place to spend 22 hours. I also know exactly what you're talking about when it comes to the freezing weather. I was there at the beginning of February last year. I'm from Canada so I thought it wouldn't be too cold but the cold in South Korea really hurts!

    1. It is a different kind of cold. I feel lucky though: one day after we left, the city was engulfed in a yellow haze that drifted over from China/Mongolia.

  4. I think I probably would have opted for the longer layover too. I've done long layovers in cities where its not long enough to leave the airport and appreciate the city, but way too long to spend in an airport. It totally sucked. Bad luck with the lunar new year though - otherwise I feel like you'd probably have a completely different experience. Hopefully you'll get a chance to go back one day and see Seoul properly :)