In Korea? First?

We will realista. Most likely, you, dear reader, went to Korea, do not admire the beauty, and the matter is to do – "According to official need", As talked to the old. However, you have left (or remain) a little time, and you decided to spend this time to see a little. However, it is possible that you are one hundred percent classic tourist. And in that, in another case, my task is to easily ease your life, on the basis of your own experience, talk about what and how in Korea would have to see. Of course, if you own English, then in Korea you can buy a lot of guidebooks in the country, but they are designed mainly to Americans, with their specific tastes, habits and interests. Here I will try to briefly tell about "Tourist Korea" from a Russian point of view, paying special attention to some of the problems faced by the Russian, arriving in "The country of morning freshness".

Some common comments

Contrary to popular belief, Koreans English know badly (and Russian, it is clear, do not know at all). Study-teaching English turned into Korea to the whole industry with an annual turnover in half a billion dollars, but "Korean from Street", If he does not have to meet regularly with foreigners in English, almost does not speak English. However, in the subway, at the airport, at the stations, on the streets and in general, almost everywhere, the signs are duplicated in English, in English declare stations in the subway.

Security

If we talk about street crime, then Korea is one of the most calm countries in this regard. There is practically no street crime. By the number of murders (in terms of 100 thousand people), Korea is inferior to England in 4, and America is 7 times. By theft and robbery "Standing" even more, every 10-15. Of course, it happens anything, but in general Seoul Streets – a decade-million city, where it is still not customary to lock the doors when the home home is safe at any time of the day. Some reasonable precautions, of course, do not interfere: a woman is better at night one in the parks and deaf alley not walk, and the wallet in the back pocket of the trousers would be better not to keep. In general, in Seoul, you will be more security than in New York, Rome or Moscow. In addition, Korean "thieves", Unlike their Russian or, let’s say, Chinese colleagues do not consider a foreigner especially desirable victim: he has money, compared to the Koreans, is not so much, and the police are investigating crimes against foreigners with a double zeal. At the same time, Korea ranks first among developed countries by the number of victims of the car accident, so moving the streets better carefully: usually the law-abiding Korean, sowing behind the wheel, instantly turns into dick jigita:

Hotels

Hotels in Korea are two types (strictly speaking, four, but we are only interested in two): Actually Hotels – "Hothel", and motels – "gwan". Foreigners who arrived in groups or at the invitation of partners will always be seal "Hotheli", Although the independent traveler with several limited means it makes sense to stop in "Gvany". "Hotheli" look clearer, but it’s much more expensive, from $ 60 per day. "gwan" It will cost you $ 25-30 in Seoul, and outside the capital – by 5-6 dollars cheaper. For this money, you will most likely get a small room with a TV, air conditioning, telephone and shower / toilet. If you decide to stay in the Gwan, ask first to show you the room, since the gears are very different and in terms of comfort, and clean. Look carefully, and only then decide whether you want to stay here. If the place you did not like it, then, most likely, the other Gwan will be there near or across the road. Guads are usually focused on pile, in certain areas of the city (one of these "Kuchk", By the way, it is located near the royal palaces in the center of Seoul).

Urban transport

Public transport – both urban and long-distance – in Korea is developed very well and, in addition, very cheaply (cheap – by the standards of developed countries, of course). Urban bus is difficult to use the unusual foreigner, as all ads and inscriptions in buses are only in Korean, so the main types of transport for a tourist will most likely be a taxi and subway. Taxi in Korea a lot (30 thousand cars in Seoul alone), and according to world standards, travel in a taxi is quite cheap. True, low cost means that catch a taxi during a peak hour (7: 30-9: 00 and 17: 00-19: 00) It is not easy. In addition, in the street peak hours on the streets – terrible traffic jams, so on taxi to goal to go much longer than on the subway. Remember: Taxi in Korea There are two species – ordinary (gray or, occasionally, yellow cars with a blue or green flashlight) and "lux" (Large black cars with yellow lantern on the roof). The difference between them is that "Black" Taxi – two more times more expensive! There is no other difference, so if you just don’t really hurry. Never sit down in a black car car (and on the money saved for one trip newspaper "Seoul Bulletin" – Enough for many numbers)! In a taxi payment to be made strictly in the counter, tipping in Korea does not happen, and you can be sure that the taxi driver always gives. The subway in Seoul is convenient, cheap (approximately 50 cents), clean, safe and covers almost the entire city, as well as the nearest suburbs. All names of stations and signboards are duplicated in English. In addition, each branch has its own number and its color (green, orange, red and t.NS.), and every station is your number, so you can always say something like "Green Station 24" or "Station 18 on Orange". Sitting in the subway, it is necessary to take into account not only the line, but also to the direction in which you are going to go: Platforms in the Seoul metro are usually not in the center of the hall, as in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but at the edges, so it is necessary to watch in which direction You sit down (it is always indicated on the scoreboard at the entrance to the platform and on the transitions). If you are mistaken, then go to the opposite platform is difficult, and sometimes – and simply impossible (it is necessary to leave the subway and buy a ticket again).

Intercity transport

The most popular his view is the bus. The country is small, and from Seoul to the farthest major city – Busan, you can get in 4-5 hours. Buses are comfortable, clean, in summer – air-conditioned, between major cities walk very often, every 15-30 minutes. It should be noted that there are no toilets in buses, but every two hours there is a stop on a specially equipped area, where there are toilets, shops, snack bars and t.NS. Seoul has three bus station – central, southern (flights in the southern direction, that is, most cities in the country), East (towards the Japanese Sea and the Mountains of CoaCsan). They are, respectively, at the metro station Express Bus Terminal [Yellow Line 29], Nambu Bus Terminal [Yellow Line 31], Kanbyon [Green Line 14]. When planning a trip, one should remember that the plugs in the peak hours are on country tracks, and avoid entering out the city on holidays. For those who have less time, but more money is recommended. There are airports in all major cities, and the aircraft fly often, and tickets for internal airlines are cheap: flying to Seoul to Busan (450 km) will cost $ 40, that is, two more times more expensive than a bus ride. There are railway communication, but now they enjoy relatively rarely. You can rent a car, but to do it better only to those who are really confident in their driving skills: the movement in Korea is very chaotic.

Cards

Few people know that good (with English names) Cards Seoul and Country in Korea can be obtained free. To do this, you need to go to some hotel smarter and, having examined around, notice somewhere in the corner a stand with advertising brochures and cards. As a rule, there will be an escort seoul among them – a free and very high quality map of Seoul with English text. It can also be taken to free in information kiosks, which from time to time come across the eyes in the most "Inturistovsky" Areas of the city (one such kiosk is in Ithavone, the other – in the center of Seoul, at the monument to Admiral Lee Song Sin). Finally, you can go to the Korean tourist corporation, and take the map there, but I repeat: as a rule, you will find it in the lobby of any big hotel.

How to live in Seoul

Shopping

If you, dear reader, by profession – a shuttle, then this part can safely skip. However, for others, several comments will not prevent.

In principle, shops in Korea are divided into
a) department stores,
b) just shops,
c) markets.

In the department store you can go and even need – a curious spectacle, but nothing to buy there (if you, of course, accidentally not the son of the oligarch or lover son of the oligarch). Prices – insane, the same product is twice as expensive in the department store than on the market. There are exceptions (products, for example), but in general, the shopping department store is better not to do. The bulk of shopping is performed in the markets. In Seoul – two main bulk markets: Namdaemun (Namdaemun, to Hoehyon station [Blue Line, 25]) and Tongdaemun (TongDaemun, to TongDaemun Stadium station [Blue Line, 22]). Namdhemun, as it is considered a bit more expensive, but it is located in the very center of the city, and it looks more interesting, so if the shopping is not too important for you, then I would recommend this market. If you are going to surrender to the shop seriously and for a long time, then in this case it is better to go to the wholesale market Tondemun.

Finally, there is in Seoul and "American" ITEVON market, which is not far from the headquarters of the American 8th Army and a huge military base (there is no metro there, but it will be soon). Initially, the main customers of ITEvon were American soldiers, but now the market is increasingly focused on tourists. ITEVON – the most expensive of all Seoul markets, but from the point of view of tourist he has an important plus: they are focused on tastes and the size of foreigners, and at the ITHEVON, for example, you can always buy clothes and shoes suitable for solid Russian physique (at Koreans The biggest size of male shoes – 42). In ITEVON stores, sellers thin poorly explain in English. In addition, Ithavon is also the area of ​​entertainment, discos and bars specially designed for foreigners, so that there can always be combined with a pleasant.

Finally, you should not neglect the street sales, in which there are good things at all appear in perfect prices. Such sales may come across the eyes in any area of ​​the city, they will last from several hours to several days and in general are unpredictable as element.

Prices in department stores and most shops – fixed, and on the market and on the street it is customary to bargain. In retail purchases of the initially stated price, you can reset interest 20-25. In Korea, it is usually not customary to request more from foreigners than from their, as it is clear: now money in pockets at the average Korean is more than in a foreigner’s pocket – as a rule, a Japanese student or American sergeant in dismissal. On the market can be paid by dollars, but in most stores you will most likely not take dollars. Of course, dollars are not accepted and in the service sector, so that walking around the city without a sufficient stock of Korean money is not recommended.

Souvenirs

What to buy as souvenirs? Of course, this is a matter of taste, but something I would decide to recommend at your own risk. First, very beautiful varnish products are sold in Korea (usually it is usually caskets, plates and other wooden dishes). They are cheap (a small box – 5 dollars), and the impression in Russia produces a breathtaking. They can be seen in the souvenir shops at Ithavone, although those who are going to talk seriously, I would advise you to go to the Namdemun market, where there are several specialized stores. The choice is much larger there, and the prices below two times or three times. These stores are located on Namdaemunno Street, opposite the main post office and next to SINSYEGYE and Saerona department stores. Secondly, we should not forget about Ginseng, which in Korea is grown from time immemorial. Ginseng – a strong tonic, and a good remedy for hypotension (much better and more useful coffee). He helps and some hypertensive, but not everyone, so caution should be taken here. Attribute to ginseng and many other medical qualities, including, of course, and stimulate sexual function. In Korea, you can buy ginseng in all imaginable types: ginseng tea, all sorts of ginseng tinctures and hoods, dried ginseng, dried in Honey ginseng, ginseng in syrup, ginseng in alcohol and t.D., Even ginseng chocolate and ginseng lollipops. Those who did not have a ginseng at all at all, it is possible to recommend ginseng tea to begin (selling in bags, it looks like soluble coffee). Tea is everywhere, but it is better to buy it again in the markets where it is twice as cheaper (a box of 50 bags – 3-4 dollars). For those who are confident that he needs ginseng, it is better to take capsules with ginseng hood. Sold in stores and ginseng roots in natural, so to speak,. They look very impressive, but you need to handle them. Finally, a bottle of ginseng vodka is very spectacularly like a gift ($ 8-10) – a huge root floats in a liter bottle.

Nutrition

What to eat? Compared to the states of the West, Korea can be called a coherent country, but rather monotonous catering. Only four cuisines are represented in Korea: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and "Western" (due to a variety of historical and cultural reasons, under the latter is understood as a mixture of the Japanese version of German cuisine with a coreyized American option). In addition, restaurants all sorts are presented in Seoul and other major cities in abundance "McDonalds", "Pizza Hatt" And they are similar, with a standard international menu and standard prices.

Korean cuisine is famous for its incredible sharpness, and it is impossible to present it without red pepper. If you do not like sharp – try to explain this to the waitress, although the success of you, to be honest, we can not guarantee: the dish, which in the Korean ideas do not seem to do not seem to be, in Russian taste – very sharp. In general, the Korean cooking is little like a kitchen of neighboring countries (something remotely resembling Japanese tradition is possible, but from the Chinese Korean cuisine is very far away). In addition to sharpness, it is characterized by the widespread use of raw foods – even meat and fish, small use of spices, relative ease of sauces. If you are not afraid of sharp dishes, I would advise you to try PibImpap (Pibimpap) – Something like Plov. Korean kebabs are used among Russian special and well-deserved popularity "Pulk" (Pulkogi) and Calbi (Kalbi) – by the way, very nonostile. Lunch in the usual Korean restaurant will cost you dollars in 5-7.

By the way, it is worth noting that that "Korean carrot" and others "Korean salads", Which in recent years is often sold in Moscow stores, in the Korea itself are completely unknown – this is the culinary creativity of Russian Koreans who live in Russia for an hour and a half, and during this time they created their own, original Korean cuisine.

For highly desperate lovers of culinary exotic, you can recommend dishes from dog meat, especially – Posint’ang, "longevity fortification soup"), which is boiled from the meat of our best four-legged friends. Note that the constant fear that has some Russian tourists who fear in Korea, afraid, no matter how they slipped in the restaurant the dog meat, not justified. The fact is that for the Koreans, the dog meat is rare delicacy, it is many times more expensive than pork or beef, so it can be feared with the same success that in the cheap Russian cafeteria you are under the guise of Poinata will dig, say, sturgeon. The dog meat is served only in a few specialized restaurants, and it costs a dish of several dozen dollars. Another, more harmless and affordable exotic – "Samghethan" (SAMGYET’ANG) chicken stuffed with ginseng cooked in vegetable broth. It costs this pleasure of about $ 7-8, but this dish is served only in specialized establishments (they are true, much more than those who are preparing "longevity soup").

In Korea for the first time

For lovers of Japanese sushi, which in Russia for some reason, for some reason "sushi", You can recommend numerous Japanese restaurants. Good portion with all subcasses sussi will cost approximately 8-12 dollars. Chinese cuisine is represented in Korea her northeast (more precisely, Shandong) option. When visiting the Chinese restaurant, it should be remembered that there are two species there – "R" and "Six". "Six" – This is a comprehensive lunch, designed for one person. Includes soup, kimchi and main dish – rice or noodles with some additives. From "Six" can recommend "Chapchhepap" (rice, noodles, vegetables and roasted meat) and cheap, but very tasty "Chargenmn" (noodles in onion sauce, with meat). Costs "Six" from 3 to 7 dollars. "R" – These are sophisticated meals, price from 12-14 to many dozens of dollars. They are intended for banquets, and the portion is such that it is physically impossible to cope with such a dish. Usually these dishes order the company coming to the restaurant, at the rate of one "R " on two people (+ rice), but a foreigner can get to come and eventually turn out one on one with a huge plate.

I would really recommend visit and western-style Swedish tables, which have recently appeared in Korea. Most of these institutions are under large international hotels. The cost of lunch is from 20 to $ 35, dinner – just more expensive, but for this money you can choose from many dozen, and even hundreds of dishes, and the network as much as you can. In the best buffet and quality, and a variety of dishes are amazing even the spoiled visitor. Good Swedish Tables are in Hilton Hotel, Intercontinental, Grand Swiss, but my personal choice is a buffet on the 52nd floor of the International Trade Center (Samsong Station [Green Line, 19]). It is a bit cheaper average – $ 25, but the kitchen is gorgeous there, and the view from the panoramic windows from a height of 220 m – even better.

In Korean restaurants, you usually pay for something like a comprehensive lunch, which, in addition to the main dish, includes soup, rice and, of course, Kimchi. This is the difference from Western establishments, where every piece of bread and a glass of tea is paid separately, in most cases the principle acts in Korea "For all procurement!" Tips in restaurants do not take, the calculation is not made with a waiter, but at the checkout, which is at the exit. It is made with chopsticks, but in most restaurants for a foreigner there are a fork with a knife. The menu as such in the Korean restaurants is usually absent, all the names of dishes and their prices are indicated on a special table that hangs on the wall. In Chinese, Japanese and Western restaurants, the menu will usually bring you. The names of the dishes in the menu are often indicated as in Korean, so in English – not so much due to the real necessity (there are few foreigners in Korea), how much of the desire to rise slightly.

What and how to watch

I must immediately say that the monuments of the antiquity in Seoul are quite small. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, Korean buildings have not been different from their own fundamental: they were of themselves light wooden structures, which in a wet Korean climate could only stand a couple of centuries. Secondly, much was destroyed when the Seoul’s restructuring in colonial times (1910-1945). Thirdly, the business tried the Korean war of 1950-1953, when the Korean capital passed four times from hand to hand and, in addition, was subjected to fierce bombardments.

Those who are interested in Korean antique should be visited in the royal palaces that were built during the reign of Lee Dynasty (1392-1910). Now the five palace and park complexes are preserved in Seoul – Four Actually Palace, as well as Park Park and Royal Chapel Chonm. All of them are located in the central part of Seoul, at a distance of 1-2 kilometers from each other. By architecture, Korean palaces are little similar from European. As a rule, they are not one or more massive buildings, but many relatively small wooden pavilions, which are scattered through the territory of an extensive fleet with artificial ponds, hills, streams and waterfalls. Now all the vintage palaces of Seoul turned into museums. Entrance to the palaces is paid, but it is inexpensive (from 50 cents to 1 dollars), and tickets for sale individually. The exception is the Pyiv Park, where you can get only as part of an organized excursion group (usually such a group goes once every half an hour).

Despite the similarity of architecture, each of Seoul Palaces has its own character, its special style. Knboccun, which is located in the very center of the capital – the largest area from all palaces (Station Kyongbokkung [Yellow Line, 17]). If you have very little time, you can restrict ourselves to a visit to the KNBOKUN, but it must be remembered that there are always a crowd of tourists and just to walk in the park of the public (because of the greenery in the center of Seoul, and the entrance is worth the Korean concepts, penny). A completely different atmosphere reigns in the Chhanknkun Palace, which is located at some distance from the city center (CHONGNO 3-GA station [Yellow Line, 19]). There are a lot of visitors there, and you can safely wander around the alleys, look into the pavilions and feeling yourself by the Korean nobleman XVI century. If you have time, it is better to visit one of these two palaces, and also go to Piron Park ("Secret Sad") – Former Personal Park of Korean Vladyk. This Park is a quiet and poetic – in recent years is open only for organized visitors (several times a day, excursions are held in English), and therefore it is there most preserved to this day the charm of Korean Starina.

With the exception of palace and park complexes, in Seoul there are few museums in our understanding of this word. Those who are interested in military history and military equipment will lose a lot if you do not visit the Seoul Military Historical Museum (SAMGAKCHI station [Blue Line, 28]). This magnificent museum, which opened several years ago, refers to the number of the largest military historical museums of the world, and gives a very good idea not only about the Korean War 1950-1953., which he is mainly devoted, but also about the military history of Korea in general. Very interesting, a large platform of military equipment, on which there is even B-52 (who knows – will appreciate). Museum, like all Korea museums, paid, but inexpensive.

On the southern edge of Seoul there is a large entertainment complex "Seusull", which Russians are often called "Korean Disneyland" (Station Seoul Grand Park [Blue Line, 37]). There, indeed, there is something like a local version of Disneyland (quite an interesting place), with all relying attractions and entertainment. In addition, next door is the Museum of Contemporary Art and Seoul Zoo. I will not solve anything about the museum of contemporary art, since I can’t consider modern art in general, but I recommend to go to the zoo, and even the one of you, who is in general, is indifferent – first, the zoo is very large, but – self, there you can see such animals, which in Russia there is nowhere. Especially interesting huge pools, in which seals live, seals, sea lions and other lastonous handsome. When visiting the zoo, do not miss the opportunity to ride on the cable car, which connects the entrance to the subway with "Fallen" Gate of Zoo.

Those who have a little time, be sure to go to the traditional life museum, the name of which is not very successful to Russian as "Folklore Village". Located this museum near Suvor, the city-satellite of the Seoul Capital. To get there, you must first drive around the Red Metro line to Suwon Station (Sit Careful: The red line on the outskirts of the city is divided, so that the city center is part of the trains to Suvon, and the part is to Incheon, that is, in another direction, and sit down It is necessary only to the train on which SUWON is written!). Next to the exit from the subway is a large pavilion, which can buy tickets to Folklore Village (Folklore Village). Folklore village is something like a museum of traditional Korean architecture and life. There, from all over Korea, the preserved vintage buildings are fresh – from peasant shacks to landlords and governor residences. However, this museum is alive, performances of folklore groups are constantly held there, colorful stages of traditional rites. You can see the wedding, and the funeral, and a rural holiday, and much more, look at the Kuznetsov, Goncharov who are busy, who show how they worked in an old. There are in the folklore village and restaurants where you can try vintage Korean dishes, as well as souvenir benches. There is a village on the shores of a small lake, in dense forest. Ride there, most likely takes almost a day, but it is worth it.

If you have only two or three days, you will spend two days in the city center, visit the palaces and, perhaps, in the Military Historical Museum, and dedicate one day a trip to "Seusull" or folklore village (depending on your flavors). If you have more time, it makes sense to visit and outside Seoul.

From a historical and cultural point of view, the most interesting city of Korea is KJUJU (Kyongju). It is located in the southeastern part of the country, about 4-5 hours from Seoul by bus or train. It is better to go to Kenju early in the evening to look at the country from the window of the bus, spend the night in a hotel or Guang, and then dedicate the next day to examine the city and its environs. Now KJUZ is a small town, but for about eight centuries he was the capital – at first the principality of Silla, and then – all the Korea, which was merged by the rulers of this principality. In addition, the city was lucky: he was not affected by the Korean war. The Kongju is the oldest in Korea of ​​the Buddhist Temple of Pulguks (wooden buildings belong to the XVI century, and stone – by viii), as well as the underground chopper temple, which, with all the sculptures, cut inside a huge cliff. Finally, the oldest preserved Observatory of our planet is located in KRUJJ – Tower ChurchSonde. You can look at the KJUJ and the royal tombs, as well as the exhibits of the local museum, among which the Golden Crowns of Korean Monarchs of the I Millennium enjoy worldwide fame.

If you have two or three days, you can afford to fly on "Korean Hawaii" – Chechzhudo Island (Chadjudo), which is located in the ocean, 100 km south of the Korean coast. You can get there by plane (there is a ferry message), and it’s best to buy Package Tour in Seoul. Such a tour includes flight from Seoul to Chechzhudo and back, as well as two or three days in the hotel. Sometimes an excursion can be included in its cost, but – in Korean. Chechzhudo – the main tourist center and the resort in Korea, so that the tours for every taste and pocket are sold in dozens of travel agents, and some (usually – more expensive) are designed for foreign tourists who need English-speaking guide. You can paint the beauty of this subtropical island for a long time, but I assure – the experience of the trip will be unforgettable: Black Towing Cliffs, Lazoroic Sea, the highest point of South Korea – Mount Halllasan, most covered with snow, multi-kilometer caves, Craters of extinct volcanoes and much, much more.

However, Korea is a country in which there are many beautiful places. With the Island of Chechzhudo, Mount Solaksan may well compete, which is 200 km from Seoul, on the coast of the Japanese Sea (the Koreans themselves, who are traditionally bad to the Japanese, are of fundamentally referring to this sea "Eastern" or "East Korean"). The center of this resort area is the city of Sokcho (Sokch’o). You can get there by bus. If you have little time, then it is best to go back in the afternoon, get a night at a hotel or cool in Sokchho, and the next day will go on a local bus to Saraksan National Park (there is, however, and another option – not to stay in Sokcho , and B "Motel Village" Immediately at the entrance to the National Park). In the morning – get up early and go to the mountains! You have to make sure that the Korean Mountains look exactly how on old Chinese engravings, to visit the old Buddhist monasteries, admire the rapid mountain rivers and waterfalls. If you have only a day and a half, then you need to go back to about 4-5 pm, but it will be better if you can stay in Saraksean for another day. In winter, Sorsan, where it drops to one and a half meters of snow, turns into a ski resort, in the summer you can swim in the sea, but it is best to go there in April, when the mountains are covered with just blossomed flowers, or in October, when their slopes become yellow and aluminum from Autumn leaves. Amazing spectacle!

When planning travel beyond the limits of Seoul, Korean holidays should be avoided, and if possible – and the weekend, because on the holidays of the road, they are tightly clogged with cars, there are no places in hotels and motels, and prices for all tourist services increase significantly. Unfortunately, most Korean holidays are celebrated on the lunar ("Eastern") calendar, so you can not specify their dates for our usual calendar – they are movable. Special "danger" For a traveler presents a church – the feast of the autumn harvest and commemoration of the souls of ancestors (usually falls for September or the beginning of October). By tradition, this day, all Koreans should spend on the birthplace of the clan, where there are hundreds of millions of twenty. As a result of this event, the speed of movement on the tracks falls from ordinary 120 to 15 km / h, and in the trains are packed – without exaggeration – as buses at peak hours.

In Korea for the first time

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