South-korea Travel Stories, Page 4

Korea Hostel is Europe without the Drunks

Korea Hostel is Europe without the Drunks
I am staying in a Hostel here in Seoul, South Korea, I am finally admitting to myself it is quite a Proper Hostel, it has a full kitchen, breakfast and many nice people, it is really what a Hostel is should be.

I call the majority of Hostels in Europe,
“FlopHouse Hostels.”

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Seoul, South Korea
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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Flophouse Hostel
A cheap place to sleep where people drink all night and return drunk to flop on a dorm bed.
- Amsterdam Photos by Andy of HoboTraveler.com
- Your flophouse hotel survival kit by Rolf Potts

FLOPHOUSE
“The definition is a house or apartment (usually apartment) where substance abusers stay to party and abuse drugs and/or alcohol.”
Kids is a 1995 American drama film

FLOPHOUSE
“the flophouse was the epitome of urban squalor, a place where the drunk, degenerate and down-and-out packed themselves into reeking cubicles devoid of light, air and hope.”
New York Times

“Party Hostel” may be a better description of the European Flophouse Hostels I have encountered in Europe, I will always remember the ones in Amsterdam as some of the most uncomfortable places on the planet, you would have to be drunk to enjoy them.

A “Proper Hostel,” has a kitchen with a stove, not just a microwave and a fridge for beer, but the complete cooking supplies, including a spatula which is always missing, a truly great hostel will have small food lockers, whereby we can store food and not worry about late night pilferage. I am starting to realize the best Hostels are more or less student “Workingmen’s Hotel” for world traveler, not just locals.

When I am in a proper Hostel, there are less tourist with backpacks, and more people either studying or working in the new city before they go out to find an apartment. Many people will move to a big city, hang out in a hostel, go to work then when they finally get the job and their life sussed out, they rent an apartment, either alone or with someone they met in the Hostel.

Here in Korea, there a many people who are Teaching English or studying the Korean Language. South Korea seems to be the last place on the planet for a person seeking a Party Hostel environment.

I have nothing against a good Flophouse Party Hostel if this is what I was looking for, however I when I am on the some of the major Hostel Booking site like HostelWorld.com I know the reviews has nothing to do with quality of life, more to do with the rating of the party. A reasonable and intelligent review process of Hotels and Hostels should have questions that helps you either avoid or find what you wish in life, not just help a few select type of Hostels or Hotels to thrive. A friend of mine commented,
“it is interesting how on TripAdvisor.com the expensive hotels get good reviews and some really great cheap ones always collect the bad ones.”
T.. from California, he wants to be anonymous I guess.

There is an art to finding a “Proper Hostel.”

Nobody comes to Korea to party, this may be the worst party country on the planet, and for sure one of the most expensive, it is Europe without the Drunks.

CAGE HOELS
The Humane Flophouse - New York Times

FLOPHOUSE
Court says flophouses fall under rent stabilization Real Estate Weekly Find Articles at BNET
the flophouse - a home for losers

FLOPHOUSE HOSTEL
Flophouse Hostel Amsterdam
The Humane Flophouse - New York Times
» Your flophouse hotel survival kit Vagablogging Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog

HOSTEL DEFINED

Define Hostel Google Search
Definition of a Hostel - Page 3 - Hostel Management Forums
hostel - definition of hostel by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
Hostel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hostel FAQ
The Hostel Handbook - What are Hostels
What is a Hostel

PARTY HOSTEL
20 Craziest Party Hostels - Hostel Management Forums
Hostels in Amsterdam - The Flying Pig Bar - Party hostel for your Amsterdam parties
Party Hostels – A Selection of Some of the Wildest Hostels on the Planet
Rick Steves' Europe Travelers' Helpline - General Europe Non party hostels
The 20 Craziest Party Hostels Around the World
The Generator Hostel In London, England - A Party Hostel With A Great Atmosphere.

PROPER HOSTEL

A Proper Hostel

Korea Hostel is Europe without the Drunks


Map of World Cities with a population over 1,000,000

Map of World Cities with a population over 1,000,000
I am the never ending city of Seoul, South Korea, it is possible the country is a never one big Megalopolis.

I found a great map showing where people live, a Map of World Cities with a population over 1,000,000.

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Seoul, South Korea
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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Map of World Cities with a population over 1,000,000
If you want to go see nature, avoid the red dots.

Click to see this map Big
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/2006megacities-1-.jpg

Orignally found on this page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis

This map will soon be on HoboTraveler.com under wayfinding maps for travelers.

WAYFINDER
WayFinding Maps for Travelers

CITY FACTS
City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Commuter town - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hamlet (place) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of megalopoleis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Megalopolis (city type) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Megapolitan Area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Metropolis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Metropolitan area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rural - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Suburb - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Town - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Types of inhabited localities in Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Urban area - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Village - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WayFinding Maps for Travelers

Map of World Cities with a population over 1,000,000


South Korea Welcome Wagon

South Korea Welcome Wagon
I am trying to reach inside myself to find my feelings about South Korea, they can be described as ambiguous, vague, weird, and unclear.

As best I can see the government has no policy of welcoming tourist into the country, it appears to have the least amount of governmental tourist infrastructure I have encountered.

Although, I do believe the normal people are very helpful, the government seems to desire to keep people out, they do nothing to open the door or keep it open as a policy.

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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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Many people believe Europe is different than the USA, while I think of the two culture as a fractionally different. South Korea is closer to the other side of the moon as far as cultures go, I am not sure, maybe China is on the far side of the moon.

Even when I was in West Africa there was some common sharing of communication, here in South Korea I am down to the level of sign and body language, there is no way to communicate with the normal South Korean. However, sign and body language works great to buy food and walk around window shopping, it does not work well for taxis and transportation.

Where is the common ground?

So far I can only use the metro trains or subway and walk, I prefer walking because I can slowly absorb how the culture works. Taxis are impossible to use unless I was going to the biggest Five Star Hotels here in Seoul.

I want to remove the transportation problem, my only possible solution is to make painstaking plans to the smallest rural village or city I can find within two hours trip from Seoul, if that exist, the city is one of the biggest Megalopolis on the planet, the city may never end.

If I went to a small village, I could remove the South Korean Governments from the equation and maybe understand the normal peoples views of life and foreigners.

Is there a Welcome Wagon in South Korea? I must have missed it I hope they parked it out in some rural village.

South Korea Welcome Wagon


Connecting to Internet in Seoul Korea

Connecting to Internet in Seoul Korea
Is Seoul South Korea one of the most connected cites on the planet?
Maybe, or maybe not.

I have been told for the last couple of year that Seoul, South Korea is one of the most connected cities in the world. What does this mean, I have a few hunches and opinions, however read some headlines about Seoul, South Korea Internet.

Seoul is one of the most "connected" cities in the world
Expat-advisory.com

WiBro Blankets Seoul With High-Speed Internet
Koreatimes.co.kr

Four in five homes have broadband, commonly enjoying speeds of between 20 and 50 Mbps.
Bbc.co.uk

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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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I have a wireless computer, I have a Canary WIFI Wireless Internet detector, I can sniff out and find connections. First thing first, to be internet exciting to me, they need to have ubiquitous connections and be unsecured, this means no password needed.



This is my Canary Wireless WIFI Internet connector, it tells me if there are connections and if they are secure or unsecured. I would not recommend this, truly better to get a hand held palm computer with a WIFI connection to see if it “really” work. and many unsecured signals now have opening pages and you cannot access.



This is the number of available signal in my Hostel, however there does not appear to be any city wide connections all appear local, however I am not sure, nonetheless the only good connection is coming from inside my Hostel.

Seoul Korea as best I can discover, is about the same as any other metropolitan city except for one major difference. If I was in the USA there would be about the same number or signals, however all would be secured or I would be locked out.

The advantage of Seoul, South Korea appears to be they trust each other and do not secure up their internet access, other than that, this is just about the same as the average large city.

The connections are not stable and Skype.com is difficult to use, and they signals tend to jump from one WIFI signal to another.

Connecting to Internet in Seoul Korea


English Teachers on Midnight Run

English Teachers on Midnight Run
ChrisR has been writing emails about the pros and cons of Korea, today he used a new term, the “midnight run.”

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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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“Midnight run,” in which you secretly gather up your belongings and high-tail it back home."
Transitionsabroad.com

This is for English Teacher who are in South Korea on a contract and need to break the contract because they have had enough, truly contracts made in other countries are funny.

NOTE: (Korea and Taiwan pay 1500-2000 plus U.S. Dollars per month to teach English, I guess you need to graduate from College and be a native speaker. If a person worked one month, they could go to Thailand and live for one years on and Island.)

Yesterday was a pain, today is not doing much better, I thought I would just stay in the over-priced Hotel I was in for 28,000 whatnots. I went down to the free breakfast and could not find it, than two more times I went to the desk to pay for the next night. Well about noon I get a call telling me it is time for me to check out.

Korea is challenging Europe for the pain in the butt travel awards. I am not even going to explain the crazy problems I had to find these Hostels and Hotels, I will say, never take a taxi, only use the subway and have the address in the Korean Language or SNAFU will be enforced.

I know I should relax and try to enjoy, however I am already hiding in this new room, playing on the internet and thinking about Japan, one stop closer to Bangkok. It would not be so bad, if food was not so lousy and expensive.

Here is what ChrisR has to say today.

Hi Andy,

Lol. Seoul is overwhelming, no? In my experience, it wasn’t rewarding at all. And I tried hard to find things to like about the city because I was stuck there. I could point you to some outdoor markets to walk around in, but with your travel experience those would likely seem boring and generic. Lets face it, they are. The better outdoor market is Namdaemun though. But still, not great. I don’t think that’s your interest anyway. The unique food options were the best part of Seoul/Korea for me.

Anyway, if you do decide to stick it out in Korea a bit, I would recommend going to the coast, however, its like 5 hours from Seoul by bus. At least where I went. Probably not terribly exciting on your own either. Definitely hit a bookstore and just take some notes from a lonely planet book about some options. I really am not the guy to best steer you on stuff outside of Seoul. Remember though, outside of major cities were talking sparsely populated small towns, but maybe a more authentic Korean experience. It wont be Thailand fun but maybe more like walking through a museum. If you want to stick w a smaller city, try Pusan.

There’s a reason more ESL teachers make midnight runs from S. Korea than any other location.

Good luck,

ChrisR

I do not need to make a Midnight run, I did not reserve a room or contract a job, I am a free bird and have a plane ticket that can be changed whenever I wish, I am still trying to make the best of a tiresome place to travel. I am now in a Hostel full of younger people who look dazed...

MIDNIGHT RUN KOREA
How to do a Midnight Run without Getting Caught « Subversive Writer
Teach English in South Korea, World English Service Ltd. - Employment Law
Teach Me Korea Midnight Run
Teaching English in South Korea
To Teach and Live in Korea

English Teachers on Midnight Run


Worlds Best Airport Baggage Cart

Worlds Best Airport Baggage Cart
I do not have wheels on my bags, and even when I buy a cart to use, I still use one of the airport carts, they are bigger, taller, easier and comfortable. I carry a few one dollars bills just to deal with the annoying need to pay for them in the USA.
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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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I got a free cart to use at the Taiwan airport and a free luggage trolley upon arrival in the Seoul South Korea Airport called Incheon, however really an hour train and subway trip from Seoul.

There has been a new world of small gadgets to admire since my arrival to the country of South Korea, this country is really more advance in many ways than the USA when it comes to the manufacturing of items. Then again, most of these products are now made in Asia, so I am at the source.



Airport Carts come from great like this free one in the Incheon South Korea Airport to pay to play ones that are broken and the wheel wobbles annoyingly. Notice the strap this cart will securely carry a families worth of bags.

If you want to ignore a the tourist of the world, and not extend a welcome,
“Charge money to use a cart.”

Why, when we get off a plane, we do not yet have the local money, and we then either have a very annoying baggage carrier who is corrupt to the gills trying to bug us, or a pay to play baggage carts. Often the first impression of a country is packaged, sealed and delivered at the airport even before the Taxis take their turn.

Like I said, I have to carry one dollar bills for months until I return home to the USA just so I can use the too stupid for words pay carts.

What is you first impression of the USA.
“I had to pay to use a cart, and I did not have one dollar.”

The majority of baggage carts on the planet are free to use and all airports have some type of cart. Many people have the wheels on their bags and this normally works great for short people with one piece of luggage, however when you are a family with children, this carts above says.
“Welcome to Korea.”

AIRPORT CARTS
Airport Carts - New York Times - READ this one, very good comments on carts.
Airport luggage cart, - CADDIE
Baggage Carts on ThomasNet.com
http--www.fotosearch.com-photos-images-baggage-cart.html
SmarteCarte

Worlds Best Airport Baggage Cart


Age 52 My Best Compliment

Age 52 My Best Compliment
Mira of LadytheTramp.com probably does not know it, but she told me something other day that I made me extremely happy.

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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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I do not think she was trying to compliment me, however the more I dwelled on it, I felt a sense of pride.

She said,
“There is only one Andy.”
I think we all have heard the comment,
“Be yourself.”

What happens is this, if we are honest with ourselves, we one day realize we live our lives like everyone else at work, everyone else in our neighborhood. We are just one of the many of people who go and live our lives.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walden
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

Everyone is being themselves, it is not possible to be someone else. I feel when someone tells me to be myself, they are trying to say, go out and do what makes you happy, not what makes the world happy.

Therefore Mira’s comment,
“There is only one Andy,” made me happy, I feel a sense of accomplishment, another person told me I do not fit into a box, I am not part of the normal world.

“a life less normal.”

What we think of ourselves is never as important as the interpretations of others, what we think of ourselves is our desires, how another person looks at us is who we are.

I am not a boy anymore, even though I feel like one.

We hope we arrive and me ourselves before the end of the trip, I am age 52.

Age 52 My Best Compliment


Japanese Tour Group in Taiwan Airport

Japanese Tour Group in Taiwan Airport
When I arrived at the Taiwan Airport I had a new experience in Airport Culture. There must have been close to 10 Asian tour groups waiting around in groups to board planes to leave.

If they left, they must have also arrived, there are appears to be an inordinate amount of Tour Groups in Taiwan and less normal on their own tourist.

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Seoul, South Korea
Monday, September 22, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag
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I think this group is Japanese, however to go around and poll these groups is difficult. I do know the groups were Asian, I did not see any European groups.



See the little flag, tours groups walk around waving flags or signs as a form of communication for the group to assemble.

Tour groups are common, and the world gossips about Tour Groups.

- There was a group of Fat American walking around…

- There was all these Japanese Tourist taking photos….

What the photos of above, is the Asian Stereotype Tour group in action. The Taiwan Airport is rather small and these groups were causing major people management problems.

Japanese Tour Group in Taiwan Airport