That’s thank you in Korean. 

I couldn’t master hello but had Koreans in stitches with my attempts at thank you which I bandied about with liberal happiness, mostly pronouncing it as Hum-za-de-da. 

So what is there to be thankful for?

The Korean friendliness. Which you need because the building are not numbered in a logical manner so finding addresses requires you to know the building name and being able to read it in Korean on a map. Which we failed at. 

The fast trains with big windows. (Take note Japanese rail. Your bullet trains need bigger windows so travellers can see the countryside.) 

That the fast trains show you the speed at which they are travelling. I got over 300km/hour. And surely didn’t feel like it. (Look at the top left of the screen. And again, take note Japan.)

The funny interpretations of western food. Purple sweet potato donuts anyone?


That you make it out alive from each taxi drive. Speed limits are ignored by about 20 km and lanes are mere suggestions. (Some repeat visitors tell me they pay the taxi driver more to drive slowly. As they are paid for distance, you can see why they speed – to maximise income.)

The beautiful countryside. And amazing architecture. (Next four photos are of Busan, second largest city and major seaside town. Think Korean Gold Coast.)

 And a few things to laugh or marvel at. You pick. 

A Halloween Christmas tree (on a zodiac patterned floor). Ah, all some western celebrations. 


Mad wiring. I can’t believe there aren’t more fires. 

And there’s a young Aussie guy who is famous for being on a panel TV show. Blair Williams. We were lucky to have him at our trade displays – he attracted a lot of fans. He was a really sweet, young boy. 


One last shot. Yes, the large tower catches your eye. But if you enlarge the photo you will notice the horizon is of buildings that themselves are massive. Unbelievably tall buildings. 



3 thoughts on “Gamsahamnida

  1. How funny is the Korean Gold Coast! So much like Surfers Paradise!

    It is very interesting to see the differences between Korea and Japan. I’m probably guilty of being one of those Westerners who doesn’t know a lot about separate countries in Asia. And it’s always embarrassing when we have such a high Asian population in Australia. A bit like assuming that Canada, Ireland and New Zealand are all much of a muchness.

    France’s trains were also very, very fast (hence the name TGV, which in French means is “train of great speed”.) We so badly need a TGV between Melbourne and Sydney.

    What were your hotels like? Hopefully they didn’t serve the purple donuts! (I did feel a little queasy looking at that!)

    • Hotels were very western. Except for the breakfasts, and toilet controls, could have been anywhere. Oh, except in both Korea and Japan the hotel staff were very, very helpful and friendly. So we couldn’t have been in Aust and NZ. Service is not our thing.

      Another difference. Japanese are much shorter than Koreans. So I didn’t stand out in Korea as much as I did in Japan. The languages are very different.

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