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Thread: Being a Tourist in South Korea

  1. #1

    Being a Tourist in South Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by skippy13
    Where are you going in South Korea? I Spent October of 2006 there for work. I went from Inchon to Busan and all points in between. Fantastic! (And the last trip I ever made.) But I would go again in a heartbeat if i could. It is a most beautiful country.
    Quote Originally Posted by chick
    Cool! I don't have any recent pics of my areas/house/street. I did see some recently of the new "modern" S.K. Very different from some of the old photos I have.
    We shared a house with 1 or 2 other families; slept on floors and bathroom was just a hole in the ground (my lil sis fell in as toddler - had to be hosed down with some ritual involved to "cleanse" her, I think... I wished I remembered that! )

    Oh, where you planning on visiting? There are many islands off the mainland, which would be very cool to visit. I don't recall anything except this very faint almost dream-like memory of being on some rickety boat to visit one very rural and hilly, fishing village -- Mom was born/raised on one of the islands, which was very pristine back in the day. She talks about how they pretty much ate fish straight out of the ocean, right there. Her father was a fisherman/captain or something. You can still get fresh raw fish or other sea creatures, straight from the ocean, as there are people (mostly women) who set up oceanside "restaurants" right along the shore - pretty much chop up a squirming fish and shove it to you, still squirming! (I doubt caring much about health inspectors, if any!).
    One of my sisters fell into a septic tank when we were growing up. Maybe if we had done some type of ritual on her, then...

    -- I'm planning on, primarily, being in the Seoul area. How is transportation? Public transportation, renting a vehicle? I am a C-5 complete, so transferring into a regular vehicle would not be terribly easy. How about the train to Busan?

    -- How accessible are the hotel rooms? How is the power supply to the room, 110 or 220? Internet connections?

    -- As I am traveling as a tourist, are there any sites that you might be able to recommend? Places for me to steer clear of, accessibility wise?

    -- Will I need translation services for every little thing; in other words, I'm an ignorant American that can't speak Korean. How well do people speak English?

    -- If my wheelchair should have a problem, are there places that might be able to repair it?

    -- I'm going to avoid Ducdo. It's halfway between Japan & Korea, and isn't much more than a big rock.

    -- I'm considering a daytrip to Busan, and possibly one to the theme park on Cheju Island

    -- It looks like I will be going in June, to try to avoid the rainy season of July & August.

    I think I will avoid the Oceanside "restaurants" -- I'm not fond of the food still squirming. I don't mind sushi, but at least the sushi fish has been dead for a couple of hours...
    4/6/97, car accident, C5. http://raccoon-kathleen.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Annyeong Haseyo, Raccoon!

    Korea is not particularly disabled friendly. The people are, but the structures are not. The subways are ok, there are lifts at various points throughout seoul. The bar/restaurant that you will want to get to will invariably be on the fifth floor of a walkup, or in some basement somewhere. They build and live vertically in Seoul. The trains are fast and great.

    Stop at the tourist information and get a brochure Accessible Seoul.
    Also try www.easyaccess.or.kr.

    Plenty of younger Koreans speak english. If you have a problem, just ask a kid.

    Be sure to acknowledge the shopowner or clerk with a verbal greeting and eye contact when you go in. Namdaemun market is worth the hassle of trying to get through the crowds. It is the real Korea. Try street foods and live a little.

    Try to get to the DMZ. It is very powerful and is worth the trip. I was there the day in 2006 that the North tested what the west thought was a nuke. That was something.

    There are so many places to go and things to see that I can only suggest read as many guide books as you can. The national museum, the history and culture. It is a wonderful place.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  3. #3
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    I stayed at the Imperial Palace in Seoul when I was there. They have the most fantastic breakfast buffet everyday. There are a hundred selections both western and asian food. Red and black caviar for breakfast! Ohh, Ahh! They have accessible rooms, and internet access is everywhere.

    You might consider renting a car/van for your day trips. just for the convenience and privacy if there is no easy bathroon access. Some of the places still only have a porcelain "pot" stuck in the floor.

    Power i believe is 220

    I'm so jealous. I want to go, too.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  4. #4
    This is one of my favorite blogs, by an American model that works in Korea a lot and loves it. She is very witty and articulate. She is over there right now, basically lives there half the year or so. Many photos and in-depth descriptions. Maybe it will help you plan, it sure makes me want to go!

    http://elysesewell.livejournal.com/

  5. #5
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Cell Phones from the US dont work over there. They have a different system than just about anywhere else in the world. Buy a cheap disposable phone when you get there if you will need one.
    Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

  6. #6
    This is a great video Elyse made of/about Seoul, it's only 3 minutes or so.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DtF1...ent:5124476%26

  7. #7
    I met Terry once, 2 1/2 years ago. He had polio, which is why he's in a wheelchair. It was very kind of him to answer the questions that I had. He also gave me a couple of general purpose links, and a specific one ( www.dpiKorea.com ), which goes to Disabled Persons International South Korea. Unfortunately, it's in Korean. It's also more of a rights thing, from what I was able to discern through Babel Fish. I'm still planning on giving them a call, though.

    Bethany, I've looked at the blog that you mentioned a handful of times, but every time that I've looked she's been talking about modeling, which doesn't really interest me.

    Skippy 13, thanks for the tips. The DMZ is something that I want to take a look at. Even aside from the tunnels that NK dug, the scenery is supposed to be incredible.

    To: terry
    Subject: wheelchair travel to Korea

    About 2 1/2 years ago, at the Abilities Expo, I met you at a workshop
    on wheelchair travel. You had given a couple of points concerning
    international travel, such as getting a 220 V battery charger. During
    that workshop, you had mentioned that you had traveled a few times to
    South Korea .

    I ask you a couple of questions after the workshop, and you gave me
    your business card.

    I am currently planning on visiting South Korea in June for about 10
    days. This is a vacation for me, not business-related.

    I'd like to ask you a handful of questions, if I may?

    -- I'm planning on, primarily, being in the Seoul area. How is
    transportation? Public transportation, renting a vehicle? I am a C-5
    complete, so transferring into a regular vehicle would not be terribly
    easy.

    My biggest question is transportation from Incheon Airport to Hotel.

    1.I use limo bus but I my chair will breakdown and fit in luggage area. There are no wheel chair lifts on limo bus from airport
    2.Method Two is to use Train from airport to main station and subway from main station to hotel area. Don’t know which hotel you are staying at so can not give good directions.
    3.Method three is to go to www.airport.kr for incheon and register in membership area. That allows you to ask questions and they will reply within 24 hours to you.
    4.Method 4 is to contact the disability group.
    5.There are Handicap cabs but they are for manual wheelchairs. I use them but put chair in trunk. I am lucky since I have mobility and quickie disassembles to motor unit and top unit. Motor unit goes in trunk and top units goes in back seat. Best method is to use subway between locations.


    -- How accessible are the hotel rooms? How is the power supply to the
    room, 110 or 220?

    Depends on Hotel=== the 4 and 5 star are not problem on accessible and have handicap rooms. Power is 220 with some hotels have outlets for 110. Best to have a European plug adapter and a two prong us adapter. Three prong us adapters are not used. The power converters you see in travel shops for 220 to 110 wont work on wheel chair chargers so you either need a power converter or step down transformer. Call hotel


    -- As I am traveling as a tourist, are there any sites that you might
    be able to recommend? Places for me to steer clear of, accessibility
    wise?

    As long as you can get there most of the sites, museum, palaces etc are accessible. Many of the shopping area are accessible but be prepared for narrow aisle in stores.


    -- Will I need translation services for every little thing; in other
    words, I'm an ignorant American that can't speak Korean. How well do
    people speak English?

    NO. Most of the menu have pictures on them. And many of the places in seoul have both English and Korean menus. point is okay but be careful of fingers gesters. Never use left hand to shake hands as that is the hand in asia that they use in the bathroom. Many of the people in seoul speak English. If you head very far south there will be some problems. Say down toward Gumi or Pusan .

    -- If my wheelchair should have a problem, are there places that might
    be able to repair it?

    Depends on your wheel chair vendor. Check the websites before you go. Some electrical parts could be a problem and the system over there is metric.

    Thank you for not immediately discarding this e-mail. I am looking
    forward to your reply.
    4/6/97, car accident, C5. http://raccoon-kathleen.blogspot.com/

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