zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
[personal profile] zorkian

So -- I'm about to fly out for LCA + visiting [personal profile] afuna + 36 hours in South Korea.

The LCA portion of the trip is scheduled and planned. I know exactly what I'm doing and when, just about, and it's all worked out. No worries or problems there, also, not much time to sightsee.

The Philippines portion of the trip is fairly scheduled, but has a few open days at the end that we're holding until we see how things are going and then decide what to do. That's fine, I know [personal profile] afuna will take care of me and not let me die!

However, the Seoul portion of the trip so far is unscheduled entirely. I don't have a hotel room, I have barely looked at the map, etc.

I'm considering -- and this is where you come in! -- leaving it that way. Showing up at the airport with my luggage and passport and just winging it. Finding maps at the airport, picking a direction, and setting off on transit. Going around in a loop until I see an interesting hotel and area, then hopping off and trying to check in. Asking around for interesting places to go and see. Entirely unscheduled and serendipitous.

I understand that means I may not see the XYZ the most famous LMNOP in all of QTH, but hey, it actually sounds kind of fun to just be lost. (I guess except that I might end up being mugged somewhere. I don't actually know how safe Seoul is, or if there are bad areas, or if I'd even recognize a bad area... presumably I would? I have no idea.)

Anyway -- am I totally crazy for considering this? :)

Date: 2013-01-25 09:02 pm (UTC)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
From: [personal profile] synecdochic
I love doing travel that way! (And I thought we were going to be doing the post-LCA Australia wanderings like that, but there was a Marital Miscommunication and now we are scheduled, woe.)

But I say do some basic reading on neighborhoods, safety, etc, and then go for it. If you can research a vague overall sense of the "feel" of the city, in terms of where it's safe for a white dude who doesn't speak the language and where you'd be more likely to get into trouble, and a grasp of what the State Department thinks you need to know, I say go for it! And tell us what happens :)

Date: 2013-01-25 09:10 pm (UTC)
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
From: [personal profile] jenett
Things I'd consider:
- Customs questions (are they going to ask you where you're staying? If you don't have a hotel, you might have a problem.) I am certain there's a travel wiki out there that can tell you if this might be an issue.

- I generally want to have some way to know I can get to a safe-for-tourists area fast when I've done that kind of exploratory travel. Usually that's been some combo of just enough cash handy for a cab ride (other stuff may be elsewhere on my person), an idea where I'd want that cab ride to (maybe a couple of different places) and a way to share it. (name of area written down on paper, for example, so I don't have to trust my pronunciation of the local language.)

(Language can complicate this: Mom and I did 'wander around a lot' in Budapest, where neither of us had the least grasp of the language. I made a point of writing down the subway stops we used, and other useful names just in case we got totally lost. She thought I was silly until it helped us get off at the right subway stop on the way back.)

- General tourism, though? Go for it. Maybe with a quick look at "Stuff you should not do because it'll get you in legal trouble/etc." resources.

Date: 2013-01-25 10:42 pm (UTC)
dmsj: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dmsj
In short, yes, I think you're crazy for wanting to do that. But whether or not 'crazy' is something you want to be is totally up to you. Don't do anything unsafe is the only solid opinion I have.

Date: 2013-01-26 04:00 pm (UTC)
ashcomp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ashcomp
If you really like adventure, go for it.
One useful thing I've found, is this: once you do get checked in to a hotel, grab a couple of their business cards off the front desk, and keep them with you. Very helpful if you (cough)forget the name of the place, or your taxi/bus driver can't make it out through your atrocious accent.

Date: 2013-01-26 04:25 pm (UTC)
inoru_no_hoshi: Folded Japanese hand-fan in a hand, fan partially over the implication of kimono & hair, shaded purple, on white. (Sai fan)
From: [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi
Maybe a little crazy, but as long as you have some way to look stuff up if you get too lost, I say go for it.

Also, Korean is super easy to learn to read (unlike Chinese and Japanese, Korean uses an approximately 40-letter alphabet for pretty much everything, unless the formality of hanja - Chinese symbols given Korean readings - is needed), and Google translate usually does an okay job of sussing it out, since (sadly!) being able to read it doesn't mean you know what's being said!

즐거운 시간 되세요! :D

Date: 2013-01-26 05:23 pm (UTC)
arie: (Default)
From: [personal profile] arie
Based on my (limited) international travel, they usually ask you where you're staying when you go through customs. If the answer's 'I don't know' it looks kind of questionable. So, I'd suggest at least having a hotel reservation, and making that your home base. Other than that, what Denise suggests about reading up on general areas, and checking with the State Department, then going for it, sounds like a reasonable un-plan to me.

Date: 2013-01-27 01:22 am (UTC)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
From: [personal profile] afuna
Sounds like it could be the good type of fun!

Date: 2013-01-27 02:39 am (UTC)
strixluna: small owl (Default)
From: [personal profile] strixluna
Are you crazy? Maybe. It really depends on your own tolerance for uncertainty and whether or not you'll see it more as an adventure than a disaster.

I know that if I proposed such a plan my friends and family would be well within their rights to start looking for the real me. Because the only way I'd suggest such a thing for myself is if I had been either brainwashed or kidnapped and replaced with a body double :)

Have a great trip!

Date: 2013-01-28 03:54 am (UTC)
zarhooie: Girl on a blueberry bramble looking happy. Text: Kat (Default)
From: [personal profile] zarhooie
http://9gag.com/gag/3968335 <-- how to learn to read Korean in 15 minutes.

Personally, that style of travel drives me nuts. I hope you have a good time, thought!


zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
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