In Korean, dashi means again. After mom died, I promised myself that I would return to Korea at least one more time with Chase. We would go as tourists and enjoy the country and learn as opposed to being obligated to spend all our time with relatives. I’m so excited for Chase (who thinks Tokyo is AWESOME) to visit Korea and understand he has much to be proud of when he says, “I’m Korean too.”
Normally, airfare from Japan to Korea shouldn’t be so expensive. I consider getting airplane tickets “man-job” because Cliff is such a seasoned traveler and he has certain types of jets he likes and he knows how to use points, etc. Cliff started looking at airfares and found out that it is some kind of holiday and the tickets were costing over $1000 per person! So in desperation, he asked me to look into it. Luckily, I have a Kayak app on my phone and I started doing some searching. Lo and Behold! $412 a ticket! So I start trying to purchase tickets, but the site directed me to Korean Air website and when I tried to find the tickets, it didn’t recognize! I started feeling desperate because it also told me there were only 6 seats left and I still had an hour before my spin class was over (yes, I was doing this before my spin class). So I gave up and decided as soon as class was over, I would go to the office center at the club and jump on a desktop computer. SAME THING! I had a feeling something was up. At this point I am sweating from stress. My last resort was contacting my “phone a friend” aka my sister in DC. She’s also known as the family travel agent. Luckily, she picked up and when I asked her to help me out, she gladly obliged. When she looked up the flight I was interested in, she had no problem finding it. I have tried making travel plans before, so it did not surprise me when I realized “deals” were being offered in some regions that were not available in others. My credit cards are still based out of America and the prices I was given were always in yen not dollars. The other good thing is often Asian airlines will offer discounted fares for children. If you experience high ticket prices from within Japan, try having a friend from outside book travel. You can take advantage of the currency rate as well as getting better fares.
Dates for Korea: October 24th-28th
Cliff was able to book rooms at the Intercontinental Grand Seoul. I actually contacted a travel agent I found through WordPress. I let her know we were planning to go to Seoul and needed airfare, hotel and English-speaking tour guide for 2 days. She recommended the Park Hyatt at a certain rate but Cliff’s company was able to get us a room at the Intercontinental for $100 less. So I explained to her we would only need airfare and a guide. Her next reply was explaining that she puts in a lot of time and energy putting these packages together and if I wanted her to help me any further I would have to put up $250 deposit that would go towards the package purchased. We parted ways. I tried.
My first choice would be using a guide someone I know has recently used. Like how we found Lilly in Beijing. I am still working on this. One of my yoga instructors recently went to Korea and used a tour guide so I am waiting to see her again and ask her about it. I contacted the concierge at the Intercontinental and they quoted me Vehicle : 220,000 won & English Speaking Guide : 200,000 won per 8 hours a day which totals 420,000 won per day (about $370.00). This is my benchmark. I have talked with a few other Koreans here and they are all promising me lists of restaurants and sites that cannot be missed, so I should be ok as for as things to do.
I’m so excited this is coming together and we aren’t getting financially raped. Speaking of rape, I was recently listening to some US news reports about Todd Akin’s remark about “legitimate rape.” During the report, they played this song-spoof about the whole term. I laughed so hard I thought I would pee in my pants.
Until next time…