Travel thread

There‘s a few threads about people going to specific destinations like Japan or California, but now that Covid restrictions have been lifted in most places and people will be traveling more, I figured I’d make a general thread for travel to other miscellaneous places.

All my problems with going to China that I talked [about here]( have all been dealt with now that I've gotten two negative tests, so I'm going to China on the 20th -- BUT I'm going to Korea first this Friday, the 14th. (Direct flights to China from the US are still very expensive, and you need two tests 48 hours and 24 hours respectively before you board your China bound flight, even if you're transiting in another country, so it's just easier and cheaper to go to Korea a few days early than try to get a direct flight out of the US.)

I know a few people (@exodus at least) have been to Korea! I'll only be in Seoul for 5 and a half days, and most of those days I'll be somewhat busy, so I'll only have maybe 1 or 2 days for unimpeded wandering around, but I was curious if anyone had any recommendations. At the very least, I need to find some unique object that can only be found in Korea and which is small enough to easily fit in my suitcase so I can send it to @Rocketomato as a souvenir/thank-you-present for helping me with a bunch of logistics stuff.

I watched Take Care of My Cat TWICE on exodus's recommendation specifically because he described it as "footage of a bunch of interiors from the second half of the 20th that don't exist anymore," so I guess that's the sort of thing I'm interested in! I don't know if anyone has any recommendations for areas in Seoul where there's still a bunch of older stuff? Or maybe I'd have to leave Seoul for that (which might be doable?)

By November I'll be in Shanghai and have infinite time to do whatever there, so I guess recommendations for there would be appreciated as well? I've only been to Beijing and Sichuan before. Though I know a lot more about Shanghai than Seoul, so recommendations are less necessary.

Korea is great! I used to live there. My advice is instead of spending five days in Seoul, spend one day in Seoul and the rest in Busan.

More seriously, Seoul is real big but very easy to get around, even if you don't speak Korean. I'd pick a part of the city that seems most interesting to you and just dive in there.
The palaces are cool and there are a lot of museums and parks and so on.
Itaewon is where all the foreigners hangout, which is fun if you're looking to get insanely drunk with other English speakers and Koreans who want to practice English. Otherwise, it's probably part of the city you can skip.

I can‘t wait to go to Korea, I’m probably going to alienate my partner‘s upper middle class family first by not drinking alcohol at all and then by wanting to go to Gwangju specifically to visit the Memorial Culture Center and Memorial Park commemorating the Gwangju Uprising. If they think I’m weird they can send me to a normal vacation spot like Jeju-do… I'll find a way to still be weird anyway.

I guess it's very North American of me to feel fascinated by the idea of some kind of commemoration of actual labor/socialist/democratic organization or events. I don't have the numbers but if you include pre modern ones, North America surely has way more monuments to fascism, colonialism, or just nonsense put up by [fascists]( than anything else.


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I haven‘t been to Korea in 3 years I guess so I can’t promise anything is similar but:

Yongsan had SOME old korea and also video games in it. Go down the big stairs from the station out the mall (you'll know which are the big stairs because you'll be like dang, these are some stairs) then keep going left until it looks like you can go under a small bridge. If you see a person-sized tunnel going through there you're in the right direction. There'll be an underground mall with old game stuff, old electronics stores around, etc.

Nambu bus terminal. Despite the name you can take the train there. There's a retro game café (not old) and an underground mall where you can buy records and also get glasses lenses for 20k won or less. That's a bargain.

Look for record bars - there are some where you can request music and it rules. There's a real good one I like but I forget both what it's called and where it is, but I do remember that you have to go downstairs and it's dark in there and full of old people singing old country ballads.

Hongdae - this used to be the cool area but then it got too cool and now it's too crowded and not cool anymore, but that of course is still interesting to see. There's a bar I used to like called bar da that used to be chill as heck but now is full of foreigners. Still okay though

Check out this chill ass urban renewal stream project:

There's better and worse places to get on the path, I don't really remember, but this is a real cool thing to just walk along at night with a beverage or whatever.

There's cool stuff in insadong but you gotta know where it is. Also my friend's old neighborhood has a lot of old korea left because it was affluent at a certain time where they weren't gonna bulldoze everything because folks own the houses. It's called Apgujeong but I can't vouch for it still being how it was. It's really just a suburb though, not much to see!

Oh and it's kind of worth going to a fancy makgeolli bar just to try some different flavors if you partake of that and have a buddy.

Well that's all I can remember off the top of my head without using a computer! Have a cool time out there, buy some corn tea out of the vendos, get hot red ginseng drink at the convenience store and drink a beverage on the 2nd floor of a building.


@“exodus”#p88097 drink a beverage on the 2nd floor of a building.

This is good travel advice, in general. Whether it is a licenced venue (bar, etc) or a cafe, or a juice place - I've had some great beverages after having to walk up some stairs.


Gwangju is where I used to live! It's always interesting to me when people have even heard of it.

Also, relevant to North America - the uprising was to overthrow a US backed dictator. US soldiers also took part in killing Korean student activists.

As for Jeju-do, an island devoted to peace, the US has forced the construction of a massive naval base there despite years of protests that have occasionally halted construction.

@“edward”#p88107 I think in certain leftist circles in North America there‘s a lot of interest in modern Korea’s protest history and democratization – and of course US imperialism in Korea etc. At least, that‘s the only context I’ve heard anyone around here talk about Gwangju. I know next to nothing about it as an actual place that people live in.

I would love to hear more about the place!

(I guess I also watched that one Taxi Driver movie that starts with [this excellent song](, but again, that's just about the Gwangju uprising and not really the city itself.)

@"exodus"#p88097 thank you! this is an excellent list and more than enough for the time I'll be there. I'll report back on whether or not everything you have described has completely changed in the past 3 years.

This ain‘t far or possibly exciting but I’m going to Denver again in 2 weeks for work. Anything cool to see in Denver?

I am going to St. Louis for a few days next week for work so I‘m pretty limited on outside time there but would like to at least hit some good restaurants and things-to-see while I’m there if anyone has some suggestions!

I'd highly recommend to do a little bit of hiking in Buhkansan National Park if weather permits. Gorgeous mountains with views of the city and I think one of the best things I did in Seoul.

Gwangjang Market is a lovely old-style shopping arcade with a pretty huge amount of street food vendors clustered in the east. Lots of fun local food to try out there and good vibes all around.

Yongsan and the video game alley there are pretty good, but don't underestimate Kukje Electronics center and the various game shops hidden in underground malls around town!

@“sabertoothalex”#p88131 I hit up St. Louis not too long ago and went to the City Museum which was rad, and the Botanical Gardens. The Arch is pretty neat too if you‘ve never been, but not if you’re afraid of heights!

@“sabertoothalex”#p88131 the central library is a nice place to have a coffee and read but if you're working you might not have daytime hours to spare.

There's a ultra-haunted old mansion somewhere that I believe does nighttime paranormal tours. I haven't done it myself (good christian) but I think it's a destination for ghost people


@“oprel”#p88135 I’d highly recommend to do a little bit of hiking in Buhkansan National Park

This seems like a very good suggestion! I for some reason have a bias of not ever going to parks whenever I'm visiting other cities, even though at home I'm constantly wishing there were better parks near me that I could easily get to without a car. The weather looks like it should be clear (though somewhat cool, which is expected for the season I suppose), so I'll try it if I have time!

@“DavidNoo”#p88129 Denver is exciting! I have always wanted to go ever since hearing my dad describe running away from home as a teenager and taking a bus to Denver. I hope you have fun!

via my partner:

Top Things to Do in Daejeon

  • 1. Leave
  • 2. It's not a city you need to go to on purpose and no one here is going to go to Daejeon on purpose
  • 3. It looks busy because there's lots of cars but it's actually just because it's in between Seoul and everywhere else
  • 4. Daejeon restaurants aren't very good
  • All jokes aside there's great hiking on Bomunsan


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    If anyone here is going to Nueva Jersey anytime soon and you’re in the Trenton area I suggest going to the Polish neighborhood and eating at Rozmaryn. Just a small restaurant literally in a house with family coming in and out lol. Was here a couple weeks ago and was good

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    @“saddleblasters”#p88109 @“edward”#p88107 @“Gaagaagiins”#p88094 I went to Gwangju for a game conference once. it was pretty boring there, I found! But there was a giant coffee place called Bean Drugs which I remember the name of to this day so there's that.

    @“DavidNoo”#p88129 I went pre-covid. Found it a very bikeable city if you have time during the day. Had a good time taking those public bike rentals and following the river trail that cuts through the city. Mutiny information cafe is a coffee shop with books, records, and pinball. They host local acts at night. Domo does Japanese country food.


    Doing my first trip to Joshua Tree next month despite living in southern california for 3/4 of my life. I dumbly associated it with U2 and avoided it lol. Going to check out Slab City and Pioneertown while I'm out there.


    @“exodus”#p88161 But there was a giant coffee place called Bean Drugs which I remember the name of to this day so there’s that.

    I see your Bean Drugs and raise you a...

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    EDIT: in case anyone has trouble loading the image, this Beer and Pizza place was called CRAFT PEEPEE

    My partner took a picture of this place and then immediately after the guys in there tried to wave her in there lol

    I don't care how craft it is, I'm not drinkin' it!


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    @“seasons”#p88164 Thanks for the tips! Looks like Mutiny is only a couple miles from where i'm staying. Maybe I can bike there one day.

    I have been to Joshua Tree and it was a good time! Hope you enjoy!