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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 10 Nov 2007
Chris D (Newcastle NSW)'s Avatar
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Cool South Korea as a destination?

Thinking a bit the Northen Asian Countries, why should we include South Korea on our schedule of counties to include? For one, it has a good car ferry terminal to get us to Vladivostok....what are the other good reasons to stop over?

Chris
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Old 10 Nov 2007
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That's a long way to go to avoid meeting up with us! :)

Hi Chris, My quesiton would be where are you going to enter South Korea from?
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Land's End to Sydney 2009
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Old 10 Nov 2007
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Korea is a fantastic Country for riding: Imagine Black Forest at the Mediterrean Coast plus great food and friendly people.

Here are a few pictures of my trip in Korea: Anton_Special

The roads are a bit more crowded than it seems, but anyway...

@ Ollie: There is a Ferry from Zarubino to Sokcho.

I forgot: Check whether you can import your bike legally. AFAIK it is now illegal for German registered bikes. Same reasons as in Japan.

Lars
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Old 10 Nov 2007
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Reply to Oliver

Ollie.

Have not considered how to get to South Korea yet, but the Land Cruiser will be in a shipping container from Australia.

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Old 10 Nov 2007
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Reply to Lars

Lars.

Thanks for a look at those magnificent photos.

Our intentions are to ship cars to eastern Russia then through Mongolia, Central Asia and to Europe. I have heard that there is a good car ferry between South Korea and eastern Russia, your input has inspired me to do some reading on South Korea. We have travelled in SE Asia and China and love he region so it is logical to see some more on the way through.

Thanks.

Chris
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Old 6 Dec 2007
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we have just been there !

Hi Chris

I have just hit USA at beginning of November having come through Mongolia down to Zarubino and ferry into South Korea. ( www.travel.uklinux.net )

We had 7 weeks in South Korea from end of August to mid Oct.
Fantastic country, really liked it. Unusual, interesting, VERY easy to travel, lovely people, some stunning scenery, exciting cities, good weather. I cannot honestly think of a reason to not go (little pricey maybe - $4 cups of coffee and diesel at $1.35 per litre)

It is a real contrast havng come through central asia and russia and very refreshing after a long 6 months on road.
I honestly believe the smoothness with which you can enter or exit Russia via South Korea on that ferry is reason alone for adding the country to anyones itinery.

You will need to leave deposit (carnet not accepted) - we negotiated deposit of $1000 (they wanted $2000), this is refunded upon exit.
You will need to buy insurance $300 for 3 months.

We used a shipping agent who works out of Seoul (she is absolutely excellent.) a name of Wendy Choi (email : aerokorea 'at' unitel.co.kr )

check my pages for diary and some pictures to give you flavour : www.travel.uklinux.net

Phil
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Old 9 Jan 2008
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South Korea is a great place to visit! I have lived here for more than 12 years and still have not explored it even thoughit is only about 1/3rd the size of Oregon state. Yes, gas is expensive, running about 7 USD a gallon or $1.70 a liter. Coffee is only expensive in coffee houses. Food is great and lots of it can't be found anywhere else. Shopping is great. Safety, except for the highways is comparable to a country village in an Amish village at 4:00 am. Personal crime is almost non-existent. very little pickpocketing, mugging, purse snatching. Bikes are not allowed on the expressways, but the secondary roads are well maintained. Restaurants are unbelievably cheap. We often go out for a meal and rarely spend more than 8 bucks for the two of us. Hotels can be found anywhere for $25 a night and goshiwans are as little as 5 bucks a night. There are bathhouses (two kinds) in nearly every town where you can soak all day for 5 bucks and in the other type, you can spend the night and get the soak for 7 bucks. There are temples, old palaces, great museums, friendly people, and the odds that you will ever even be stopped let alone get a traffic ticket are next to zero. In 12 years the only time I have ever been stopped was at a drunk driver stop where everyone has to breathe into the tube. They don't even do that for bike riders. There are ferries out of Pyongtaek to China and Russia, and one out of Sokcho for Russia. I pay $169.00 a year for my bike insurance.

Bad things. Red lights only mean hurry up and beat the green light traffic, so you NEVER go when the light turns green. Wait a few seconds for the red light runners to clear. Korean drivers never use their mirrors and will pull out from a curb without looking, change lanes, cut in front of you, and do just about every stupid thing you can imagine--and do it every day--many times. You have to drive expecting the worst because it is going to happen. It is a bit stressful. Korea is crowded. Forty-nine million people live basically in a strip of land 200 miles long by 40 miles across. Seoul metro is 20 million. Traffic jams can be amazing. cars and bikes use sidewalks. bikes will go the wrong way on a one-way street and expect you to get out of their way. There are no street numbers and no one knows how to tell you how to get somewhere: "Go straight 10 minutes, go right 3 minutes." worse is if they don't know where you want to go, they will tell you how anyhow and you can wind up in only God knows where. Buy maps and use them. The maps are pretty good. If you are planning on visiting within the next 9 months, drop me a PM and it will be my privilege to assist in anyway I can
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