Thanksgiving Weekend in Seoul and Hong Kong

November 27, 2015 – December 2, 2015 – I’ve done some pretty crazy trips before, but this weekend trip to Asia tops it. But why not? I’m young and it was a $575 rt flight through Korean Air.

The plan:

Pack only a backpack and an empty carry-on (for shopping). Fly out of SFO to Seoul (ICN) on Thanksgiving day at noon. Use this time to sleep. Arrive in Seoul and leave empty luggage at the airport’s storage facility and go into the city. Stay up all night – eat, drink, shop, hang out with friends – and catch the first morning bus (~5am?) back to ICN. Stick all my shopping in the carry-on in the storage facility, including my winter jacket. Shower at the airport – they have free, private showers, and they are nice.

It’s Saturday. Fly to Hong Kong at 8am. Again, use this time to sleep. Arrive around 11am and head straight into the city. (I only have a backpack.) Eat and site-see, but no shopping since I don’t want to carry anything. Check in at the hotel by 11pm and get a good night’s sleep.

It’s Sunday. Check out of the hotel first thing in the morning and stay out until my midnight flight back to Seoul. In the meantime, eat, site-see, and shop. Shop til you drop. At the airport, check all my shopping items (and laundry) into a parcel box and have it sent directly back to SFO. In the meantime, I’m going back to Seoul for another layover.

It’s Monday. It’s super early in the morning. Back in ICN airport now. Go to the storage facility first to grab my jacket and head back into the city until my 4pm flight back to SF.

Everything was perfect, until I tried re-entering the gates to catch my flight back to SF. I was rejected. My flight was already boarded and ready for take-off. I was an hour late! My phone did not update the time from Hong Kong to Seoul. What the?!

There was a time when I lost my passport in Japan twice. Another time when I lost my ATM card before country-hopping in SE Asia. Out of all dilemmas, this was the least of them. The simple solution: pay the fine to catch the next flight back (same flight next day) and stay an extra night. I booked a place through Airbnb using the airport’s computer lab, put my luggage with all my shopping back into storage and headed straight back into the city. Hang out with friends, eat, more shopping.

It’s Tuesday. More eating, more shopping. I was about to miss my 4pm flight again and got back to the airport by around 2:30 pm. There were was a long line for check-in, I wanted my tax refund, and I wanted to shower. I It was a rush but as long as I gave up on the shower idea and made it to my flight with a few minutes to spare.

I arrived back to SF same day, Tuesday, at 9:30 am and went straight into the office.

Highlights and notable mentions:

I am now hooked on buldak. It’s everywhere in Shinchon.
Buy ALL skincare products from Korea from now on. They cost twice as much in the states.
Osulloc 오설록 – Still one of my favorite cafes in Korea. Matcha everything.
설빙 Solbing – Still my favorite chain for Korean shaved ice (빙수).

金華冰廳 Kam Wah Cafe – The best pineapple bun with butter 菠蘿油 (with a side of iced milk tea 凍奶茶) JONASAPPROVED!
鹿鳴春京菜 Spring Deer – Peking duck (北京烤鴨) JONASAPPROVED!
嘉麟樓 Spring Moon @ Peninsula Hotel – I don’t understand the hype. I’ve had better dim sum in SF. My favorite item was their complimentary honey walnuts. The best!
天龍軒 Tin Lung Heen @ Ritz Carlton – The best meal (not to mention most expensive meal) I had this entire trip. I don’t think I can ever appreciate bbq pork (叉燒) anywhere else but here again.

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Golden State Warriors Caps

Golden State Warriors Caps

장이오

장이오

장이오

장이오

장이오

장이오

Baskin Robbins

新香園

新香園

종로

종로

종로

종로

종로

新香園

新香園

金華冰廳 Kam Wah Cafe
金華冰廳 Kam Wah Cafe
Mongkok

Mongkok

澳洲牛奶公司 Australia Dairy Company

澳洲牛奶公司 Australia Dairy Company

Tsim Tsa Tsui

Tsim Tsa Tsui

종로

1881 HERITAGE

1881 HERITAGE

1881 HERITAGE

1881 HERITAGE

1881 HERITAGE

1881 HERITAGE

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

維多利亞港 Victoria Harbour

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

Hong Kong Museum of Art

鹿鳴春京菜 Spring Deer

鹿鳴春京菜 Spring Deer

鹿鳴春京菜 Spring Deer

鹿鳴春京菜 Spring Deer

Central

Central

The Peak Tram

The Peak Tram

The Peak

The Peak

The Peak

The Peak

Times Square

Times Square

Via Tokyo

Via Tokyo

適香園茶餐廳
適香園茶餐廳
The Peninsula

The Peninsula

Spring Moon @ Peninsula Hotel

Spring Moon @ Peninsula Hotel

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

查理布朗咖啡專門店 Charlie Brown Cafe

半熟工房 Hanjuku Kobo

半熟工房 Hanjuku Kobo

凱旋門-天池

凱旋門-天池

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

Tin Lung Heen

味加本

味加本

Osulloc 오설록

Osulloc 오설록

Osulloc 오설록

Osulloc 오설록

청계천광장

청계천광장

明洞 Milky Bee

明洞 Milky Bee

소분눈꽃빙수

소분눈꽃빙수

본설렁탕

닭갈비제작소 신촌점

닭갈비제작소 신촌점

닭갈비제작소 신촌점

신촌 Mango Six

신촌 Mango Six

본설렁탕

본설렁탕

설빙 신촌점

설빙 신촌점

설빙 신촌점

설빙 신촌점

Feb 15 2016 Category: Earth Hong Kong Korea

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