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[HanCinema's Korea Joa] Lisa's Diary - Road Tripping in South Korea

2015/12/26 | Permalink

Road trips in the United States, like everywhere, are comprised of long hours on the road, scenery that ranges from monotonous to stunning, and pit stops that are defined by sketchy bathrooms and dubious food. As an avid traveler, I've been on many road trips, especially in my native Florida. I thought I'd seen it all and considered myself a pro road-tripper. I've seen over half of the fifty states, eaten their native foods, seen their native attractions. On my forays into other countries I've done much the same. But none of those places can top road tripping in South Korea.

KOFICE provided a travel bus for Korea Joa 2015 that I am forever grateful for. It took us all over the country safely and let us take a first hand view at the natural and manmade wonders of South Korea. The beauty of South Korea fondly reminds me of my current home, Colorado: green, lush, mountainous and dotted with thriving cities. But what makes road travel so unique in South Korea - in all honesty - are the pit stops. Rest areas have food, bathrooms, and, on occasion, forms of entertainment, just like many other countries. But the food is, quite frankly, incredible. The snacks are delicious. Perhaps it's my foreigner's tongue speaking, but I had bundae jjigae on my first pit stop, and shared walnut fritters, fish cake, baked potatoes, and kimbap with my colleagues. I washed it down with a refreshing coffee drink. I expected to encounter greasy food that would leave me slightly queasy on the bus, and left feeling heartily satisfied.

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On the way to the Busan International Film Festival we stopped at a rest stop that included games, which the Korea Joa 2015 members heartily indulged in. This rest stop may not be a general indication of how all rest stops are, but I was thoroughly impressed by the fact that it was fun and it didn't gross me out. The bathrooms were impeccably clean and fully stocked with toilet paper so I didn't have to use any of the stash I kept with me. In fact, it made me look forward to the next time we would need to stop for the bathroom and snacks. I wasn't disappointed. Delicious Korean food smells wafted from the pit stop and none of the grungy, dirty associations I had with pit stops were ever actualized.

When I go back, and I do plan to go back to the amazingly beautiful South Korea, I plan on checking out more of the roadside rest areas. Have any of you HanCinema readers experienced a Korean pitstop? What are they like in your country?

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You can find all of our Korea Joa 2015 coverage on this page.

Written by: Raine from 'Raine's Dichotomy'

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