One overwhelming experience that I least I describe to people who ask me about what it is like to visit Asia (and admittedly I am not the most experienced visitor, but I have been to China now four times, Japan once, and Korea now once) is that visiting these countries is so wonderful because everything is so different, but in almost all cases, if you let yourself enjoy it, so wonderful.  Especially the food, oh my, the food.  And the people (as I have described before below about the Koreans) -- the people in all these countries are so amazing.  And the cultures in each country are so rich and fascinating.  And I endlessly love their deep and fascinating histories.

To some it is all so overwhelming.  One lands in these countries, and the population is huge.  You get bombarded by many sounds, lots of people, languages you don't understand, crowds, many crowds, smells that are unique and that you may never have smelled before (or in such quantities).

But if you soak it in, and let yourself enjoy it, and go with the flow, the experience is just wonderful.  My wife Shirley is a trooper and is experiencing it this way on this trip.  She is enjoying it immensely.

For example, the food.  Korean food is incredible.  Each time we ate a meal it seemed to get better.  (And cheaper, we might add, because we got better at finding good places to eat.)  It helped that we were experienced at eating Korean food before and loved it.  Yes, one needs to realize that Korean food -- at least we know it -- is heavy on meat.  And we adore Kimchi, and Bulgogi.  I show pictures before of Shirley enjoying a few meals below of Bulgogi and other BBQ meals.  Perhaps the best one was the one we ate on the last night, on a street just off our hotel street, and the price was ridiculously cheap.  But the BBQ we cooked at our table, and it was pork and it was delicious.  


Eating Bulgogi at the "Bulgogi Brothers" restaurant!


You can tell Shirley liked this meal!  Not it was cooked over real hot coals right at our table.  This may have been the best tasting meal we had, and I think it was just about $25.

One more thing about Korea.  We were absolutely stunned at how clean and well functioning the subways are.  I took a picture of one of the cars.  Take a look at the floor, and see how clean it is.  Every car we went into looked like this.  Spotless...


And there is still something that totally puzzles us, and did the whole trip.  Seoul is a very clean city.  By that we mean there is no trash anywhere.  As you see above.  Yet, when we had trash, we could not figure where to put it!  By that we mean we had a hard time finding trash cans.  Literally, they were almost impossible to find.  Now if you figure that puzzle out for us, please let us know.  I think we'll ask one of our Korean friends.