Recapping a trip to Seoul (yes another) in mid April 2019
I think this would’ve been trip #4 to Seoul, but the first time so late into the spring. My first ever trip to Korea was beginning of April, and usually I choose to go in the nice cool Autumn months. I’ve learned my ways, I am not going back to Seoul on my own dime after March.
Let me preface this with a quick note that I am someone who cannot stand muggy heat. I cannot sleep if the room is hot, I don’t like the feeling of stuffiness, I don’t like lugging around my spoils of shopping when I’m sweaty and sticky…food is not appealing when I’m feeling sweaty etc. If you like hot and muggy, then definitely ignore my post 🙂
I found out while I was in Korea that there was some law that prevented public places from using x amount of electricity during certain months, which meant the air conditioning was the first to go. I understand the sentiment of lowering electric consumption, HOWEVER it is the public places that need this most. If residencies are required to lower power consumption during work hours, FINE; if offices are asked to turn off all lights and AC after hours, FINE….but when you have no AC in shopping malls, hotels, and even the airport, it’s a major turn off for your visitors.
I stayed once again at Shilla Stay Mapo since I really liked it there last time. I even told my friend who was transitioning through Seoul to give it a go, so she booked a night there with her husband. What a mistake. Without AC on, and the sun hitting the hotel during the day (there is nothing in front of it, making it a great view but no shade)…my room hit 30C by 10am. There were windows in each room, but for safety reasons they opened maybe 3 to 4 inches outwards, which meant unless the wind was coming from the right direction, no air came in. What did come into the room however were bugs (no window screen, and despite being on the 16th floor, things flew in) and dust. When I travel, I like to buy food and eat in the hotel at night after a long day of shopping (since I’m by myself and Seoul is still not the most solo diner friendly place)…it became a toss up between suffocating due to hot air or suffocating due to dirty air. -___-;; When I asked the front desk for a fan because the room was too hot, I was first told to open the window. Then I tried again with someone else and told them I cannot sleep at night, as it’s noisy if i open the window (major intersection here, making for super easy airport transfer but noisy as heck with window open), and even with the window open it’s HOT. She said the fan is already on. When I saw it really isn’t because no air comes into my room – she insisted it’s on. Third try, the guy at the front desk immediately went and found me a portable fan – which was really helpful to help draw air in by the window. This allowed the room to stay at a lovely 26C instead of 30+C. Then finally on my last day I told the front desk again, and I think this time it was a manager who told me my room seemed warmer than the others so she sent a technician to my room to double check. That night my room was around 25C when I returned, which was lovely in comparison. When it’s cooler outside than in a pricey hotel, then what’s the point of paying so much for a hotel??
Aside from a suffocating stay, my friend and I also noticed that the colours of Spring are pastel everything. If you work in an office environment where darker clothes are required, then don’t bother shopping. I was trying to find a black bag for work…and kept getting told that because black, navy, and dark colours are FW colours (fall winter) they don’t have it. Then when I tried to find this pillow that has a cooling effect, I was told that’s a summer line. lol it was extremely frustrating to find anything that was not baby pink or lavender….or not frilly. -______-;; I think this trip was my cheapest one since I barely bought anything.
The good thing however about this time is that Korea has a lot of sun products to get everyone ready for the hotter weather. I discovered a stick sunblock from Nature Republic that I really like because it was not sticky and no scent. Also a powder pack from CNP wtih SPF 50++ that has been great.
Food-wise…it was tough to eat everything I enjoyed in the heat: galguksu (hand cut noodles in soup), mandu (dumplings), odeng (fish cakes on a stick)….i still ate it all, but was sweating like there was no tomorrow….lol
Just thinking about that trip makes my head hurt. 😦