Korea was the 1st trip i traveled with my travel partner – SP. That was 9 years ago. Upon that time we were hesitated on which country to go as too many places but too little budget we had. Finally we decided on Korea as we would like to have a holiday that we couldn’t experience in our own country which is winter and the wonderful part was the tour package was within our budget.

korea, korea seoul palace

We have dilemma along the preparation of the trip especially on winter clothes. We couldn’t decide whether to invest on winter clothes or borrow from friends. I live in tropical country, the coldest weather I had might be 18-20 degrees at Genting Highland which is 1500 meter above sea level. Average weather is about 32 – 36 degree at lower land. We done some survey in internet and asked around but we couldn’t get a firm answer on type of clothes we should bring. Even the retail shops were unable to give a firm answer on suitable clothes; the sales personal was keep pushing us for higher price products. Winter clothes were driving us crazy.

Finally we decided to invest on inner wears and borrow the jacket from friends. Upon that time, there were limited retailer shops selling winter clothes. We decided to go to 1 of the famous winter cloth chain store. It’s a challenge for us as the sales personal was hard selling on complete set of clothes from inner wear to sweater, jacket, hat, glove, sock & etcs, whereby we were interested on basic wear only. We had to resist the buying temptation. I had my first long john, sweater, hat, glove and scarf; borrowed the jacket and fleece from friends. I thought I do not have enough clothes and brought a lot of additional clothes for standby.

We took the night flight at about 12am, and reached Soul, Korea at about 6am in the morning. Lack of experience and too shy to ask people, we were not sure when we should wear the long john. Thus, both of us wore it before the boarding. We were sweating for 6 hours in the plane and we felt we were in sauna room when we were queuing and waiting for immigration checking. The best was we never thought to take off the long john. Finally we passed the immigration and collected the luggage. We met the local tour which is a Korea born Taiwanese guy. We almost fainted when we heard he said, “Please go straight, toilet is on your right. Please wear your long john if any and get prepared your jacket. Weather is good and temperature for today should be around 7 degree.” One of the tour mates asked us: “No changing?” We were too shame to tell the truth and replied her: “We had changed.”

Lesson for the day, don’t be shy to ask question especially we were paid for the trip. We have the right to check everything with the tour agency. Besides that, we should follow our instinct. If we felt hot, we should look for solution and not sitting there do nothing.
Preparation before the trip is very important. It’s easy to say in word but difficult to practice as it’s always something unplanned pop up before or during the trip. However, preparation is always a must thing to do before the trip.

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