Day 2 of 9
I woke up early feeling elated knowing that I am actually in South Korea. Like most KPOP and Hallyu fanatic, I fell in love with this country long before I ever set foot in it. As for today, we’re going to Gwangju to meet up with the executives of the company I am affiliated with and I’m actually looking forward for this incentive trip.
0730 – 1130 Travel time to Gwangju
1200 – 1330 Traditional Lunch at Hanok Resto
1400– 1700 Company Tour
1700 – 1830 Check-in & Rest @ GSTEC Hotel
1830 – 2030 Korean BBQ Dinner
2100 – 2200 Holly’s Coffee
Gwangju is four hours away from Seoul and you can reach this city either by land, train or via plane. It’s the sixth biggest city in South Korea and previously it was the capital of South Jeolla Province until the provincial office moved to Muan County.
We started the day around 7 o’clock in the morning and meet up with the same person who picked us up in the airport. He then drove us to Gwangju where the head office is located. Along the way, we make a pit stop to Angelinus and grab something to eat. We reached Gwangju lunch time and we headed straight to this Traditional Hanok Restaurant and meet with the CEO.
Hanok is a term for traditional Korean house. These customary houses differ according to region and most of it were built with careful thought on positioning and structures; therefore most Hanoks are very sturdy and well made.
Gwangju is located in South Jeolla province, which is famous for serving an assortment of different side dishes, and is popularly known as Banchan. And since we’re in Gwangju, it is understood that we have a procession of various side dishes at one seating. The table set includes rice, meat soup, fish, stews and a variety of vegetables. The more formal the dining is the more banchan will be served. My husband and I were so pleased even at the mere sight of the table and much more delighted when we feasted onto these lush and ambrosial luncheon.
Dining is a significant part of Korean Culture, with Confucian heritage, you can expect a lot of customary traditions that are still being observed up to the present time. And since I wanted to be as polite and proper as possible I come prepared.
TRAVEL 101 : In traditional restaurant, Korean homes and even offices, you have to remove your shoes and place it on the designated shoe rack. Always wait for the senior (in age or ranks) to start the meal, don’t pour yourself a drink unless you’re alone. Don’t touch the food with your bare hands, use chopsticks and a spoon for your rice. Pour drinks to other’s glasses when its empty and always put the chopsticks and spoon to its original position at the end of your meal.
Back to Business
After the delightful lunch fitted for a king, we went straight to the factory for inspection and company tour. The whole process takes about 3 hours as we get to know the people behind the company that we’re affiliated with. After the courtesy visit, they drove us to our accommodation which is also located inside the Gwangju Science and Techno Park.
Korean BBQ Dinner
We rested for two hours at the hotel and as per schedule, they picked us up again around 7pm for dinner. One thing I notice about Koreans is that they love to eat and drink, and one typical dining option is BBQ. Nowadays, Korean BBQ is gaining popularity in the country and in the world. Well, I can’t deny the fact that it has become our family’s favorite soon after we were introduced to this succulent meal.
After dinner, they asked us if we wanted to drink (alcohol) and if we wanted to do something else. I told them a cup of warm coffee during winter would be a good idea. They asked me if we prefer Starbucks and I replied, I wanted to try your local coffee shop and then we headed straight to Hollys Coffee.
I ordered hollycino and to my surprise, I liked it and enjoyed it very much. If you’re in Korea try to skip Starbucks and give local coffee shops a try because in here—there’s quite a lot.
After a little chit-chat they drove us back to the hotel and cheerily instructed us to rest well and prepare for a ski trip the next day. Gosh! We’re too excited and after packing all the things we need, we hit the sack right away. Don’t forget to check out my next post to see how the ski trip went. Again, Happy Reading 🙂 If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to use the comment area below. 💋