Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Lunar New Year intentions

And now attention turns to February. Tomorrow is pay day and it's probably the most eager I've been to get my money in months. I've been short of cash ever since I sent home a chunk of money at the beginning of the month. Christmas has been tough but I've made it to here and now I'm thinking of what I can do with my next two pay cheques. The talk at work is at times focused on vacations. One co-worker is spending the holiday season in Hawaii. I am pretending not to be jealous but it's pretty much impossible, given the seasonal weather. One co-worker also just won a free holiday to the Philippines. Another has a week off in February and is planning a trip to Thailand.

During the second week of February comes the Lunar New Year in Korea. This year due to it starting on the weekend we get one day off work (at my academy). I have managed to get a second day off so I can have a four day weekend to go somewhere. Lunar New Year, or Seollal (설날) is one of the big traditional holidays of Korea and is also a time where most Westerners go for a trip away from Korea. My wife doesn't want to go to China and I don't want to go to an Island for just four days. So what are my options?

For a start, staying in Korea is NOT an option. I badly want a holiday and to use my opportunity of getting off the peninsula and travelling but I don't want to go far and spend my vacation on an airplane. Hong Kong would probably be the best choice but we've been twice in the past year and want to try something new. Singapore and Malaysia are places we intend to go to AFTER I am finished working here. The same goes for Vietnam so all three are ruled out. This pretty much leaves Taiwan and Japan.

Taiwan is attractive because it's probably the cheapest to get to but I know little about the country and it's possible that some attractions may be closed (because they also celebrate their new year at the same time). Right now we're thinking of spending four days in Tokyo, Japan. I've been to Japan twice before and my wife has also been, but we haven't gone together. This may be the last chance for me to visit Tokyo so I think I'm going to take it. Japan is also very close, maybe one, two hours on a plane and we probably don't have to get the plane in Seoul. We can probably get a flight from Busan which again, save us time. It's not going to be cheap but it should be a great trip. I really hope this one comes off.

Once more, my plans are on the future and travelling. Seems like it's all I think about.

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