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Reasons to Visit Seoul at Least Once

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With COVID-19 still a global issue right now, you may be not be planning any trips in the immediate future. That doesn’t mean you can’t daydream and think about your travel days resuming, however.

If you haven’t visited it already, Seoul, South Korea, should be on your bucket list. For now, grab some Korean snacks and start planning for a trip to this wonderful city.

Seoul is a busy, thriving city. The entire region has great food, music, and culture.

The following are some reasons to think about adding it to your dream destinations.

8 Reasons to Visit Seoul

The History

You don’t even have to be a history buff to appreciate what Seoul offers. Seoul is the capital of South Korea and you’ll find a multitude of historic sites like Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was built in 1395.

The Palace was home to the Kings of the Joseon dynasty.

There are also sites that evoke more recent history, such as the War Memorial of Korea.

The National Museum of Korea has thousands of artifacts dating back to medieval history.

There’s Asian art, calligraphy, and painting.

Seoul has Buddhist temples, and many traditional customs are centered around Buddhism. You’ll see monks and staff living and working at the temples.

It’s Inexpensive

If you’re looking for a big city travel experience, but you’re on a budget, it can be tough.

Seoul offers you that, however.

Seoul tends to be a cheaper place to visit than many destinations in North America and Europe.

There’s simple public transportation that’s easy and inexpensive to use.

Food is relatively inexpensive, and there are many different types of accommodations at different price points.

While, as with anywhere, some things might be expensive, you have a wide range of choices in Seoul, making it good for the budget-conscious traveler.

Mountains

While you might travel to Seoul for the modern, urban environment, don’t miss the opportunity to hike the beautiful mountains surrounding the city.

The tallest mountain near Seoul is Bukhansan, which is more than 2,700 feet. There are also Namsan and Inwangsan, which are popular among hikers.

Once you reach the summit of any of these, you’ll get amazing city views.

Shopping

Korean fashion and beauty products are among the best in the world. In fact, millions from other Asian countries come to Korea every year to shop.

Korea is known as being cutting-edge, so you’ll be able to find things you wouldn’t anywhere else in the world.

Visitors can also get a tax refund when they show their receipts at the airport when they leave. There are also a lot of stores that will refund your tax on the spot.

Festivals

If you visit in the warm months, in particular, Seoul is known for festivals, but there are large-scale events in the winter.

In the spring is the very popular Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival.

Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated in early summer.

Food

The food is amazing in Seoul and in and of itself can be a good reason to visit the city. You’ll find different styles of fare too. It’s not all traditional Korean food, although they do that very well.

You can find something like live octopus, or you can go to a Michelin star restaurant.

Nightlife

If you’re someone who loves nightlife, or even if you don’t, you might want to check it out in Seoul. Seoul is a nighttime city and you’ll find clubs in high-rise buildings in Gangnam, while expats tend to head to Itaewon.

There are parties and clubs for all ages and interests.

Safety

While it may be a big city, Seoul is considered very safe. The crime rates in Seoul are much lower than most U.S. cities of a similar size, and they’re similar to European cities.

Violent crime is rare, and the biggest thing to worry about as a visitor is that you don’t drink too much when you’re in a bar or club.

You should be careful as far as traffic goes. In Seoul, it’s not uncommon for drivers to go through pedestrian crossings or red lights.

Finally, Seoul is modern in every way, and as such, they embrace technology. There are technology and innovation everywhere you look. Many of Korea’s large companies have headquarters in Seoul, and the technology sector is particularly impressive.

There’s distinctive architecture as a result, and if you go to the Lotte Tower, you can hop on the fastest elevator in the world.

Seoul is quirky and unique, buzzy, and energetic. All of these factors make it a good option if you’re daydreaming about your post-COVID plans to hit the road or the skies.

The post Reasons to Visit Seoul at Least Once appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: Reasons to Visit Seoul at Least Once
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/EUWYGPKrixk/reasons-visit-seoul-least.html
Published Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2020 14:53:40 +0000

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What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?

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People have always liked to drink on board flights, especially people from Australia. Therefore, it should be no surprise to anyone that there was an inflight bar offering in the 1970s.

Ansett Airlines were a major player in the Australian domestic market up until their demise in September 2001. For many years, there were two domestic airlines, Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett.

Ansett’s Inflight Bar

At the time, Ansett operated Boeing 727s, Douglas DC-9s and Fokker F27 Friendships on domestic routes in the country. Airline tickets were quite expensive, with tariffs agreed upon by both airlines thanks to Australia’s weird two-airline policy at the time.

While tickets were expensive and food complimentary, you still had to pay for a drink at the bar. Here is an inflight bar menu from the era, showing the drinks available and their prices.

Clearly the pricing is astounding by today’s standards – 30 cents for a beer? I’ll have thirty-three please! I like how Australian gin is 35c while the imported gin is just 5c more. Which would you choose?

You can tell it is from another era as you can buy cigarettes on board. These price up at 45c, a far cry from the extortionate prices people in the west pay these days for a smoke!

Overall Thoughts

The on board offering is pretty comprehensive for internal flights, and I imagine you’d be hard pressed not to find something you might like. In those times, all payments would have been by cash as well, which would have meant a lot of coinage being handled on board.

Of course, things haven’t changed too much over the years. On many airlines you pay for your drinks just as they did back in the 1970s. Shame the prices aren’t the same of course!

Did you ever buy drinks on board flights from the inflight bar back in the day? Do you still? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

To never miss a post, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
All my flight and lounge reviews are indexed here so check them out!

Featured image by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Menu image by Ikara on Australian Frequent Flyer.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: What could you order from Ansett Airlines’ inflight bar in the early 1970s?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/ansett-airlines-inflight-bar-menu/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2020 15:03:14 +0000

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These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?

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The shrimp stop swimming at dusk and gather near the river’s edge. After sunset, they begin to climb out of the water. Then they march. All night long, the inch-long crustaceans parade along the rocks.

The parading shrimp of northeastern Thailand have inspired legends, dances and even a statue. (Locals also eat them.) During the rainy season, between late August and early October, tourists crowd the riverbanks with flashlights to watch the shrimp walk.

Watcharapong Hongjamrassilp first learned about the parading shrimp, and the hundred thousand or more tourists who come each year to see them, about 20 years ago. When he started studying biology, he returned to the topic. “I realized that we know nothing about this,” he said: What species are they? Why and how do they leave the safety of the water to walk upstream on dry land? Where are they going?

Mr. Hongjamrassilp, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles, decided to answer those questions himself. His findings appeared this month in the Journal of Zoology.

Working with wildlife center staff members, Mr. Hongjamrassilp staked out nine sites along a river in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province. They found shrimp parading at two of the sites — a stretch of rapids, and a low dam.

The videos they recorded revealed that the shrimp paraded from sundown to sunup. They traveled up to 65 feet upstream. Some individual shrimp stayed out of the water for 10 minutes or more.

“I was so surprised,” Mr. Hongjamrassilp said, “because I never thought that a shrimp can walk that long.” Staying in the river’s splash zone may help them keep their gills wet, so they can keep taking in oxygen. He also observed that the shells of the shrimp seem to trap a little water around their gills, like a reverse dive helmet.

DNA analysis from captured shrimp showed that nearly all belonged to the species Macrobrachium dienbienphuense, part of a genus of shrimp that live mostly or fully in freshwater. Many Macrobrachiumspecies spend part of their lives migrating upstream to their preferred habitats.

Most parading shrimp that Mr. Hongjamrassilp captured were young. Observations and lab experiments showed that these shrimp probably leave the water when the flow becomes too strong for them. Larger adult shrimp can handle a stronger current without washing away, so they’re less likely to leave the water.

Walking on land is dangerous for the little shrimp, even under cover of darkness. Predators including frogs, snakes and large spiders lurk nearby, Mr. Hongjamrassilp says. “Literally, they wait to eat them along the river.”

And the shrimp can survive on land for only so long. If the parading crustaceans lose their way, they may dry out and die before they get back to the river. A few times, Mr. Hongjamrassilp came across groups of lost shrimp dead on the rocks, their once-translucent bodies baked pink.

Yet most navigate upstream successfully, and scientists have spotted other freshwater shrimp around the world performing similar feats, scaling dams and even climbing waterfalls.

Leaving the water when the swimming gets tough may have helped these animals spread to new habitats over their evolutionary history, Mr. Hongjamrassilp said. Today, the number of parading shrimp in Thailand seems to be declining. He thinks tourist activity may be a factor, and learning more about the shrimp might help protect them.

The study’s authors made “some really excellent observations,” said Alan Covich, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who was not involved in the research. But understanding why the Ubon Ratchathani shrimp move upstream, and how far they travel, will require more research, he said.

“The most surprising thing to me was that it attracted so many tourists,” Dr. Covich said. He doesn’t know of any other example of people gathering to appreciate a crustacean in quite the same way.

“We have crayfish festivals, we have all kinds of things,” Dr. Covich said, “but generally it’s people eating them, not watching them move.”

By: Elizabeth Preston
Title: These Shrimp Leave the Safety of Water and Walk on Land. But Why?
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/11/18/science/shrimp-parade-thailand.html
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 17:02:07 +0000

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Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?

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There are reports that Aer Lingus have applied for 1,500 slots at Manchester Airport for the Summer 2021 season. This will allow the airline to base four aircraft there and service flights to the United States.

At present, there have been no press releases from the airline stating what is going on. Even so, it probably makes sense for the Irish airline to do this in the current market.

Aer Lingus And Manchester

From what is known, there will be three Airbus A321LRs and an A330 based at Manchester. These will operate non-stop services to New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, and the season starts on 28 March 2021.

With Thomas Cook having gone out of business, there is likely space for another competitor. New York and Orlando will see competition from Virgin Atlantic, while the other two routes have no airline flying at the moment.

Aer Lingus has been connecting passengers over Dublin very successfully from the UK regions for a while now. Due to this, they will have visibility on traffic patterns, potential yields and more, making this an informed decision.

I imagine they also hope to cream off some of the connecting traffic that routes through London Heathrow on British Airways and Amsterdam on KLM among others. It would prove to be quite successful.

Transatlantic Joint Venture Approval

The US Department of Transport has tentatively given its approval for Aer Lingus to join the oneworld transatlantic joint business. This is operated by American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair.

These airlines coordinate schedules and pricing, share revenues and expenses. For the consumer, it means more choice – those making a booking on British Airways across the Atlantic will also see options on American Airlines on the BA web site as one example.



Theoretically, it would allow people seeking flights on the British Airways web site to automatically be given options to fly non-stop with Aer Lingus, along with the Manchester-London Heathrow-US city connecting itinerary.

Whether Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, even in a oneworld connect capacity remains to be seen. Frequent flyers would welcome it, especially those in Ireland.

Overall Thoughts

No doubt the boffins have been working behind the scenes to see if the business case for transatlantic flights from Manchester stack up. As things have proceeded as far as a slot application, I would guess chances are good that it will go ahead.

Either way, let’s see if this happens and if it does, whether Aer Lingus will stay for the long haul. If they can make more money elsewhere, they’ll up sticks and leave. Regardless, it is an interesting development in European aviation.

What do you think of Aer Lingus starting transatlantic services from Manchester? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by N509FZ via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus A321neo LR by Pitmanaaron via Wikimedia Commons.
Business class cabin via One Mile At A Time.

By: The Flight Detective
Title: Will Aer Lingus launch transatlantic flights from Manchester?
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/aer-lingus-manchester/
Published Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2020 18:03:48 +0000

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