My First Press Tour
I’m pretty jazzed about my first press tour experience: two days all expenses paid down to two places in Korea I hadn’t been to yet with reporters from Russia, China and Korea traveling with diplomats from Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Russia and the head of the Korean Tourism Organization, Charm Lee. The other reporters weren’t the competitive paparazzi type, but low key, eager to share their stories and contact information type and the diplomats were important political types but with down to earth smiles and were clearly used to and even gracious with so many people taking their pictures at every stop we went to. I hadn’t realized we’d be traveling with diplomats and had gone on the trip for the scenery, which was worth it.
We met in the morning outside of the head Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) office in Seoul and were greeted on our bus with a chicken salad sandwich and a salad for breakfast. We were given our itineraries, started the trip and after some light reading and a nap, we arrived in Sancheong. Our first stop was the World Traditional Medicine Fair & Festival. We all partook in the activities, ate delicious and healthy food grown on the property and saw some amazing scenery before boarding the bus once more to drive another hour an half south to Geoje Island where we would sleep for the night in Samsung Hotel. The hotel was more than I’d expected, as I usually travel quite budget conscious. They had spared no expense, but perhaps that’s because we were with the diplomats. Yah for us! We had a buffet meal and listened to speeches by Charm Lee and the mayor of the region and watched three women sing the Arirang for us. We were gifted with specialty food from the area and guide books to take home before tucking in for the night.
The second day we enjoyed a buffet breakfast before heading out to Jangseungpo Port to catch a boat to Haegeumgang Island and Oedo Island. The boat provided spectacular scenery of the carsts jutting out of the ocean and the tour of the lush greenery and flowers of the islands gave the impression that we were in the tropics somewhere. In the early afternoon we headed back to the mainland for a lunch of seafood stew, haemultang, before boarding the bus back to Seoul.
The trip provided more than I could have imagined. The views were spectacular and definitely would have taken me much longer to find on my own and the food was delicious. The Korean Tourism Organization gets a big round of applause and a “thank you” from this blogger.