Over the course of the trip, we learned about South Korea in three strands: country, company and people. On Friday and Saturday, we had the opportunity to experience the many wonders of Jeju Island, one of the nine provinces of South Korea based south of the mainland. The Jeju economy has recently seen a massive tourist boom from foreigners (particularly Chinese) as the government has granted them various benefits to travel there.
After taking a one hour flight from Gimpo Airport, we hopped on a bus where our tour guide provided us with sushi to eat on the road. Our first visit was to the O’Sulloc Tea Museum where we took a class on South Korean tea making and shopped for all things tea related. We had dinner at a restaurant that was five stories tall and felt like it could house hundreds of people in one sitting. The food was quite interesting, with one of our side dishes being a “sea worm” that was still alive and moving at the table…
The next day was pure cultural activities. We visited the Manjanggul Cave lava tube and the Seongsan Sunrise Peak which was rose from a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago. Lunch was awesome – a choice of abalone bibimbap or vegetarian bibimbap along with a slew of side dishes for the table. After lunch, we traveled back to the airport to take a flight back to Seoul. Upon arrival, we shuttled back to the hotel for a debrief with Professor Wallen to discuss our experience in South Korea and the key takeaways from the companies visited. The night activity was Club Octagon, one of Asia’s hottest clubs. It was truly a cultural experience to see the South Korean nightlife and how the locals let loose on a Saturday night! Everyone is flying out tomorrow and the last night has been bittersweet, but I have no doubt the bonds formed on this trip will remain solid when we are all back in New York.
-David Batt, CBS ’16