Saturday, September 11
Seoul, South Korea
Welcome to the first and last part of the Tropical Punch Tour: South Korea. The five-hour flight from Bangkok to Seoul was surprisingly only about 70% full, so quite a few people were able to lay down across four seats and saw wood to their heart's content. I had never flown Asiana Airlines before and was amazed by their excellent service. The flight attendants remembered my vegetarian meals! That's never happened before on any other airline. I didn't really expect to write about the flight home, but I had an eight-hour layover at Incheon airport in Seoul, where I spied a couple of noteworthy things. Luckily and amazingly, this airport really knows how to accommodate passengers with long waits, because in addition to the usual lounges and shops, they also offer free internet and super-comfortable recliners that you can sleep in. This airport rules!
Along with the usual expensive airport food, I was somewhat surprised by yet another amenity in the form of a small theater smack dab in the middle of a departure wing. Luckily, my flight was delayed for an hour or two, because otherwise I would have missed some downright captivating and moving performances of traditional South Korean music on instruments like the haegum and the komungo. At one point, a musician even handed out hand drums to several members of the small audience--including me--so we could provide a simple beat while they sang. That was so fun! Right when the last song ended, my flight started boarding, so I flew the coop for a 10-hour hop home.