First Impressions of South Korea

So today I arrived in South Korea, after a one day stop-over in Taipei (following a flight connecting in Abu Dhabi). I've arrived at about 6pm local time and had a 90minute bus ride to the hotel in Yongtong-gong. So besides check-in and a quick stop at the convenience store, I didn't yet do much.

Some first impressions, in no particular order:

  • Heating like crazy. This first occurred to me in the airport, but became more of an issue in the bus. I was actually sweating with my long-sleeved shirt, without any jacket. The hotel has a default temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, not only in the lobby but in every room. you can adjust it, but as soon as you leave the room, it resets to 28. So the setting is not very useful, considering that a floor based heating has a very high latency, since the entire floor tiles are heated up and dissipate heat even hours after adjusting the temperature.
  • The hotel clerk asked me in the elevator what kind of power plug my laptop had, and if I needed any kind of adaptor. Furthermore, he actually showed me the LAN cable and indicated "IP address automatic" ;)
  • After a first try, that automatic IP address is actually a public IPv4 address. Wasn't there something about IP addresses running out in Asia? Weird, but definitely very welcome! Traceroute indicates all intermediate routers in Korea don't have any reverse lookup. Even more weird ;)
  • The hotel room has flat screen plasma TV and a PC (running Windows, so I just disconnected the screen and run it in multi-head. Interestingly, the VGA and audio inputs of the plasma TV are connected with the PC at the desk, so you can play back video from the Internet or DVD's on your plasma TV. That's way better than crappy pay-TV in western countries :)
  • Samsung is apparently so big, that they have a dedicated bus stopping at this hotel, taking people to the company twice every morning. A sign in every hotel room indicates this fact :)
  • I totally love the sound of the language. To me, it actually sounds even better than Japanese.

So I remain thrilled what happens next. Not sure how much time I will have during the week, depends how busy it is at work.