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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Work visit to Seoul: Part 1/4

My previous post was about preparations on Korean chill. Now, I share the 5 days of my Korean travel.
These blogposts will have my take on all what I experienced. The range is from what Airline I took to what food I ate and all the magical experiences, some e-postcards too. So, hang in there and read along. Moreover, if, by chance Seoul becomes your next vacation location. You know whom to contact.
These parts will be published slowly in installments for you to read and me to re-live. 
Seoul has always excited me! This was my third trip to this wonderland and this time it was very different from the last 2 times. This time it was the winters.
Korea, alright.. I correct myself, South of Korea is known for its extreme climates. It has 4 distinct weather. Summers tend to get very hot and humid and winter winds are harsh.Spring gets colorful with cherry blossom pink and fall is feisty reds. Very striking! My Korean friend says, the best times to visit the Khimchi land is when the landscape is at its best. The spring and fall.
I visited Seoul (pronounce it like there is no ‘e’) for work. Not sure, if Seoul would have otherwise featured on my list of places to holiday in. I am happy for these trips and my initiation to Korean cosmetics, food and culture.
Flew Cathay to Seoul
16th January 2016
Most of the international airlines fly out at midnights or early mornings from Mumbai. I had booked the one at 11pm. It was my birthday on 16th, and hence celebrations poured in from a night before with family and friends around. The excitement of travelling to Seoul and my birthday together was a good concoction of a sure shot ‘high’. I felt I was on a 2 vodka cum tequilla shots the whole day ;)

At the T2 with a light bag and a cabin bag. I usually travel light one way;)
When I settled in at the lounge after all the immigration requirement and security checks (which was very quick), I realized how tired I was. My muscles ached and my eyes were heavy with all the lack of sleep. All I wanted was a good night sleep, to get into the aircraft and doze off. Well, there was a pleasant experience in store, my birthday had to be wrapped up in a different way, I say!! I was invited to the foot reflexology section of the GVK lounge. Sohum Wellness Spa has set up arrangements there and quick 15 minutes rejuvenating foot massage was on offer. I still am smiling at that experience.
This was at level 3 not far away from my gate. I had enough time and was in no energy to wander around anywhere else. The lounge is massive and the spread of food is appetizing. The number of couch is enough to seat the crowd, which is expected at the time of peak flying time. It is a perfect combination of ambience and luxury. Very impressive! It surely is a world-class-local experience.  
GVK @ T2
I opted for Cathay Pacific from Mumbai to Seoul and back.
I had an option of a direct Korean Air flight but the dates were not matching. I would have had to stay a day more if I took that direct 11 hours flight back. Well, I have mostly travelled Cathay Pacific on my work visits to APAC countries. Business class travels comes as a part of these long travels. I am a no frills traveler otherwise (I would like to believe that) but who doesn’t like fancy experiences?

Let me start with the seat! On this route, Cathay Airbus 330-300 comes with fully flatbed that can be maneuvered to individual’s preference. Very private space. I had a window seat all to myself. The control panel for the bed and lights, charging sockets were all in my reach. The food service with some Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne and the marathon of in-flight movies under a duvet was exactly what I was looking for. I know, I know! I wanted to sleep. I got carried away with all the pamper.
The cheese trolley looked enticing but I was too lazy to use my brains on decision making at that time.
The legroom on the seat cabin was more than ample. Well, I would say the same thing if I was in economy too;) with  my petite frame, I fit in comfortably anywhere. One of the positives of being a 5 footer, you see!

A quick option to know the time of port and destination

The b'day treat high in the air. Cheers!
Kan-pai!
At the Hong Kong airport
The space and the window

I love this capture
With a hop in Hong Kong airport at 6:30 ish and the next flight to Seoul in 2 hours, I arrived at the Incheon airport at 12:35 fully fresh and ready to experience my first minus 10.
I have always loved travelling business with Cathay. Their flagship lounges at Hong Kong airport is a class apart. They appear with names like The Pier, The Wing, The Bridge, The Cabin. After all, a home to Cathay Pacific!
Btw, one of the movies I watched is “Devil Wears Prada”. Still crushing on all the dresses and styles in there.
The next part to “Work visit to Seoul” blogpost will be out in 2 days… stay tuned to know what happened on day 1 at the South Korean capital

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