25 April 2003 - Ho Chi Minh
Seoul survival - Avoiding China and SARS

Let me tell you, this SARS thing really puts a monkey in the works. The plan was simple - make my way to Hanoi and then take the train to Beijing from there.

SARS changed all that. Now I can't go to China. Not so much because I fear that deadly virus, but because I don't want to get stuck there in quarantine. Getting in isn't the problem, getting out is.

I pored over a map of China and its environs - it's almost impossible to reach Mongolia without going through China. I could go through Kazakhstan or something similar, but that's more trouble than it's worth.

So, the plan now is to fly to Ulan Batar. Mongolian Airlines operates flights from Seoul to Ulan Batar six days a week. They also operate flights from Beijing, but that's exactly the place I'm trying to avoid.

Since I've never been to South Korea before, this is an opportunity not to be passed up, so the plan is now I spend about a week in South Korea before moving on. The rough itinerary is now:

Am I upset that I'm not going to Beijing? I certainly am. Seeing the Great Wall was on the list of Really Must Do Things On This Trip. But we do what we can, and if we can't change things to suit us, then we live with it, I guess.


posted on Friday, May 02, 2003 - permalink
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