Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First impressions of Seoul

We arrived in Seoul for a 5 day trip, catching up and staying with our crazy friend Diana. It was time for a visa run so we decided to head up to Korea and see Diana while checking out Seoul at the same time.

Seoul is ultra modern. The city is clean and has a bustling atmosphere. There are things happening everywhere. There are shops and things to do and see everywhere you look. Each area of town has an abundance of choice for shopping, eating and many different tourist attractions. They are big on skin-care here (Celine's observation, not mine) and spend a lot of time hanging out in the countless chain stores. I must have seen a hundred Dunkin Donuts, Lotteria and Starbucks throughout the city. There are many other ones as well; every street has at least one so they are hard to miss.

The train travel is very efficient and pretty cheap. You can travel most places for about a dollar. The Metro is massive but never seems super busy which makes it a nice may to travel.

Koreans are very trendy and fashionable (I look like a bum here). Technology is important and is part of the Korean fashion statement; on trains and in the street I- Phones and other high-end gadgets are everywhere. I merge into the crowd here which is a welcome relief to Vietnam where they stare. The Koreans don't seemed fussed at all about foreigners, oblivious to us and anything we are doing. In saying that, I must say that the Koreans are super friendly and helpful. Anytime I have pulled out a map someone has come and asked if they can help.

So, first impressions are good; it's a busy, exciting city with lots to do. The food is tasty and the people are friendly. It is easy to get around and each neighbourhood has its own charm.

We have a few days to explore the city which should be fun. It is getting cold this time of year so I have to wear shoes for the first time in months; not to happy about that.

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