Monday, November 8, 2010

The sites of Seoul

Seoul by night

Seoul is a great place to spend a few days. We stayed with our friend Diana, a teacher, in her apartment not to far from the city centre. Diana lives in a small block of flats on Metro line 4. It is a simple apartment but you can still see the modern, technologically based life the Koreans live; she has no key, using a touch pad to enter the block of flats and her apartment, and her floors can be heated. I am not used to that. If you want technology come to Seoul.

We spent the days travelling around the city, catching up with Diana in the evenings. We walked Diana's area which is around Sungshin Women's University. There are shops, a high street, restaurants, shopping malls, street food and generally a buzz everywhere you go. We found that in many other places as well.

Around the palace

We checked out the shopping area of Myeongdong, the foreign district of Itaewon, the cultural and arts area around Insadong, the parks around the Seoul Tower and the main palace of Seoul, Gyeongbokgung. We also explored the area around Hongik University and around City Hall. My favourite place was Insadong and the parks around the Seoul Tower. Insadong a neighbourhood in Seoul has one main steet with a heap of small alleys feeding off it. There are art galleries, traditional shops and local markets. This area has a real soul (no pun intended). On a clear day the Seoul Tower is a great place to go. The veiws of the city are amazing - appartantly sometimes you can see over to North Korea. Surrounding the tower are public parks; a great place to walk and get away from city life. The park was really beautiful this time of year.
Views from the tower

We bought a Seoul hop-on-hop-off bus ticket; the same concept as the one we did in Kuala Lumpur. It was just as touristy as the last one but is a great way to see the city when you have limited time. For 10,000 Won or about $10 it is a great deal.

Autumn colours

Seoul is a mega city, home to around 12 million people. There is so much choice and we both found Seoul a truly impressive city. Seoul is surrounded by mountains and the autumn colours are in full force this time of year. It is getting cold at the moment.

We left content after our short trip in Seoul but felt it was definitely not enough. There were so many things we didn’t get to see. We would both love to go back.

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