My geography teacher is probably gonna kill me right now because I didn’t exactly know where this town was. As a matter of fact, I never thought I’m gonna visit South Korea ever in my life BUT, as I was planning this big a## journey of mine, I saw this town was worth visiting it – and boy I was right! As usual, I didn’t do a “deep research” about it so I went there totally brainless.
South Korea is nothing like North Korea, let me just point that out, okay? I’ve never been to North Korea but (South Korean) people told me about it (plus there’s this thing called the Internet, television and stuff…). As I was being driven to my hotel by some crazy taxi driver who thinks he drives a Rimac Concept Two on some racing track (but I didn’t complain because the bill was way less than I expected), I could see those big modern buildings along with some ancient, historical ones an I was fascinated! My hotel is called the “Ibis Styles Ambassador” and it is located in the old center of Seoul. Its location is perfect! This town has many centers so later in the afternoon I went to the Lotte Tower which is the tallest building in Seoul, and you know I love panorama views of the city, plus that’s kind of a center of the new part of the city.
I met another taxi driver (this one was talkative, funny and had a wifi in his car!) and he told me that ten million people live here. I was speechless. I mean, that’s one huuge city! He also said outside of the city there is not a lot of people so everybody is “forced” to go to Seoul and earn their money there. Of course, the main branch is everything related to technology. The “Lotte Tower” is amazing! This time I wasn’t so lucky because it was snowing and the view from the top was just terrible. Blank. Oh well.
The next day I went sightseeing. Their culture is long and rich, I’ll tell you that! I was fascinated by their attractions, shrines and palaces (and there are a lot of them!). First, we went to the Jogyesa Temple which is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Korea and a symbol of Korean Buddhism. Inside of it, there are three huge golden Buddha statues where people come and pray. Next to this temple stands a rare 500-year-old Baeksong lacebark pine tree and a 450-year-old Chinese scholar tree. I mean, WOW! Then we were heading to the Korean museum where we learned about their history, culture and tradition. Once again, it’s long and rich! We came to the famous Changdeokgung Palace which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. As I was standing there surrounded by this amazing buildings, it finally hit me that I was 9.000 km away from home! It’s a totally different culture.
The food in Seoul is actually delicious but I needed some time getting used to the chopsticks and a taste of the food. A lot of things there are spicy, raw and just weird-looking (at least to me). I wasn’t a big sushi fan, but now I find it tasty and I eat it as much as I can. I guess you just have to adjust yourself otherwise you’re gonna be hungry in Asia! I’ve tried their sweets as well and I wasn’t impressed. In my opinion, some of them were just tasteless (that goes for you, rice cake!) but OK, you have to try it! Who knows, maybe you’ll like it! #doubt
Our guide took us to the Bukchon Hanok Village where are traditional houses called hanok, which reflect 600 years of Seoul’s history. Long story short, it’s beautiful and you should see it! And now, the N Seoul Tower! It’s a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain in “old” part of Seoul. As I’ve been told, it marks the second highest point in Seoul (the first one is the “Lotte Tower”). The view is stunning. You can see how big Seoul actually is. I mean, ten. Million. People. Live. There. (It’s. Funny. How. Your. Brain. Stops. When. I. Write. Like. This. #oldbutgold). Later that day, I went to the Myeong-dong which is a popular shopping area filled with luxury brand stores, luxury apartments and tasty street food.
To sum things up, Seoul is a really cool town. I can’t imagine myself living there, but it’s nice to visit it though. If you come to this city, take a full day tour and you won’t regret. I highly recommend my hotel where I was staying in, the “Ibis Styles Ambassador” because its location is near the Myeong-dong St. and that’s just perfect. Rooms are a bit small but I’ve learned that that’s the way it is in Korea. I’m not even sure they have big rooms there but OK. Now I’m flying to Japan. Stay tuned for the new post. #fliesaway