Seoul Photo Diary

Seoul was my 7th stop on my East Asian adventure. The capital of South Korea is a huge metropolis where skyscrapers meet Buddhist temples, but this contrast makes Seoul one of the world’s most unique cities.
I arrived into Seoul late afternoon after flying in from Hong Kong. I decided to take the metro from the Airport to my hotel as it was only an hour with one change, however when I arrived, Google maps sent me the completely wrong way… So three hours later and daylight drawing to a close, I had to get a taxi! Good start…
On the first day in the capital, I went to  Gyeongbokgung, Seoul’s most popular attractions. On the last Wednesday of every month, Seoul has a ‘culture’ day, which means all of its Palaces are free to enter. This is an initiative started back in 2014 to get more people involved in South Korean culture and arts, which also saved me £10. Bonus.
I then went to the Presidents House and ended up meeting a Korean native from Seoul. We went for some classic Korean food and then onto one of Korea’s best view points. Meeting locals has started to become a bit of a habit on this trip, but it’s great to hear things from their perspective.
On my second day, I walked down the river to another view point where you could supposedly see North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un in the shower on a clear day, but unfortunately, there was far too much pollution so the visibility was quite poor. In the evening I went to Myeong-dong which was full of fashion and street food. As this was only 10 minutes away from my hotel I then went onto the Tokyo Tower which had spectacular views over the city.

On my third and final day in Seoul, I went on a guided tour around Changdeokgung which was short and sweet. I then went to have a look around Deoksugung Palace, where I witnessed the changing of the guards, before heading to Dongdaemun. Dongdaemun is Korea’s most fashion forward District and is home to loads of pop-up stores selling everything from designer clothing to state of the art technology.

In the evening I went to Gangnam, the inspiration behind PSY’s Gangnam style which broke records back in 2012. Here I ate Korean fried chicken, one of the countries favourite dishes. As well as fried chicken, Korea is famous for its spicy food and in particular, Kimchee, however, I have to admit, it’s an acquired taste.
I did want to visit North Korea earlier on in my trip from Beijing but I just didn’t have the time as you have to go on an arranged tour. Maybe next time…
Seoul is supposedly one of the most expensive cities in the world but I found it quite reasonable, even though it was a lot more expensive than China.
Now it’s time to fly to Japan, my last stop…

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Thomas Mackie