The city was a blend of East meets West, but it was more than even that too. Everywhere you looked there were people from all parts of the world. We saw tourists from India, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Australia, Germany, Italy, Canada, China, Philippines, US and England. There were also expats and university students from all over the world. On every street you could find traditional Korean food but you could also find Mexican tacos, Belgian waffles, French pastries, Japanese noodles, Vietnamese pho along with of course American fast food.
We spent a lot of our time just wandering around the different neighborhoods, ducking into this shop or that art gallery. Stopping for coffee way too much and admiring all of the street art.
I've broken the trip down into a daily account.
We left Taiwan and arrived in Seoul in the late afternoon. We took the subway to our hostel, checked in and then hopped back on the subway again to meet Angela's friend Sarah in the Gangnam neighborhood for dinner. We ate a delicious traditional meal of Korean BBQ with Sarah and her boyfriend. Then we wandered around Gangnam and took photo booth pictures. After saying goodbye to Sarah we got back on the subway and decided to explore this place called Art Street close to our hostel. The street was awesome and consisted of blocks and blocks of bars, restaurants, cheap shops and night clubs. We ended up having beers and people watching at a comic book bar. It was the perfect start to a great trip.
We made it!
Psy was everywhere, advertising everything
They have a beer named after me!
Comic book bar
Before we left we decided that we had to make a trip to the DMZ while in Korea. We booked a tour through a Korean based company because you have to be on a guided tour to be let into the DMZ. We spent all day on the tour and got to visit the Korean War Museum, Iminjak (the closest you can be to North Korea without being in the DMZ) and the actual DMZ itself. It was a very interesting day. The DMZ was a bizarre place full of contradictions but I'm glad that I went and saw it because it was a once in a lifetime experience. The rest of the day we spent shopping and wandering around different neighborhoods.
Korean War Museum in Seoul
We spent the day sightseeing at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, watching a singing show, eating pho, walking around the river walk area, shopping, visiting a super old Catholic church, taking a gondola ride to North Seoul Tower and visiting a night market.
River walk area
North Seoul Tower
We visited a cultural village, N Seoul Tower again to see the love locks during the day, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, watched a parade of people with the coolest hats ever, ate Belgian waffles, visited Jongmyo Shrine, went to Olympic Park, ate Burger King, visited a night market and topped it all off with walking around in giant circles. Needless to say, it a was a busy day.
Love lock trees
Trying on a traditional Korean hanbok
They had massive streamer things on their heads. They were awesome.
Half of lunch
We spent the morning wandering around the university area near our hostel. Then we met up with Sarah and took our stuff to her apartment. She took us to her church for a potluck lunch. The food was amazing and the people were wonderful. Afterwards we walked around a arts and crafts street, had some coffee and then headed back to the university dinner for some more shopping, a trip to a cat cafe and a delicious dinner.
We woke up bright and early to get on the subway and catch our 10:30 flight back to Taiwan. Seoul was done for now, but I will definitely be back in the future.