A Short Visit to Seoul

A Short Visit to Seoul

Bukchon Hanok Village

I sheepishly admit that it has been a year since my trip to Seoul and finally, I’ve processed the snapshots I have from the visit. There were surprisingly few photos. We only spent three short days there and part of it was spent rebooking flights into Tokyo because Osaka Kansai Airport was closed after Typhoon Jebi.

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful visit. There were numerous attractions right within Seoul, I felt it was the perfect combination of historic sites and modern life.

This post doesn’t capture everything we saw, since there are some gaps in my camera roll, but we started off at Gyeongbokgung Palace:

Gyeongbokgung Palace entrance

Many people were dressed up in traditional Korean garb on loan from shops in the area, some sites offer free entry to those wearing them. The inside of the palace park ($3 entry) is full of sandy courtyards and palaces that all pretty much look alike dotted around the area. They also serve tea and afternoon “royal” traditional snacks, but they were all out by the time we found the kitchen that serves them.

We also encountered this cute, little replica historic home on the outskirts of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It had two small bedrooms, a study, and an outdoor kitchen, and helped me envision what life might have looked like in such a time.

And then we meandered around the city…

Walking around the shopping areas

As for accommodations, we stayed in a very nice, super-affordable studio (Airbnb) that was right next to the train station. My favorite part was that it was right upstairs from a little convenience store that was open 24-7 and had all these delicious snacks. We took advantage, and cooked up some Korean ramen one night! My second favorite part was the washing machine, which is always a godsend if you’re doing 3 weeks in Asia out of a backpack. It took us a bit to figure out the instructions the owner gave, but then we we were blessed with washing and drying capabilities :)

Our Airbnb Bathroom

Our Airbnb’s kitchen

There were more adventures that didn’t make it to my camera roll, such KBBQ, Myeongdong district at night, some night markets, and some clubbing outings. But here’s one picture of me from a cute cafe:

there were a lot of cute character cafes!

A beautiful sunset in Itaewon and dinner, on our last night in Seoul:

Sigol Bapsang, a place that specialized in serving a huge variety of banchan, korean side dishes

My overall impression of Seoul was that it’s very lively and great for young people. We arrived the first night around 11 pm, and still many restaurants were open, with folks lounging around having a smoke outside, as if it were only 7 pm. It was easy to get around using the trains. There was an abundance of good food, night market culture was a ton of fun, and even though I barely did any shopping, I could see that all the shops stocked unique, trendy things I had never seen in the States. Almost every woman in Seoul was also intimidatingly fashionable and most wore makeup. The level of dedication was admirable. I returned to the US with a renewed desire to look my best every day, and I can’t wait until next time.

Home for Thanksgiving

Home for Thanksgiving