Seoul is an incredible city. It has an amazing blend of Western culture and influences mixed with distinctly Asian nuances. A number of times I’ve forgotten that I’m in Asia, only for something to occur that makes me think, “Oh, yep, I’m in Asia still”. Examples of this include:
• Street performers covered in flour rolling around on the ground.
• A young girl asking if she could take a picture of myself and Neil
• Neil being asked if he has any plans to get married. “Not today” was the reply, while I chipped in with, “Maybe after lunch”.
• Random guy screaming at pigeons
• Finding myself in a karaoke bar at 8am drunk on rice liquor.
We arrived in Seoul on Saturday, showered after finding a place to stay, and headed out for the evening. We met up with one of Neil’s friends, Zach, and proceeded to get quite drunk. After barhopping a couple of times, we found ourselves back at the first place – where we met up with the rest of Neil’s friends. The night was a relatively large and messy affair, ending with a visit to the aforementioned karaoke bar at 8am.
Sunday was spent relaxing, as you’d expect after a big night out, but we still saw quite a bit of the city. We grabbed lunch in one of the nicest parts of Seoul, and spent the afternoon in a multitude of coffee shops and bars. We visited Hooters in the evening, and after some chicken wings and beer, we headed back to the room for a sleep.
Yesterday was far busier. After a quick trip to Starbucks we visited the palace. It’s a very picturesque collection of buildings, nestled in a heavily-developed part of Seoul dominated by skyscrapers. The juxtaposition between old and new led to some great photos, and I look forward to uploading them.
After the palace we grabbed some lunch in a bar/restaurant, and then walked down the canal that runs north of the river.
We spent some time in the shopping district before we headed up to Seoul tower. It’s similar in concept to the CN Tower in Toronto, but is located at the top of a hill. There is a cable car that can take you up, but we opted to walk up instead.
The view of Seoul was fantastic. It was a vaguely foggy evening but, if anything, this added to the view. We also opted to grab a Heineken (as you do) and watch the sun set – so the arduous climb was well worth it
With the Seoul tower done and dusted, we aimed to take a river cruise to see some more of the city but had missed the last ferry. A curry and some beer soon took care of our initial disappointment, and we vowed to return today – which I’m pleased to say we will be.
We’re actually on our way back to Seoul now. It’s around 7pm, and we’re going to do the river cruise tonight before we catch a late bus back to Cheongju. And today’s events? Well… it was amazing. We visited the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that splits North and South Korea, and I had arguably one of the best days I’ve had on the trip. I’ll be updating the blog again tomorrow with the details as we did and saw so much, and this is already long enough.