We really liked Seoul, it has a lot of character and a really good vibe. Even though I’m still recovering from a fractured ankle, we managed to see a few sights. It’s a high tech city that’s very clean (I was hard pressed to find any litter, at least in the areas we visited) and the locals seem to take to the outdoors every chance they get. The Koreans are a sporty bunch, ladies dress like they are ready for a mountain climbing adventure all clad in the most recent hiking/climbing gear.
The city has fantastic areas with walking streets that are closed off to vehicles and they are lined with art shops, clothing shops, and quaint traditional restaurants. There are lots of skinny alleys to explore full of little tea shops and cafes – I love interesting little alleyways and it’s one of my favourite things.
We were really looking forward to some great Korean BBQ and Kimchi. We were not disappointed, the food is really delicious and there are so many different dishes to try. Our favourites were the beef bulgogi (korean bbq), GaeSeong traditional dumplings (gyoza’s), jeon (it’s similar to a pancake but there are many different varieties), spicy pork bbq, and of course the kimchi. Eating here is a lot of fun, along with the main dish that you order comes many side dishes that can be refilled as much as you like. Some of the sides were cold soups, hot soups, vegetables, rice, and always kimchi. We liked the traditional rice wine too!
We took some time and visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It’s great that there are places like this right in the heart of the city.
One afternoon we visited Tapgol Park, it was the first modern park in Seoul. It’s home to a couple of Korea’s national treasures. Gordon says I blend in just fine with my cane.
We stopped in to see Jogyesa Temple and there were paper lanterns hanging everywhere that people had purchased for good luck.
Myeong-dong is a shopping paradise and Gordon made a visit here one afternoon while I rested my ankle. When we come back in September, I will shop until I drop!
On our last day we walked to Changdeokgung Palace Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We really liked this palace and it was surrounded by beautiful flower gardens and a forest. There is also the Secret Garden here but we did not make a visit this time, my ankle said ‘no can do’. We will be back in September though!
I mentioned high tech and not that I want to talk about toilets but the toilet in our hotel room was state of the art and it had a little manual for the toilet control panel. Let’s just say there were different settings for cleaning options and the toilet seat was heated!
We will be back to visit more of Seoul and the surrounding areas in September and we are really excited to explore more of South Korea. In our opinion it’s a destination that doesn’t get enough attention.
Where we stayed: Aventree Hotel – Insadong Area – the airport bus from Incheon International Airport stops right in front of the hotel
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel