Seoul! Land of kimchi! It took 25 hours to get to Seoul. I watched sooo many movies. The 11 hour time difference made the jet lag pretty rough.
The hostel I stayed at provided eggs, so i made some cheesy scrambled eggs. Later in the week I would switch to Nutella and bread.
I kicked off the week with a hop on / hop off tour. I hoped off at Mount Namsan which had a beautiful view of the city.
Then i went to Deoksugung palace. Outside they had a changing of the guard ceremony.
For lunch i had brisket yukgaejang, which was a spicy brisket soup.
Fighting the jet lag, I went to see a music performance called the Sun and Moon. It was Korean fusion music, and it was great. I was fighting to stay awake though.
The next day I went on an adventure with Reba from Oregon. We covered a lot of ground. We went out to Gangdum and saw many things, including the Coex library.
Afterward we had lunch, where I was introduced to bibimbap.
Then we explored the Bongeunsa Temple where there were a few monks chanting. We sat and listened briefly.
And Namdaemun Market where we stopped for dumplings. I also picked up some new sunglasses.
The market led us to the South gate, part of the old city wall.
Then finally the Myeong-dong market.
When we got back the owner of the hostel we were staying at took us out to dinner at a restaurant that has a Michelin star, and it was incredible. My favorite was a seafood pancake. I’m told I hold the chopsticks too low.
Thursday I went on a hike in the national park North of Seoul with Carter from Tennessee. It was brutally uphill but the view was worth it.
There was a temple at the second gate
That evening I had a walking tour of Mangwon market on the way to the sky garden.
We also saw World cup stadium, although the view was better from the sky garden.
Friday I spent some time at the Dongdaemun Design plaza. They had some art exhibits inside.
On the way home I walked through the historic Bukchon Hanok Village.
After a nap we went out for some Korean BBQ, where you cook the meat yourself over hot coals.
While walking around, we found a $10 cake shop, so obviously we bought one.
After eating the cake some of us went out for Karaoke.
Saturday I went to the War history museum. I learned about the forming of the two Koreas after WWII, and the North Korean invasion of South Korea. It was going pretty poorly until Douglas MacAuthor, formerly Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, convinced the US to take back Seoul. From there we forced the armistice.
On the way home I stopped for lunch at the gwangjang market.
It turns out one of the dumpling stands was featured on Netflix. I just saw the line and figured it would be good. I met some travelers from Utah who told me about the show.
Later we stopped for Patbingsu, shaved condensed milk. It was delicious but we were unable to finish.
On the way home we stopped for Chicken, tots, and cheese.
Finally we stopped at a park near the river for ramen and some music performance.
Seoul was originally part of my travel plans two years ago but I had to cut it due to lack of budget. I’m happy I finally had three chance to visit. Since I’ve returned I stated a new job and bought a house, so those should keep me busy for a while. I’m looking forward to getting a new empty passport next year and some travel with friends.