Time is defined as (the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole). Though most of us don’t define time, rather we live in it and enjoy each moment.
Speaking of time, it was almost a year ago when a very close friend and I first took our first steps into western hemisphere: Seoul, South Korea to be exact.
To say we weren’t excited would be an understatement, although we only knew enough Korean to say hello and thank you, we felt confident our ability to use the universal language of pointing at items. Thankfully though Korea, and more importantly Seoul has a big population of people who can understand basic english. So with the language barrier taken care of. We were ready to start a new journey of two weeks.
We first started by getting an Airbnb rental in the fashion district of Gangnam-gu, better known for the song Gangnam Style. This was an amazing and lucky choice in our part, this district is quite alive with people (very well dressed people to be exact). It was always full of life, with tons of restaurants, street food and shopping your heart desires.
Once there we noticed that the fastest and cheapest way to travel around Seoul is using the subway. One tip here is to make sure to get a T-Money Subway card, it pretty much is a subway card you fill up with money and then tap to get into the subway. This is very convienent and makes traveling by subway so much quicker, faster and you don’t look too much like a tourist waiting at a ticket machine. These T-Money cards are normally sold at all convenience stores, we found ours at 7/11. Once armed with a T-Money card, we became subway pro’s and honestly it’s all due to the effiency of the train system, the english signs, english voices on the overheads and ofc the Korea Subway App, they helped so much.
One thing to point in our trip was that we went in the July time frame, this is summer in S. Korea and so the weather in Seoul can get very high, so one reccomendation is sunblock, shades and a hat perhaps. But besides the weather there were several advantages to going in July, since it get’s quite hot, most tourists don’t come to Seoul. This worked in our advantage, as it meant that all the popular palaces were open for free to the public, no need to buy tickets to explore and best of all not a lot of people, so you can really take your time to enjoy the views and imagine yourself in that time when Korean Emperors and Empresses used to live there. It is quite amazing to see and enjoy the architectual beauty that is there along with the natural beauty of the landscape that a lot of Korean architecture is known for. Combining the natural beauty of nature mixed with man made structures.
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One thing to see while in Seoul is to check out the world famous Namdaemum Market, think of this as a huge street flea market, with everything you can think of and things you might not. Now to be frank, you will not find your gucci, your prada bags here for that go to Dongdaeum Market. This is more for those who like to see what casual life is in Seoul, and have a taste for exploring. One thing that i came to love about Seoul is that they take tourism seriously, in this case when we went to the market we found severa Korea info guys, armed with maps, a good command of the english language and ready to answer any questions about the market you have. So if you go there and not sure what stalls to go, where to find something in peticular or just want to get a map as to not get too lost, these people are the ones to find. You cannot miss them, they are often in the central point of the market, wearing bright colors with smiles and maps in their hands. While at the market i would highly reccomend you try the street foods, that is the point of going somewhere new, to try new things, see new places, try new food. So while there go crazy, try new foods and if you don’t like the food item, that’s okay too. Just try new foods. I know i for sure did, although i did not ge the chance to try the live squid, next time i visit i will do so! Some of the must try foods at the Market that we saw where the dumplings, there is a dumpling stall in one of the corners and you will notice it by the line attached to it. You will see the ladies making the dumplings from scratch, it is quite a show to see and then to enjoy the dumplings is quite another. These ladies know what they are doing.
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Another thing to see while in Seoul, is the N Seoul Tower, it feels like nowadays almost every major city has a tower i.e. (CN Tower :: Toronto, Reunion Tower :: Dallas, Space Needle :: Seattle, Freedom Tower :: NYC, Sky Tower :: Auckland) okay maybe not every major city but a lot of them do. I would reccomend going more towards the evening for this one, we went near the afternoon and it was just perfect, you get the nice view of city, can take nice pictures since the sun is still out and then when it goes down the N Seoul Tower just lights up in color and looks amzing to gaze at from the bottom, that and also taking a pic of the city from the top in the evening is quite nice. One thing about the tower though, is that it is geared towards couples more, so if you see a lot of couples there taking selfies well you been warned, but if you are alone go anyway, enjoy you and you time. Nothing like being in the company of oneself.
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One of the most amazing foods i tried in Seoul, that surprised me was Beer and Fried Chicken, now you are saying “but Henry this you can get anywhere”, yes this is true, but have you seen a restaurant in the states that solely focuses on just “Beer and Fried Chicken” i think not, if you do let me known though. Point is though, this was so good, had this so many times, was just the perfect comfort food after a day of walking and exploring. Honestly craving this right now…
To be continued…