I was pleased to move back North of the River to Myeongdong. This is known as the centre of Seoul and is popular with locals and tourists alike, with buzzing pedestrianised streets, shops, cafes and restaurants all adorned with neon signs.
In an effort to reduce pollution Seoul has transformed one of the overpasses (which used to be choked with traffic) into a pedestrianised walkway filled with flowerbeds, and even a paddling pool, a trampoline and a piano! It was like an urban park for strolling or sitting. We strolled over one evening and I tried out my camera settings photographing the rather grand Seoul Station. Continue reading
This blog is about the old, historic parts of Seoul, in case you were wondering! There were plenty of Temples which many visitors explored while dressed in traditional costumes – which gave them free entry to the temples.
We started with Gyeongbokgung Palace where we saw the changing of the guard, Continue reading
Did you know that “Gangnam Style” (the amazing catchy song by Psy) was based on Gangnam, the area south of the river in Seoul, South Korea? When I heard this, I knew we had to go while we were in Seoul.
There is a permanent tribute to Psy’s Gangnam Style in the form of a stage where you can go and show off your moves in the middle of the city! We also explored the bustling and brightly lit back streets, full of cafes, restaurants and shops all vying for attention in bright neon. Continue reading
As if World War Two wasn’t bad enough, with concentration camps, the Holocaust etc. Oh wait – there’s more. Comfort Women. Now this isn’t a nice thing to hear about, especially on holiday, but I feel we have a responsibility to hear about it. So I took my husband along to the War and Women Human Rights Museum to find out more.
The War and Human Rights Museum which was a fascinating and horrifying look at Comfort Women; a system whereby during WW2 predominantly Japanese soldiers used predominantly Korean Women as sex slaves, or “comfort women”. Continue reading
After an exhausting 27 hours of travelling since we left home (3 trains and 2 planes), we went to bed feeling grimy, exhausted, and uncomfortable. But what a difference a good night’s sleep makes… we awoke the next morning bright and early, feeling amazing! The sun was shining, we had safely made it to Seoul, the hotel was nice, and we treated ourselves to a buffet breakfast in our hotel which was divine. All was well with the world!
We strolled around Hongdae which we quickly found was a lovely place – safe, with lovely autumnal leaves, quirky little shops and cafes everywhere, a student-y vibe, and a plethora of Animal Cafes. There was a Cat Cafe, a Meercat Cafe, a Sheep Cafe etc. Continue reading
The Kimchi festival wasn’t widely publicised but I stumbled upon it online before we went. A festival? Thousands of people making Kimchi at the same time? We are there! We shifted the holiday forward a couple of days and found flights via Italy so we could get there in time. That’s dedication for you.
So what is Kimchi? Kimchi is cabbage fermented in spices. Normally the spices used are chili, garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, salt or similar. After the cabbage is rubbed in spices it is packed away to ferment. Kimchi is made in the autumn to preserve the vegetables as we head into winter. Continue reading