Blogs from Seoul, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Seoul August 5th 2019

The Gwanjung markets is an undercover clothes by day/food by night market. The Netflix series ‘street food', the Seoul episode, focused on this market and one proprietor in particular. We had a snack of kimchi + meat dumplings there, washed down with a cold Cass beer, before heading off to another stall to have Toppoki (rice cakes with chilli pepper sauce) and Gimbap, a Korean type of nori roll filled with beatle leaf, rice and vegetables. While we were eating, we noticed photos of British chef Gordon Ramsay , and as we left, the owner insisted on feeding us more gimbap like she did to Gordon! Afterward, we stopped by a really nice craft brew pub near our hotel which was blasting K pop videos! The next day, we headed off early to wander around the ... read more
Gwanjang market
Photo of Gordon Ramsay wating at Gwanjang market
Bukchon Hanok villiage

Asia » South Korea » Seoul January 5th 2019

Art is mightier than sword, and politics... read more
The sword of Soeul

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 27th 2018

We went in search of an animal cafe. These cafes are scattered around Seoul and each has an animal speciality: dogs, cats, raccoons, meerkats, goats and so on. Where these animals come from I am not sure. We decided to go check out the meerkat cafe mainly because neither of us knew what exactly a meerkat was. For once, we found the spot without getting lost first. But I was not prepared for what we walked into. Shoes are left at the door and everyone is given slippers to wear to protect the animals. The cafe doesn’t serve food or coffee (so I decided cafe is false advertising). You can purchase bottled beverages which maintain appropriate sanitation for both the animals and humans. The first shock was the cafe had more than just meerkats; there was ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 26th 2018

Things to remember about Seoul in December: cold, I hate cold, buy lots of coffee for outdoor sight seeing. We started walking part of the Seoul City Wall. Seoul was small back at the end of the 1300s and they built a series of wall out of mostly stone and wood to protect Seoul from invaders. The wall is 18.6 km and includes its four inner mountains. About 70% of the wall has been restored or replaced at various points (mostly during hthe Japanese imperial rule l1910-1945) but the wall and many gates still stand as a magnificent connection to Korean history. We followed the wall to Ihwa Mural Village which has an interesting history. This used to be a slum area of Seoul and the government decided to bring in artists to paint murals on ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul December 25th 2018

This may go on record of the longest day of my life. We left Kathmandu last night and our first play had a movie station for each seat. Now normally, I am not the movie person but after 2 months of almost no tv, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I ended up picking an incredibly sad movie (note to self read the summary first ’tear jerker‘ is a hint to pass). This had to be followed up with two documentaries: the truth about exercise and the rise of vertical farming (I recommend this one). All was well and good going into Seoul, found our hotel and was excited to check in a take a nap at 9 AM. The unfortunate part was we couldn’t check in until 3 PM. WHAT TO DO!!!??? Shelby ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Jung-gu November 11th 2018

Today, we were heading to Korea. That would be South Korea because the guy in charge in North Korea is a bit of a plonker and doesn't make visitors very welcome. And we'd heard it was just the opposite in South Korea where everyone was going to be friendly, welcoming, happy, family-orientated and enjoy inter-acting with visitors. I was already imagining a flag-waving, singing, dancing reception along the lines of the Olympic event in that country. Bring it on! I managed to keep my lighter through all the departure airport faff this time so things were already looking up. We had a Cathay Pacific 777 plane which was spacious, had wide seats and a British pilot, which I always find reassuring for some reason! It was only a three hour flight but the smiling cabin crew ... read more
Steve on the posh bus
Our Seoul hotel
A BIG statue

Asia » South Korea » Seoul September 2nd 2018

Ubytko na jednu noc ok ale naviac isto nie. Izba mala a ked bola pustena klima dost to fucalo na mna. Pri baleni ako som sedel na posteli, tak na nej bolo dost cudzich vlasov. Pesi presun k blizkej city hall, kde od 12.00 zacina program na friendship festivale Do zaciatku este asi dve hodiky, odpocinok v pekne upravenom umelom (?) kanali na ulici cheonggyechon. Na slnku susenie topanok, ponoziek, batohov. V chladku relax. Po relaxe pobratie sa k festivalu. Riecku prekracujem po kamenoch, skoro som jednu indku zhodil do vody aspon by sa konecne umyla :) Po schodoch sa dostavam hore na ulicu. Tu uz culi ruch, kopa ludi, stanky pootvarane. Najskor idem okolo africkych stankov s jedlom. V niektorych stanoch su ludia aj v krojoch. Kazdy stan je zvlast krajina s tradicnym jedlom a ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong August 20th 2018

Dear All Greetings from Seoul! My final stop on my adventures this summer. I am glad to have arrived here, and feel quite proud of myself for having made it overland and independently from Tokyo to Seoul, having seen some amazing places and had some amazing experiences on the way. It is from Seoul, on Wednesday, that I fly back to my beloved England, and settle into my everyday life again once more, rejuvenated no doubt from having explored yet another corner of the world, and learnt just that bit more about this beautiful planet upon which we live. I am also feeling tired now, and am looking forward to some lovely days of rest in my lovely home, enjoying the post-trip contemplation stage of what has really been a memorable trip. I believe I last ... read more
Bukchon Hanok Village
Seoul
Lotte World Tower

Asia » South Korea » Seoul August 20th 2018

It was as sweltering as ever when I caught the train from Suwon back to Seoul early Thursday afternoon. Then it was the tortuous process of getting to my hotel. The Seoul metro has much to recommend, but where it falls short compared to the London Tube is the vast distances between interchange stations. Often you feel like you are not so much changing lines at the same station, more walking all the way to the next one, especially when towing heavy luggage. Finally I get to Hotel Creto Myeongdong (all-white modern furnished rooms, but with squeaky air-conditioning) situated behind the Sejong where I stayed previously in Seoul. In the evening, I’m in Hwa-dong, an area of cobbled pedestrian streets full of artisan eateries. Here I finally meet up with Hye-Sung at Kiwa Taproom for craft ... read more
One of many chimaek
Seoul, as seen from Lotte World Tower
Kimchi fries and galbi short rib tacos at Vatos

Asia » South Korea » Seoul August 12th 2018

The start of Grand Trip 2018 didn’t get off to the most auspicious of beginnings. Prior to departure I already had to abandon the Vladivostok leg of the plan due to visa issues. I was supposed to meet up with a friend on my first night, but he had to leave early for the US on business. So I made alternative plans to take in a baseball game Friday evening, however my flight arrived nearly three hours late. And by the time the ball game started I was still on the train into Seoul. The capital of South Korea may seem like one of those overcrowded metropolis’s that form the basis of dystopian nightmares. In actual fact it is amongst the friendliest places I’ve been to and one of the easiest to get around. Except that ... read more
Cheong-gye-cheon
Baseball at the Gocheok Sky Dome
Dongdaemun Design Plaza




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