We really only had a day in Seoul because of the delay in leaving Russia. It was a pity as we had been looking forward to spending a few days there and exploring some of the city, and Greg had been hoping that we could get up to the DMZ. I think we managed to make the most of our one day, though.
We stayed at Itaewon, which is the nightclub area of Seoul – lots of restaurants, bars, clubs and street food. We arrived on Friday evening and it was very busy, noisy and colourful. The next morning it wasn’t quite as busy, but still full of life, with lots of things to look at and interesting places to explore. We walked down to the river via some side streets, calling into a supermarket on the way for a browse and a cold drink. It was hot and humid and we needed to go back to the air conditioned apartment for a rest after that! And that was how we spent the rest of the day – go off and do something, ,then head back for another rest. It takes a while to get used to humid weather.
We visited the War Memorial of Korea in the afternoon – a very impressive outdoor display of planes, tanks, weapons and other memorabilia, with exhibits, artwork and sculptures. It was well worth visiting and we could have spent longer there, or gone back to see more if we’d had more time. We caught the subway back to the apartment and thought it was very efficient, fast and cheap, it reminded us a lot of the Singapore metro system. We were interested to note that the subway stations are a long way underground and designated as shelters in the event of …. you know what I’m talking about.
Later on, we got back on the subway and went to Myeongdong, which is described as a ‘hyper-shopping area’. Oh yes indeed. Streets and streets of neon-lit shops, and people, and street food, and noise. Mostly women’s fashion, cosmetics and beauty products. It was good to see it at night when it was a bit cooler, and the streets were all lit up.
We had walked past a Korean BBQ place just near the apartment we stayed at. I forgot to find out if it had an English name, but it is opposite the school on Usadan-ro and whenever we went past it was full of people. Even this morning when we went past on our way to catch the airport bus, there were people there. So we ate there and it was great! Plenty of food, cold beers and a helpful waitress who must have realised we didn’t know what we were doing, so she took over and cooked our meat for us.
It was a good last day of our holidays, and Seoul is now on our list of ‘want to go back to’ places.