Monday, May 16, 2011

A Summary of Seoul in 17 Points

I thought I would provide a brief recap of my brief visit to Seoul last week. I really did spend more time traveling than actually in Korea and to be honest, I am not sure the trip was really worth taking since the majority of the presenters spoke Korean. I will just chalk it up as a bullet point on the resume and a chance to see Seoul. And with that, I bring you my 17 points rounded out by a few photos.

1. Seoul runs on Dunkin!
2. Seoul is huge in both population and geographical area.
3. You definitely can't expect to get from Point A to Point B quickly. See point 2.
4. Just for emphasis, Seoul is huge and very modern but definitely not a city that you can visit and easily walk to various attractions.
5. Kansas and Journey are still quite popular as evidenced by radio play and the gentleman on the airport shuttle that randomly belted out "I'm forever yours..."
6. Also popular, the Beatles. In fact, the song "Yesterday" was incorporated into a traditional performance.
7. The people are incredibly kind and polite even to foreigners.
8. Kimchee and pickled radishes are not at the top of my list to try again and as far as the seaweed soup, the taste is fine but I am hung up on the texture and color.
9. Sandstorms in Manchuria can make the skies over Seoul quite hazy.
10. Cross the street at your own risk. Seriously, I cannot believe the number of near misses and the walkers were as much as fault as the drivers.
11. If it weren't for the street signs and building signs, I would have thought I was in America just watching the cars pass by. The Hyundai Santa Fe is definitely a favorite.
12. Wished I had a translator for the crazy game show I stumbled upon while not sleeping at 2:30 in the morning; they were cracking themselves up something fierce.
13. Korean bells differ from Western bells in that they are hit from the outside rather than having a clapper inside.
14. There were not nearly so many smokers as anticipated.
15. I miss the Internet when I don't have free access and was a little like a junky getting my fix when I found a WiFi connection.
16. Al sense of direction normally in my possession flew right out the window.
17. Finally, Seoul was interesting since it is such a modern city but I don't really have a burning desire to return again.

View from my hotel room!

10 Story Pagoda now located at the National Museum. At one time, this Pagoda was stolen and smuggled into Japan. Two U.S. journalists were able to secure its return to Korea. It has been moved multiple times and is in 100 pieces if taken apart.
Largest Buddha sculpted from iron.

Injeong-jeon, the throne hall, was part of the courts at Changdeok Palace where formal state events were held including coronations.

Inside the throne hall, which was renovated in 1908.
Granted, there is a ramp located there now but still, the opening is so low that I would have had to duck regardless of the ramp.
Every airport should have this kind of area.

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