After our little ‘holiday’ in Hongkong, we booked a flight to Seoul, South-Korea. We decided to stay two weeks and then fly to Vietnam. As two weeks were too short to see all the highlights of the whole country, we ended up staying two weeks in Seoul. Luckily it was a good choice, there were so many things to do in the big city! Seoul was surprisingly clean. No rubbish, clean streets, and every park or square were just spotless. Street food looks gourmet, university grounds are tourist spots, and historical sites are well-preserved. Like most capital cities in East Asia, Seoul is pulsating with curiosities. Think of it as a younger but more tamed Tokyo. Everywhere you go, there’s always something interesting to find even in random neighborhoods.
Seoul has the best airport in the world. Incheon national airport, which services Seoul and other nearby Korean cities, has regularly been called the best airport in the world. The sprawling, über-efficient facility is equipped with a golf course, skating rink, Museum of Korean Culture, casino, high-end spa and restaurants serving just about any kind of pre-flight meal you’d want.
The people are a bit shy at first, but once you start talking they open up and are very friendly. Seoul is also known for its obsession with beauty, something that became apparent as soon as I passed by half-dozen cosmetic stores, after only two minutes of walking. Koreans love cosmetics, like me, haha. The Myeongdong shopping street is heaven for the make-up and skincare lovers! I have never seen so many cosmetic stores on one shopping street. In every store, they promote face masks, buy 100 get 100 free. They even sell for a year supply on face masks! But watch out what you buy, the Asian people want to have a white skin, so most of the products are with whitener in it. Think of face cream, body lotion, face masks. We made the mistake of buying sunscreen without looking at the package and it was with extra whitener instead of bronze. This makes you think, white people want to be brown, brown people want to be white.
We love Korean BBQ!! In Seoul, we ate the best BBQ ever! Korean BBQ is a unique experience where cooking and eating take center stage. At Korean BBQ restaurants, everyone gathers around a grill in the middle of the table. The server brings plates of raw meat and lots of side dishes, then everyone can begin cooking and eating their own food. Bibimbap is Korea’s most recognized dish after Korean barbeque, it’s a rice bowl mixed with sauteed roots, marinated beef and chili paste in a hot stone pot. You can get it almost anywhere. The only disadvantage; it’s soooo spicy!
During our stay, we did some nice sightseeing as well. We visited many palaces and temples. We went to Samsung d’light, it’s an enormous exhibition space that showcases all the latest consumer electronic products by Samsung Electronics. And of course, we visited Gangnam, Seoul’ s hippest neighborhood. Gangnam District is one of the 25 local government districts which make up the city of Seoul. Gangnam literally means “South of the River.” You may also have heard of it from the wildly popular song by Psy: “Gangnam Style”.
We really enjoyed Seoul and definitely want to go back to South Korea to see the rest of the country. If anyone has recommendations, please send it to us by email!