Seoul Searching

We have now left Seoul and arrived in Hong Kong and theย contrast between the two cities has made me want to show a little more Seoul to you ๐Ÿ‘ง.

Arriving in Seoul from London is a little like stepping into the future. ย Everything is so clean and efficient, and everyone is so polite. ย There aren’t all that many people, at least compared to London, and we saw very few other tourists. ย I was surprised by how many of the signs are in English as well as Korean, the metro announcements were given in both Korean and by a Suri type disembodied American lady. ย The city is full of glass fronted high rise buildings (although not nearly as high as Hong Kong) and the air is clean. ย For two of the days we had bright sunshine โ˜€๏ธ, and although it was icily cold โ„๏ธ, the chill was similar to being in the snowy alps, it was very pleasant in the sun.

We ate amazingly – the best food ๐Ÿœย was slightly off the beaten track and we ate at a number of places without a menu, we arrived, sat down, the food turned up and we got stuck in – some of the best place were in the Bukchon area. ย A side of kimchi ๐ŸŒฟ comes with almost every meal, and I have to say I’m a fan, apart from when it gets too spicy. ย I really enjoyed the Korean BBQ, cold noodle soups, the buckwheat pancakes too and most of all the spicy fish stew we ate at the Gwangjang Street food market. ย It is really quite refreshing to have not eaten or seen a single Pret sandwich for five whole days. ย And I have become a master with Korean chopsticks – they are flatter and thinner than Chinese ones. ย There are modern coffee shops โ˜•๏ธย and bakeries everywhere, the coffee is excellent, and they always ask if you would like your coffee hot or cold. ย It was nice to see that the ‘Flat White’ has not yet taken over Seoul – we happily ordered cappuccinos, and the matcha lattes were great. ย And of course the dessert cafes ๐Ÿง which are open until 10pm each night, I did not sample enough of these – there is even one dedicated to just green tea products.

Everyone is Seoul is incredibly polite ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿ‘ง, and very accepting of ignorant tourists, I suspect we made many faux pas. ย They are very quiet people too and no one seems to be in too much of a rush, and they are expert queuers, very little pushing and shoving.

People are very well put together ๐Ÿ‘—๐Ÿ‘ , and I like the style a lot, for the girls it’s quite girly in a way, lots of swing coats in fun colours, tidy loafers and of course much fur. ย They have also got the beauty ๐Ÿ’„ thing down to a T, all the girls are subtly made up, a hint of lip stick, neat eye make up and pale skin. ย There are beauty shops everywhere, if you want an anti-aging face cream that might actually work, Seoul is the place to find one. ย And it is definitely not a city in which you hungoverly pop to the super market in a pair of leggings, greasy hair and no make up, ย and pretend you are on your way to the gym when you bump into someone you know. ย They have perhaps gone too far though – there are adverts for plastic surgery everywhere aimed at young girls.

The internet ๐Ÿ’ป is also crazily fast, everybody on the metro is deeply absorbed in their phones. ย ย It is so fast I actually wrote my last post at Incheon airport using the free wifi, and the photos uploaded faster than they do at home in Sussex.

It was a really wonderful trip, and I loved getting to know the city ๐Ÿ˜. ย Maybe the most amazing part was meeting up with friends in a city half way across the world.

I have added quite a lot of Seoul photos below, and if you would like to know the names of places we ate do let me know.

Alice xxx

Roofs at Changdeokgung Palace
Yellow Ginkgo leaves lying on top of a frozen pond in the secret garden at Changdeokgung Palace
A small door looking from the womens side of the servant’s quarters into to the mens side at Changdeokgung Palace. The women used this door to count how many guests their husbands were receiving that day and therefore how many people to cook for – they would know by the number of shoes lined up outside the building seen through this door
More beautiful red leaves
Sunshine in the Bukchon Area
Korean BBQ for lunch?
And perhaps a nice modern coffee after?
This is what we decided on
it was super ๐Ÿ˜Š
Then we had cake, so much cake
In the evening we found Anna and Alexei went for dinner in Gangnam and drank frozen beers ๐Ÿ˜
frozen foam
Enjoying the stepping stones on the Chonggyecheon stream
And then we went to the biggest palace Gyeongbokgung in the snow
I like the old and new in this photo – there are lots of girls in Korean traditional dress wandering about the city, but never worked out quite why (they all have trainers on under those skirts)….
And we of course bought some Korean snacks
A trip to Gwangjang Market
And the place we ate the fish stew
Still uncertain what is in that bowl, it looks a little like brains, but we ate it ๐Ÿ˜‰
And copied how everyone else did it – it’s all about mixing your soy sauce with your wasabi first and then getting stuck in
And our view from breakfast
Deciding what to do next
Another wander around Bukchon to see the hanok houses
A hanok house – they are so pretty and remind me a little of ski chalets
hanok house detail
and a gutter on a house in the shape of a bird
we stopped in a house to have some milk tea and radish tea ๐Ÿ‘Œ sitting on the floor
And at the wedding – tables beautifully made up
And some wedding cake and white roses to finish ๐Ÿ˜ย we went on to a Korean Karoke after, but I suspect I might lose some friends if I put the karaoke photos…. just to let you know we did sing Year 3000 by Busted and Toni and I may have done a rendition of Avril Lavigne’s Skater Boy… ๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™ˆ