We have now left Seoul and arrived in Hong Kong and the contrast between the two cities has made me want to show a little more Seoul to you 👧.
Arriving in Seoul from London is a little like stepping into the future. Everything is so clean and efficient, and everyone is so polite. There aren’t all that many people, at least compared to London, and we saw very few other tourists. 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. The city is full of glass fronted high rise buildings (although not nearly as high as Hong Kong) and the air is clean. For two of the days we had bright sunshine ☀️, and although it was icily cold ❄️, the chill was similar to being in the snowy alps, it was very pleasant in the sun.
We ate amazingly – the best food 🍜 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. A side of kimchi 🌿 comes with almost every meal, and I have to say I’m a fan, apart from when it gets too spicy. 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. It is really quite refreshing to have not eaten or seen a single Pret sandwich for five whole days. And I have become a master with Korean chopsticks – they are flatter and thinner than Chinese ones. There are modern coffee shops ☕️ and bakeries everywhere, the coffee is excellent, and they always ask if you would like your coffee hot or cold. 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. And of course the dessert cafes 🍧 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 👦👧, and very accepting of ignorant tourists, I suspect we made many faux pas. 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 👗👠, 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. They have also got the beauty 💄 thing down to a T, all the girls are subtly made up, a hint of lip stick, neat eye make up and pale skin. There are beauty shops everywhere, if you want an anti-aging face cream that might actually work, Seoul is the place to find one. 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, and pretend you are on your way to the gym when you bump into someone you know. They have perhaps gone too far though – there are adverts for plastic surgery everywhere aimed at young girls.
The internet 💻 is also crazily fast, everybody on the metro is deeply absorbed in their phones. 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 😍. 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.