Years ago in the advertising industry we used to joke, that if a manager did a lousy job, they’d get a “promotion” to run the Seoul office. Well, things have changed. Seoul tourism has come a long way and Seoul is a great city with a great vibe. Having been there many times, here are four things to see if you visit Seoul and are stopping over.
Hang out in Myeong-dong (or better still, stay there). This place is full of colour, smells restaurants, shops and it’s a real buzz. Even if you don’t like shopping, it’s a good few hours of strolling around. There are quite a few BBQ restaurants off the alley ways. For about A$20, you’ll have a traditional Korean BBQ meal cooked at your table with a local beer. I often get asked where to stay in Seoul. The Seoul Orchard Hotel is a great 3.5 star option right on the edge of town.
Take a trip to the DMZ (De-Militarized Zone). You can do an organised or private tour. It’s about an hour’s drive from the city. The highlight is a walk down one of the tunnels (there are three that have been found so far). These were built by the North in readiness for an attack on the South. It goes for more than a kilometre and can feel a little spooky. Well worth the effort though.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must-see. It was the Joseon Dynasty’s main place and was originally built in the late 14th century. If you really wish to learn about this remarkable residence, organise a guide from your hotel, otherwise you can just walk around for a few hours and enjoy it on your own. Try and arrange it for the changing of the guards.
Stroll around Bukchon Hanok Village. This is where there are 100’s of traditional wooden houses (Hanoks). The only ones left in Seoul. It’s very quaint and great for craft shops, galleries and a coffee stop too. The locals are very friendly and may even invite you inside.
Markets, markets and more markets! I love a good traditional market and Seoul has dozens of them – fish, fruit and veg, antiques, furniture, electronics, clothes and more. There’s even an official hop-on-hop-off bus tour that takes in the markets.
Blue Dot Travel's small group tour to The Stans of Central Asia, hubs in and out of Seoul. For more information click here.
|Brett Goulston enjoying some Korean cuisine|
|Tunnel in the De-Militarized Zone|
|Korean drum outside Gyeongbokgung Palace|
|Markets in Seoul|
|Wonderful Korean street food|