Introduction to Seoul

The fast paced, open-anytime South Korea capital of Seoul attracts thousands of visitors every year, charming even the most cynical travel snobs. The residents work hard, play hard and party hard, as extremes are something of a norm here. From the temperamental seasons to the heady taste of dongdongju (a traditional liquor), nobody knows how to live better than the people of Seoul.

When we say open anytime, we mean ANY time. Forget the 9 to 5 lives you’ve been living, trading hours don’t mean much (unless you’re chasing an ATM), as shopping centres, cinemas, restaurants, bars and temples stay open until the latest hours of the early morning. Life is fast in Seoul. Fun and fast, thumping with strains of K-Pop and the hum of internet cafes on almost every corner; you’d be jacked in too at 47 megabits per second! Did we mention the free wi-fi everywhere?

On the flipside, Seoul is submerged in the kind of history you just can’t walk away from. Let curiosity reign as the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) slicing Korea in half and away from the infamous North draws history buffs and ordinary travellers to its imposing barrier. Lighten the mood with a brief stopover in Heyri, visit the magnificent Jongmyo Shrine, go Gangnam at Bongeunsa Temple, and take tea at a traditional teahouse in the middle of Insadong. 

Natural splendour in a city full of teahouses, skyscrapers and endless wi-fi? Why not? By now, you would have heard whisperings of cherry blossoms and festivals mentioned in the same sentence. Yeouido has been described as the mecca of flower enthusiasts with over 1,000 cherry blossom trees putting on an unforgettable display during spring. The deciduous trees won’t be outdone as a rainbow of red, orange and gold lines the city paths and national parks, transforming the already beautiful Bukhansan National Park. 

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