‘Allow the journey to find the path, to make the detour, to lead the way.’
Seoul has a rich and vibrant past and has become the economic, cultural, and political heart of South Korea. It is one of the prime destinations of South East Asia and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year due to its wide array of activities and attractions. Seoul is an energetic bustling city and the capital of South Korea. It is fast becoming a hugely popular destination in the region, along with Hong Kong. The city has a rich history which can be see through its several monuments, palaces, and landmark gates that were built by the dynasties that have ruled Seoul over the centuries. It has so many neighborhoods that are absolutely buzzing with energy, where you can head to a bar, let loose at a club, or shop till you drop.
Seoul has a long history stretching far back into Korea’s dynastic past. There is evidence for settlement in this area as far as 18 BC but Seoul as the capital city of Korea has a history back to the 14th century. While hew historical points of interest remain, much of Seoul’s infrastructure is exceptionally modern and clean. Skyscrapers and high rises abound. The subway system is the third-largest in the world and perhaps one of the finest. Seoul is truly vast- though the casual traveler can see most of the main sites in a few days, a dedicated traveler could spend weeks exploring the alleyways and far-off neighborhoods.
Whatever you want, at any time of day or night, Seoul can provide. An early-morning temple visit can lead to a palace tour followed by tea-sipping in Bukchon and gallery-hopping in Samcheong-dong. Soju (a vodka-like drink) and snacks in a street tent bar will fuel you for shopping at the buzzing Dongdaemun or Namdaemun night markets, partying in Hongdae or Itaewon, or singing in a self-service karaoke noraebang. Follow this with steaming, soaking and snoozing in a jjimjilbang (sauna and spa). By the time you look at your watch, it will be dawn again.
Seoul’s history is also enriched by the fact that it has always been an important site for Jogye Buddhists in Korea, evident by the Buddhist temples and especially the Jogyesa Temple, the center of all Buddhist learning in the country. And even more so, the city’s turbulent relationship with wars is permanently enshrined in the Korean War Memorial, taking you through the military history of Seoul and South Korea. Seoul is also home to many museums and areas of recreation, such as the Namsan Park which is also home to the N Seoul Tower, or the Cheonggyecheon, a stream that runs through the city and is a huge attraction for locals and tourists. So if you’re thinking a trip to South Korea won’t be worth it, think again, and think Seoul!
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