My friends always laugh at me when I tell them I’m going to avoid going to Seoul again. That’s because I cannot seem to give credence to my statement when I keep going back there again and yet again. So what is it that makes this city so irresistible? Well, for me, personally, it’s K-Pop. Yes, I know that this is a worldwide phenomenon and EVERYBODY it seems is into K-pop nowadays. In my defence, I always say that I was listening to k-pop long before it became an established hallyu wave and my bias is only for Shinhwa and Lee Seunggi. In comparison, I do not spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on them, I just sometimes go crazy over their songs and occasionally attend their concerts in Korea. Okay, make that a few. But hey, it means that I’ve been to Seoul enough times that it feels like coming home now. So based on my experiences, I thought to share the information for any other first time visitors. Seoul is a beautiful and vibrant city that I can never get enough of with its own charms and not.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SEOUL
It’s location. The city itself is surrounded by beautiful and bountiful fruits of nature. This means that nature is always within a short reach so that you can have a wide variety of activities to keep your attention.
It’s history. Korea’s historical background goes way back more than 2000 years ago. Their history is also kept alive by all the remains of the yesteryear which is music to the ears of a history buff like me. I could spend so much time going through their museums, palaces and temples.
It’s food. This is really much a personal preference. I like spicy food and Koreans love their food spicy so I love it to. While I’m not so much of a herbivore lover, being in Korea has taught me to enjoy the wide variety of vegetables served. Or well, I had no choice. Being presented with so much of it every meal meant that I had to eat my vegetables or leave it to waste.
It’s vibrancy. Being in Seoul gives me a feeling of a youth eager to explore and try new things. The café culture there is such a charm, it’s hard to track down each and every one of them to try it out. There is music on the streets, late night bazaars and markets, street food, karaoke, jimjilbang, dvd bang, etc etc, so many new things to try out every time I’m there. I’m awed at all of it, I can very easily stay out late every day just soaking in the sights.
Another plus is the government’s effort to pull in tourists – there are usually plenty of tourist information booths in tourist areas, people in red patrolling these streets if you need assistance and even better, a helpline for foreigners (call 1330 when in Seoul for help, I have called and have even asked them for the weirdest information ever).
THE OTHER SIDE
However much I love that city, it does not mean that I’m also blind to its imperfections. Often first time visitors are too enamored of the city that they don’t notice much else other than completing their must-do lists but having been to the city quite a few times and on my own, I do realise that not all is always rosy as always. Nevertheless, this has never stopped me from visiting yet again and again and I do not foresee that it shall ever be.