Asia East Asia Seoul South Korea


Stories and Photos of my travel to The Korean DMZ.

Destination 》Asia 》East Asia 》South Korea

Year Visited: 2014 – May/June

I visited Seoul, South Korea while living and working in Shanghai. It was a short five days trip, so we made Seoul our base and travelled around the country.

Seoul is the largest city in South Korea as well as the political and economic capital. The city is home to 12 million people, and the metropolitan area has 26 million, which is just over half of the country’s population. Seoul has a history dating back to the 14th century, originally named Hanseong, the city was the capital of the Joseon Dynasty from 1392 to 1910, and remained the capital of Korea during the period of Japanese colonial rule, under the name Gyeongseong, or Keijo in Japanese. 

This was a short 5-days trip, back in 2014, I was still traveling with my TUMI bags and staying in JW Marriott. though I started using public transports during my personal travels. Subway is the most convenient way to get around the city of Seoul, as you can visit most places by using the subway system.
You will find these Relief Goods Storage cabinets at many subway stations in Seoul as they also serve as bomb shelters to protect the population from North Korean attacks. In case of emergency, citizens are asked to take shelter in their nearest subway station.
Welcome to Seoul! A colorful Manhole Cover

Photos below are from various neighborhoods of Seoul.

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is a major urban development with a distinctively neo-futuristic design, which is located at the center of the Dongdaemun area. The DDP is the most iconic landmark of the Korean design industry,

The Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

Bukchon Hanok Village, a Korean traditional village, was the residential quarter of high-ranking government officials and nobility during the Joseon Dynasty. The traditional village is composed of lots of alleys, hanok (traditional Korean house) and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment of Seoul. It is located on the top of a hill north of Cheonggye Stream and Jongno, hence named Bukchon, which means north village.

Traditional Korean Houses in Bukchon Hanok Village.
Bukchon Hanok Village.
Bukchon Hanok Village.

Hongdae region is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, local shops, clubs and entertainment. There are many graffiti murals painted all over the streets of Hongdae. One of the well known areas for these murals is Hongdae Mural Street (also known as ‘Picasso’s Street’). a Must visit place, if you ever visit Seoul.

A street artist playing on streets of Hongdae.
My friend showing off her new Tattoo!
Hongdae Mural Street (also known as ‘Picasso’s Street’).
Hongdae Mural Street (also known as ‘Picasso’s Street’)

Another colorful Manhole Cover
Seoul was the first city where I saw hanging colorful umbrellas in its streets.
Seoul’s city hall and city center area.
The yellow prayer ribbons with hand-written messages tied near the City Hall, for 294 people including hundreds of high school students who lost their lives in Sewol ferry disaster, one of the deadliest ferry disaster in South Korea

Cheonggyecheon Underground market is a very busy market in Dongdaemun area. The market is open for a business 19 out of 24 hours of a day, actually the entire neighborhood is livelier after midnight.
I took this picture at around 2 am in the morning, after late arrival from GangNeung. Dongdaemun area is so busy after mid-night.
The Heunginjimun gate or more commonly known as Dongdaemun (Great Eastern Gate), is one of The Eight Gates of Seoul in the Fortress Wall of Seoul.

Seoul is a food lovers paradise. Whether you’re enjoying a simple street food, a snack or devouring a traditional South Korean meal, food in Seoul is steeped in flavor. Photos below are of some of the food we enjoyed in Seoul

The world famous Korean BBQ with all the fixings.
Korean BBQ with all the fixings.
The best Samgyetang, Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup in the town.
Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup.
Herbal tea and Danpatjuk (Sweet Red Bean Porridge)
Fried Chicken and Beer is one of the most popular fast food in Seoul.
Fried Chicken and a liter of Beer for me and a pint for my friend.
Only french fries are served in this popular restaurant. you can get more than 10 different flavors.
Street food in Hongdae area of Seoul.
Koreans love their seafood, wide varieties of seafood including huge crabs, shrimps, fishes for sell at the Sea Food Market in Seoul,
A Huge crab for sale in the Seafood Market.
Coffee with a view of of Dongdaemun @ JW Marriott Seoul.
Seven Monkeys Coffee, one of the most popular coffee shop in Gangnam-Gu, South Korea’s richest neighborhood. Check out those cars parked outside this coffee shop.
Seoul offers many varieties of beer.

I created separate posts for Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bongeunsa Temple, two of the popular tourist spots in Seoul; click on pictures below to read stories and view photos from my visit.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
Bongeunsa Temple

From Seoul, we also made a day trips to the Korean DMZ and Gangneung Danoje Festival.

The Korean DMZ
Gangneung Danoje Festival

After a very short 5-days visit to South Korea, I went back to work in Shanghai.

By Window on The World

In May 2017, 23 days before I was going to complete 50 years, grabbed an opportunity and took an early retirement.. Picked up a backpack and traveling ever since.. Love to travel around the world, experience different culture, local cuisine & drinks .. and take pictures.. so far been to 108 countries and still counting...

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