If you’d asked me at the beginning of last year, where I thought I might go on holiday, I don’t think I thought for a minute I was going to end up in Seoul.
I’ve always fancied the idea of going but I always expected that another trip to Asia would probably involve Hong Kong or something like that.
But there I was at the beginning of December, very excited to be on a plane to Seoul, South Korea. And you know what, I absolutely loved it. I came home unable to stop thinking about the South Korean capital and thinking up what I would do during my next visit. So Seoul…..you’ve got me hooked.
Here’s some of the things I really loved about Seoul:
The hotel I stayed at was near Myeondong Markets and there was so much to choose from. I also liked the amount of deserts they had there too from mochi strawberries (which I wasn’t a big fan of) to a foot-long ice cream!
Every night I was able to try something new which was a big bonus and it was so cheap!
All of the clothes were just amazing. People looked like Instagram influencers all the time!
I couldn’t help myself from picking up some bargains in the markets – I got a beautiful floral green dress and a green sparkly jumper. And everything just seemed really cheap.
Oh and don’t get me started on the amazing face masks!
I managed to see U2 play during my time in Seoul and was amazed that we had to queue by ticket number!
So we were taken into an underground car park and had to queue in rows according to our ticket numbers. It was interesting to try and watch! The locals were very good at it…… the overseas U2 fans….. not so much.
I liked the fact that it meant you didn’t need to queue all day and people were very respectful of the line which is something I can’t ever imagine would work well here in the UK especially for big acts like U2.
Wherever you turned, there seemed to be an interesting palace or temple right next to a quirky skyscraper. I really loved that about Seoul.
One good example of this is in Gangnam where Bongeunsa temple is right across from COEX, the biggest shopping mall in the city.
And when I went to the vending machine cafe, I was amazed to find it was on a residential street with an old style market. The cafe just appeared out of nowhere!
A lot of the time we just walked around – although we did cover over ten miles each day. It just seemed so easy and there were lots of things to look at along the way.
Even using the metro was easy and it never really felt that crowded, well not like London at least!
I don’t even know where to start with this. I was amazed at how much Seoul loves its coffee shops. Each one seems to be quirkier than the next.
I visited the Harry Potter cafe which was a little hard to find but definitely worth it. And then after that I visited the vending machine cafe and had a delicious ice cream. And yes it really does have a vending machine front for a door!
Basically there is a cafe for everyone in Seoul. Next time i’d really like to visit the 3D one which makes it look like you’re in a painting.
It was when I went to Seoul Tower, that I realised how big Seoul actually is but also how much greenery there is in the city.
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The tower itself is located in Namsan Park which is beautiful. There’s also a really cool overpass that has been renovated and covered with plants. Apparently it’s got over 24,000 flowers, shrubs and trees.
The next time I visit Seoul, I’d like to go when its warmer so I can explore a little more.
Seoul knows how to do books – whether its a store or a library. When you visit, you have to go to the Starfield Library in Gangnam – i’m not sure how anyone there gets stuff done when it looks that pretty.
And then if you’re looking to buy books then you have to visit Arc n Book which has the most amazing passageways made of books.
I noticed that some of the books were used more than once as I guess they didn’t sell very well – mainly Steven Gerard’s autobiography and Fifty Shades of Grey.
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Arc n Book also has a cracking stationery section where I bought an amazing 2020 diary.
I’ve actually had Choco Pies before. When I lived in China, the local convenience store stocked them and I became hooked.
So when I booked my trip to Korea, one of the first things I thought about was Choco Pies. And they did not disappoint.
The most interesting thing about Choco Pies though, is that they’re incredibly popular in North Korea on the black market. When North Koreans worked at the Kaesong Industrial Plant, they were given the chocolate treat along with their wages and then sold them on the black market for as much as US$9.50!
It was so popular in the North that they made their own version of the Choco Pie.
Every time I wandered around parts of Seoul wondering where to go next, there were always handy tourist information people happy to help.
They are found in the major tourist areas and carry really helpful maps of the area which was very helpful when wandering around the Buchkon Hanok Village.
They speak perfect English too.
Can I go back again now please?!