Following Tokyo, Seoul was a second Asian metropolis where I had a chance to spend some time with a friend, who knows the city very well and can introduce me to local food or show me a variety of places that are not very obvious to a first-time visitor. As much as I love exploring on my own getting that insider perspective about the places is invaluable to me.
Hwa Jin and I share similar interests so it was extremely interesting for me to find out more about cultural scene in Seoul from someone, who is close to that creative energy on a regular basis through her playwriting and journalistic work. Continue Reading
Seoul with an urban area of more than 25 million people, huge metro system and cutting-edge technology is incredible, slightly overwhelming, and full of creative energy. It actually feels like many cities in one as different areas of this Asian metropolis vary dramatically – from local and traditional places through historic sites to bustling neighborhoods delivering amazing entertainment for fun-loving types.
“Korean spicy is good spicy” said to me the owner of the hostel where I stayed while in Seoul. Well, yes I cannot disagree but Korean food is very fiery in my opinion. I am not exactly a whimp when it comes to hot food but when I tried rice cakes in chili sauce for the first time I quickly needed to grab my glass of water and afterwards a tissue as my eyes watered kind of embarrassing but what can you do?
Korean street food
Kimchi is another spicy Korean classic. It is a fermented cabbage served often as a side dish in many restaurants or as a standalone dish, for example as a kimchi soup that nearly killed me once. Many Koreans have a special fridge to keep their beloved kimchi. Thats is dedication! Continue Reading
After a short bus ride through picturesque fields and hills I reached my second stop in South Korea, a small town called Gyeongju, in the past the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, which ruled a vast majority of the Korean Peninsula between 7th and 9th century. Except visiting archaeological sites and admiring cultural properties from this period I wanted to have a break from the city buzz and Korean countryside was perfect for that! Drinking more soju shots was not an option. Just a thought of it still gives me shivers.
Royal Tombs in Gyeongju
There were few interesting places to see downtown including Anapji Pond with a beautiful palace, ancient observatory and the Royal Tombs spread out around a pleasant park, representing architectural style of the Silla era. Continue Reading
It was a huge relief to finally arrive in Busan as my last day in Japan was rushed and a little bit stressful. Until the last minute I was not sure if I will catch my ferry to South Korea or at least the one that I booked a couple of days earlier. It was a comedy of errors, not on my part entirely, that I will share some other time.
Busan is a fun city. The sun, the beach.. That always attracts a lively crowd. I am not at all surprised that it is a popular destination with many young people from Seoul, who want to get away from the capital and as well as their parents to party and hang out with friends.
Having fun at Gamcheon Culture Village