News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 02, 2020
 8.5K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 39K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 4.7K     0 

wonderboy416

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
565
Reaction score
0
My friend from Toronto stayed over for 3 weeks in Seoul and left the morning of the 11th, all the great pictures he took in addition to the 29 degree weather (we jumped from winter straight into summer it seems) inspired me to dust the cobwebs off the 'ol camera with my friend Sul Gi.

The original plan was to take a bus up to Namsan tower to see the famous cherry blossoms but the queue was ridiculously long.

DSCN1570.jpg


So instead we headed to 남산한옥마을, a park near the base of the mountain.

DSCN1571.jpg


DSCN1575.jpg


Apparently this was the last day to catch the cherry blossoms, they were quite stunning the previous weekend.

DSCN1579.jpg


DSCN1584.jpg


DSCN1590.jpg


DSCN1594.jpg


DSCN1597.jpg


Then it was time to say goodbye to the fresh air and step back into the reality of being in an asian mega-city.

DSCN1603.jpg


Egg delivery trucks don't seem to be refrigerated, I wonder how long the eggs will stay fresh this way? The scorching sun could not have helped.

DSCN1604.jpg


We stopped by the crowded streets of MyeonDong. It's huge and rammed with people. All the major stores are here (sadly for me, no H&M - but there's a UniQlo which is close, Club Monaco is even here) with tons of street vendors selling the knock-off versions of the same items and crazy street food. Korean pop blasts from most clothing stores, it's truly a unique experience.

DSCN1605.jpg


We left MyeongDong for Namdaemun market, on the way we went past this ultra swank Shinsegae department store.

DSCN1607.jpg


DSCN1608.jpg


DSCN1614.jpg


Namdaemun market is a huge confusing mess of alleys and streets filled with people and vendors selling anything and everything.

DSCN1610.jpg


DSCN1613.jpg


Back to Myeondong for lunch, say cheese.

DSCN1616.jpg


What was left of my delicious lunch.

DSCN1617.jpg


Me posing like a dork. It seems as if the biggest trend in Korea these days is to have an SLR over your shoulder at all times, the bigger the better. I had to borrow my friend's SLR to try to fit in.

DSCN1624.jpg


DSCN1625.jpg


The ceiling of the coffee shop was mirrored... weird.

DSCN1632.jpg


My friend...

DSCN1639.jpg


Riot police seem to turn up everywhere downtown... not sure why. They don't seem very pleased that I'm taking their picture.

DSCN1646.jpg


Time to say goodbye to MyeonDong and Sul Gi... it's been a great day so far.

DSCN1648.jpg


On my way to Jongno I pass by the Cheongecheon river. The city blew up several km's of a run-down street to install this... it was very controversial at the time but in the long run it's given Seoulites a unique place to escape to within the limits of their own city.

DSCN1649.jpg


Entering Jongno...

DSCN1650.jpg


I couldn't find my friends at the HO Bar in Jongno, but they didn't tell me it was the HO Bar II I was supposed to meet them at! Thank goodness I didn't go to Hongdae where there are 6 more HO Bars. Also this is the famous piano street (the entire street is basically a piano where you can walk on the keys), yet the Piano seems to have been removed, I wonder what's in store...

DSCN1651.jpg


Closeup of my friend Cindy enjoying her drink...

DSCN1654.jpg


Me and my Cafri.

DSCN1657.jpg


Darts.

DSCN1658.jpg


I'm not a HO Bar HOLIC at all...

hobar.jpg


Ahhh.. a long day was over, home sweet Singeumho-me. The new Mr Pizza seems just about ready to open, I'm quite excited for this as my area has very little western food.

DSCN1665.jpg


A few bonus shots of the North Korea vs South Korea world cup qualifier I went to a few weeks back:

Talk about a busy subway, you never get crowds like this in TO...

DSCN1522.jpg


Notice the North Korean flag.
DSCN1528.jpg


DSCN1531.jpg


DSCN1535.jpg


It was darn cold up there, but we managed to walk right through security with several beers and a few bottles of Soju in hand. Although security was asking us to stop and open our bags, we pretended not to understand and walked right through anyway.

DSCN1558.jpg


They close off the stairs going down into the subway after the game, probably a really good idea...

DSCN1566.jpg


Pure brilliance on our part going back, we went the opposite direction to backtrack on stop, then got on a nice empty train and found some seats before all the madness.

DSCN1568.jpg



The End
 
Great tour, WB. Definitely looks like a place I'd like to check out. How is it in terms of English being spoken?
 
Never been - Seoul looks like a great place. Thanks, it's nice to see non-touristy shots.:)
 
Thanks for the pics. Your friend (the girl) is quite the looker.

Thanks, also, for reminding me that East Asian cities take the gold for their level of urban vibrancy and activity (take that, Europeans!).
 
Great tour, WB. Definitely looks like a place I'd like to check out. How is it in terms of English being spoken?

Thanks. Most Koreans (at least those that work in the service industry) know some basic English (numbers, please, thank you, to go? etc etc) and most of the signs are in English as well. It's really not a difficult city for a native English speaker to get by in. I've heard that it's drastically better for English than Tokyo from people that have lived in both.

Thanks for the pics. Your friend (the girl) is quite the looker.

Which one? ;)

Thanks, also, for reminding me that East Asian cities take the gold for their level of urban vibrancy and activity (take that, Europeans!).

I've never experienced anything quite like it before. Imagine if Toronto had dozens of Kensington market type areas (only larger and much bigger), 7 entertainment districts all just as big and countless other areas comparable to the night life/restaurants on King West, retail shopping and delicious restaurants on every block (usually going up to the 5th or 6th floor of most buildings) and you'll have an idea of how vibrant this place is. Seoul is roughly the size of Toronto (land wise), yet has nearly 12 million people (24 in the metro) and around 1/3rd of the land is unusable mountains. To call this place dense would be an understatement.
 
Thanks for sharing those pics and your perspective. I'm heading there for the last two weeks of May and I'm trying to gather as much info as possible and definitely looking forward to it!
 
Did a good job of capturing the, umm, "life" of the city. Not for nothing, but a lot of U/T foreign picture threads focus on more static things like skylines or architecture. Nice to see life.
 
The soccer shots reminded me of Korea during the 2002 World Cup, a time when the country went crazy and yet behaved far better than most soccer-mad nations. Great atmosphere. Korea is far removed from the glory days of Hiddink & Co. but still loves its soccer.
 
Thanks for sharing those pics and your perspective. I'm heading there for the last two weeks of May and I'm trying to gather as much info as possible and definitely looking forward to it!

What brings you to Seoul?
If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM. I've never been in Seoul during May but apparently there may be some yellow dust storms during that time.

Did a good job of capturing the, umm, "life" of the city. Not for nothing, but a lot of U/T foreign picture threads focus on more static things like skylines or architecture. Nice to see life.

Thanks... the architecture often looks like any city USA in the CBD's (there's 6 or 7 of them) so I don't really care for taking pictures of generic 80's office towers. Some of the newer ones are bordering on spectacular though, I just never have my camera with me when I visit those areas.

The soccer shots reminded me of Korea during the 2002 World Cup, a time when the country went crazy and yet behaved far better than most soccer-mad nations. Great atmosphere. Korea is far removed from the glory days of Hiddink & Co. but still loves its soccer.

There was something like 7 or 8 world cup stadiums built across the country for the world cup around 2001, and Korea was co-hosting with Japan! Talk about a massive upgrade to your stadium facilities across the country! The club teams here have some extremely nice stadiums to play out of, in a few places they're too big and are switching to smaller BMO type fields already (although not nearly as bland). Aside from Canada's hokey collection of CFL stadiums and the Skydome, only Commonwealth in Edmonton would truly be suited for a world cup game in Canada.

The three photo threads I've posted have all be centered around the traditional downtown in Seoul, I'm going to start bringing my camera out more often and start capturing street scenes from all over the city... I really have no excuse since I bought the thinnest camera I could find at the time.
 

Back
Top