A First-Time Traveler’s Guide To Seoul

“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart

Lost Seoul

Lost Seoul

Police with riot shields fill Gwanghawmun square in preparation for planned protest against the Park administration in the aftermath of the Sewol disaster.

Throne in Seoul

The Gyeongbokgung (palace greatly blessed by Heaven) built in 1395, is the biggest palace in Korea. It was totally reduced to ashes during the Japanese invasion in 1592. It was then rebuilt again in 1867. Again, it was torn down in 1915 by the Japanese. It is from 1990 that the palace has been restored and renovated to its present glory. Korean history is such a sad story. Always filled with war, slavery and fear... Even now, North Korea seem to pose a pertinent threat to the South.

The palace was a must visit place when my parents visited Korea in August. They liked the Korean building structure and were impressed by its size but were totally tired by the amount of walking involved in seeing it!

Ben Heine: Penciling in Seoul

Multidisciplinary artist Ben Heine has been on the radar of art enthusiasts and contemporary artists alike for a few years now. He has proved himself to be one of the more unique artists of the decade with his unique ability to mix traditional mediums to create modern, visually striking images. In addition to photography and drawing, he's also a musician.

Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe: A Place of History, Culture and Family

When I first moved to Korea, I spent every minute of my free time getting lost in the neighborhoods of Seoul. Wandering the unknown became a hobby and through it, I was able to learn a lot about my new home and discover many a hidden gem, whether it be a cafe, an interesting sculpture or a peaceful green space to sit and rest for a while.

As time went on and I grew accustomed to my new city, the neighborhoods lost a bit of their magic and I became slightly jaded. Over the past few weeks, however, I began to miss those afternoons spent in solitude and discovery and decided to get back to exploring the streets of the city. The historic district of Seochon-dong was first on my list. I had no expectations, which is probably why I was so delighted to have stumbled upon Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe.

Gate guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

Gyeongbokgung in Black and White

Here is a collection of photos that I took during my last trip to Seoul. The weather was cold and dismal to say the least. However, there was a feeling that I got that it would make a great series of Black and white shots.  

Destination: Liberation Day at Gwanghwamun

Between where I stand and the mountain on the horizon is Gwanghwamun. The front gate to Gyeongbokgung has been under renovation since 2006, but the wait is over - and with it is the wait to appreciate Korea's foremost palace in its entirety.

The event also celebrated Liberation Day (also called V-J day if you're from the UK), or August 15th as it's known elsewhere. If you're from the US, you might be familiar with September 2nd as 'V-J day'; if you're studying holidays you don't get off of work or school, check out this Wikipedia article for more information.

Destination: Cheongwadae Sarangchae

While still quite new, Cheongwadae Sarangchae has become the place to learn more about Korea at its finest. The building, within a stone's throw of the Korean presidential Blue House, sparkles with histories of the country's leaders in the modern era. It's probably not the place every tourist would be interested in, but business executives choosing Korea as a place to do business should make this a place to stop.

Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds 
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group