Seoul: Quick 4 day summary

Here’s what I’ve seen so far (more details to follow):

Day 4 (sunny but c-c-c-cold!):

  • 63 City (tower): good views of Seoul from the south bank of the Han River
  • Leeum Samsung Museum: a few interesting pieces in a cool trio of buildings
  • N Seoul Tower: better views of Seoul (around sunset)
  • Namdaemun Night Market: only a quick walk-through the main street as not much was open on Sunday
  • Silloam Fomentation Sauna: hot tubs too, so even better than the Turkish Bath (plus much cheaper and lots of facilities!

Day 3:

  • Changdeokgung (palace) and Secret Garden: the latter was even more impressive than the World Heritage listed palace, especially with fall foliage!
  • Yongsan Electronics Market: overwhelming!
  • Itaewon: the foreigner district (saw 4 Turkish döner shops!)

Day 2:

  • DMZ tour: very interesting! (long day from 7:30 to 15:30)
  • Cheong-gye-chon (stream) stroll: lantern festival

Day 1:

  • Bukchon Hanok Village: scenic traditional houses in neighbourhood near little art galleries
  • Traditional Korean meal in a resto on main Insa-dong road
  • War Memorial Museum: overkill! But the turtle boat replica was cool
  • Dinner at Gwangjang Market: small market with small food section
  • Went to JUMP show: fun comedic martial arts show

Also updated the map.

Seoul: First impressions

Subway: super convenient, efficient, easy (English on signs), cheap (less than a $1 per ride), clean and goes everywhere! Impressive!
Food: tasty and cheap (both street vendors and small restos)
People: lots of them. Mostly looking at their smart phones. But friendly.
Weather: cool. High of 12 C / 54 F. And going to get colder.
DMZ Tour: very interesting (and I got to step into North Korea, inside a little building).
See map in progress

More on everything tomorrow.

Seoul: Checked in an hour ago, but it’s 1am and not tired

After enjoying the better than average business lounge at NRT, and then sleeping most of the almost 3hr flight from Tokyo to Seoul (the flight was pretty empty so I had 3 seats to myself, which is how many seats I need to lie down comfortably), and an easy train+subway ride into town to my hostel in the Sinchon university district, now I’m feeling pretty awake.

Earlier today I booked my DMZ tour for Friday, and just now I booked a ticket for tomorrow night’s performance of JUMP, a slapstick martial arts show highly recommended in my guidebook.

S. Korea: overnight hotel in Guam on way

Got a good night’s sleep, though I was awake before daylight. Now I can see the ocean from my room – will be walking down the hill for breakfast and a swim soon. Not surprisingly, it’s warm and humid here in tropical Guam.

Then I should book a room in Seoul, as well as a DMZ trip which seems to be selling out fast (it doesn’t run daily), before I head to the airport. The internet connection is quite fast at the hotel, so I can easily make some skype calls.

As an unexpected bonus, I’m on the upgrade list (currently #2 of 8 with 5 business seats available) for the 4hr Continental flight to NRT today – unexpected because I didn’t think flights in/out of Guam on CO were eligible for upgrades.

Equally surprising was the lack of free alcoholic drinks in economy on the UA flight to Guam from Honolulu, and this CO flight out of Guam. I thought all international flights provided drinks in economy.

Guam view of ocean from my hotel room (there is a beach hidden by the hill and those buildings)