It would seem as though in my haste to experience all things Japanese that I completely overlooked South Korea as a destination within itself. If only I had allowed for a few more days it could have been a mini off the beaten track holiday with its mountains and rice paddies and unspoilt islands.
Anyway, be that as it may, my flights are booked and paid for so I have 3 nights, 2 full days in Seoul. Initially it looked like loads of time but I’m sure it’s going to go all too quickly.
3 nights, 2 days
I’ll probably start with one of those city ‘orientation’ type walks to get my bearings, although I’m not encouraged by the fact that most streets in Seoul don’t actually have a name. It gets better – the buildings have numbers but they don’t run consecutively, they were allocated in the order in which they were built. So unless you were around at the time they were erecting the buildings…. no, I’m sure I’ll be fine.
I am definitely going to visit the DMZ and Panmunjom. At first I thought it’d just be an interesting history lesson about the North South divide in Korea. But then I read this description in the Lonely Planet’s Seoul city guide ‘You can step across the frontier inside the blue UN buildings that straddle the boarder, but go any further and you’ll die in a hail of bullets’. The DMZ has now jumped to first place on my list of locations to explore.
No doubt I’ll have to make at least 2 or 3 museum visits to keep hubby happy. I have nothing against museums and find a lot of them interesting as well as educational but there are only so many museums that can be crammed into one holiday before they become more of a chore (a fact my darling beau thankfully, may slowly be discovering).
Then there’s all these interesting little fact’s I’ve been learning about Seoul and Seoulites.
On the menu are foods like silkworm larvae, dog-meat soup and seasoned raw minced meat.
And it would appear the more traditional wooden and plastic chopsticks are not good enough for the Seoulites - they use metal ones.
They have Love Motels, which sound interesting. Hubby if you’re reading this we may have to schedule a few hours to visit one – apparently they’re pay-by-the-hour.
Motorcyclists often speed along the pavement and bus drivers routinely drive through red lights.
Police wear full riot gear, large shields, batons, the lot.
Cash still seems more popular than credit cards.
Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, was created at Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea
And my favourite. Karaoke is hugely popular and cost about a fiver an hour. Well, that’s my first nights’ entertainment sorted!
Now all that remains is finding somewhere to rest my head in this exciting city.