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Anyone ever been to Seoul or parts of Korea easily reached from Seoul?

ialmisry

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akimori makoto said:
I need your much appreciated travel tips and recommendations!

I should be there in the midst of winter, if all goes to plan.
my sister in law is from there. Anything specific you want to know?
 
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ialmisry said:
akimori makoto said:
I need your much appreciated travel tips and recommendations!

I should be there in the midst of winter, if all goes to plan.
my sister in law is from there. Anything specific you want to know?
Mostly just the must-see sites in Seoul and any worthwhile day-trips.

For what it's worth, I am more interested in seeing the traditional culture outside the context of a museum or gallery (I like castles and temples) and the popular culture as it is currently lived, especially its quirkier aspects. I don't care much for things that exist in every big capital city of the world (view from the highest building, malls, trendy cafes, &c.). I very much enjoy the wilderness, especially anything on the sublime end of the sublime/picturesque continuum.

Also, any inside tips about the best ways to get around, what to eat, &c., would be lovely.

I'm in your hands!
 

ialmisry

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akimori makoto said:
ialmisry said:
akimori makoto said:
I need your much appreciated travel tips and recommendations!

I should be there in the midst of winter, if all goes to plan.
my sister in law is from there. Anything specific you want to know?
Mostly just the must-see sites in Seoul and any worthwhile day-trips.

For what it's worth, I am more interested in seeing the traditional culture outside the context of a museum or gallery (I like castles and temples) and the popular culture as it is currently lived, especially its quirkier aspects. I don't care much for things that exist in every big capital city of the world (view from the highest building, malls, trendy cafes, &c.). I very much enjoy the wilderness, especially anything on the sublime end of the sublime/picturesque continuum.

Also, any inside tips about the best ways to get around, what to eat, &c., would be lovely.

I'm in your hands!
Give me a couple days, right now they are CA and coming back this weekend IIRC.
 
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ialmisry said:
akimori makoto said:
ialmisry said:
akimori makoto said:
I need your much appreciated travel tips and recommendations!

I should be there in the midst of winter, if all goes to plan.
my sister in law is from there. Anything specific you want to know?
Mostly just the must-see sites in Seoul and any worthwhile day-trips.

For what it's worth, I am more interested in seeing the traditional culture outside the context of a museum or gallery (I like castles and temples) and the popular culture as it is currently lived, especially its quirkier aspects. I don't care much for things that exist in every big capital city of the world (view from the highest building, malls, trendy cafes, &c.). I very much enjoy the wilderness, especially anything on the sublime end of the sublime/picturesque continuum.

Also, any inside tips about the best ways to get around, what to eat, &c., would be lovely.

I'm in your hands!
Give me a couple days, right now they are CA and coming back this weekend IIRC.
That'd be awesome. Much appreciated, Isa!
 

stavros_388

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I lived in Korea for 3 years but spent most of my time in and around Busan. I did live in Seoul for 6+ months, though, and there are some great palaces and temples in and around Seoul. If you have time, take a speed train down to the town of Gyeongju. It was definitely one of my favorite spots. Bulguksa Temple is amazing, as is the Seokuram Buddha statue, both very near Gyeongju. Beomosa in Busan is beautiful, too. As for Seoul, there are tons of temples. I just can't think of any names. Gyeongbokgung palace is a nice place to have a walk and take some photos. Insadong in Seoul is a cool little touristy area where you can see lots of traditional arts and crafts, pottery, calligraphy, go to tea rooms, see traditional performers, see some modern Korean art, and so on. Hongik University area is a great spot for artsy stuff and seeing Korean hipsters.

Make sure you go for a Korean barbeque, if you eat meat. If you like pork, Sam Gyeop Sal is delicious. Kalbi is good, too. Buy some Deokbokki from a street stand! Drink some soju. Eat kimchi. And make sure you go to a Noraebang (singing room) with some friends, at least once.

Cabs are pretty cheap and virtually everywhere. The speed-train gets you from end to end in roughly 3 hrs. The subway in Seoul is very user friendly and all signs are in English and Korean.

LifeinKorea.com has some pretty decent travel info.

You'll have a ball!

Oh, and make sure you attend the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seoul, if you have the chance. And stay afterward for the home-cooked Korean lunch!

Feel free to pm me if you have any specific questions.

 

ialmisry

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akimori makoto said:
Bump for Isa.
LOL. I couldn't find where this thread went yesterday, and now I don't have the paper with me (I'll have it again tommorrow).

She hasn't been in Seoul for almost decade until this last summer, and she said she couldn't recall all the details about getting around on the el (they added several new stops and new lines), but she wrote down the main historical sites and some other things with the stops on the el.

In sha' al-Rabb, I'll type it tommorrow.  I'm PMng myself the link so I don't lose it.
 

John Ward

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I'm moving to Korea in December. I'll be living about an hour away from Seoul. If you want, I'll give you my contact info once I get there and you can feel free to call me and I can show you around Seoul. This is my second time living there.
 

ialmisry

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She said that you can take the Orange Red Line to Chong-ro-gu (Seoul downtown) to see the Palaces of Duk Soo Gung, Chong Duck Gung and Bi Won. She says that the historical part of the town is concentrated in this area, where the kings/emperors ruled.  The presidential palace is also there.

Going further down there is the international street (lots of expats and businessmen) and shopping at Insa-Dong, which is the trendy, artsy-farsty section, with antique shops, art galleries, calligraphy shops, craft places etc. 

Further at I-Tae-Won it gets more international, sort of a Korea town in reverse, with Mexicans, Pakistanis (the Seoul mosque is there), Egyptians, Thai, etc.  and US servicemen. 


Further down, towards the green line, is Hong-dae university, one of the major private universities.  Near that is the World Cup Stadium.

I forgot to ask her if anything worth seeing was within travel distance (I take that you mean by train, or are you driving?).  I'll try to get ahold of her on that.

I forgot to ask you how adventurous you are about food.  She makes fantastic food, but other things I wouldn't touch (or can't: she makes fantastic scallops, but I found out I am allergic).  When I saw her she was just burying the Kim-chi (I'm not crazy about it, but you should try it.  It's a staple).
 
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John Ward said:
I'm moving to Korea in December. I'll be living about an hour away from Seoul. If you want, I'll give you my contact info once I get there and you can feel free to call me and I can show you around Seoul. This is my second time living there.
Thank you so much for the kind offer.

Can I ask what brings you back to Korea?
 
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ialmisry said:
She said that you can take the Orange Red Line to Chong-ro-gu (Seoul downtown) to see the Palaces of Duk Soo Gung, Chong Duck Gung and Bi Won. She says that the historical part of the town is concentrated in this area, where the kings/emperors ruled.  The presidential palace is also there.

Going further down there is the international street (lots of expats and businessmen) and shopping at Insa-Dong, which is the trendy, artsy-farsty section, with antique shops, art galleries, calligraphy shops, craft places etc. 

Further at I-Tae-Won it gets more international, sort of a Korea town in reverse, with Mexicans, Pakistanis (the Seoul mosque is there), Egyptians, Thai, etc.  and US servicemen. 


Further down, towards the green line, is Hong-dae university, one of the major private universities.  Near that is the World Cup Stadium.

I forgot to ask her if anything worth seeing was within travel distance (I take that you mean by train, or are you driving?).  I'll try to get ahold of her on that.

I forgot to ask you how adventurous you are about food.  She makes fantastic food, but other things I wouldn't touch (or can't: she makes fantastic scallops, but I found out I am allergic).  When I saw her she was just burying the Kim-chi (I'm not crazy about it, but you should try it.  It's a staple).
This is all helpful. Thanks for taking the time to ask on my behalf, Isa!
 

John Ward

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akimori makoto said:
John Ward said:
I'm moving to Korea in December. I'll be living about an hour away from Seoul. If you want, I'll give you my contact info once I get there and you can feel free to call me and I can show you around Seoul. This is my second time living there.
Thank you so much for the kind offer.

Can I ask what brings you back to Korea?
I'm military and being assigned to Korea again. Looking forward to it, though. I'll shoot you a PM with contact info when I get there in a couple weeks.
 

John Ward

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So, I said I'd let you know when I got here. I arrived yesterday. If you're still planning on coming, let me know or shoot me a PM. I can send you my phone number and other such things and try to help out a little.
 
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