I took a surprising amount of photos in Seoul given the relatively short amount of time I was there. The next three blog posts of my Seoul adventure are a chronological-ish collection of interesting things I spotted around the city…
I landed at Incheon and met my good friend Magda, who was waiting for me in arrivals. After finally arriving at the hotel, we went in search of lunch. We slowly snaked through narrow alleyways, discounting deep fried pig skin and other meaty delights, trying to decipher signs written in Korean. Exciting but also overwhelming after such a long journey.
The “welcome foreigners” sign outside this restaurant, and a few English translations, reeled us in. We ate bibimbap with several side dishes including kimchi, seaweed and some tiny whole fish — both laughing at ourselves trying to eat with slippery metal chopsticks while jetlagged. Sitting together in a Korean alley felt surreal after not seeing each other since a trip to New York last August! A small moment but one of favourites from the trip.
I thought this tank was part of a pet shop at first… then I noticed tables and chairs in a restaurant behind it. These fish were food, not friends.
Did you notice the egg boxes stacked on the back of his bike?
Jongmyo Square Park had a cherry tree garden but it wasn’t in bloom yet. We looked at the Statue of Patriot Wolnam Lee Sang-Jae (these stone faces were behind it) and left not long afterwards because the shrine was closed.
Many small shops were filled to the brim, like the one above. I also saw plenty selling secondhand appliances, household parts and construction supplies — pencil thin rooms spanning the depth of buildings and overflow items stacked up on the pavement outside. The smell of damp wafting from the entrance was a common theme amongst them.
This is the entrance to Gwangjang Market. It’s a traditional street market crammed full of food vendors. I wrote about the market separately if you are curious and want to see more photos.
There was a crazy amount of traffic in the centre of Seoul but traffic wardens somehow kept it all moving manually. The volume of traffic and height of the buildings really struck me; Stockholm feels very quiet and small in comparison. But that’s to be expected when the population of Seoul alone is 9.9 million, and Stockholm is 1.7 million. In fact, the population of Sweden is only ~10 million!