Man sitting at tables playing board games

Seoul, Part 3

My last photos from the streets of Seoul [sniff]. Reliving my experiences to write these posts is one of the things I love most about having a blog. And also why I feel a bit disappointed when I reach the end of a photo sorting mission!

This post contains images of pig meat.

Small dog stood with man

Man placing pieces on board game

Man sitting at tables playing board games

Outdoor board games were very popular; small and large groups of people gathered around makeshift or pop-up tables. I haven’t been able to work out what the game was though.

Men playing game at a table

Basket of cooked pig faces
Pig faces

We passed through what I nicknamed “pork alley” — a narrow alleyway full of pork focused shops and restaurants. I saw boiled pig faces, snouts, trotters and even skulls. As a vegetarian, the sight and smell (lard) did absolutely nothing to stimulate my appetite! Part of me was very curious though because I’ve never seen anything other than bacon and pork joints. Even if the sight of these turn your stomach, at least they are using every part of the animal.

Large bowl of cooked pig snouts
Snouts (and maybe a windpipe on the left)
Bare pig skulls on a tray
Pig skulls

I’m assuming these pig skulls are the aftermath of the boiled faces above. Maybe they’ll get used to make pork broth.

Woman feeding pigeons

This lady had a whole buffet ready for the birds; likely placed on cardboard to keep the pavement clean.

Smiling face on lamp post
Woman peering through door
Bukchon Hanok Village

These beautiful buildings and streets are part of Bukchon Hanok Village — I blogged about it separately in this post because I had so many photos.

Cobbled walls either side of a street
Bukchon Hanok Village

Branch of white blossom

Slippers on stone step

Cat sat on roof

Women in elaborate clothes

Woman preparing food on stand

Did you spot the man squat sitting on the left? I saw quite a few people doing this while smoking (young and old).

Alleyway full of boxes
Goods alley
Fish in tank
Restaurant fish tank
Bottle of rice wine

Makgeolli is sparkling rice wine. I can’t really describe the taste but it’s absolutely delicious — sort of tangy but sweet and sour at the same time. I looked for some in System Bolaget (the only place to buy alcohol over 3.5% in Sweden) but they don’t stock it unfortunately.

Looking up at a tall tower
Lotte World Tower

We visited Lotte World Tower and if I’m honest, I liked the experience but I didn’t love it. Thankfully, weekday waiting times were low because I would have been happy to pass on queueing at peak times. Smog obscured the city view and there was only one small outdoor viewing area — probably for safety reasons but it meant there was little variation. The Skybridge Tour would have been fun but it was pretty expensive.

Smoggy view over river
View from Lotte World Tower
Smoggy view over river

View through transparent floor

This is what 123 storeys down looks like! The transparent floor is the knobbly bit at the very top, in the first photo.

Woman looking out of high window

High floor to ceiling bookcase
Starfield Library

This impressive sight is Starfield Library. The bookshelves are 13 metres tall and house more than 50,000 books!

Closeup of book pages
“Starfield Book”
View over rooftops
Hotel room view

As I mentioned in part 2, smog obscured the view of Bukhansan mountain until the morning I left. I’m happy I was able to see it properly in the end though! The sun also bought people up to their rooftops for morning exercise; some stretched, others ran back and forth in small areas.

View over sunny rooftops
Bukhansan mountain

And that concludes my Seoul mini tour! I’d like to go back with Scott someday, as this was a trip without him. More food to try, temples to visit and alleys to explore. I also didn’t have a chance to visit any traditional craft shops so I definitely need to go back for hanji paper and tea cups (both were at the top of my souvenir wishlist).

If you’re thinking about visiting Seoul, I’d highly recommend it. People are very friendly, there’s a nice fusion of modern and traditional, and it’s easier to get by than you’d expect without Korean — signs had a little English and Google Translate did quite well for everything else. Oh and you absolutely must eat hallabong (Jeju’s tangerine-orange crossbreed), it’s divine!

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