Travel Review Seoul
Seoul, South Korea’s bubbly, vibrant capital is home to nearly 11 million Koreans. While Seoul might not instantly wow you the way Hong Kong or Bangkok do, it is difficult to escape its vitality and trendy vibe. Hastily rebuilt after the Korean war, most of Seoul can best be described as functional rather than aesthetically appealing. Nevertheless, new architecture projects indicate that Seoul has some very ambitious plans.
Restaurants – Anyone fancy some Kimchi?
Seoul’s cuisine might best be known for its ubiquitous Kimchi which is served anywhere and with absolutely everything. A paradise for carnivores and barbecue lovers, Seoul’s cuisine offers a great variety of dishes. Most popular dishes include Bulgogi ( a spicy beef dish) and Bimbimbap which consists of Rice, beef, steamed vegetables and yolk, all served with a chili paste. For those with an adventurous palate try Seoul’s street food, rich in flavours and spices.
Restaurant Maple Tree
Tucked away in bubbly Itaewon, this restaurant offers one of the best Korean barbecues. The small menu features the restaurant’s classics – pork belly and aged Sirloin steak. The barbecue comes with a rich variety of salads, sauces and of course kimchi. The service is cordial and helpful and explains with a smile how to wrap meat in salad leaves to create an authentic Korean type taco to barbecue novices.
Maple Tree 31-1 Samcheong-dong, Jongro-gu
A Taste of … Shopping
The area of Myeungdong offers a good variety of Korean high street brands. Curiously you will find more shops focused on skin care products than on clothes.
Check out Roem, one of Korea’s most popular women’s fashion brands with a great selection of affordable and stylish women’s wear.
Skin Food (http://eng.theskinfood.com) offers low budget skin care products with interesting ingredients such as broccoli or tomatoes.
Salt & Chocolate in Bukchon Hanok Village sells stylish ballerinas and other shoes all manufactured in Korea.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace is Seoul’s most popular site. Built in 1395 by the Joseon Dynasty it consists of various buildings and charming courtyards and slightly resembles Beijing’s Forbidden City in its layout and design.
A taste of … Art
Seoul’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) which opened in November 2013 showcases contemporary Korean Art (Zeitgeist Korea) and International installations and is not to be missed. The museum is conveniently located nearby Buckchon Hanok Village, a pittoresque historic neighbourhood popular with tourists.
110-200 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu
Leeum Samsung Gallery hosts a small but comprehensive collection of historic and contemporary art and features a well-rounded selection of art pieces divided into a historic and a contempary art space. The clean and stylish building resembles the Guggenheim and the contemporary collection showcases installations by Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst and paintings by Mark Rothko and Gerhard Richter. The Gallery is located 10 minutes from Itaewon. A must see!
747-18, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu