2009.05.01-10 Seoul, Korea – Kerey and friends hosted us in Seoul for a bit over a week. I really enjoyed the city. In many ways it reminded me of the rest of Asia – white block apartment buildings, street markets, temples, and a rush to all things modern or western. In other ways, Korea stands very much apart from the the other parts of Asia I’ve visited – their alphabet, language, food, and culture are all very different. Seoul was very easy to travel in, thanks to the great transit system and a lot of English signs (though we did start to pick up some of the Hangul later). The people were all quite friendly, and as is usually the case in other countries, strangers loved the chance to try out their English words.
I’ll definitely miss the food. It was always easy to get something very fresh, healthy, and tasty. The other thing I enjoyed was an abundance of hikes. While I’m spoiled for easy access to the outdoors in San Diego, Seoul is no slouch. There is great mountain hiking just an hour away by bus from the center of the city. The parks, temples, and palaces within the city offer great walks and are free or cost next to nothing. If you get a chance to go, I highly recommend visiting Korea. I found it to be a nice mix of easy travel, great food, and interesting people and sights.