Posted by: liv | August 31, 2009

Asia Trip Review – Seoul, Korea

A friend of mine invited me to Malaysia to visit her family.  We created a trip out of it, starting with Korea and ending with Malaysia.  It was my first trip out of the country without parental supervision, and it was a GREAT trip.  I’m so happy and thankful that my friend invited me.  Here’s the rundown…

Similar to my review of Canada, Seoul, Korea felt really really similar…only it was in Asia.  We stayed in an area called Itaewon (which is known to be rather touristy and known for shopping, but was still fun anyways).  Our hotel was the Hamilton Hotel.  It was situated almost smack in the middle of the strip (similar to Vancouver, BC’s Robson Street), which contained all the shops and restaurants.  It was right across the street from a subway station, which proved useful for heading to a few of our tourist stops.

Tourist stops:

Olympic park

1-Seoul Olympic Park – Where the 1988 Seoul Olympics were held.  It was really nice!  It’s literally a park so if you like walking around (and maybe if you enjoy the Olympics like I do), it’s a nice piece of history to visit.  We saw a LOT of people on walks, some art, and even though it was kind of annoying that the stadiums were closed for people to look into, it was an overall nice place to visit.

Deoksugung Palace

2-Deoksugung Palace – Nice palace.  Home to one of the men that created the Korean alphabet (and some others which I can’t seem to recall).  Seemed rather random being smack in the middle of downtown Seoul, but who are we to complain?  They had a nice Changing of the Guards ceremony/show to watch and it only cost 1000 won (which we equated to almost 1 USD) to go in and look around.  The art museum is there too, but that costs more to look at (which we didn’t).  I liked this place…purely for the show.  It was great!…so were the fun pics my friends took with the guard actors (which sadly to say…were not on my camera)…

3-Korea’s Korean War Memorial – very very different from the one in Washington D.C., this one actually contains fighter jets, tanks, larger memorial statues, and a museum.  Free to view all the outside stuff.  Costs money to view the museum (which we were unable to anyways because they wouldn’t sell us tickets 30 minutes before closing time).

4-The DLI aka the 63 Tower (or Building) is basically a corporate building, but there is a mall at the bottom of it with some shops, an IMAX theater, an aquarium, and a food court.  You can buy tickets to take an elevator to the top of the tower and take pictures of stunning aerial views of Seoul (where you can get a view of Seoul Tower, thus checking that off your list if you don’t want to visit another tower).  It’s also next to the Han River and there is a park there if you want to walk along the water.  It’s pretty beautiful (minus the construction we saw going on).  There is also an art gallery at the top of the tower as well.  My favorite part was this guy.

Resident of 63 Tower Aquarium

All in all, Seoul is a nice place to visit.  If you pick at least 3 places to see in Seoul, you’ll pretty much have knocked it all out.  Pick another place the next time.  I am told Busan is a nice place to visit.  I’ll have to check that out next time I’m in Korea.

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