Food and fashion define me, but it is travel that moves me. Experiencing new places and things is a necessity because it refreshes my perspective and rejuvenates my soul. My time in Seoul, South Korea is a great example of this.
Seoul is a mega city full of beautiful and exciting things. The assault of vibrant trends, culture, buildings and people is such a great treat to my senses. I found a city bursting with state of the art entertainment facilities and a booming pop culture.
I got intrigued by Gangnam when I first heard about it in a famous Korean song. It’s actually a highly renowned place in Seoul. Although it can be a bit expensive there, just like Tokyo, the fun and excitement I experienced in Gangnam cannot be measured with a price tag.
Gangnam is often referred to as the Beverly Hills of Seoul. This is obvious in the countless number of high-end boutiques and shops lining the streets of the district. Several specialty shops I saw offer unique products and services. I went into one unconventional green tea shop where they sell all kinds of food made of green tea, aside from the usual hot tea, like green tea cakes, shakes and smoothies, and green tea ice cream. Huge malls also populate Gangnam. The most notable to me was the Co-ex mall.
The Co-ex mall is most fascinating because of the fact that it is mostly an underground mall. It contains tons of shops and amusements, almost all below the ground. I found a large aquarium in the mall that practically feels like a zoo. It holds not only marine animals, but jungle animals as well. There are containers of small fishes with holes where visitors can insert their hands and the fishies suck their fingers. It’s a scary but exhilarating experience.
Lotte World is the Disney Land of Korea. It’s recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest indoor amusement park in the world. I was astounded by the size of Lotte World and its vast number of rides that are almost all enclosed in this huge building. I rode the Atlantis Adventure (roller coaster) and Giant Loop (a ring-shaped ride). There is also a big indoor skating rink. Lotte World is actually a mall and an amusement park in one.
The Korean pop culture is a predominant culture in Seoul. K-pop influences everything from the way young people dress, their hairstyles and make-up, to the kind of entertainment they favor. I find that K-pop centers on the music industry as much as it does the movie and television industries.
I saw tons of people walking the streets of Seoul looking like their music idols. I am actually also a fan of Korean musicians. I adore the boy bands like Super Junior, Bigbang and 2PM, as well as girl bands like Girls Generation, Wonder Girls, 2 ne 1, etc.
I reached the Dongdaemon District in Seoul and found a lot of high end fashion and retail shops. Dongdaemon also purportedly has the best street foods in the world. Well, the foods I tasted there were certainly delights to my taste buds.
This area boasts both international cuisine and native Korean foods. I tasted the Kimbap (cucumber sticks and pickled raddish), Bibimpap (ground beef with raddish siding), Theokboki (sticky rice cake sticks with fish snacks), Bulgopi (Korean barbeque) and of course, Kimchi (fermented vegetables). All of which were culinary excellence in my opinion.
Never forgetting the night life, Seoul boasts exciting clubs in its Itaewon District. Clubs like the Itaewon King Club, Club Bone, Club Atom and Club Mute make enjoying the city’s night time that much more fun.
Wrapping up, I found Seoul to be a city full of wonder and exhilaration. It exudes energy that is contagious to anybody who stays there. I was certainly moved by its beauty.
Photo by stuckincustoms on Flickr