Walking along the hilly, shop-lined side streets of Seoul, I’m consonantly feeding my wanderlust. Ah, what an amazing feeling! The city is rich in culture and rooted in tradition. With every street corner I turn within Seoul, my mind and eyes are completely immersed in awe of the city’s natural splendor and fixating new experiences. With every bite of traditional Korean food such as barbeque, bibimbap, chicken vegetable soup, kimchi, mouth-watering seared steak, and freshly caught and steamed seafood, I feel as if I’m enriching my soul full of Korean culture. To say the very least, being a foodie in Seoul is an absolute pleasure!
The city of Seoul is comprised of 25 districts known by the Korean term as “Gu.” So far, my favorite areas are: Gangnam-gu, Seongdong-gu, Itaewon, Namdaemun, Myeongdong, Insadong, and Daehangno. Each area is known for a special quality, from high-fashion to cultural arts and entertainment. The neighborhoods, to simply put it, are vibrant, unique, and fun!
While exploring the sights and sounds of the areas within Seoul, landmark destinations are tucked away between city lights and skyscrapers with a mountain backdrop landscape. I visited the Korean Buddhist temple, Bongeunsa, and Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace, which are two of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the Korean kings of the Joseon Dynasty. As I strolled along the Gyeongbok Palace spacious walled grounds, the pathways led me to the Blue House the home and presidential offices of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The palaces, The Blue House, and the Buddhist temple invoked the Korean traditional philosophy of balancing harmony with nature. The way in which the structures were arranged in harmony with the natural setting of the nature and the mountains conveys the country’s tranquility for nature and society.
From buses to the subway, moving around the bustling city of Seoul through the public transportation system is very efficient. Visiting all the sights around town has so far been simple. Riding the subway system is one of the cleanest and cheapest experiences I’ve had than any major city in the U.S. What makes Seoul’s subway system so great is how the city integrates the latest technology connectivity capabilities and provides free Wi-Fi to passengers of the subway trains. All the Wi-Fi is in 5G, which is amazing because the U.S. is still using 4G capabilities. Seoul has various downloadable mobile transit apps that provide an interactive and real-time way to understand the subway system. Additionally, the city uses the smart phone apps to communicate with passengers for alerts and provide relevant and timely information to the masses. The mobile apps are an innovative resource tool for harnessing technology to establish a two-way communication system with the public and the city. Needless to say, Seoul is feeding my wanderlust inch by inch.