The person who came up with the saying “New York, the city that never sleeps”, had never set foot in Seoul. It literally comes alive from 11pm but do not think there is nothing happening before then, there are just swarms of people going about their shopping and then come evening time, everyone is dressed to the nines or looking rather retro or anything but the common Korean fashion. This is one city where you will hear more Koreans speaking English than anywhere in the country. They are more outgoing and aren’t as shy about their English ability as the rest of the Koreans living outside Seoul.
I was my second trip to Seoul this year (I live down south so my trips to Seoul have not been as frequent as I would have loved them to be). It is extremely difficult to p pin-point Seoul highlights because it is as enormous and offers a range of various tastes regarding the atmosphere, food, culture and transport. If you want a youthful and vibrant feel, then you should definitely stay in Hongdae. However, this time I stayed in the famous area called Itaewon. There are foreigners galore there and it offers more options regarding entertainment and fashion.
Seoul still remains a favourite of mine but it needs a hectic budget. Do not go unprepared. Sleep late and wake up early – yeah, I know it sounds absurd but that is the true Seoul; or Korean, experience.
This is in Myeong-dong, which is a minutes bus trip from Itaewon subway station. You could also opt for the subway. It is dubbed a shopping haven in Seoul and it indeed lives to its title. You will find your usual Korean outlets but it has the biggest Uniqlo located nect to the subway and a lot of street food options that had Koreans’ attention.
I keep going back to a restuarant called Braai Republic… you guessed it, it is owned by a South African and it live up to pure South African Braai standards. Their Sunday brunch is highly recommended because they add bacon and cheese to the pap!!! Imagine that combination?! That is a big, fat YES from me! The ambiance of this place gets 100 gold stars from me. Koreans also swear by it so, I do recommend you make reservations because it is constantly full and you do not want to be turn away or wait for what? Never?
Ice cream from Milky Bee, in Myeong-dong. They sell the oh-so-heavenly and popular rose cream and do expect to find a queue there. Who needs a bouquet of roses when you can just get en equivalent that is edible huh?? Their service is fast though. The prices range from 5,000 won to 10,000 won, depending on how my flavours you want. MMMMMMMM!!!