[Skip Town in Seoul] Setting the Scene
View to downtown Seoul from Itaewon
Today I’m excited to introduce the first in a week-long series of posts about Seoul! A city with a lingering sense of mystery, Seoul’s colourful charm and effortless style was was revealed to us over four very memorable days last month.
Despite its reputation as a centre for technology and production, there’s something intangible happening on the streets of Seoul. More like Melbourne than Shanghai, the narrow, winding streets host a jostling mix of independent stores, cafes, galleries and kids in thick-rimmed glasses and primary colours (unless you cross the river to Apgujeong – then it’s all Land Rovers, Prada and valet parking).
Very excellent stationery store and cafe, MMMG
In amongst the obligatory eating, shopping and sight-seeing, we also managed to get some local insight from a few inspiring residents, who you’ll read about later this week. Over and over again we heard how fast Koreans adapt to change and how much Seoul itself has changed in recent years. There is a sense of anticipation in this city, as if they know they’re on the verge of something big.
My interest in Seoul had been growing steadily for the past few years as I started to hear about the great design coming out of Korea (not to mention the food), but I still had little idea of what the city would look like or what we would do there. I just had a feeling I’d like it – and I did.
I’m not going to tell you where to go for the ‘Best Korean BBQ’ or the ‘Top 3 Palaces’ or anything like that (in just four days I couldn’t claim expertise) but hopefully this week’s posts will set the scene, so to speak, and provide a little insight into this often over-looked metropolis. I have a feeling it won’t stay that way much longer.
To kick it off, here’s a bit of a visual overview of our time in Seoul. Enjoy and stay tuned
mk2 cafe in Jongno-gu
Streets near Mt Bukaksan
Kids in the busy shopping precinct of Myeong-dong
Sinsa-dong shopping area
The street stalls of Myeong-dong
Eating and drinking in the student precinct of Hongdae
All photos by Sean (except the one of Sean!)