As I type this I am sitting on my rickety wooden chair on my balcony enjoying the sunset over the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. I’ve just spent five days in Bangkok, following my ten days in South Korea which I am only just getting around to writing about now. So for that, I apologise. I flew from Taipei to Seoul, spent five days there and then headed south to Gyeongju and Busan. Seoul is AWESOME. I loved it. A lot. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. The socks. Why has the rest of the world not caught up with the sock phenomenon that is going on in South Korea – especially in Seoul? There are tiny little sock shops all over the city that sell hundreds of the grooviest designed socks I’ve ever seen. And most of them are only $1 per pair!
2. The street food is delicious. Certainly not the cheapest street food around, but tasty none the less.
3. The café culture in Seoul rivals that of Melbourne. In Hongdae alone, there are dozens of coffee shops, with everything from large 2 storey chains like Starbucks or tiny, hole-in-the-wall boutique roasters like Coffee Prison (my recommendation).
4. I was given this half cheeseburger as a FREE SAMPLE!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!
5. Catching buses in foreign countries freaks me out because I never know where I am. Luckily, Seoul’s subway system is fast, clean, cheap and easy to use (with announcements in English). And the passes are cute.
6. Puppy cafes. Need I say more?
7. The shopping is out of this world. Whether you’re into t-shirts at dirt cheap market stalls, indie labels from independent young designers or the most luxurious brands are more your style, Seoul something for you.
8. They have guards outside the royal palace that are just like the ones outside Buckingham Palace in England, except they wear blue dresses. They aren’t allowed to speak or smile, or refuse to be in selfies.
9. Even though Seoul is modernised and full of the latest technology, its still not uncommon to see stuff like this around.
10. The airport is a great place for a snooze when you land late and you’re too cheap to pay for a hotel room.
One day when I have a uni degree and my life together, I can see myself joining the huge community of expat English teachers in this amazing city. I guess I’ll see you then, Seoul.