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Some of my readers were expecting photos of the Lake District (Cumbria) by now, but my holiday was deferred a week and I ended up in London instead.  The reason was an unplanned business trip for an urgent negotiation in Seoul.  Work-wise the trip didn’t go as well as we had hoped; but I was glad to use the opportunity to see the place. I only spent two days there, and they were enough to leave with a very positive impression of Seoul.

I arrived early evening.  My first surprise was how developed the city is.  The impressively organised airport, the fantastic roads, and the above view from my hotel room.  I knew Korea is developed, but my ignorance of how developed it really is evaporated within the first hour.  I didn’t have much time, but having read the Lonely Planet guide on the flight over, I couldn’t wait to step out of the hotel for a stroll.

It was too late to see anything else, and I had an early morning meeting the next day.  This was a great start to the trip.  I saw the local area to the hotel, then took a taxi to the busier parts of down town Seoul.  Jet-lag, a very rare issue with my usual travel, started to take it toll.

The light was fading, but I managed to get some shots of Bongeunsa Temple.  I spent almost an hour looking around the place: quiet and very tranquil.

As the sun light faded, the city lights took over.  I was surrounded with the neon lights in every colour imaginable.  I’m not a fan of clutter and colour contrast, I prefer the clean lines and a more subtle look.  In Seoul, this rich mix has a way of merging into something much more beautiful than it would ever sound.

I had booked a night flight back, so I had a plan to see the city properly on my last day.  However, business had other plans for me, and my one meeting became three.  I ended up having only one afternoon free, which readers who travel for work will know as nothing new.  I used all four hours to walk around the town.  I will post images from that walk soon.

The people were happy and very friendly.  Smiles surround you as you walk the tidy streets.  Pedestrians wait at crossings for traffic to stop.  Order is part of every day life and cleanliness here is in a class of its own.  I didn’t even see a cigarette-bud on the floor, throughout my stay.  Smoking is banned indoors.  There is pride in both how the city looks, and how the people present themselves.  My favourite litmus-test of a presentable society is to check the shoes they wear!  Seoul even beats Paris in this one…

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108 Comments

  1. ماشاء الله وايد حلوين الصور وكل ما اشوفهم احس ان انا بعد ابي اتعلم منك ومتعه التصوير معاك تحياتي
    علي الراشد

    • مشكور بو حسين
      نتعلم من بعض ياخوي وانت ما قصرت معاي بتشجيعك و متابعتك، هذا غير فرص التصوير اللي ترتبها لنا :)

  2. Thank you for sharing! great pictures!!

  3. ta9weeer 3ajeeeeb o yalla lel7eeen na6rek tesaweelna dawrah o net3alam :P

    • Mashkoor… one of those days, I will take a course :)

  4. those are colourful!! :) sounds a nice place; not having heard much as it isnt the usual tourist spot like singapore or even indonesia. the one thing we know is the olympic venue it was back in ’88.

    • The olympics were the extent of my knowledge too :)

    • Summer
    • Posted 31 August 2010 at 9:00 pm
    • Permalink

    wow!! the pictures are amazing!!!

  5. I have been to Korea before but I did not see this beauty as you have captured it.

    • Beauty is everywhere if you look… and I know that you look :)

  6. *adds Seoul to his places-to-visit list*

  7. very nicee…. a territory am yet to discover

    • I must admit I didn’t discover enough… Hope you get to go soon.

  8. Awesome shots!

  9. A wonderful country. Nice captures!

  10. great shots! Love them.

  11. i ve been there before..i miss seoul veryy much .

  12. Thanks for your blog and super pictures.
    I have wanted to go to Korea for a long time so I was particularly interested in the photos.

    • Thank you for your comment. I will put up some more pics in the next post.

  13. Ah, gorgeous photos!!!

  14. Beautiful Photos! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Awesome! Great photos. :)

  16. great pictures im jealous that looks so fun

    • It was a business trip, but yes this brief part of the visit was fun.

  17. Great pictures, thank you!
    I lived in Tokyo for a year and it’s fun to see how, judging from your pictures of the streets and the temple, Japan and Korea look similar yet slightly different. But I guess Asian people have the same feeling when they visit different countries in Europe.

    • I suppose they do. But remember, there is a huge Japanese influence here. Now however they have their own strong identity and they maintain it very well.

  18. This is wonderful! I fell in love with this city!

    • It is very much a beautiful city.

  19. i think the fading light served you well. the Magic Hour has illuminated your pictures beautifully and still provided ample light for details. those temple shots are stunning.

    • You’re absolutely right. It was a nice time to arrive.

  20. Nice pictures. So different!

    evelyngarone.com

  21. Hi, I really like your shots and the quality of the photos – Please let me know your camera specs. I’m looking to get a new one. Thanks

    • I always tag the posts with the camera I use. This time I used a Nikon D300.

  22. Thanks for sharing these lovely images. I hope to visit Seoul someday and you have provided me with some new inspiration.

    • Thank you for your comment. I hope you get to go soon.

  23. Nice shots… and you’re right, one of the best things about Seoul is how friendly the people are!

    • Thank you. Absolutely. They are hard working and very friendly. The next post will have a lot of people shots – all with smiles!

  24. I spent three years in S. Korea. I loved every minute of it. Did you get a chance to try their food or drinks?

    • I only ate Korean food (though I stuck to fish mainly) and most of it was very good. I especially liked the way they prepared hearing.

  25. beautiful photography! mental note: add seoul to bucket list… :)

    • It was never on my bucket list :) but I do recommend it, yes.

    • Sunflowerdiva
    • Posted 1 September 2010 at 10:59 pm
    • Permalink

    Great photos! Love ‘em!

  26. You have a very good eye. Great pictures!

  27. Fantastic images! The 8th was my absolute favorite. Keep up the amazing work.

    • Moa
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 1:22 am
    • Permalink

    Loved the pics! You really depicted the city well!

  28. love the colours, very lively and vibrant, brilliant read :)

  29. I’ve been to South Korea many times and there is a lot to see, not just in Seoul but all around the country. Soraksan national park, Cheju island, Kyung Ju, the mountainous countryside of Gangwan province, hundreds of beautiful temples and palaces like those in the pics above, even the DMZ is an interesting experience. Worth a trip if you can stand a long flight.

    • Thank you. Judging by the city, I can believe every word :) One day, we will have a family holiday in the Far East. South Korea will be on the list.

  30. So happy I stumbled upon your blog. Great photos.

    http://www.bordercrashers.com

    • Me too. Thank you for your visit and comment.

    • Summer
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 3:40 am
    • Permalink

    congrats on getting freshly pressed!!! I have never seen a kuwaiti blog on there!! its an honor!!
    love the pics btw :D

    how did you do it?

    LOVE.
    SUMMER.

    • Thank you :) It is an honor, I agree. It’s my forth time btw…

  31. Beautiful pictures! It does not seem you waste time having only a single afternoon yet being able to get a nice feel for the town. Safe travels and looking forward to the upcoming post of your walk! LB

    • Thank you, LB. You’re right I waste as little as possible :) Will post soon.

    • IyaTheo
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 3:56 am
    • Permalink

    Wow, I’m so jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to Korea, but time, money and family always got in the way of my planning. Seeing your photos really made me smile, i felt like i was there. thank you. I am defiantly motivated to go next year. Just looking at all i have to look forward to has made me more excited. :D

    • Good luck… Hope you manage it soon.

  32. love all the photos. makes me want to go back and visit again!

    • Thank you… hope you get to go again :)

  33. LOVE YOUR WORK!

    • Thank you, creativeaddictionblog.

  34. love the photo blog! :)

  35. Simply gorgeous! The night shots certainly highlight just how bright and exciting Seoul is…

    • Thank you. It is indeed an exciting city.

  36. True enough! Seoul has very impressive infrastructures and at the same time, a great way how they’d preserved their culture. I’ve been there 2 weeks ago, and I still can’t get over how wonderful that city is.

    • We were there almost the same time… Thank for your comment.

  37. Such wonderful pictures! I want to go to Korea sometime in the next two years and these pictures just enhance that want! ;)

  38. Your photos are simply stunning. I enjoyed walking thru Seoul with you. What type of camera do you use? I’m thinking of purchasing a new one. Thanks!

  39. Those are great photos! City views and cultural buildings make very good pictures. Some of those could be postcards.

    • Samir
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 11:23 am
    • Permalink

    Surreal! Super… Keep em coming!

    • Rahmat Mulyadi
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 1:45 pm
    • Permalink

    Seoul has a great city landscape.
    really beautiful.
    nice picture.

    • zul-mokhtar
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 3:12 pm
    • Permalink

    Nice pictures there. Wish I could be in Seoul one day.

    • Good luck zul. I hope you make it :)

  40. Beautiful photography :) thanks for sharing!!

    • Elim
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 4:47 pm
    • Permalink

    Hi, I really love your shots of Seoul!~ I’m actually learning Korean in a beginner level and hopefully someday I can pay a visit there.

    Now I see that you used Nikon D300 for those photos. But would you please tell what lenses you used? I know lenses are always much more of concern. Thanks!

    • Here I used a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8.

    • Mathai
    • Posted 2 September 2010 at 6:56 pm
    • Permalink

    aha! I was wondering why your Seoul post was delayed. Nice title as usual BuYousef. One of the things that strikes me about cultures Far East is how much pride they take in keeping their country neat and clean and in the way they conduct themselves. I wish we could all learn from them.

    • One day, my friend… Thanks, Matthew.

  41. Your photos are wonderful! Congrats on Freshly Pressed. Seoul is an amazing city. I visited two years ago, my son just returned from two weeks in Korea (I’ve done a couple of posts about that, none with photos half as nice as yours), and now he wants to spend a year of college in Seoul. Lovely people, very friendly and gracious. I’m glad you had the time to discover some of the city, and am glad you wrote a post about it and shared the pics. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your comment. Good luck to your son. They are indeed very gracious.

    • sayitinasong
    • Posted 4 September 2010 at 10:46 am
    • Permalink

    Your photos are beautiful!!!!

  42. Oh, I could not open your blog in China, as the internet speed was slow. Now I see what a wonderful trip you had! Wow!

  43. Awesomeness!!! I always wanted to go to Seoul!! Well, actually I always wanted to go to Tokyo, Japan…^_^


3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By Seoul Search | Productseller4u's Blog on 01 Sep 2010 at 8:26 pm

    [...] Posted on September 1, 2010 by productseller4u Seoul Search 31 August 2010 – 2:45 am Posted in Away Tagged bongeunsa, books, bulbs, d300, korea, neon, night, [...]

  2. [...] Seoul Search « BuYousef.net. [...]

  3. By Seoul Search (via BuYousef.net) « google blog on 02 Sep 2010 at 5:44 am

    [...] Seoul Search (via BuYousef.net) Some of my readers were expecting photos of the Lake District (Cumbria) by now, but my holiday was deferred a week and I ended up in London instead.  The reason was an unplanned business trip for an urgent negotiation in Seoul.  Work-wise the trip didn't go as well as we had hoped; but I was glad to use the opportunity to see the place. I only spent two days there, and they were enough to leave with a very positive impression of Seoul. I arrived … Read More [...]

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