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…