I love living in Europe. The variety of architecture, food, culture – there’s so many places to explore. However, about ten years ago, my goals were in a different direction – I thought I was going to move to Asia. That didn’t work out, and probably for the better, but I still can’t forget my affinity for the Asian culture – after all, my roots are Asian. So when I was invited to the 2019 International Convention in Seoul, South Korea, I jumped at the opportunity to go.
I had been to Seoul once before, in 2007, for 2 hours (if that counts). It was a 14 hour stopover at Incheon International Airport and it allowed us enough time to hire a cab for a 2 hour tour of the city. Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed, and that’s why I had never returned. Until now. I felt that, in 2007, my trip was in black & white, but this time, meeting the people and getting a true cultural experience, this trip was in beautiful brilliant color.
Seoul not only sits on a river, but it is surrounded by beautiful green mountains all around. You can go to the top of many of the mountains to get a beautiful view of the city, but given the heat and humidity, we chose the mountain that was the least labor-intensive to get to, and that was Namsan Mountain, which is actually located in the middle of the city. You can take a 20 minute hike to the top, which we originally wanted to do. However, in a little miscommunication with our cab driver, we got dropped off in front of the Namsan Cable Car station instead. Given the heat and humidity combined with our jet lag, we decided to take the path of least resistance by taking the Cable Car up. Once we made our way to the top, we were treated with beautiful views of Seoul.
If the views weren’t incredible enough, we decided to take the elevator up to N Seoul Tower, which stands on the top of Namsan Mountain. At 236 meters / 774 feet tall, N Seoul Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Seoul.
The Chandeokgung Palace was built in 1412 as the second royal palace in Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty. It was one of the most favored palaces by the Joseon princes due to its harmony with the surrounding environment.
Our trip to Korea was already off to a beautiful, colorful start. More to come…