A week in Seoul
I arrived early in Incheon Airport yesterday morning and had time to spare before I could check into my Airbnb near Seoul Station. Having a look of what was going on nearby I decided upon visiting the Sudoguksan Museum of Housing and Living in Incheon city, normally about 1 hour bus ride from the airport. Asking at the tourist information centre I got all the details of how to get there, (they did not know the museum, but I knew the stop where I needed to go – Dongincheon Metro Station), so I check my bag into the storage centre and made my way for the bus.
Although I took the good bus, I took it in the wrong direction and ended up at Wangsan Beach behind the airport. Which I had thought about one of the places to visit while I had this spare time. I was very saddened by what I saw here, the place is very ramshackled and dirty, litter is everywhere and I have never seen so much plastic on the beach anywhere in the world before. Im not sure if this is some kind of local tourist destination or people are actually living in the many tents strewn along the beach, but the mess that these generate should be an embarrassment to the local community? As I say, its a weird place where you think if this was tourists here then the place should be a lot cleaner and if locals then why would you live like this, it was like the aftermath of a tsunami. The thing is this could be a really beautiful place, with a thriving tourist industry that is respectful to the environment. Don’t get me wrong, some of the buildings were cool and and seemed to be hotels, but I could not imagine wanting to visit here or visiting these dirty beaches. It was very hard for me to understand the place. Anyway, after getting to the end of the line I was forced off the bus and then took the next bus back towards the airport and ultimately the museum. By the time I had reach the airport again I decided to alight. Jet lag, the heat inside the bus and the bad driving of the bus driver had left me nauseated and I thought it would be better.
After a while at the airport and having charged all my devices at the charging stations, I felt better enough to have a spot of lunch before making my way to Seoul. I decided upon a traditional Korean noodle place which was really good and service was super quick. Although I am already surprised by the amount of western eateries available here in Seoul, for this trip Im going to try and eat mostly Korean or at least Asian cuisine. The food culture is so rich in Asia it would be criminal to not do so. But I’m already finding out that the Koreans eat a lot of meat and I only eat fish or vegetables. So this should be an interesting week.
I took the express train from the airport to Seoul Station where I had booked a studio apartment via Airbnb which has an amazing via over the city and is really central for getting around. After checking in and getting a much needed shower and a short nap I decided to go to Itaewon Market for a walk around and to breathe the city air. The place is full of people and bargains are to be had for the most shrewd shoppers. It also seems to be the place to go if you want a suit made or tailored. For this evening I just wanted to have a walk around and to be in the city, the temperature was perfect for walking. (But I did end up buy a pair of shoes and securing a large discount).
I took the metro to Itaewon Station which was quick from Seoul Station where I’m based and as the evening was so perfect that I decided to walk back to the apartment which took a very interesting route via the base of Namsan Park which hosts N Seoul Tower. The route up to the park was super steep and full of very cool bars and restaurants which as a total pleasure to walk and once up there I walked back down via very small alley ways and streets back to my apartment while having a view over the city. Even if this route was not taking me back to my place it was still a route worth walking for the views alone.
One thing I did notice, is Seoul is in love with the Vespa, the bike is everywhere. Being a Vespa owner myself the stand out. I even spoke with the few fans outside a Vespa store on my way back. Interestingly they told me about buying the best parts from France and Italy for their Vespa’s from Ebay.
Metro Line 4
Same Dressed Couples
CafÃ©s at Itaewon Market