Photo Journal: Korea’s Modern Seoul
It’s the holidays; a time for feasts and funny fits with friends and family! And this year-end season marks the beginning of my fourth year abroad and away from New York City — my home for 27 years.
As I look back on this past 12 months, I’m filled with gratitude for the awe-inspiring experiences that have filled my eyes, belly and soul. And of course for the friends, old and new, that have made every foreign city feel like home.
With a few days left for the year, I wanted to post one final entry about one of the most fun trips of the year. The short 2-day trip included everything from exploring historical sites (read here), pontificating at local cafés, shopping like a zombie, eating and drinking like a sailor and laughing maniacally like there’s no tomorrow…
Here are some quick highlights (an aspirational guide for all my trips) for the whirlwind of a weekend in Seoul:
Shop ’til you drop.
Korea takes shopping to a whole new level with its famous Dongdaemun market, the mecca of domestic Korean fashion. Opening its doors at 9pm, shoppers can literally shop until they drop (or until 5am, when they close). And that’s precisely what we did! After dropping our bags at the hotel, we headed over to this area for the latest styles in Asia at wholesale prices.
Warm your spirits.
Having grown up with lots of Korean friends, I have experienced firsthand their penchant for social drinking! (And I did a quick search on google and S. Korea ranked #1 for consumption of spirits per capita). The drinks of choice? Soju (distilled spirit made from rice or other starches), maekju (beer) and makgeolli (sweet rice and barley alcohol) are found on every corner!
Fill your belly.
I don’t know what it is about Korean food but it’s like crack! I’d say the majority of my food cravings are for Korean food, especially on a cold winter’s night. Korean BBQ, ox tail soup, bibimbap, soft tofu soup, kimbap, seafood pancake, just to name a few! One of the latest additions to this list, added during this trip, was live octopus still squirming on our plate like worms!! Watch it here. The trick? Chew really fast.
Catch up with old friends and new.
Visiting a new city is always always always better when you have a true local to show you around. And we couldn’t have had a better host than Keith, an old high school friend who founded Seoulistic.com — the most complete travel guide to all things Korean. Check out his site for the best spots to eat, drink and be merry. He also covers other scintillating topics like pooping in Korea and beautiful fat Korean selfies.
Say and do ridiculous things.
A few ridiculous and potentially incriminating events of the weekend: Better keep a lid on these… but these memories will last a lifetime. Cheers to a new year of memories and laughs!
Lotte Hotel World
30, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu,
Seoul, South Korea
+82 2 771 1000