Wanderlust Wednesday : Seoul, SK
My (current) number 1 bucket list destination of Seoul, South Korea that I obsess over constantly & may or may not check flight prices for on the daily...
Seoul, South Korea - a city that has something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, food, or fashion, Seoul seems to have it all. It is a city that is vibrant and dynamic. From it’s modern skyscrapers and shopping districts to its ancient palaces and temples, Seoul seamlessly blends the old with the new and I cannot seem to get it off my mind!
Some of the top destinations to visit while in Seoul are rich in history, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was built in 1395 and served as the main royal palace for centuries. Another popular destination is Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional Korean village with beautifully preserved hanok houses. Both of these places are stops along the 12.5 mile Seoul City Wall Trail, which is a hike that follows the old fortress walls of Seoul giving you unmatched panoramic views of the city, a bit of exercise, and a way to see parts of Seoul you might miss out on, otherwise as you are weaving in and out of little villages during your time on the trail. While the trail can be done in one day, it is suggested to break it up in two so you can give yourself time to explore the little spots that call to you as you go!
Next, Seoul is a food lover's paradise. Korean cuisine has gained immense popularity all around the world in recent years, and for good reason. Korean food is flavorful, (can be) healthy, and is very diverse. From the spicy and savory kimchi stew to the sweet and savory bulgogi beef, to the light and crispy Korean fried chicken there is something for everyone. One of the best places to sample Korean food is at a traditional Korean market such as Gwangjang Market or Namdaemun Market. As a vegetarian, I cannot sample all the street markets have to offer, but it does not mean I still don’t want to visit one of these street markets! Street Markets are one of my favorite places to visit when traveling as it gives you a sense of the culture and the atmosphere is lively and vibrant. While visiting Korea, Korean BBQ and bibimbap are other popular meals that are must trys.
Lastly, the diversity doesn't stop when it comes to the traditional vs modern buildings. But it is also prevalent in the fashion in South Korea. Seoul is a fashion and shopping hub. It is home to some of the largest and most famous department stores and shopping districts in the world, such as Myeong-dong and Gangnam. Seoul is also known for its street fashion, which is heavily influenced by K-pop and Korean dramas. So, while I have entered my late 30's, I still am quite in love with the idea of what the cute little K-pop girlies are wearing and love that they get to explore their style and it is so broadly accepted. I would love to browse the vintage shops and walk the streets to see the fashion, probably while I wear the same t-shirt I have worn for the last 6 years I bought from Target... because that just how it be. On the inverse, you are able to see South Korean's walking around in traditional outfits called Hanbok. Hanbok are worn by both men and women and are vibrant and beautiful, the colors all correspond with the five elemental colors of the ying-and-yang theory. However, they can also symbolize social position or marital status.
So, to sum it up. The juxtaposition of Seoul’s rich history and culture intertwined with it’s modern and influential culture and style combined with exciting and delicious cuisine, push it to the top of my travel bucket list and I hope it has a spot on yours, too!