Seoul Journals

Visiting Seoul

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Seoul by John Lamb

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour Photo, Seoul, South Korea More Photos
Quote: One of the biggest cities in the world offers a great view of Asian culture. Modern and industrial in one glimpse and ancient and graceful in the next, Seoul offers a wide crossview of Korean culture. I live in Korea and this journal encompasses the best of what I have seen in Seoul.

Visiting Seoul

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Ceremony Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Seoul is a nice cross between Asia and the west. It will be startingly Asian in one sense and then suddenly it will feel like anywhere else in the world. The top priority for anyone visiting Seoul would be Changdeokgung Palace with its beautiful hidden garden. For those interested in something different and unique, the DMZ tour is a must. Nothing like visiting a war zone as a tourist destination. For shopping, Itaewon is the best place to go for deals on leather and other clothes.Quick Tips: Spellings used in this journal are the current romanticized ones being used in most places although the old spellings will be around. The "k" and "g" are interchangable as well as the "b" and the "p...Read More

Astoria

Hotel

Quote:
A decent hotel for a pretty good bargain. All rooms have air-conditioning, shower, T.V. and fridge. The air conditioning can be a little slow and it takes time to cool a room. The restaurant is not that great. It is a little expensive for the quality. But there is one free breakfast per room and it is a hot meal of eggs, ham and coffee. Clean and nice overall, and the staff is friendly and helpful. The location is perfect, centrally located in downtown Seoul right next to Nam Sam Park. Take the blue line or orange line to Chungmoro Station and get out of exit #4. Go straight ahead and it will be on your left.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Astoria
#13-2 Namhak-Dong, Choong-ku
Seoul, South Korea
(02) 268-7111

The Westin Chosun

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Hotel | "Westin Chosun"

The Westin Chosun Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
The Westin Chosun was first opened in 1914 and is located in the heart of Seoul. It was recently refurbished and is a five-star hotel. Right next to the building is the Ninth Gate and the restaurant of the same name overlooks the beautiful building. The rooms are excellent and big. A nice mix of west and east. The beds are soft and plump. The furniture is simple but elegant, nice wooden pieces that are easy on the eyes. The bathroom is marble and well-done with a complete supply of toilet supplies. There are a nice supply of television channels and movies as well as Internet access and a fax machine. The art hanging on the walls is modern and livens up the room. Everything in the room i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2002

The Westin Chosun
87 SOKONG-DONG CHUNG-KU
Seoul, South Korea
82-2-771-0500

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

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Attraction

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
I did the half-day tour which is probably the better deal because you get to see all the same things as the full-day tour, although in less time. The tour picks you up at your hotel. It is about an hour drive up to the DMZ area. The DMZ was created after cease-fire agreement between North and South Korea as a buffer zone, about a 2 kilometer wide border of no man's land. Technically, the two countries are still at war so I was taking a tour of a war zone. I started to realize we were near when huge strips of barbwire come up and gun emplacements pop-up every once in awhile. The guide, who was very good, then pointed across the Imjin River and said, "There is North Korea." Only 15 kilometers of ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

Seoul, South Korea

Changdeokgung Palace

Attraction | "Changdeokgung (Palace)"

Changdeokgung Palace Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Take Subway Line 3 (Orange) to Anguk Station. Exit 3 and go straight until you see the main gate. Tickets are to the left of that. This palace only gives guided tours for around 2,200 won or 2 dollars. Can't beat the price. It is open everyday except Tuesday. The English tours are at 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30. The tour lasts about two hours. It was hard for me to understand the guide and sometimes I felt rushed by the group. However, it is the most beautiful palace in Seoul. The palace was built in 1405 by King Taejong as a detached palace of Gyeongbukgung. Because of invasions and fires, it has been rebuilt five times. The buildings are vibrant and kept in pristine shape. The insides...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Changdeokgung Palace
1 Waryung-dong Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea 110-360
+82 (2) 762 8262

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Attraction | "Gyeongbokgung (Palace)"

Gyeongbokgung Palace Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Get off at Gyeongbokgung Station on line #3 (orange). Exit #5 will get you there. The entrance fee is only 700 won (55 cents) and the palace is open everyday except Tuesdays. Gyeongbokgung was built during the Choson Period, started in 1395 by King Taejo. It then became the seat of the government. It is one of the most beautiful palaces in Seoul. I loved being able to meander through the maze of beautiful, wooden buildings. It is like an Asian version of Verseille. The lily pond is a highlight as well as the pavilion, the largest in Korea. The palace is very relaxing and there is no rushing through with a guide, although guided tours are available. Definitely worth seeing.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Gyeongbokgung Palace
161, Sajik-ro
Seoul, South Korea
02 3700-3900

Itaewon Shopping District/Itaewon Street

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Attraction | "Itaewon"

Quote:
Going to Itaewon is a little like a Korean version of Tiajuna. Plenty of people willing to take your money. It is the favorite hangout for the soldiers so plenty of short-haired men are running around. At night, the place is wild and full of drunk people. There are some good deals on clothes however. Silk ties for 3 dollars and tailored suits for 100 bucks. Itaewon is known for leather goods also and cheap prices. Mike's Gallery, next to McDonald's, offers some great hand-made paintings for reasonable prices. I bought a huge hand-painted scroll mounted on silk for 30 dollars. Near the mosque is a great second-hand English bookstore. For those in need of literature, I...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 21, 2001

Itaewon Shopping District/Itaewon Street

Seoul, South Korea

Namsan Hanok Village

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Attraction | "Namson Hanok Village"

Namsan Hanok Village Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Inside Namsan Park lies a reproduction of a Korean Folk Village. Take subway line #3 or 4 to Chungmaro Station and use exit 5. It is directly inside the park and there is no entrance fee. Closed on Tuesdays. The village is composed of a traditional Korean garden and five traditional Korean houses from the Choson Dynasty. The houses were moved from their original places from around Seoul and restored completely. You go from the maddening, crowded streets of modern Seoul directly into a time warp back into ancient Korea. Every day features performances of everyday tasks, ceremonies, etc. The day I want the center square featured a bunch of games for children to participate in. For example, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 26, 2001

Namsan Hanok Village
Namsan Park
Seoul, South Korea

War Memorial of Korea

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Attraction | "War Memorial"

War Memorial of Korea Photo, Seoul, South Korea
Quote:
Built in 1994, this museum offers information on the many wars Korea has been involved in. To get there, take line 4 to Samgakji Station. The entrance fee is 3,000 won. The structure is an impressive gray concrete building with hundereds of steps leading to the entrance. In front is a giant statue of two brothers hugging who were on opposite sides during the Korean War. Also outside is an impressive array of military planes, vehicles and weaponary. Even the helicopters from M.A.S.H. are represented. The two outer walls flanking the main building list the thousands of soldiers who died in Korea's recent conflicts, including the Vietnam War. After entering the museum we were were...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

War Memorial of Korea
8 Yeongsan-dong 1-ga
Seoul, South Korea 140-021
+82 (2) 709 3114