seoul ( ICN )
City Guide, Seoul
Seoul is the capital and largest city in south Korea. It is considered a megacity because it has a population of over ten million people and it is one of the largest cities in the entire world. Nearly half of the South Korea's entire population lives in the Seoul National Capital Area (which also includes Incheon and Gyeonggi and makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the world). Because of its very large population, Seoul is considered a global city and it is the center of South Korea's economy, culture and politics.
Throughout its history, Seoul was known by a number of different names. The name Seoul itself is believed to have originated from the Korean word for capital city, Seoraneol. The name Seoul is interesting however because it has no matching Chinese characters, instead a Chinese name for the city, which sounds similar has recently been chosen.
With more than eight million tourists every year, Seoul, south Korea is one of Asia's top tourist destinations. With parks, palaces, gardens, museums, folk villages, shopping and lots more, it's difficult to decide what to visit when in Seoul. There are however four places every tourist to Seoul should visit, or you haven't seen Seoul without them.
The National Museum of Korea is one of the largest museums in Asia. With more than 220,000 pieces and 20,000 on display at any one time, the National Museum is a wonderful place to start to learn more about the Korean people. Changdeokgung Palace - A new UNESCO World Heritage site, Changdeokgung Palace is almost 600 years old and is one of the famous "Five Grand Palaces" in Seoul. Home to numerous kings, queens and princes, Changdeokgung Palace is made up of several traditional Korean buildings and Seoul Tower(Namsan Tower) - To acclimatize yourself to Seoul, you must visit Seoul Tower. Located on the summit of Mount Namsan and itself 236.7 meters high, you can only imagine the incredible view from the top.
Culture and entertainment
Cheongdo So Ssa-eum, or bullfighting, has long been a form of entertainment in South Korean culture. It differs from bullfighting in other countries such as Spain in that the bulls are not killed by man. Bulls fight each other by butting heads and the first bull to force its opponent back becomes the winner. Each spring. Music and dance always have been an important part of North and South Korean culture and both serve many purposes, entertainment included. North and South Korea have approximately 60 traditional instruments that musicians use, along with the human voice to create this art form. Korean folk music, called P'ansori, incorporates singing and storytelling by a single vocalist, accompanied by the sounds from a traditional drum.
Also there is a wide variety of popular games including board games, card games and children's games. Chang-gi, or Korean chess, is similar to the Western version of the game, although the board and rules are slightly different.
Food and drink
When most people think of Korean food, they think of kimchi, Korea's staple side dish which, along with rice, accompanies almost every meal. Although it is an acquired taste, many long-term foreigners also find themselves missing the flavor of kimchi if they have too many meals without it. While many Korean dishes are unfamiliar at first, they are not really that different from some Western foods.
With their meals, Korean rarely drink anything but a little water or poricha (barley tea). However, when they drink, they drink a wide variety of beverages. Tea and coffee shops abound. In addition to beer (several domestic and imported brands are readily available), Korea has many different types of traditional alcoholic drinks with soju being the most popular. Other common drinks include makgeolli and dong-dong-ju (both whitish colored drinks made from rice or potatoes).
Korea is a shopper's paradise! Great prices can be found for shoes, clothes, handbags, suitcases, leather goods, silk, antiques, reproductions, and all kinds of souvenirs. You can easily find makers of custom-made clothes and shoes of varying quality. Although department stores and most shops have fixed prices for items, bargaining can usually get a lower price with street vendors and in the major open air markets such as Namdaemun and Dongdaemun.
Seoul City Map
|Address:||12F, Twin Tree Tower A|
|Mailing address:||6 Yulgok-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea (03142)|
|Working Hours:||MON-FRI 09AM to 06PM|
|Address:||#2056, Passenger Terminal, Incheon Int`l Airport
Woonseo-dong, Joong-Gu, Incheon City, Korea
|Working Hours:||TUE, THU, SAT: 01Pm to 10Pm|