Sunshine, hot weather, low humidity, no plans -- the perfect combination for a lazy almost-summer day. I decided to hop on the subway this morning to explore Yeouido, an island in the center of Seoul.
Yeouido is the economic and financial center of Seoul. Many of the city's tallest buildings are here, including the famous 63 Building, formerly the tallest building in Korea and still the country's third-tallest.
But beyond the skyscrapers, Yeouido also boasts several grassy parks including the one I visited today, Yeouido Park. Although it's impossible to truly escape the city -- the park is only a few blocks wide so the entire time you're walking around, you can hear traffic honking and see giant buildings -- there's an abundance of trees, ponds and benches to provide some sort of respite from the heat and otherwise congestion of Seoul.
Lots of people clearly had the same idea as me. The park was full of picnicking families and people zooming around on bicycles, scooters and inline skates, all of which you can rent. It's definitely something I want to come back and do!
Off to Ichon and the National Museum of Korea tomorrow to see a special exhibition about Egypt.
If you've been to Seoul (or greater Korea) and have tips of things I MUST do before leaving in October, please let me know. I don't know if I'll ever be back in Korea so if there are any must-see attractions, please tell me before it's too late!
Ah, Engrish. Although I do enjoy being told that this is somewhere I can either "stroll or rest." It's nice to have the choice.
Pavilions like this are common in Korean parks. Shade + clean picnicking area.
Tablet showing traditional Korean life. Okay, that's just a guess. There weren't any signs in English.
I had to get a cider to blend in with the table and chair (and umbrella!). Cider is basically Sprite. I get mocked for pronouncing it "sai-duh" instead of "sai-ee-duh."
Koreans can sleep anywhere, anytime. I've seen men lying in the middle of the sidewalk and assumed they were homeless before realizing they wore the uniform of the store they lay in front of. Strange-ee.