I’ve got Seoul but i’m not a soldier…

8 Dec

A few weekends ago I took my first trip to Seoul to meet my friend Ellen – a friend I met when I was at Uni in Dundee. Myself and my flatmate Rob, also a teacher at my school, took the KTX up to Seoul (stupidly we didn’t book in advance, so there were no seats were left when we went to buy our tickets at Dongdaegu station which meant we had to sit on the floor of the train for the 2 hours 40 minutes it took us to get to Seoul). Nonetheless, it was cheaper at 27,000 won (about £15) bargain!

Having tried my hardest, and succeeded, at trying and liking most Korean foods so far, when I arrived in Seoul, number one on my list was to get some ‘western’ food, i.e. burgers, steak pie, lasagne, nachos etc. You can get these types of food fairly easily in Daegu, but I try my hardest to resist them! So we went to an American style restaurant/ bar called Geckos in Itaewon (it could have been any Wetherspoons in the UK) and I had a cheeseburger and chips with ranch sauce – deeeelicious!

After that, Ellen suggested that we head over to the War Memorial Museum to see an exhibition called Bodyworlds by Gunther Von Hagen (that man who does autopsies live on the telly). The exhibition documented how the human body is created, grows and then deteriorates through the life-cycle – always fascinating to me, and I was happy to check off the ‘cultural bit’ on my list.

Outside the Korean War Memorial Museum

We then went to get a quick change at our hostel in Hongdae called Kimchi (Hongdae along with Itaewon are the two main party, shopping and foreigner areas in Seoul). It was a no thrills, cheap, clean and centrally located hostel that I would recommend to anyone – although the 4 storey climb to our room was a bit of an effort!

After a quick change, and buying some soju to keep us warm, we headed over to the Lantern Festival along the Cheonggyecheon stream. The festival attracts over 2 million people, and since it started in 2009, there is a different theme each year. This year the theme was ”Stories of Seoul’s Past through Lanterns” in which lanterns depicted the history of Seoul, and for the ‘children’ there was lanterns of famous superheroes. There was estimated to be over 20,000 lanterns! The photos below are Ellen’s because i’m still waiting on my camera to be posted down from Seoul…

Me and Ellen with lanterns on our heads

Some lanterns from the festival

After the lantern festival we headed over to Itaewon to meet some of Ellen’s mates in an American bar – lots more vodka, tequila, soju and beer followed – resulting in a rough morning after! So the next day was a bit of a write-off since I was super rough! I had my first taste of Vietnamese food in the shape of ‘pho’ – basically noodle soup. The plan on Sunday was to visit a pie shop to buy some good ol’ British pies, then do some shopping and maybe head over to the foreigners market to buy some Cadbury’s and bisto… but all I managed was a coffee and I bought some socks, scarfs and reindeer leg warmers – essential winter wear.

It was time to head home, we headed for the train station around 3pm only to find out the next available KTX was at 11pm! So we had no choice but to go back to Daegu on the slow train (4 hours) even better than that, there were no seats left, so we had to sit on the floor, next to the toilets along with around 15 other people – not one of my best travel experiences…

The moral of the story: book transport well in advance when going to Seoul!


4 Responses to “I’ve got Seoul but i’m not a soldier…”

  1. Allana December 8, 2011 at 5:35 PM #

    Love yer blog begbie! Ur talents r wasted u should be a reporter! Love ya xxxx

    • LiveLauren December 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

      Ha ha thanks Boab! I’ll keep it in mind for my next career move! 😛

  2. cammy December 9, 2011 at 9:05 AM #

    you should have just got a two litre bottle of white lightning for the train back. it would have made it better, plus you didnt have far to go to the toilet. Have fun keep the stories coming miss ya love broon xxx

    • LiveLauren December 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM #

      Ha ha i’ve yet to find a shop in Korea that sells White Lightening – but i’ll keep looking! 😛

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