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Places To Go: " Seoul"

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Asia » Korea (South) » Seoul

The capital of South Korea is a bustling metropolis of skyscrapers, thriving markets, quality tourist attractions, and ancient temples and palaces.

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There are many modern, fun attractions here, too, and getting around the city of Seoul is a breeze. If and when you tire of the city noise, there are plenty of parks and gardens to duck into, as well as lofty city outposts to take in some nature. For more fast-paced family entertainment in Seoul, make a beeline for the attractions within the ever-popular Children's Grand Park amusement park.


 Eight reasons Korean girls go for Western boys


1. We don’t care about S-lines, V-lines, X-lines, or any of that BS. That we don’t typically read the silly places where people make a big deal out of those makes it easier to ignore them.


2. Free English lessons. Walking English dictionary. We’re English teachers, and we have no problem helping you with your homework (as long as we don’t spend all our time on your homework!)


3. We’re more comfortable if you’re not anorexic. I’ve yet to hear a Western guy actually say to a Korean girl, ‘if only you were a little skinnier’… Most Korean women don’t get that ‘you look great the way you are’ very often.


 4. We make money, and we’re not afraid to spend it when we go out. While we don’t want to buy every round (we do like it when our women buys us a drink every now and then), we have no problem putting down manwon for your favorite imported beer. No, we’re not rich, like TI from “Whatever You Like” fame, but we’re definitely better than the Weird Al remake or the Obama remake (seriously funny).


 5. Westerners are more likely to treat you as an equal. It’s not a universal concept among all Westerners yet, but it’s a concept that Westerners have had decades more practice at.


 6. We offer a way out of Korea. If you’ve been looking for a way out, Western guys do offer a way.


7. We don’t really like the flower boys either. We’re a bit more manly than that. So what if our closet isn’t overflowing with tight dress shirts and polka-dot bow ties? Jeans and nice-looking shirts are all the Western guys need for going out after work is done. Also, if we get a flat tire while you’re driving, we can change the darn tire ourselves without worrying about getting our pretty shirt dirty or calling some errand man.


8. We can talk about interesting things – much more interesting than work, clothes, drinking, and that crazy boss of ours. Quite a few of us sing, dance, play an instrument, write, cook, act, and many other things.


Places to see & do:


A gathering place of traditional culture, Insa-dong

To experience the traditional culture of Korea while remaining in the heart of the city, try Insa-dong. With art galleries, traditional craft stores, antique art dealers, traditional tea houses, and traditional restaurants, it is simply the place in Seoul for tourists wanting to experience traditional Korea. The area is especially good for finding antiques in- old paintings, ceramics, wooden vessels, and antique furniture can all be found in abundance at Insa-dong. The 70 or so art galleries in the area also make Insa-dong ideal as a cultural space. In 1999, England's Queen Elizabeth visited the area and heaped praise upon the old artworks that she saw there. Insa-dong is designated as car-free on weekends (Saturdays from 14:00-22:00, Sundays from 10:00-22:00), and a flea market sets up in the streets with people peddling their antiques, accessories, and artworks. Travelers from abroad also gather here with wares from the world over, so the flea market items are not just limited to items Korean in nature. But because the streets of Insa-dong are narrow and complex, make sure to pick up a map at the Tourist Information Center before starting out.


The premier ancient palace of Korea, Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the main residence and palace of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and boasts an impressive 600 years of history. Built by Taejo Seonggye Lee (ruled 1392-1398), founder of the Joseon Dynasty, the palace was completed in 1395 after the capital of the nation was changed from Gaeseong to Hanyang (current Seoul). The 495,000? area of Gyeongbokgung Palace includes the 'Geunjeongjeon', the main hall where official ceremonies took place and government officials could see the King, the 'Gyeonghoeru', where banquets were given for diplomatic reaons, and 'Hyangwonjeong', an artificial island created inside a pond. Also located within the palace is the National Folk Museum, to help further the understanding of the lives of Korea's ancestors. Take a walk along the stone walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace, and tourists will come across the Cheongwadae (also known as the Blue House, the presidential mansion of Korea). A portion of the palace is currently being reconstructed, and it is estimated to be finished by October of this year.


Korea's greatest marketplace, Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market is a truly massive, all-inclusive marketplace for clothing, children's wear, accessories, shoes, kitchen items, regional specialty items, imported items, and more. The market offers a wide range of merchandise at affordable (and often downright cheap) prices, and most stores act as both retailers and wholesalers. The market has managed retain the feel of a traditional marketplace, which lends it a very earthy appeal- the stores and stalls offer much to see, making the market ideal not only for shoppers but for sightseers as well. Most stores at Namdaemun Market only open for certain hours according to their own needs, so it's a good idea to plan a trip ahead of time according to the desired items. Mt. Namsan is nearby, making the two locations a great pair for a combined excursion.


The Mecca of fashion, Dongdaemun Market

Dongdaemun Market is dubbed a fashion mecca due to the large number of shopping malls and smaller retailers that concentrate on sell clothing and accessories. It is more clothing-oriented than Namdaemun Market. Doosan Tower, Migliore, Freya Town, and Hello apM are just a few of the 20 or so major shopping malls in the area- prices are cheap and shopping is easy. The malls deal mostly in accessories, women's wear, menswear, and shoes- everything for your head to your toes. Most of the merchandise is on top of current trends and styles. Dongdaemun Market is more crowded at night than during the daytime, because small boutique and shop owners from Korea's regional areas and even overseas flock to the market at night to buy for their stores. The market makes for a unique nighttime excursion.


The apex of Seoul's night view, Mt. Namsan

265m above sea level, Mt. Namsan is a symbolic mountain located in the center of Seoul. While is has a relatively low elevation, the surrounding areas make the view a fantastic one, which explains the popularity of the mountain as a resting place for Seoul's citizens. At the top of Mt. Namsan are the Palgakjeong Pavilion, Seoul Tower, and a marine aquarium, and on the way up are the Namsan Library, fountain, and botanical garden. The summit can be reached by taking the hiking trail or by riding a cable car. A breathtaking view of Seoul can be had at the Palgakjeong Pavilion, and tourists who climb the Seoul Tower (479.7m above sea level) are rewarded further with a view that reaches as far as the sea at Incheon's harbor. When night falls, a view of Seoul's twinkling lights and neon signs unlike any other can be enjoyed at Mt. Namsan. Located nearby is the Namsangol Traditional Korean Village and Namdaemun Market.


Every guy loves Asian women and that’s a scientific fact. Happening and cosmopolitan, Seoul has some of the best nightlife in Asia and a reputation for stunning beauties. Korea is somewhat of a cultural trendsetter in Asia and it is always at the forefront of the region’s latest fashion and music. There is  a video on YouTube by the Wonder Girls or the song Bo Peep Bo Peep by T-ara to see an example of beautiful Korean pop stars in action.


The biggest cities of South Korea

Seoul Special city 10,251,297
Busan Metropolitan city 3,548,640
Incheon Metropolitan city 2,808,286
Daegu Metropolitan city 2,508,563
Daejeon Metropolitan city 1,518,651
Gwangju Metropolitan city 1,466,516
Ulsan Metropolitan city 1,136,948
Suwon Gyeonggi 1,098,010
Changwon South Gyeongsang 1,091,733
Seongnam Gyeonggi 979,412
Goyang Gyeonggi 961,451
Yongin Gyeonggi 898,530
Bucheon Gyeonggi 872,662
Ansan Gyeonggi 715,313
Cheongju North Chungcheong 662,852
Jeonju North Jeolla 647,504