The Spirit of Seoul
I am a country girl at heart, but I love spending time in big cities! I think it would be so different living in a city like you do! What is your favorite thing about living in a city? There are so many things to do in Seoul, every time I visit it is exciting. This weekend I got to do so many neat things!
Korea Standard Time
Location (Latitude, Longitude):
37.5833° N, 127.0000° E
How far did I travel this week?
How far have I traveled on your journey so far?
How did I get around this week?
I took trains, subways, and walked a ton!
What was the most interesting place I visited this week?
This week I went to Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is the largest city in South Korea and one of the largest cities in the world! It is home to over twenty-five million people! There are lots of things to do and see in Seoul, so I always enjoy my time there.
Other travel news:
I headed to Seoul early Saturday morning, where I met my friends. We went to a cherry blossom festival, ate lunch, and then took a subway to the Han River. At the Han River we visited the “Floating Islands”, which are museums built on the middle of the river! Then, I went to a temple, which looked absolutely gorgeous in the midst of the new spring life. Later that night I met some other friends of mine in the Hongdae District of Seoul, which is known for its vibrant nightlife. After a very long and exciting day, I got back on a train bound for my college town.
Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):
Partly cloudy: 2
What is the air temperature right now?
Right now it is 60 degrees Fahrenheit in Seoul.
How was the weather this week?
The weather was a little chilly for a majority of the week, but it was sunny on Saturday!
What animals did I see this week?
I saw many birds and fish at the park where the cherry blossom festival was held.
What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week?
The coolest things I saw in nature this week were the cherry blossoms blooming on the trees. When I left my college town I the morning, the trees along the stream on the way to the train station were still in their winter state, looking dead. When I returned less than 24 hours later, they were in full bloom! What an amazing transformation!
Other Nature News:
When I first arrived here, my Korean friends told me that it would start to get warm in two weeks. I have been in Korea almost two months now and I still wear a big coat! Recently, I have been seeing the sun more often and the flowers are in bloom. It took a long time, but I finally believe that my favorite season, summer, is on its way! What is your favorite season?
What languages are spoken here?
Korean is the most common language spoken in Korea, however, English is also used occasionally. There are many foreigners in Seoul who speak English, and students study it in school from an early age, so almost everyone under 30 years old can speak a little English.
What type of money is used here?
Korean won is the money used throughout Korea. If the price tag says 1,000, don’t worry! One thousand won is worth a little less than one dollar.
How much does a bottle of water cost?
A bottle of water costs about fifty cents.
What was the best meal this week?
There are lots of street vendors in Seoul who I love to buy food from! For dinner on Saturday I had Twigim, which is a plate of assorted deep fried vegetables and dumplings of my choice. I also had a mango bubble tea, which was similar to a mango smoothie with small black tapioca bubbles. I saw a stand selling fresh waffles folded in half and filled with ice cream, but I was too full to get one that trip. Next time I am in the area I will definitely be ordering one!
What music did I listen to this week?
Seoul is a great place to spend the day, but at night it becomes especially alive! While walking down the street, you are likely to come across many street performers. They play instruments and sing songs in both Korean and English. I was excited to hear a performer singing a song by one of my favorite bands, Maroon 5. Inside stores and restaurants you will hear both Korean music (K-pop) and Western music like we listen to in the United States. There are many foreigners who live in Seoul, so music from many different countries is popular there.
What activity was the most fun this week?
On Saturday morning I met up with several friends and we went to a cherry blossom festival in Seoul. Korean people love this time of year because the cherry blossom trees are beginning to bloom, filling the whole country with beautiful new life and a sweet scent. We got to walk around the park together, enjoying the cherry blossoms and other spring flowers.
What did I read this week?
This week I read a ton of information about Seoul to help me prepare for my trip. Once I arrived, I found myself reading many sings, maps, and information boards to help me navigate the exciting new places I was visiting!
What games or sports did I play this week?
I didn’t play any games, but I did enjoy getting to dance to live music in the park with people from all around the world on Saturday night.
Other news from this week:
Seoul is truly a city that never sleeps! It would be nice if I didn’t need to sleep either, but I definitely do. There are many affordable places to stay in Seoul, as long as you don’t need anything luxurious. Guest houses cost approximately $15, where you have a shared bedroom and restroom. Sometimes they even provide free breakfast! The Korean way of overnight accommodations are bath houses called jimjilbangs, which are usually only about $7 per night. At the bath houses, you get access to many hot tubs and saunas. Sleeping usually takes place on the floor, just anywhere you can find a spot. It’s not the most comfortable place to sleep, but it sure is an interesting experience. They even provide you with pajamas for the night!