My first Seoul story

It was a tiring midnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Incheon, but the fatigue was swiftly swept away when the plane touched down at the airport… snow! For the first time in my life, blanketing snow within my sight… imagine the excitement lol.

It’s cold as expected, -14°C upon arrival. Had a minor shock when I stepped out of the airport as I wasn’t fully geared; but luckily the bus arrived in just a minute or two and saved me from the harsh coldness.

Breakfast at Isaac
Isaac toast, Seoul, South Korea

Arrived in Seoul after an hour of bus ride. It’s too early to check into my hostel in Sungin-dong; had a walk around the area instead to familiarise with the place.

First meal in Korea… breakfast at Isaac, a franchise famous for its “toast” (sandwich to be precise). The bread was grilled with plenty of butter; and mine was filled with egg and cheese. Tasted decent, and pretty cheap at 1600 won (~US$1.50).

The snow ain’t pretty all the time. It’s pure and white in rural areas, but could get a bit gross in the city after mixing with all the dusts and dirt…

Dirty snow in Seoul

Went to Gwanghwamun Square at night for the Hi Seoul Winter Festival; was expecting some great light illumination, but a bit disappointed in the end.

Wonder if I was missing something… there’s nothing much beside the skating ring in the middle of the city. Yeah, there’s plenty of lights and various exhibits, pretty nice but not spectacular. My over-expectation perhaps.

Night illumination at Seoul

Ice skating ring at Gwanghwamun, Seoul

Icicle could be spotted on some of the roofs. Morning, day two…

Rooftop icicles

Deoksugung, one of the major palaces in Seoul. Nice architecture, but I was totally distracted by the lovely snow lol… more on next post.

Deoksugung, Seoul, South Korea

New City Hall which is under construction. It’s going to be a state of the art cultural and administrative centre once completed…

New City Hall, Seoul

Haechi, kinda like a mascot for Seoul, which is based on a mythical creature that looks like a lion with horn…

Wandered randomly for a couple of hours after visiting Deoksugung.

A sculpture at Lotte Duty Free department store…

Sculpture at Lotte Duty Free, Seoul

Lettuce? Could be seen in lots of places in Seoul…

Winter lettuce in Seoul

First glimpse of N Seoul Tower, one of Seoul’s most prominent landmarks…

N Seoul Tower, South Korea

It’s the year of tiger for the new lunar year; fitting deco by Woori Bank…

Tiger illumination at Woori Bank, Seoul

Nice illumination at Shinsegae, Korea’s oldest department store which celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2010…

Illumination at Shinsegae department store, Seoul

Surviving winter & language barrier

It’s not that cold when walking under subzero temperature with proper attire and gears. The side-effect was more uncomfortable though, i.e. cracking lips and bloody nose… not too bad yet, but need some extra care in future.

The only Korean word I used in the past two days was kamsahamnida, which means Thank You. Korean’s English is not as bad as perceived; the younger generation does seem to understand the basics, but couldn’t really speak.

For others, finger-pointing seems to work pretty well thus far lol.

Seoul Travelogue – Next: Deoksugung in snow

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