A Travellerspoint blog

Sprawling Seoul has so much to see (pt 2)

The huge Buddha statue at Bongeunsa Temple contrasts with the modern buildings surrounding it; just 30 years ago rice patties and farmers surrounded the temple

The huge Buddha statue at Bongeunsa Temple contrasts with the modern buildings surrounding it; just 30 years ago rice patties and farmers surrounded the temple

The buildings on the floating islands have glass façades, creating a large undulating palette as the LED lights are constantly changing; this fantastic light show appears on a building that hosts concerts, fashion shows and nightclubs

The buildings on the floating islands have glass façades, creating a large undulating palette as the LED lights are constantly changing; this fantastic light show appears on a building that hosts concerts, fashion shows and nightclubs

Namdaemun Market consists of many square blocks which each typically sell just one type of good; you could go to the block selling glasses, for example, where all the competitors are together but I detected price collusion too

Namdaemun Market consists of many square blocks which each typically sell just one type of good; you could go to the block selling glasses, for example, where all the competitors are together but I detected price collusion too

The first Gothic cathedral in Korea, Myeong-dong has symbolized Korean Catholicism for 120  years; in 2014, Pope Francis presided over mass at this most iconic of Korean cathedrals

The first Gothic cathedral in Korea, Myeong-dong has symbolized Korean Catholicism for 120+ years; in 2014, Pope Francis presided over mass at this most iconic of Korean cathedrals

Namsan Park is home to many tourist attractions including the National Theater of Korea, Botanical Garden, Namsam Seoul Tower, old city walls and Palgakjeong Pavilion

Namsan Park is home to many tourist attractions including the National Theater of Korea, Botanical Garden, Namsam Seoul Tower, old city walls and Palgakjeong Pavilion

The Seoul City Walls, built in 1396, stretched 18.6 km along the ridge of Seoul's four inner mountains, Baegaksan, Naksan, Namsan, and Inwangsan; a 12 km stretch of the impressive, 8 m high wall remains

The Seoul City Walls, built in 1396, stretched 18.6 km along the ridge of Seoul's four inner mountains, Baegaksan, Naksan, Namsan, and Inwangsan; a 12 km stretch of the impressive, 8 m high wall remains

This is the view from the N Seoul Tower which is the highest point in Seoul; you are supposed to be able to see the entire city but, due to pollution, you actually can't see very far at all

This is the view from the N Seoul Tower which is the highest point in Seoul; you are supposed to be able to see the entire city but, due to pollution, you actually can't see very far at all

Couples have put thousands of locks around the observation decks at N Seoul Tower; you can elect to walk up the mountain or take an aerial tramway (built in 1962, it is Korea's oldest)

Couples have put thousands of locks around the observation decks at N Seoul Tower; you can elect to walk up the mountain or take an aerial tramway (built in 1962, it is Korea's oldest)

Parking must be very expensive in Seoul (you would not want to drive here!); this very vertical parking garage must really pack them in!

Parking must be very expensive in Seoul (you would not want to drive here!); this very vertical parking garage must really pack them in!

Our tour group had 10 millennials who were fans of K pop; they even went to a fan store and bought lots of merchandise

Our tour group had 10 millennials who were fans of K pop; they even went to a fan store and bought lots of merchandise

Sungnyemun Gate is the oldest and largest of the remaining gates in the ancient Seoul city walls; completed in 1398, it has been designated as Korea National Treasure number one

Sungnyemun Gate is the oldest and largest of the remaining gates in the ancient Seoul city walls; completed in 1398, it has been designated as Korea National Treasure number one

Surprisingly, the tourist destinations in Korea often had no signage in English, even at UNESCO World Heritage SItes; we never saw any homeless people or beggars

Surprisingly, the tourist destinations in Korea often had no signage in English, even at UNESCO World Heritage SItes; we never saw any homeless people or beggars

Streetcars began operating in Seoul in 1899; this is one of the last 2 two surviving models that ran for 38 years before streetcars were retired in 1968

Streetcars began operating in Seoul in 1899; this is one of the last 2 two surviving models that ran for 38 years before streetcars were retired in 1968

The Seoul Museum of Art had an exhibit with David Hockney works from the Tate; there just wasn’t enough time to see everything

The Seoul Museum of Art had an exhibit with David Hockney works from the Tate; there just wasn’t enough time to see everything

This was my favorite piece at the Seoul Contemporary Art Museum; it is made of pots, pans, skillets and other kitchenware

This was my favorite piece at the Seoul Contemporary Art Museum; it is made of pots, pans, skillets and other kitchenware

Bukchon Hanok Village is a neighborhood that was popular with the aristocracy of the Josean dynasty; with tons of tourists on your doorstep I'm surprised anyone would want to live here

Bukchon Hanok Village is a neighborhood that was popular with the aristocracy of the Josean dynasty; with tons of tourists on your doorstep I'm surprised anyone would want to live here

1856 funeral bier at the National Folk Museum; a village would typically have one bier which was used to carry bodies to a burial site, carried by 10-12 pallbearers

1856 funeral bier at the National Folk Museum; a village would typically have one bier which was used to carry bodies to a burial site, carried by 10-12 pallbearers

The National Folk Museum is on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace; the museum focuses on Korean ways of life long since gone like weaving, farming and fishing

The National Folk Museum is on the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace; the museum focuses on Korean ways of life long since gone like weaving, farming and fishing

Jogyesa Temple is the only major Buddhist temple in the center of Seoul; it's not that impressive but is convenient and especially colorful during Buddha's birthday celebrations

Jogyesa Temple is the only major Buddhist temple in the center of Seoul; it's not that impressive but is convenient and especially colorful during Buddha's birthday celebrations

Insadong is Seoul's leading street for art galleries, book stores, traditional tea houses and crafts shops; in 2015, Seoul was rated Asia's most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally

Insadong is Seoul's leading street for art galleries, book stores, traditional tea houses and crafts shops; in 2015, Seoul was rated Asia's most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally

Yoido Full Gospel Church is the largest Pentecostal Christian congregation in the world with 800,000 members; the building seats 12,000 with overflow sent to nearby buildings

Yoido Full Gospel Church is the largest Pentecostal Christian congregation in the world with 800,000 members; the building seats 12,000 with overflow sent to nearby buildings

The subways were often packed despite the city having 300  stations; the subway was easier to navigate than the bus system since the subways at least had some English signage

The subways were often packed despite the city having 300+ stations; the subway was easier to navigate than the bus system since the subways at least had some English signage

Bongeunsa, rebuilt after a 1939 fire, is known for its temple stay program where visitors can lead the lives of monks and spend the night; the Buddhist temple, founded in 794, sits across from Korea's largest exhibition venue and convention center

Bongeunsa, rebuilt after a 1939 fire, is known for its temple stay program where visitors can lead the lives of monks and spend the night; the Buddhist temple, founded in 794, sits across from Korea's largest exhibition venue and convention center

The National Assembly is the 300 member (you must be at least 30 years old to serve), unicameral, national legislature of South Korea; the building, Korea's version of our Capitol, was built in 1975

The National Assembly is the 300 member (you must be at least 30 years old to serve), unicameral, national legislature of South Korea; the building, Korea's version of our Capitol, was built in 1975

Posted by VagabondCowboy 02:58

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