Seoul truly is an amazing city. There is a reason that it’s being called the shopping capital of the world, and that it’s airport, Incheon, has won best airport for I think 7 years now. I have spoken a lot about Busan in my previous posts so I can describe Seoul as a Busan on steroids. It has every shop and restaurant imaginable, and we didn’t even get to see everything because we were only there for 3 days. I had done some research before of markets to visit because I wanted to pack as much into those 3 days as possible.
On sunday we went to 2 markets. The one had lots of clothing, bags and shoes, and it was very reasonably priced. A bag was around R100, and there was a lot of clothing between R50 and R150. The next market was not actually a street market because it was like a mini shopping centre with 7 floors. The fashion floors were amazing, I could not believe how fashionable and just plain stunning the clothes were. It was like all my favourite boutiques and shops in Cape Town thrown in and blended together.
The next day Norman and I met up with 3 guys that went to our school in grade 5 and 6. It really demonstrated the power of social networks to me, because they obviously saw a photo of me in Korea, and then messaged me on FaceBook in a group chat with the 3 of them asking if we could meet up. It was such a fluke situation that we just couldn’t pass it up. I remember being so sad when they left the school, and then just accepting the fact that I would never see them again. But by chance they saw we was in Korea, and just in time because it was our last day before leaving for Thailand.
They were very excited to show us their city, and Eric (one of the three), came to fetch us from our backpackers and took us to a market. The spelling is rather complicated and would require me to Google it so I’m just going to leave its name out. It was unlike any of the other ones I’d seen. It didn’t have fashionable things, it was more like a wholesale market where they sell everything. By that I mean food, kitchen goodies, cameras etc.
Next we were off to Namsan Tower, which is the highest Tower in Seoul. It has the most spectacular view of the surrounding landscape, and I saw the city from a perspective that I hadn’t seen it before. It is also a place where couples come and put locks on the fence with messages of everlasting love. No, Norman and I didn’t do it because we didn’t want to waste money on a silly touristy gimmick. And anyway, our love isn’t defined by a little rusting lock on a fence below the highest tower in Seoul… (To be honest I would definitely have done it if the locks were being given out freely, it wasn’t really a decision based on principle).
Then we met up with Daniel, and later James. They were all so lovely and generous towards us, and they even bought me a gift! I really wasn’t expecting that, and it was a box of beauty goodies, like face masks and lip gloss. We went out for dinner at the cutest Italian restaurant, and then said our goodbyes. It was really so nice to reconnect with old friends, and we had a great day.