Suwon and Seoul
Suwon is a suburb of Seoul and famous for its fortress walls which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first evening we tackled the eastern side. The about 200 years old walls are well maintained and offer various viewpoints of the city. After all the walking we got hungry and headed for the fried chicken street (no joke it’s really called so).
We are great fans of quirky sights and museums. Therefore, the “Mr. Toilet House” was just up our alley.
The museum is located at the former house of Suwon’s former mayor and founder of the World Toilet Organisation (what great knowledge for the next Apero small talk).
Besides some history about toilets, it has some interesting (and very explicit) statues as well. It also seemed a popular excursion spot for kindergarten classes.
In the afternoon, we tackled the western side of the 5km long wall all the way up to Seojangdae which offers a fantastic view of the city.
Lot of Soul in Seoul
The subway brought us to Seoul Station where our Airbnb for the next four days was.
We straight headed out for Seoullo a highway overpass similar to New York City’s High Line. Definitely a nice addition to downtown Seoul.
After some shopping in crazy busy Namdaemun Market, we hopped over to even more buzzing Myeong-dong. Besides rows and rows of cosmetic shops, we also found a good dinner place.
Autumn Colours at the Secret Garden
The next day, we first went to the Bukchon Village with its traditional houses. Besides heaps of tourists, it also offers some scenic photo spots (therefore the heaps of tourists).
After lunch, we headed to nearby Changdeokgung Palace. This UNESCO World Cultural Heritage listed site is a prime example of Korean temples. Mainly built of wood they are normally simpler in design than their Chinese counterparts but very pretty nevertheless.
Part of the palace was the Secret Garden a beautiful place for the former king to meditate and relax. The trees were in full autumn colours and together with the good weather and a great tour guide it made for a very nice afternoon.
Shopping Craziness and Lanterns
A trip to Seoul wouldn’t be complete without at least one stop at Dongdaemun market district. It’s a truly crazy place. With 26 shopping malls over 10 blocks, 30,000 speciality shops, and 50,000 manufacturers it is just incredible big. It’s a great place to buy clothes, cloths and accessories. For sure we got lost in the maze of shops.
Our visit coincided with the annual lantern festival along the Hangang River. Very pretty to look at.
We concluded our stay in Seoul the next day with some more shopping and a trip to Siloam Spa – another excellent bathhouse.
Korea a fun place to visit
Our second trip to Korea together (read here about the first one) was definitely fun. It’s a great destination to combine culture, a bit of hiking and yummy food. The well-organised transportation system makes travel easy and comfortable. Go – you will love it.
Transportation: see here
Where to stay:
- In Suwon, we stayed at the “It’s W Hotel” – great value for money. There are a lot of hotels around in that area so you won’t have a problem finding one.
- Seoul – once again we choose Airbnb and stayed in a nice one room-flat near Seoul station. In general, there are a lot of Airbnbs in Seoul.
Food: you will love Seoul with all its cafés and restaurants. Needless to say, you find Korean BBQ and fried Chicken at every corner.