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  1. #1
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    Soulful Seoul (before MERS)

    Went to Seoul for a few days last May to meet up with a friend from the US. Friend was coming over for a conference and she wanted to see me, since it's been ages. She offered me free room and board. I said I would go if I will be able to get promo flights. Luckily, I got discounted tickets, so off to Seoul I went!

    Flight landed in the evening

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    This was in early May and there were lots of signs about Ebola. No signs about MERS, though.



    The plane landed at a gate far from the immigration area, so we had to take the shuttle train. Here are some peeps waiting for the shuttle.


  3. #3
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    Lots of tourists landed at that time, so lines were long at passport control.



    I know that immigration areas are no-camera zones, but whatever...



    I only saw a few backpackers, unlike in SEA. Probably because they know that Korea is pricey. Korea wasn't really in my bucket list of places to visit, since I know that it's too expensive for my budget. But my friend offered to help, so it wasn't too bad.

  4. #4
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    After almost an hour, I went down to the basement level to get to the trains. There are 2 trains from the Incheon airport - the express train and the all-stop train. I took the all-stop since I needed to get off at one of its stations.

    [/IMG]

    Waiting for the airport train





    These pics were taken using a phone. My phone doesn't like bright lights.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    It was past 10 pm already, so some ppl were already sleepy



    More shots inside the train



    There was a Korean Airlines flight attendant... I think this was a different train ride, though


  6. #6
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    Korean currency. 1000 won is approx 1 USD






  7. #7
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    Some ads at the metro station



    This station had a huge waiting area

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    I used the single journey ticket for the airport train, and the T-money card for the metro. You can buy the latter at convenience stores like 7/11 and GS25.



    What I liked about Seoul is that there are vicinity maps everywhere. You won't get lost as a tourist.


  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
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    Some sights on the way to Gyeongbokgung Palace.



    There's a statue of a King, but I didn't really notice it then. It was raining a bit and I was in a hurry to get to the palace. I didn't have an umbrella but I wore a hooded sweater, so it was okay.


  10. #10
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    I'm not sure if this is the National Folk Museum or the Sejong Center for Performing Arts


    There was a big event from Kia motors at that time. (the one with the red banner) There were loudspeakers and there were some singers performing.


  11. #11
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    Walking towards Gyeongbokgung Palace



    There was a bazaar on the other side of the street. Didn't go there, though.


  12. #12
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    Korean Museum of Contemporary History. Went here after I did the Palace tour.



    Still going to the Palace

  13. #13
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    The Gwanghamun gate of the Palace




  14. #14
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    I visited that palace in Jan, they keep it in good condition. I love historical places like that. No rain in Jan, but damn it was cold.

  15. #15
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Thanks for your trip advice. Wife and friends had a great time!

  16. #16
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    @Willy: yeah, the palaces are in very good condition. The other palace that I visited was also very nice. Re: the weather, it was okay. It only rained one day among the days that I was there. The temps when I visited were in the 20s, which were a welcome relief since it was the midst of summer here then.

    @Davis: You're welcome. Glad to be of help. Good to know that your wife & co. enjoyed their trip.

    I'll try to add more to this thread when time and internet allows. My net is acting up because of the rains.

  17. #17
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    Thanks, I think I'll visit Seoul. I'll go on one of the Chinese airlines like China Eastern and take advantage of their visa free 72 hour layover policy to spend a couple of days in Shanghai on the way back.

  18. #18
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    I've always thought Seoul was soulless and depressing and the OP's pics do nothing but reinforce that point. A bland, grey country populated by people of the same persuasion.

    Do yourself a favour and go to Japan if you're intent on heading up that way.

  19. #19
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    More pics for now. Was busy the past few days and my internet was &^%.

    View from the palace gate


    Tourists waiting to cross the street to get to the palace

  20. #20
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    @BobR - I think Seoul would be interesting for a few days trip. Maybe you can go to Busan too? BLD made a good thread about his Seoul-Busan-Japan trip. It may give you more ideas.

    @hallelujah - I think any city would look gray and depressing if it was rainy or cloudy. During my second day of touring, it was sunny, so the scenes are prettier. I wouldn't say Seoul was soulless; I found it interesting and most of the people I encountered (on the streets, etc) were helpful, although not very friendly. IMO, Seoul is a bit like Singapore - clean, efficient and expensive!

  21. #21
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    Once you enter the main gate, there's a courtyard.





    Many tourists that weekend, even if it was raining. Admission price is 3$.


  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
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    I saw these girls wearing the hanbok (traditional dress). They were posing for pics, and I snapped a couple too.





    There was quite a number wearing traditional clothes as there was a "Royal Court Culture Festival" during that time.
    I just hope these ppl don't visit teakdoor and see their faces here. :-P

  23. #23
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    Armed with my ticket, it's time to enter the palace




  24. #24
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    Cheers, Katie...Spent a year in various places in Korea, particularly Pohang City, home of Posco Steel, which was quite nice...

  25. #25
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    More palace pics



    Once you enter the main gate, there are 2 other gates before you reach the main throne room.



    There are free guided tours. I didn't take the guided tour, though. It's good to visit this palace during the afternoon because there's a "changing of the guards" at around 3pm.


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