Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Looking Down on Seoul

It would be difficult to frown upon the city of Seoul and its people. Seoul started its emergence over 2000 years ago, and has been on the move ever since. 

Some interesting facts:

  • It has the world's longest subway system (by length)
  • Incheon Airport has been awarded the World's Best Airport seven years in a row.
  • Seoul's metropolitan GDP is 4th highest in the world, behind Tokyo, NYC and Los Angeles
  • The metropolitan area is home to over 25 million people, making it the second largest (after Tokyo)
  • Seoul has the world's most visited National Park, the largest indoor amusement park, the longest bridge fountain and the largest movie screen.
  • Hosted over 10 million foreign visitors in 2012.
  • DOES NOT SERVE/EAT DOG MEAT AT EVERY RESTAURANT/MEAL. (That's kinda a joke, but not really. Koreans are "known" for eating dog, but it is certainly a delicacy, and only served in specific, expensive restaurants. Plus, with the emergence of dogs as pets, interest has waned dramatically).
As I MAY have mentioned, Seoul has definitely changed since we were here in 2001. To get a better perspective, I visited both 63City and the Seoul Tower last week.

63City if the tallest buliding in Seoul, standing 73 floors high alongside the Han River on the cities southwest side. It is in the Yeongdeungpo-gu District. Say that three times fast. . . 

I am unsure why the building is named 63City, but the Observation Deck also incorporates a small art gallery called, what else, 63SkyArt. So off we go to the 60th floor. Also in the 63City is Seoul Sea World. The building was filled with Korean school children (under 10) today. Lucky me.
Looking up river to the west
Both of these pictures are looking north across the River towards downtown, but there is a MOUNTAIN (Namsam, where the Seoul Tower is) in the middle of the city, so you really can't see the whole are. You CAN see the tower, though on the upper right.

Outside of 63City is the Olympic torch from the 1988 games here in Seoul

And a pretty cool metal sculpture of a stand of trees.

Sunday showed some promise of good visibility. After lazing around trying to decide what to do watching the sky all morning, we headed off to the Seoul Tower. I did this in 2001, but have no recollection of how I got UP to the Tower itself. None. Nada. Zilch.

But this time, we took the cable car.  I probably did this last time, but just blocked it from my memory. I don't like these things.

The downtown that is hidden by the mountain from 63City

North Seoul Tower. In the top 100 places to visit in Korea. Duh.
This pic is upriver. I took it in 2001. Notice the blue sky and white puffy clouds. I miss that.
Same(ish) shot today. Really doesn't look like much has changed. Strangely.
Same with these two shots (above and below). Above was in 2001, below on Saturday. I think the windows were cleaner in 2001.

Obligatory selfie of us at the Tower.

Standing at the geographical center of Seoul. Which just so happens to be at the base of the Seoul Tower. 
After a nutritional and traditional lunch of hot dogs, french fries and beer, we booze cruised our way home on foot through Myeong-dong, Eijuro, and Insadong. A thirty minute walk that took us 4.5 hours, countless beers (including a roadie apiece) and some much needed snacks.

A good day looking down on Seoul.

1 comment:

Bill H. said...

I like it, especially the old and new pics even if it doesn't attest to your claim that the place is so different