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Seoul

Between people, there is Seoul

Fashion- and technology-forward but also deeply traditional, this dynamic city of Seoul combines temples, palaces, cutting-edge design and mountain trails, all to a nonstop K-Pop beat.

The capital and largest city in South Korea, is considered a megacity because it has a population of over ten million people, with nearly half of its 10,208,302 people residing in the National Capital Area (which also includes Incheon and Gyeonggi).

The flight from Auckland to Seoul takes around 12 hours and 20 minutes. Contact your local Global Travel Network Agent to find the best possible airfares and suggestions to design your ideal holiday.

Incheon International Airport was named the world’s best for the 12th year running at last year’s Airport Service Quality Awards. Why? The gardens, free showers and sauna probably helped. It also ranked third best in last year’s World Airport Awards.

Korean food has been making waves across the globe, with kimchi, among other dishes, popping up on restaurant menus everywhere. It received the official haute cuisine stamp of approval in 2016 when the Michelin Guide launched its first Seoul edition, and there are now 24 Michelin-starred restaurants.

South Korea danced its way onto the world map with ‘Gangnam Style’ back in 2012. But there’s more to the country’s music and dance scene than K-pop. For one thing, South Korea has been home to some of the world’s best breakdancers for years after it was introduced to the country in the Nineties by American soldiers.

The country’s films broke ground on the international cinema scene in recent years with critically acclaimed productions such as Okja, starring Hollywood actors Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, which got a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last year, and the 2003 Korean classic Oldboy, which got a Hollywood remake by American film director Spike Lee in 2013.

The city was previously called Hanyang and Gyeongseongbu, then renamed Seoul in 1945, when it was freed from Japanese occupation.

As with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

Hailed as Seoul’s most popular attraction, Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 by King Taejo. It is the largest and most striking of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, housing more than 300 buildings, the National Folk Museum, and the National Palace Museum.

Changdeokgung Palace is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal palaces in South Korea. Construction of Changdeok Palace began in 1405, and was completed in 1412. The Palace was burnt to the ground during the Japanese invasion in 1592 and reconstructed in 1609 by King Seonjo and King Gwanghaegun.

Lotte World is a major recreation complex in Seoul. It consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park called “Magic Island”, an artificial island inside a lake linked by monorail, shopping malls, a luxury hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities, and movie theaters. Opened on July 12, 1989, Lotte World receives 7.3 million visitors each year.

Bukchon Hanok Village occupies the hilly neighborhood between Gyeongbok Palace and Changdeok Palace in north-central Seoul. The neighborhood has the largest collection of privately owned hanoks, or traditional Korean homes with tiled roofs and stone floors, in Seoul. Not only that, but these 900 hanoks date all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty. While a stroll through Bukchon Village may feel like a trip through the ages, the neighborhood is not frozen in time. Some of the hanoks are still private homes, but others have been converted into tea houses, coffee shops, cafes, art galleries, inns and museums.

Dongdaemun Market, located in Seoul, is Korea’s largest wholesale and retail shopping district with more than 30,000 fashion shops and 50,000 manufacturers opened for 24-hours a day. The market sells all types of goods but notably silks and fabric, clothes, shoes and leather goods, sporting goods, plumbing and electronics, office supplies, fortune tellers, toys and food areas specialising in Korean cuisine. The Dongdaemun Design Plaza with a distinctively neofuturistic design is the centerpiece of the shopping district.

When in Seoul, you would get more side dishes than main dishes. A typical Korean meal comes with seven or eight separate side dishes including the squash soup and kimchies.

Well, if you want to see the entire Seoul city in one go, then you must join one of Seoul’s popular hiking trails, which start at Inwangsan on the northwestern side of Seoul often referred as “Benevolent King Mountain” and White Tiger Mountain. While reaching the top, you would get a 360-degree view of Seoul.

 

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