Heart and Seoul

Facelift? Yes, I decided we needed a little spicing up to our blogging life (although Austin doesn't contribute and thinks blogging is lame???). I figured bamboo was fitting, as we are in the land of much bamboo.
For the Choesuk weekend, Austin and I joined two other couples (our Canadian friends, Danielle/Mike and Mara/Drew) for a fun-filled trip to the capital of South Korea and the 2nd most densely populated metropolitan area in the World, Seoul! We took the KTX train (the really fast train) to reach the entire opposite side of the country in only a mere 2.5 hours...about the distance from College Station to Austin!! It is crazy how small this country actually is, but rather exciting because that means that we can easily explore other cities during a regular weekend.

With many of the 10,000,000+ Seoulites out of the city, (for Choesuk, the families all gather together at the paternal grandparents home, no matter where in the country that might be) us 6 were able to maneuver to city with more ease than if the entire population were present. We have heard from many people that the city was totally dead when we were there, so I can only imagine how many more people and how much busier it has to be! Starting our days at about 9 am and ending close to midnight or later each night attributed to tired feet, full stomachs and happy SEOULS!

What did we do and see?

- the famous Yongsan Electronics Market (the largest electronics market in Asia) where you can pretty much find any electronic good you could ever want. Our friend Mara was the biggest spender here, buying a zoom lens for her Nikon DSLR camera.

- the Korean War Memorial. We spent about 2 hours only on the outside walking around before realizing that it was too late to make it inside...that will definitely be a must-see on our next trip. Koreans are very proud of this museum and flock here often to remember Korea's history

the front of the War Memorial

the many different types of planes and machinery used in the Korean War

A Republic of Korea plane

The type of weapon that Austin's Grandfather used in the Korean War

- Myeongdong Shopping Area...so fun and busy, busy, busy!

A store strictly selling cell phone accessories! So Korean!

- Namdaemun Market, (the largest traditional market in the country) where Austin caved and finally bought his sought-after man-purse (he will kill me when he finds out I called it a man-purse over the internet for all to see!!!).

- Itaewon area (the "foreigners" area of Seoul due to its close proximity to the US Army Base). We ate Mexican food here, but it was not too authentic, so that made us have to go get more the next day :)

- Gyeongbok Palace (the largest palace in the country) was very pretty and traditional. We were smack dab in the middle of the city, but felt like we were totally removed and in a very peaceful area.

A cute little boy wearing a traditional hanbok outfit!

- Insadong Market area is where we stayed AND spent much of our time. Insadong is known for its traditional pottery and handmade gifts. There are also cafes and shops lining all the streets that all have a warm, European-like atmosphere.

- Sinchon area...mainly just the ON THE BORDER for steak/shrimp fajitas, guacamole and margs!!! Muy Bien :)- Dongdaemun Market that has some of the best clothes shopping deals in the city

Overall, we covered a lot of the really interesting and exciting sites to see in Seoul, but there are sooo many more things that would be a thrill to see and do. We are excited for our next trip to the big city :)