The flight to Seoul took nearly five hours and I swear it was the longest plane ride I've been on. It was unbearable to be strapped in my seat for that long. It did not help that Asiana had crappy food and the seats were cramped.
I was in Seoul a couple of weeks back for a two-day meeting. Luckily we had some free time, giving my colleagues and I to explore the city a bit. As I did some prior research, I was the "tour guide" for the group. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out the massive subway system of the city, but later on I really got the hang of it with the help of a few locals.
The weather was transitioning to fall when we visited Seoul; or at least a few of the trees had started to change color. I have never seen fall prior to that. Also, by my standards, it was rather chilly, although the temperature was only between 18 to 9 degrees. In Surigao, we freeze when the temperatures reach 27, which hardly happens.
But the good thing about fall is people were layering light jackets and some scarves. Thigh-high boots were de rigueur among the girls. I was mesmerized by just looking at the clothes. And damn, the people in Seoul are not only fashionable but they can also be quite gorgeous. Most men are pretty solid, at least compared with Thai men, and have cheekbones reaching for the hills surrounding the city.
Oh, those hills. They dot Seoul, like green islands jutting out from a sea of concrete and steel. The morning sun cast a glow on them, which I observed even from my tiny hotel room in the shopping district.
Shopping is certainly big in Seoul. We stayed in a location that's akin to Pratunam in Bangkok, which had malls huddled together. We also went to Myeongdun or something, which is comparable to Siam Square in its hipness, only ten times better. I nearly cried when I saw H&M, which, honestly, is a tad too over the top for a reaction. But that's me, a drama queen. Damn, I even missed the chance of going to Uniqlo, but that would be for next time (I hope!).
Shopping aside, there are many more reasons to go back to Seoul. It has quite a few World Heritage Sites in the middle of the city, which I'm sure is worth checking out. I heard Seoul also have a good night life. Regrettably, we were so tired after a whole-day's meeting, we simply didn't have the energy to paint the town red.
I guess the more lasting impression for me of Seoul is Korean cuisine. I rarely notice food. However, the food in Korea always seems fresh and healthy, with vegetables aplenty, headed by kimchi. I also had mustered enough courage to eat raw octopus (or its small cousins), which was still wiggling inside my mouth when I bit into it.