Seoul Tower from a distance
Hiking my way up Namsan mountain to the Seoul Tower observatory for a view of the city. The center of the city is leafy and green––always a treat!
The top of Seoul Tower (which used to be called Namsan tower), a classic spot for a date and a regular stop on tours
I finally made it to the world-famous Mabang Zip, the restaurant an hour outside of Seoul that's known for its traditional, upscale Korean fare! Located in Ha-nam-shi Kyoung-gi-do, it's a 95-year-old family business that's currently run by a third generation of restaurateurs. Maganb Zip is to Seoul what Peter Luger's is to New York.
This meal was without a doubt the highlight of my trip!
The Insadong (also known as Anhgookdong) neighborhood is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and score things like giant calligraphy brushes and tea––very Korean.
Yes, that is a bus stop in the shape of a television (before flat-screens came along)!
Just another street
I went back to Seoul's very cool and clean Chung Gae Chun (Streamlet)! It reminded me somewhat of New York's Highline
Don't you love happy accident? Like street concerts at Yongsan station!
A five-hour train ride away from Seoul is the port city Yeosu, where the Korea Expo 2012 world's fair was taking place
The best combo of Korean street food EVER!!! Clockwise from right: Korean ramen, pickled dan-moo-ji, kimbop (Korean sushi of sorts), and kkkack-du-gi kimchi!
Iced coffee topped with amazing snow-like ice at Alaska Café (the coffee and bakery chain that seems to plunk itself down in Seoul's trendier neighborhoods) in Apguungdong.
Alaska Café pastries
All-Korean drinks at the supermarket
Always on my to-do list in Korea: shop for cute stationery!
The opening party at the new, upscale SSG shop by the company Shinsegae. SSG is a cross between a mall and department store––it is the BEST Korean retailer!
The concept shop My Boon, inside SSG
The My Boon store. Its beautifully designed furniture isn't just for display but also for purchase! (Peep the yummy Proenzas, too.)
No billboards in this Times Square! This "Times Square" is one of Seoul's newest mega-malls, which have been popping up as of late.
Inside yet another super-sized mall, D-cube city. Clearly in Seoul these days, size does matter!
Keeping up with the Lees! My bro, me, dad, and mom.
Goodbye, my Seoul!
OC Online's Joyce makes the trip back to her hometown of Seoul (which she's blogged about before HERE and HERE, as the best of the OC Blog nerds will remember). Oh, and yeah that is a reference to our current viral video obsession with Psy's "Gangnam Style"! Get into OC's year of Korea!
Over the past few years, visiting my home country of Korea and my ever-changing soul city, Seoul, has been a different experience every time. Mostly, it's a positive culture shock that's due to the speedy, exciting development in fashion (peep the ever-growing roster of Korean designers at OC), design, architecture, K-pop (including the sensational 2NE1 girls and Jeremy Scott front row fixtures The Wonder Girls), K-drama (like soap operas––but better!), and an underground youth and digital culture. As a result, OC introducing Korea as its featured country this year couldn't be better timing. Check out the pictures from my trip, my third time visiting Seoul since I joined OC!