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12 In Korea/ Travel

Seoul – Dongho Bridge Nightscape

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If you love nightscapes and are planning to visit Seoul, Dongho Bridge could be a lovely spot to have a glass of wine. Last weekend I got together with a group of friends and picnicked next to the Han River with a bottle of wine. It was a bit chilly so dress warmly or bring a warm blanket! If you plan to take a river cruise on the Han, I would definitely do it at night when the lights are on. I’ve been on a Han River cruise during the day and it wasn’t particularly impressive.

2015-silentlyfree-seoul-han-river-01 Dongho Bridge is near Ga-ro-su-gil which is a trendy shopping area in the Gang-nam area of Seoul. To be honest, most people who visit Seoul seem to stay in the Gang-book area as there is a concentration of shopping areas as well as the cultural sites. However, if you’re staying for an extended time I would definitely swing by Ga-ro-su-gil as there are some interesting shops and cafes as well as some great foodie places!

Your turn ♥ Would you like to visit Seoul someday? Let me know what kind of things you would like to experience in Seoul!

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  • http://lovefromberlin.net/ rae

    Lovley photos – although I am always partial to posts about Korea as a Korean adoptee who is very curious about the land.

    Rae | Love from Berlin

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Thanks Rae :) I would say Seoul has a unique vibe that blends traditional culture with the modern. Perhaps not as pulled together as London in some regards, but it’s amazing how far it’s come considering it suffered two crippling wars back to back! What are some of the things you’d like to know about Korea? I’d be happy to answer what I can :D

      • http://lovefromberlin.net/ rae

        I visited around 7 years ago and found it very modern but I am sure things have changed a lot since then! I would love to know more about Korea – not really sure where to start though! Maybe you could tell me a bit about the modern culture? Thanks for being so helpful!

        • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

          I would say that Koreans are a very digitally connected group of people. Most people use an online search site called Naver as opposed to Google. Naver has a blogging platform as well as a community platform called ‘cafes’ where people with similar interests can easily set up forums. It’s sort of like a cross between Google, Blogger/Wordpress, and Facebook. The search function is insane because you can opt to search for blog posts only and you’ll actually get tons of posts from blogs as opposed to outdated pages or SEO targeted ad traps. There is also an app called Kakao Talk that most if not everybody has on their phone and everyone from parents to young children use to send texts and have group chats. Because everyone is hyper-connected, information travels insanely fast. So if it’s cherry blossom season, everyone and their mother will know where the best places to see them are and there’s a big chance there will be a huge crowd there. Recently there was a celebrity who was on the cover of a magazine with a striking lip color. There was a rumor that the color was MAC Chili, which was not sold in Korea. People started ordering it overseas and asking their friends and relatives who were traveling to buy it for them. MAC Korea quickly added it to their permanent line, but it was sold out and on backorder because practically every woman and teen that was interested in lipstick wanted to buy it.

          I think these days foreigners who are visiting or staying for an extended period of time tend to forget that Korea still has strong cultural roots that are completely different from the Western world because it looks and feels modern and trends whip through Korea faster than most places in the world. But I think at the heart of even the most modern Korean that culture is still there. There is an appreciation for certain foods that are traditionally eaten during each season, and people love movies and tv series that stage the old dynasties of Korea (sort of how people binge watch Downton Abbey or the Tudors). Let me know if you’re curious about anything else ;)

          • http://lovefromberlin.net/ rae

            This was actually so interesting and helpful, thank you so much Kim, for sharing this information with me. While I have spent many of my years trying to learn things about Korea here and there surprisingly this was really new information. I mean I do know about Naver and have heard about Kakao Talk but it is so interesting to hear more about how these sites work specifically and just how connected people and how fast information travels. Mostly people tend to like to focus on Kpop and Kdramas and the plastic surgery industry. While Kpop and Kdramas were two things I were really interested back in high school, they are not really main focuses on mine. I do think the subject of plastic surgery in Korea is important though, and while I do think it is extreme and there are things that are unhealthy about the amount of focus Korea puts on looks, I also think the west harshly and wrongly judges Koreans and assumes they know the reasons why women and men in Korea go under the knife.

            Korea is an interesting mix of traditional and modern and I can totally see how westerners could sometimes forget this. I would love to hear more about the aspects of Korea that remain vey traditional versus the aspects of traditional culture that has become very modern. You can also feel free to email me at: raetashman@gmail.com. So glad to have met you via the internet and thank you so much for helping me learn about my country of birth! xx

          • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

            My pleasure Rae ;) I think plastic surgery is one of those things that people blow out of proportion after seeing people in certain areas walking around after having received plastic surgery. People tend to forget that Seoul is a very concentrated city in terms of population, and that just because there are people that do get plastic surgery doesn’t mean everyone and their mother is going to go out and get it. I think the difference is that plastic surgery has become more accepted than in the past. Probably because celebrities have changed their attitude from trying to hide the fact that they had plastic surgery, to defending their choice as something required by the industry and the consumers.

          • http://lovefromberlin.net/ rae

            This is such a good point – clearly people hear only about the crazy plastic surgery stories, and I have heard that there is even a negative word Koreans use for those who get too much surgery and end up looking strange. To be honest, I think that we cannot judge others for doing it but I do think that Koreans get more plastic surgery than other places and I wish that more people in Korea would embrace their natural beauty. That being said, I would not be opposed to getting a nose filler! Haha! But the thing is it isn’t really an issue confined to Korea – a lot of other Asian countries are also picking up on the trend – most notably Singapore. And in the west, we have our own forms of unhealthy body image issues!

  • http://blog.jessicapei.com/ Jessica || WONDERMENTARY

    Oh that’s so pretty! Did you use a SLR camera? I’ve been to Seoul once and I would love to go back (with my nice camera in tow).

    WONDERMENTARY

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Thanks Jess :D Yes, I used my trusty Canon 100D for this shot. I normally wouldn’t have gone to do a nightscape without a tripod, but this wasn’t a planned trip so I didn’t have my tripod on hand. The light from the bridge and the river cruise boat was so bright that I was able to get some clear shots without a tripod! If you visit Seoul you’ll definitely have to let me know! I’ll take you to all the yummy places :P

      • http://blog.jessicapei.com/ Jessica || WONDERMENTARY

        Awww yeah, thanks! One of these days I’ll have to go back to Seoul and indulge (both in food and k-pop lol).

  • Sofia Santos

    I visited Seal last year but just 2 days. It wasn’t enough. This city is so beautiful. There are many more things I would like to visit there. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back!
    http://thepaletteoflife.blogspot.com

    • http://www.silentlyfree.com/ Kim

      Ahhh I feel like 2 days is sort of like the perfect teaser for a city :P I know that when I’ve traveled to major cities and stayed 1-2 days I’m always hungry for more! What did you see while you were in Seoul? :D