South Korea: Soul – The Soul of Korean Republic II
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KLI 63 Building is one of the tallest skyscrapers in South Korea. Many compare this building to the infamous twin towers in New York City. There are many ways to spend your leisure time in the skyscraper. I quite liked the Observatory. It was on the top floor and had over 20,000 different kinds of critters. Another of the interesting features of this building was the glass enclosed balcony. It was a strange feeling to stand on the thick glass and look down into the depths where there is nothing below you for a long, long time and only at the very bottom a hard impact. The view of the city, however, was too tempting to resist regardless of unfounded fears.
Another interesting building is the Jongo Tower. In this case, the building designation is perhaps an insult. More accurately, it is an architectural gem. It's worth a look just to see it and you should definitely not miss it.
The Namdaemum market stands out because rural and urban life meet there. You'll see a lady dressed in the latest fashions as well as a dishevelled country girl with a cheerful smile. It's also an interesting place because of the goods you'll find there. From clothes to flowers to curiosities you wouldn't find here.
In case of bad weather you can go to Lotte World. It's a shopping mall right in the center of town. There are an incredible number of department stores, water sports - which gave me a bit of pause - and Disneyland, where an adult becomes a little kid.
Well, I was most enchanted by Cheonggyecheon - an artificial stream flowing through the centre of Seoul and lined with a paved walkway. In places, it creates waterfalls where the water flows by the wall. In some places, you'll find what looks like a naturally created crossing made of stones that you can jump over to the other side of the bank. You can sit on the bank and wet your feet in the water. It's clean and doesn't smell at all. They have taken care of that thoroughly. Alternatively, you can lie down in the grass and listen to the running water with your eyes closed. It's a perfect demonstration that even in a big city you can build a little piece of earthly paradise.
Besides the mentioned cities, Changgysonggung Palace, the Korean Buddhist Museum, the National Museum of Korea, Namdaemun Gate, T'apkol Park, the World Trade Center, Hanok (a traditional village), the Olympic Stadium with the Olympic Park, and many other places are definitely worth seeing, but time passes too quickly, so we have to carefully consider what we are interested in first.
Another special feature of Seoul is that when you walk along the sidewalk along the tree line, a number of crickets chirp on command. Not very appealing to the eye, but quite delicious to the ears. A bit overgrown, they look a bit like the fried bugs they sell at the stall on the street.
The dishes are mostly spicy, but all the healthier for it. Not for nothing do Korean people look younger than they really are. You should definitely try the sushi. For me, it was my first experience with this dish, and to be honest, I had trouble swallowing the tentacle of a small octopus that was still writhing in its death throes, but you can't taste what you can't experience.
Anyway, what I liked about Seoul was that it didn't matter what time of day or night you went out. There was always something to do and always lots of people wandering around. One could experience a midnight visit to one of the many shopping malls open, pop into a pharmacy or go swimming at the swimming pool. Nothing is impossible in Seoul, you won't find anywhere closed because Seoul was, is and always will be for its people.
Text: Mária Koczová
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