Day 1. 16 May (Tuesday)
From the moment Korea captivated my heart via the hit drama Autumn in my Heart and various more Korean ‘soap operas’, I harboured a strong yearning to visit this fabled romantic country. Finally, a decade later, I stepped foot in Seoul.
We arrived at the city proper at the stroke of midnight, with Seoul greeting us in a vibrant sea of golden hues. It seemed that it was a city that never sleeps, with streets still alight and filled with vehicles and humans.
After a light sleep, we woke up to a sunny albeit chilly weather, and delved ourselves straight into the history of the kingdom with a visit to a Korean palace.
The architecture of the place was a sight to behold, with beautifully carved structures wonderfully preserved. Green and red foliage in big open earthen space interspersed with traditional buildings gave the feeling of being transported into a different world, despite it being situated right in the middle of the city.
After the palace trip, we continued to travel through the time capsule and visited Bukchon, a place scarcely touched by the process of modernisation. Quaint traditional Hanok houses dotted the area, with views straight out of period movie shoots, right to children dressed up in traditional Hanboks.
As it was middle Spring, the sun only sets around 8pm, and we spent the early evening travailing the tree lined streets of Insadong, a place seeped in Korean culture. It was filled with shops selling items from mass produced souvenirs to delicate handmade wares.
It was already 10pm at night when we finished dinner and trudged our tired bodies back to the apartment we are staying, our mind fully satiated with the beautiful and wonderful sights of Seoul. It was only day 1.