Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scenic Seoul

Immediately after we got back from the countryside, dad took us on a ferry on the Han river. Traditionally, Seoul was not built on the river but rather next to the river. I dont know when or how the city developed along the river, but now the Han river is somewhat in the centre of Seoul.

On both flanks of the river, multi-lane highways go a long way, to make this otherwise dull river even uglier. But this is about to change. the government has started the "Hangang Renaissance" project with the aim to convert the large majority of the riverbanks into parks.

And these things really happen. Not like in Bangkok, where creating a new park would be akin to a new world wonder.

The ferry ride was actually really interesting, as we could see various areas of redevelopment, the different style of apartment buildings, and occasionally catch a glimpse of the gorgeous mountains around which Seoul is built.

Towards the end of the ride, we arrived at Yeouido Island, where my favourite building in Seoul stands, the 63-building. I am still debating whether the shape and surface of the building make it look retro-cool or just plain cool but I love it. Rarely can you see a building from a few decades ago keep such a graceful and modern aura.

Then we took the bus up Namsan, the mountain just to the south of the ancient Seoul. This is the view towards the Northeast. Apartments as far as the eye can see. It's really impressive.

Recently, Namsan has also become a romantic hotspot. In a country of couples (is it just me or does really every gorgeous man in this country have a girlfriend?) and TV-drama induced kitschy romance, this means something. Just have a look at the thousands of locks with romantic messages chained to the fence.

Some actually had cute messages, while others were just pathetic (I will love you forever and ever and you are the man of my life (after 3 months marriage)). Good luck to these couples...I would like all to know how many of these locks have been "unlocked" already.... (e.g. the couples are not together anymore)

Of course, being on top of Namsan is gorgeous and the view around 360 degrees is great.

It was actually an interesting spot to be. Up there, we saw Japanese high school kids in their uniform. Why would they wear their uniform overseas??? And we also saw gay Thais. Two TV presenters wore just about every single colour that exists and nearly made me vomit with their style of dress and looks. I wanted to go tell them but then I saw that they were filmed for some TV show, so I was lucky I didnt say anything.

There was also an Uzbek ex-flight attendant who made friends with a Japanese couple. He was obviously gay and oddly looked very much like my boyfriend. It was a bit spooky, but I am now thinking the Central Asian guys could be a new fashion soon!!! For my part, it made me think that if every gay Uzbek would look like him I would like to visit sometime...


Florian said...

Great photos! and lucky with the "blauer Himmel" :-).

JR said...

Have you gotten your boyfriend to take you to 청계천 yet? It is a great way to see how Seoul is becoming "beautified". It's located in 종로. Maybe you can get a chance to check it out. The 63 building also is romantic at the top and a lot of couples also go there to see Seoul.

Once again I'm really enjoying your posts. You're bringing back great memories and I look forward to reading more.