Seoul–- I know you’ve heard of it because it just so happens to be the subject of some of the cutest (and lamest) puns on planet earth. Also being the capital and largest city in South Korea, Seoul possesses 25 different districts, each, I hear, with their own unique flair. Being new to South Korea and indecisive about my next venture within the country, I just decided to be cliché and pay a visit to the nation’s capital with some friends. I honestly had no idea to which part of Seoul my travel buddies and I were heading; I was just along for the ride, and, of course, extremely curious. But, as a Wanderer, I will never turn down a blind date with a new place.
The district we explored turned out to be Myeongdong, which introduced me to its liveliness the moment I arrived. As soon as I stepped off the metro, it exuded big city vibes– minus all of the ridiculously annoying traffic. So basically, it had tons of people, tourists everywhere (me lol), huge buildings, and a variety of shops and food choices without the free honking orchestra like one you would experience in New York City. We were definitely off to a good start.
Every time I looked up, buildings stretched towards the sky, and the streets were lined with unique vendors who sold literally everything. Being in the capital city, I expected every item there to be insanely overpriced and not worth the money that I already knew I would end up spending on it anyways. However, to my oh-so-very-pleasant surprise, the street merchants had tables and carts filled with inexpensive clothing and accessories and a plethora of cheap food options ranging in quirkiness from mini grilled octopi to street-made pastries.
Although store signs gleamed down the streets as far as my eyes could see, the district still retained a hint of mystery since every block had an alleyway that held other restaurants and shops that could easily get overlooked with the busyness of the streets.
Though there was just a teeny bit more racial and ethnic diversity in Myeongdong, literally everyone embodied the bali bali (hurry up) culture for which Korea is notorious. Keeping up in these streets was no problem, though; I just had to adopt bali bali for myself because “When in Korea… you keep it moving or get moved.”
Despite the “keep it moving” atmosphere that I was surrounded by, I still got to enjoy the day by eating some amazing food, getting some awesome pictures, and even having quite an interesting experience at a cat cafe. It being my first time in South Korea’s most famous city, I was glad I could appreciate Seoul’s dynamic beauty in the district of Myeongdong, which, I am actually very proud to say, is my most successful blind date to this day.
You’ve earned a call back boo.