I only had three full days in Seoul. Just a short trip. So I had to cram in as much as possible.
I didn’t realise at the time of booking this trip that I would be going in their rainy season! It put a dampener on things, to say the least. It rained every day that we were there. I was not a happy girl. Of course, the last day I was there, it didn’t rain.
I got wet a lot. So much rain! South Korea may the Land of the Morning Calm, but what the tourism brochures fail to mention is that Seoul is the city without drains. The rainy season is made worse by the fact that there is a complete lack of drains, road sewerage systems so the streets just flood in water until your feet and shoes are soaked through.
Braving the downpour, I took a stroll through Bukchon Hanok village, which was walking distance to where I was staying in Seoul. The village is a traditional, historical Korean village with tiled roofs. You can do homestays at the “Hanoks” which I guess is like a Korean version of a ryokan. Walking up and down the little slopes, you can find little boutique art and craft stores, tiny galleries and museums/workshop venues.
I just meandered around the village on my own down little paved streets, not really knowing where I was going.
I stumbled upon the highlight of the place- the Bukchon observatory which is actually the third floor of a house/apartment building. For 3000won (about 3buks entry, you got a great view over Seoul and a free drink). I had gotten there quite early and was the only person there. I camped out there for a bit enjoying a beverage, the view, the free WiFi and the serenity.
The view looks out onto over the tiled rooftops of the traditional houses:
The old and the new, the modern and the traditional: