Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seoul City Bus Tour

Mike and I ventured out last Saturday night and moonlighted as tourists for the night. We took the Seoul City Bus Tour - Night Edition. Sounds exotic, but was simply a 1 1/2 hour tour on a luxury bus of the traffic of Seoul. Seoul doesn't have "rush hour" has traffic 24 hours a day. This is traffic that even the worst of you L.A. and NYC folks have not experienced.

Although the bus tour only cost a mere 5,000 KRW per person (< $5), I am not going to put it on my must see for Seoul. I think Mike would agree, as demonstrated by his happy face in this self-portrait.

One thing Seoul loves is its neon lights! There are several dozen bridges that connect North and South Seoul over the Han River and everyone is lit up at night and Seoul-ites are very proud of the unique lighting designs on each bridge. Although the bus tour took us by the bridges at night, I would recommend a stroll along the Hangang Park (riverside park) to see the bridges and the Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain. It really is beautiful at night. Unfortunately, this is the view of the bridges from the bus...not very impressive. (partially poor camera-woman skills and partially bad view from the bus) I'll get better shots for you later.

After the bus tour, we ventured down the road to Cheonggye Stream. About 5 years ago, there was a large movement in Seoul to create more Green Space and the movement continues today. Apparently, prior to 2000, Seoul was one of the worst developed metropolitan cities in the world in terms of Green Space. (seems they got lost in building roads, skyscrapers and such and forgot about the trees.) One of the projects was the un-cover this stream-bed, Cheonggye Stream, that had been paved over with highway many years ago. Now, it is a hot spot for all kinds of people all times of the day. They have opened up a 2-3 mile stretch and paved it (and of course, added neon lights!) I hear that they decorate it beautifully during holidays, so I'll be sure to include some pictures when those time come around. Check out all of the people (this was ~11PM Saturday night) just hanging out by the stream. Also, another find was that we saw some people with a few beers and a snack just relaxing a but further the idea of a few beers outside...going to partake in that sometime soon! Cheonggyechong is a MUST SEE in Seoul!

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