In what might be the most abrupt transition from one thread to the next, fresh from Havana
, I present Seoul, South Korea. Back in May, I left for a summer abroad, primarily to work on a school project in Dalian, China. Due to the proximity of the two cities, nearly all flights from the US to Dalian connect in Seoul. Having never been to the city, I decided to leave a few days earlier and check it out before I traveled on to China. On a side note, in April I decided to upgrade from my Canon 7D to the new 5D mk III.
Seoul felt like a smaller, less established Tokyo; modern box architecture and no super-tall buildings. Hazy and bland from afar, intense color and detail up close. I was surprised at the amount of historic temples throughout the city; contrasting the old and new was a layup. The famous Korean BBQ lived up to its reputation. I cluelessly ate spicy pigs' feet using the point and guess method of food ordering. Over the next few months this would be my goto means of acquiring food. When I knew what I was eating, the food was superb. The whole Gangam Style craze had yet to hit and I missed the Gangam area entirely. Nearly every young person I saw was hooked up to some smart phone or tablet (maybe not too different from here). I think the Koreans will be the first race to achieve cyborg status. The subways cars were filled with techno-zombies, all plugged into and staring at their smart device.
Some highlights - N Seoul tower at night, killer city lights shots; Buddha's birthday at one of the Buddhist temples, all the bright lanterns; the newish Cheonggyecheon stream - lots of cool lighting for the new camera and building 63, best spot to see the haze of Seoul.
This will be the first of many threads for my Asian Saga tour (any Clavell fans out there?). Starting in South Korea, I'll make my way through China, into the North of India and finish off with a surprise ending. New tour, new city, new camera.
I was going to select some kpop for the music but couldn't find any that didn't make me want to smash my speakers. So I went a darker route. Enjoy!
• Video Link
That's it for stop one. Next, onto Dalian, China.