What and where is the soul of Seoul ?
In its advertising campaign to attract visitors to Seoul, they coined the term: Seoul, the soul of Asia.
So I thought it may be a good motto to go by, and find out what is the soul of Seoul ?
And besides, I always wanted to visit South Korea. I also was curious as to what is Gangnam style ?
So I booked a hotel in the heart of Gangnam, which is a district of Seoul.
Gangnam was a good choice. It’s a very modern part of this vast metropolis. There are no particular landmarks in this part of town. But it is nevertheless an interesting district. And I ended up taking quite a lot of photos around here.
Restaurants, bars, cafes – gluttony anyone ?
Nowhere in the world have I ever seen so many restaurants, bars, cafes as in Seoul. And Gangnam is proly’ the epicenter of it all.
One could get the impression that in Seoul half of the population owns, runs or works in a restaurant, bar of café and the other half of the population visits those bars, restos, cafés, etc…
Also, I have never seen so many drunk people at all times of the day as in Seoul. What surprised me though that those drunks are all rather peaceful and not aggressive. Unlike in Western world where you better cross the road when a group testosterone-laden drunks come your way.
Korean Food – oh boy… !!
Talking about food. I believe Korean food is the most underrated cuisine in Asia. Let me explain: If you walk into any mall’s restaurant area in Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta or any other big city in South East Asia, you will probably find that 30% or more of the food outlets there are Japanese. Korean? Very few.
But I find this very disproportionate to how delicious and beautiful Korean food is.
While the Chinese food philosophy is about medicine for Koreans food is art. Kinda’ makes sense to me.
And the sweets.. Oh my god… so delicious..
Tranquility amid the hustle and bustle
Seoul is a city that lives by a rather fast beat. But within this hustle & bustle, one can find places of tranquility such as park A or in the temple complex of …
Garosugil – the world’s center of fashion and being fashionable
You thought that Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, or Gingsa in Tokyo, or Milano or even Paris are the places that define what fashion and style is about.
I also thought so.
But as it turns out the epicentre of all things fashionable is in Seoul. Namely: Garosugil.
There you can see people who define themselves by what they wear. And not only that: Also by how they wear it.
Shoes, shoes and yet more shoes
In Korea shoes more than something to put on your feet and protect them from the elements. In Korea shoes are a fetish. Even many dogs have footwear on.
So if you see a lot of shoes, legs and footwear in my pictures it is not that I am obsessed with shoes but to show you what footwear is for Koreans.
And don’t get me started on the Koreans and their obsession with cosmetic surgery.
This trip was to be different in terms of lenses to be used.
Yeah, of course my G12 was with me. She always is.
But for the DSLR I wanted to do something unconventional this time. So I packed two prime lenses. No, not a 50 and also not a 35. Not even a 85. But a Canon L 135/2.0 and the Canon L 24/1.4 .
I ended up hardly using the 24. And most of the photographs you see here were done with the 135.
Yes, there were situations where I had wished for a wider lens.
BUT !! I am very glad that I choose the 135. It yielded some pictures which only such a tele lens can do. And it proved also to be magic in extreme low light conditions.
I will do it again and bring this magic bugger again.
Post pro: Nothing special. The usual suspects: 90% Lightroom and bit of tweaking in Photoshop.
Have I found the soul of Seoul ? I am not sure.
It probably was a quixotic quest. But one definitely worth pursuing.
I loved my time in Seoul and hope to return again.
and the obligatory selfie in another people’s selfie…
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