Hello world, I happen to find myself in Seoul,
South Korea my first time to travel
outside of Japan and into another Asian country
I knew virtually nothing a week before going to visit
So the one thing I did was to take
a look at Google Maps and scope out the
place from the air and the streets
One thing I noticed was the clusters of residential apartment buildings
I also saw some beautiful mountains
surrounding the city and a huge river
Since I knew zero about Seoul, I put
the word out on the social medias and some
kind people agreed to show me around
so here’s what I experienced during my one evening,
two days and one morning in Seoul.
And by the way, I was going to make this a
Chronological video, which it’ll kind of be…
But I’m going to seriously get sidetracked
and jump back and forth in time throughout the whole thing
It’ll be fine
But we have to start somewhere, so how about at the amazing [ Incheon ] airport Yeah,
我用谷歌翻译读出了所有的韩语名字 因为我猜他比我读的好多了 （谷歌翻译：“仁川”）
I’m using Google Translate for all the Korean names because well, I’m guessing he’s better than I am. Google Translate: [ Incheon ]
I couldn’t really ask for much more of the airport; beautiful,
干净 宽敞 现代
clean, spacious, modern
Everything from immigration, to picking up luggage,
到兑换现金 再到连无线 一切都很容易
to exchanging cash, to getting Wi-Fi was easy
Although I did get dinged like five percent on the exchange
Finding where the trains were was simple and
my next task was to get some t-money No,
不 不是他 是它们——交通卡
no not this guy. These guys
once in my hands
I loaded it up at the kiosk and
was ready to ride on the public transportation
or buy some stuff at the convenience stores
The train system was fantastic
It’s quite affordable,
especially in comparison to fares around Tokyo, for example
Getting into the heart of Seoul from the
airport cost me four thousand one hundred and
fifty won using the A’REX all stop train
Which sounds like a lot–but it’s really about four U.S.
Okay quick pause here
I’ll mention money a few times
The quick and dirty way to figure out
how much Korean currency is in US dollars
is to divide the number by one thousand
Yes one zero zero zero, one thousand.
So if you have five thousand won, that’d be five dollars
Okay back to trains
Anyone who has traveled Seoul knows that it
‘s about an hour commute to the heart
of the city from the main International Airport
Along my ride in,
what caught my attention right away was the roads
the width of the roads were a lot more
similar to what I saw on my visits to
the US and to what I was
used to in Japan
For example, let’s pause it here,
that’s ten lanes in total. In Japan the biggest expressways
我见过的最宽的高速公路是六车道 而通常只有四条：两条走这一边 两条走相反一边
I’ve seen have six. While usually there are only four: two lanes going one way, two lanes going the other
All right. So that’s the highways, or expressways —
or whatever you call them
The local roads were even more noticeable to me.
In Tokyo, you can find
some eight laners every once in a while
But the design usually includes a median,
more likely it’s a 2 or 4 laner. Honestly,
some of the streets
in Seoul reminded me a lot of some found in Vancouver in Canada
And also like some cities I visited in the United States
总之 从东京过来之后 我注意到首尔有更宽大的道路和更多的车
Anyways to sum it up: coming from Tokyo, I noticed that there were bigger roads and more cars in Seoul
When I got more into the city,
the train went underground and well the underground is boring footage
So let’s just skip forward
to getting out and about at night. Now,
of my trip wasn’t to go and party or do the tourist stuff.
But because of what I needed to film
Which was not actually this video
I ended up staying in the university area
of Hongdae where I’m told the young people like to let loose Here,
这里 看看这张照片 注意到什么了吗？我老婆注意到了
check this photo out: Notice anything? My wife did.
After she clued me in,
I opened my eyes and saw there were public displays of affection all over the place yep,
是的 在首尔 到处都在秀恩爱
PDA all over Seoul
Now depending on where you’re from.
This may be mild or tame, but coming from Japan
你会觉得这很狂野 绝对的 你的感受取决于你从哪来 但总的来说 公园很棒 气氛很有趣
This seemed wild, absolutely wild. Anyhoo– nice park, fun atmosphere
Lots of people enjoying a night out with friends and lovers
I was getting hungry and needed a bite to eat.
Since my only friend in Korea ditched me.
Thanks T Just joking, wedding anniversaries are important things.
I had to try and solve my hunger issue all by my lonesome.
I decided to limit my risk and pick a place with picture menus.
Now I heard Koreans were fairly decent at English and I was in a university part of town
So I decided to simply say the name of the menu item:
Number one, aged beef steak.
What I got back was a blank stare ( laughs )
But hey, that’s why the picture
menu so I pointed at it and it was all good
I did do a couple hours of language study.
But out of all that time
The only thing I can say was [ Kamsahamnida ], which I think means. Thanks
But who knows if any Koreans understood me when I’d mutter it.
I know you’re wondering. No,
I don’t think it was
the number one aged beef steak in Seoul
But I will say that within that building —
sure I’ll give them that
After eating, I went to some different areas
These much more party like.
I noticed so many things but
to keep this video from going off the rails
I’ll just talk about one of them right now street food and street vendors
It was a nice atmosphere and so much stuff
that you could easily buy while walking the streets.
Come to think of it,
I only ever filmed people getting it.
I didn’t actually try any myself,
but I’m sure it was all good
Okay off to bed.
I woke up and during the day I did the thing
that I came to Seoul to do
So we’re gonna skip right to the night,
where I did have some locals to show me the ropes.
First stop was Korean BBQ
Alcohol and meat, sounds like a fun time Yeah…
I’ve got that whole Asian flush thing. What?
You’ve never heard of it?
Thanks to my DNA Alcohol makes my skin turn red
“Asian flush”被称为亚洲红 36%的东北亚人有亚洲红
It’s called Asian flush and it affects about 36 percent
of North East Asians with higher rates among Asian Americans Yep,
so no drinks for me,
but it was fun to watch
The meat on the other hand, was great.
It’s the perfect thing for those
of us on the low-carb diet
Now I’ve been to Korean barbecue in Canada
as well as in Japan, but it’s
fun to experience the real thing in Korea
Of course Korean food in Korea is good
After that I was going to go home
but somehow another friend joined and I was
off to a pub inspired by old-school Korea
The ladies prepared [ Makgeolli ], which is an unfiltered rice wine
You can see how it’s cloudy.
Since this is an old-school bar
They used these golden bowls,
which is reminiscent of what was used over a half-century ago
And because you had [ Makgeolli ], you also need to get [ Pajeon ] which is a savory pancake
还有一种东西叫“Naengmyun ” 是一种要在冷醋汤里慢慢咀嚼的面条
There was also [ Naengmyun ] which are thin chewy noodles in a cold vinegary broth
Of course, the ever useful scissors were used again.
I had to try a bit of [ Makgeolli ], Asian flush or not.
[ Geonbae / 건배 = Cheers ],
I showed up earlier than when I was to meet a couple fine folks.
But really, kids to my eyes
So I decided to take a stroll through the enticing gates at [ Deoksugung ]
I had a chance encounter with this group.
This was the changing of royal guards by the way
I found it quite fortuitous, as it seems they had an eager following.
To get my shots
I didn’t even have to run around
like a groupie, lucky me
Another type of group I encountered were students,
some of them were having discussions in English
So I’m assuming they were from the United States coming for culture studies.
That’d be a cool experience for a Korean-American
I believe most students were coming from within Korea
though and in case not a bad field trip to take
After leaving the palace gates I met up with my first set of tour guides Jonas and [ Yeon Joo ]
I was expecting to solely go by subway and foot,
but instead I was told that taxi
would be the best way to quickly get where
We were going
Taxis in Tokyo can be pricey
so it was welcome news to hear that taxis in Seoul are quite affordable starting at
3,000 won for the first two kilometers
Where we headed to was an area in [ Nakwon-Dong ], it’s full of small little alleyways and chic restaurants.
Apparently it’s not a foreign tourist hotspot quite yet,
but it is popular among the locals
It’s taken an old area
and made it hip with stylish cafes and shops
And then there was time for lunch No,
不 我们没有在这家店吃饭 这家店正在做Mandu 我们去了几个街区以外的老街区
we didn’t eat at this shop, which is making [ Mandu ]. We went to the more geriatric area just a few blocks over
That’s where I noticed this.
I was pretty sure what was going
on but I had to ask to confirm Yep,
this random stuff on the road was saving parking spots
I had encountered scenes like this
in my first night in the city
Kind of like how someone in Philadelphia will call savesies
after they shovel the snow away
Except in Seoul this seems to be happening without snow
But back to our meal,
I’ll let one of my tour guides, [ Yeon Joo ] explain what we are about to eat. Okay,
so this is cold noodle ( naengmyun )
There’s two versions, with broth and no broth.
We got the one with the broth.
And this has vinegar and pork flavour
Usually it’s really chewy,
so you have to chop it up with the scissors before you eat it.
Koreans do the cross like this– one way this, and one way this ( cutting noodles vertically and horizontally )
This is mandu.
I think it’s the same, equivalent to gyoza in Japan…
But this is a more steamed one.
This one is kimbap It’s similar to sushi rolls.
Like maki. Pickled radish, and… what do you call,
Some green salad and the most
famous Korean dish kimchi fermented cabbage
Next on the itinerary was going back to the west side of town to [ Mangwon-Dong ]
Now we’re standing at the entrance
To the Mangwon market and this
is close to the World Cup stadium
So like until 3-4 years ago, one celebrity,
They put this area on his show
This place was quite bad
but he revived this place and the market get famous
with a lot of foods and like, snacks.
So a lot of people visit during weekends with —
for dates or family
I was told this market was made by the Japanese, way back when.
It makes sense
as the overhead structure is very similar to what
I’ve seen in Japan. For example,
this is an arcade in Asakusa in Tokyo. However,
the atmosphere is completely different.
Whereas in Japan vendors sell their wares mostly in shops
You can see here
that the goods really bleed into the streets
Reminds me a bit of the shops I’d see in Chinatowns
Some vendors will be selling directly from the farm.
So it’s kind of a farmers market as well
This store is where they sell kimchi, the most famous Korean food —
And they also have salted
你可以试吃 所有的东西 他们都放进辣椒酱里 也就是所有韩国菜都会用到的红酱里
Side dishes (banchan) that you can eat. Everything, they put in gochujang, which is the red paste
再放些盐、酱油之类的 和米饭一起吃 真的很棒
that all the Korean dishes use and they put salt, soy sauce, everything and you eat (banchan) with some rice. And it’s really good
Korean people love to eat with their dishes
One of the things that visitors writing about the
area seem to do is try and sample the
large variety of food along the way
I did partake in a few samples,
but I was so busy filming and had only so many hours in the day
So I sadly didn’t take
too much time to stop and taste everything
I’d recommend spending more than 30 minutes
that I did and to come with an empty stomach
Despite some taxi rides
I did find myself traveling on the Seoul metro system again.
I found it quite easy to navigate
The main system in Seoul proper is Seoul metro,
which has nine color-coded lines.
Every time you get on the metro.
It’s only 1,250 won with the t-money card
for up to ten kilometers, which is incredibly
cheap at just over one US dollar
Every station I visited had protective walls
Which was very nice to see,
在东京 很多车站没有防护墙 每年都会发生很多意外死亡的事件
in Tokyo many stations don’t have this and every year there are many accidental deaths
One thing that was hard for me not to notice,
was the relief goods storage area and the smoke masks
on some of the video streams
They also had a depiction of what to do
in the case of emergency like a fire in the train
I had heard that the trains can be loud with
people talking — and yes, people do talk on
their phones at times, but it’s much
More quiet and orderly than public transit I’ve taken
in Vancouver and out of the five or six trains
I caught, volume levels didn’t seem that drastically different
from those in Tokyo trains
Although I will say the Seoul
metro system has way more video screens
Now I really wanted to see inside different
types of housing while in Seoul, I
‘m a creeper what can I say.
But seriously, it’s something that a tourist
wouldn’t get the chance to do and I
wanted to be more like a local
I totally failed in this regard,
but I did get to know a little bit about the different types of housing
That’s because my next local guide, Peter who’s an architect,
was able to share a few things with me
These buildings are our office-tels which are rooms
that you can rent for business
But that also have amenities like a small kitchenette so
that some people actually end up also living where they work
Besides them and perhaps hard to distinguish, are the regular housing
This area is really close to the old palace walls
so right after you get
past the skyscrapers you get these little houses crammed on a hill.
You may have noticed that some of these are falling apart.
Why is that?
I was told that some of these types
of areas were redeveloped into clusters of skyscrapers
Like this. Well,
this area was on its way to doing
so — so why upkeep your place if it’s
going to be torn down and redeveloped?
Like I said earlier.
This is right near the historical palace walls.
So redevelopment plans have been halted
by the current Seoul City Mayor
So this resident over here was telling us all about it
And how many of the homes in front of him have been abandoned.
Others have decided to not play
the waiting game and simply renovated their homes
And over the other side
of the hill we encountered this completely redeveloped area
If you use Google Maps on satellite view,
you can see these groups of towers can be found all throughout Seoul
In between towers I have to say
that it’s a very pleasant place to walk through
There are amenities such as parks dotted all around and here’s cafe seating —
sans the cafe
I was told that some of these trees are
very expensive imports from other areas, quite a
different feel from the older areas of Seoul
And what does an old housing area look like? Well,
So the brick building
in the back is where the most like Korean people lives with their family
it has one floor for one house and
it called villa in Korean and they’re really old,
so if you go inside it’s really…
what do you call —
– the pipe and bathroom, kitchen everything is so old, like
authentic Korean living there
This is the one type of housing unit
I was able to get into
as my guide Jonas was residing in one
Here’s a quick tour for all you curious people
I don’t even have a bed frame
because it was sold out when I went to Ikea to buy it.
So I’ve just never bought it since then
I Noted three things that I didn’t see in Japan or Canada.
First was the bathroom.
Yes the bathroom with no shower stall or tub
So when it gets wet, it gets wet everywhere.
A wet bathroom.
People, I tried really hard
to see a more spacious and modern bathroom
I hear they exist,
but what I saw in another home was similar an all-in-one bathroom with no
separation between the shower,
toilet and sink so that water would go down and drain and you need to wear slippers
so as not to get your feet wet,
but hey, I did get some video of
a more modern bathroom- they do exist
The second difference is the closed in balconies
Most balconies in Japan may have a roof,
but it’s generally open air for drying clothes
Even on the fancy new residential buildings in Japan.
It’ll be like this
These old apartment blocks in Seoul have these enclosed balconies
Lastly the third big difference is the roofs in these old buildings.
It appears everyone has roof access.
I did a terrible job filming,
but there was a little garden as well as racks for drying laundry
Now you might have noticed evening was starting to fall,
but I actually skipped ahead a bit
So let me rewind back a little,
before I went to see what some of the old housing was like
I found myself back in the area of [ Gwanghwamun ]
在远处 你可以看到光化门的大门 那里是清溪川的入口
In the distance you can see [ Gwanghwamun ] gate, which is the entrance to [ Cheonggyecheon ]*,
the royal palace whose name means
It’s a palace really blessed by heaven.
I didn’t get in,
有太多其他的地方要去游历 比如 明洞
too many other areas to travel to and through, like the [ Myeong-dong ]*
this stream used to be covered by concrete* (This isn’t Myeong-dong, this is Cheonggyecheon )
until in 2003,
a project was undertaken to tear down an overpass and restore the stream
While the walk along the stream is gorgeous today
It actually didn’t look like this before,
when it was covered in concrete in 1958.
In 1904, It looked like this
After the Korean War in the 1950s,
it was home to makeshift houses and was a bit of an eyesore
In any case it’s a lovely walk
and the stream helps keep the temperatures down
It’s too bad that I could only spend about 30 mins here
before moving on to the next spot…
Which was [ Myeong-Dong ]
I really only stopped here as it was
on the way to somewhere else we were going.
It’s apparently a very touristy market
And I’m told if you’re looking
for something more authentic you go to one like previously shown
Next stop [ Itaewon ], first we had to catch a short bus ride to the area
We actually traveled right through this mountain to get here
[ Itaewon ] is the big boring area in Seoul
There’s a large US military base that’s next to it called[ Yongsan Giji / 용산기지 / Yongsan Garrison ]
It has been scheduled for years to be converted
into a big park like Central Park in New York,
but it hasn’t happened yet
[ Itaewon ] is a lively area and even on the streets kind of feels like you’re in the club Food.
“我要吃东西了！” 是50 Cent的说法
” I’m in to having food” is what Fifty Cent said
Something that caught my eyes was the big open windows and seating.
I can see everyone eating, from the outside!
This is not just in [ Itaewon ]. But in all the areas I visited.
Most restaurants I see
in Japan seem more closed off and intimate
While this area clearly has foreign influence,
I felt that way about a lot of areas I visited.
Some things were Chinese, some American and some Japanese
I was actually surprised by the number of US fast food chains I could see —
KFC to Dairy Queen –
[ Itaewon ] didn’t just have a US presence. There was also a prominent Muslim section of town as well
all in all, an interesting mix of cultures in the area
We ended up tonight at a restaurant that
served a variety of side dishes that you
might find made in a family home I
Didn’t even ask my guide to explain all of them.
As that would be an entire video in and of itself!
And surprise, surprise– again, the food was good Okay,
so it’s my last day in Seoul and
I finally got to the Han River the massive river that
bisects the city into the North and South.
I’d been traveling around the North side
So it was nice to get to see the South of it.
This part of town, [ Yeouido ] is actually an island in the Han River and is Seoul’s main finance and investment banking district
What I saw yet again was
motorbikes which had witnessed zooming all over town
I thought Tokyo had a lot of motorcycle deliveries,
but I was sorely mistaken.
I really wanted to get a delivery
I was told it was a popular thing
to get chicken delivered while enjoying the waterfront along the Han River Alas,
this was not to be this time around
Something else I could see
in the area were older style apartment buildings
The numbering was similar to what I’ve seen with public housing in Japan,
so I’m assuming it was public housing
But I honestly don’t know if this was the case
So my guide for this morning was to
show me the river park here where it
‘s usually hustling and bustling on the weekends
Quite a different scene during the weekdays though
Something that I wasn’t expecting to see was a high number
of road bikes and a low number of city bikes
In Japan, near everyone rides basic bikes.
从妈妈和她的孩子们 到爷爷 都会骑着自行车出去转转
From mums with their kids, to grandpas out and about.
I somehow figured it’d be the same in Seoul
But it turns out
that biking is a much more serious thing over here
Kind of similar to where I used to be from in Vancouver.
The day before, I had experienced fantastic weather
But today was not to be the same.
While it was forecast to be sunny later in the morning
The fog never seemed to lift
My guide told me
that if the fog hadn’t lifted by late morning
It was actually smog and not fog
One of my guides the day before had
told me that many in Seoul are now
learning to monitor the air quality through apps
It’s so much easier to see what’s happening in the air.
You can see the flow compiled from weather data
And with that it was time to rush off to the airport,
but not before I had one last thing to eat
This time we went to a mall,
which I think was the most non-distinct building
I’d visited in all my time in Korea
It could have been any mall in North America or Japan that I visited.
The food court was a bit different though
We did try ordering on a touchscreen, but it turns out–
向导：你需要一张银行卡 我只有“三星支付”Greg：噢 所以你不能点单 向导：是的
Guide: You need a card, but I only have Samsung Pay.Greg: Oh! So you can’t even order.
Guide: Yeah: c
I think this was the meal with the least amount
of dishes that I had had so far a
Big thanks to all those that showed me
around Seoul and apologies to those I wasn’t able to meet up with
谢谢你们的观看 下次再见 拜啦！
Thanks for watching, see you next time. Bye!
Have you ever lived in, or visited Seoul before?
What was your experience like? I’m…