Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas Time in Seoul

The weekend of December 3rd, I went on a trip to Seoul with Shaun. We both took the bus from our cities so it took about 3 1/2 to 4 hours for us to get there. Because we got there pretty late, we decided to have a calm night so we just checked out the surrounding area (Walker Hill). We walking around a casino near where we were staying. So, 1. I didn't really realize S.Korea had casinos and 2. I really didn't realize they were only for foreigners. There is apparently only one casino in all of South Korea that Koreans can gamble at. All of the rest are for foreigners only and IDs/passports are checked at the door. According to some article I read, casinos and gambling are generally looked down upon anyway due to Confucian beliefs, which the government supports (but the government also supports the tourism that casinos bring in from foreigners... very contradictory). And now the government owns 51% of the shares from the one casino Koreans can gamble at... seems silly to me.
Christmas at Walker Hill
Beautiful view of the river.
The next day we went to the COEX (an enormous mall) to eat lunch. We went to On the Border- who knew they had that in Korea??- to satisfy our Mexican food cravings. Unfortunately my enchilada had a very interesting taste to it, but it was nice to have some "Mexican" anyway. We then went to the Lotte World shopping mall. There was some weird Christmas marching band/parade thing on the ice skating rink. We watched it for a little and went to the shooting range. It was my first time EVER shooting a gun and I actually wasn't half bad (2 bulls-eyes out of 10!). We walked down the street and looked around Olympic Village. I was so sad that none of the ice skating rinks around Seoul were built yet, but Seoul is still WAY more Christmas-y than Daegu. We moved hotels for the second night and it was decked out... complete with a HUGE gingerbread house!
Giant gingerbread house.

Christmas ice skating band and
creepy Goofy and Cat lady
Olympic Park
Olympic Park
At night, we met up with our friend Jaco. We went to an amazing Thai restaurant and then to a bar with swings and sand (yes, you heard me correctly!)
Jaco and I at Bungalow
Bungalow... Sand and swings!
Found some fellow GAUCHOS!
The next day we went to a nice French bakery for breakfast. We then went to take a cable car up to the North Seoul Tower. At the tower, you are able to see all of Seoul. There are thousands of locks placed all around the base by couple, symbolizing eternal love. At the top of the tower, signs point you to the direction of various cities throughout the world. Naturally, I had to find California on there!!
French Bakery mmmm.
Cable Car.
North Seoul Tower
Love locks.
Facing SoCal. Hello everyone :)
Beautiful faux river in Seoul

The next weekend, I went to Seoul again with my Daegu friends. Most of them went to do a Santa Fun Run 5/10K, but Shelley and I just went to have some fun. We mostly partied and went shopping on Sunday (found the only Forever 21 in Korea.. and the BIGGEST one I've ever been to!!)


Angel Investor said...

I know Christmas season is over but I still want to think about it. It is my favorite time of the year. Aside from the fact that gifts and bonuses are flooding, the Christmas spirit is really different. You can feel the happiness around even when you are sad or lonely.

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