Always wanting to jam-pack as much into our trips as possible, we decided to pop over to South Korea on our way to Japan.

After an extremely long day of traveling, we arrived to Seoul late and, despite our best efforts, ended our night with vending machine snacks and sleep.

We woke up refreshed and ready to explore. After a quick stop for pastries, we wandered through the city, which was bustling with action even early in the morning. We found a fabulous LOVE sculpture (making us just a bit homesick!) and stumbled across more skincare shops than I ever thought existed. The streets are lined with energetic, friendly salespeople, samples of very scary face masks, and countless K-pop figurines and memorabilia.

After some authentic Korean BBQ, we went to explore the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was built in 1395 and served as the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. The palace grounds were massive, filled with tourists who have opted to dress up in “authentic attire” for the day. Sadly, Dmitriy wouldn’t humor me.

The following day we explored the area of Itaewon, known for its ex-pat friendly shops, bars and cafes. It’s meant to be quite fun in the evening, but unfortunately we had a flight to catch.

It was a short visit, but we left with a great impression of Seoul: a vibrant city with an infectious energy.

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