Day 166 – It’s oh so quiet

3 weeks in China, was 3 weeks of commotion, be it humans, animals or machinery.  The country is big and loud, and having stepped out of it and into nearby South Korea it’s like someone has pressed the mute button.  You almost feel like you have stepped out of a rock concert and should have tinnitus in your ears.

Seoul is a remarkably ordered and structured city, whose calm orderly manner belies that fact that it is home to nearly 10 million people and is the capital city of a very successful economy.

Sometimes you just instantly know you are going to like a country or city and after a few hours that is how we feel about this place.  We spend the day exploring some of the particularly calm areas of the city, starting with the quite beautiful Bukchon Hanok village area.  Still in part a residential area, but now full of boutique shops, independent coffee houses, craft workshops and tourists keen to see the many viewpoints in the area it is wonderful place to loose yourself for a few hours wandering the stone paved streets.

Gyeongbok Palace is a large walled area filled with gardens and old beautiful temples that once was the home of the Dynasty’s that ruled Korea.  These days it feels more like a park with lots of locals enjoying a glorious spring day by walking round its lakes and through its trees and we seem to be the only western faces doing the same before grabbing some food in a nearby bar that serves Korean craft IPAs.  What a good day.

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