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    Saturday 10 September 2011

    Day Four – A view over Seoul

    We didn’t get to bed until well after 4am last night. We totally slept it in today. By the time we woke up, ate, showered etc it was gone 4pm! We are on our holidays, it’s allowed.

    Three items on the agenda today, a visit to the south banks of the Han Gang river, a visit to the underground COEX mall and book our trip to the DMZ, the zone separating South Korea and North Korea.

    We took the metro down to what used to be an island on the river, but now appears to have been connected, perhaps through land reclaim. This area boasts a spectacular view of the Northern Seoul Skyline. The national assembly also has a building here along with a massive 15,000 seat Christian Church, which boosts a 150 strong choir and 7 services on a Sunday. Christianity has taken off big here.
    We took our time soaking up the skyline.

    Patrick with the Northern Part of Seoul in the background

    One of the many bridges connecting both parts of the city

    Vinnie with the Hangang River and Park behind
    It's possible to go on river cruises

    As with the rest of the city, we always seem to be the only non-Asian tourists. We do stand out. We were asked a few times to take picture for people, thankfully not of us. Consulting the guidebook I noticed a location attraction, Building 63, was close by. This is one of the largest buildings in the area at 63 stories
    Building 63
    tall. It houses a number of tourist attractions from a penguin zone, iMAX and art gallery up on the 60th floor observatory. We purchased tickets for the gallery to take in the spectacular views of the city. We had thought the northern part of the city was big, it was only from 250meters above ground that we could see the actual scale of the city – it sprawls as far as the eye could see south. This is one massive city. The views from up here are incredible. Well worth it.

    Vinnie at the top floor

    Dusk light through the clouds from the top

    Seoul and the Hangang River

    Southern Seoul
    Taking the subway for 40 minutes, we venture over to the underground shopping mall and entertainment area COEX. Shopping malls are only taking off here, there aren’t many yet. This was meant to have been one of the largest. It was big, but we’ve been in bigger in other Asian countries. It housed a record store in which I managed to pick up several copies of a Japanese compilation album I’d been after for sometime. Success.

    A quick visit to Starbucks was required before we left. We had the rather unusual Black Sesame Seed Vanilla Cream Frappuccino. It was odd!
    Black Sesame Seed Frap
    It took over 50 mins to get back to the apartment via subway. Again this city is massive. We cooked some of the food we bought yesterday. We opted to sit in for a night in front of the laptops to watch home TV! You can take us away from Ireland, but you can’t take old routines out of us easily.
    Dinner! Pasta, with fried tofu and salad.
    Oh and we managed to secure a booking on a DMZ touring for Monday. We get picked up from our hotel at 7:40am. God help us!!!

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