Seoul was a plethora of new and exciting sights and smells – Koreans certainly make the most of every bit of space. And yet, it was never as overwhelming as I had expected. Street food carts set up shop everywhere, stores beckoned with their affordable wares. In particular, my favorite attraction had to be the cat and dog cafes. It’s such a simple idea, yet completely unheard of on our side of the globe. All you have to do is purchase a drink, and you’re all set to spend an evening with all of the friendly cats and/or dogs. Although I went with a group to the cat café in Myeong-dong near our hotel, I decided to venture out on my own to the dog café in Haepjong. Of course there were plenty of historical and noteworthy sights to be seen in Seoul, but this was definitely the most fun for me – no shame.
Traveling throughout the city was ridiculously cheap and efficient – especially in comparison to DC’s metro. The fare prices were roughly a dollar each way, and trains would run at least every five minutes, if not even more often. The system was much more extensive than ours with many more lines and separate stops. It was particularly difficult to figure out, and it took me a few days to feel comfortable venturing out on my own. One thing that I (and apparently the rest of the class as well) found all too amusing was the music they played throughout the train stations. This was something I was definitely not expecting, and have never heard anywhere else. But definitely a memorable part of the day (and something we experienced nearly daily as we took public transportation often). Again, other places would do well to follow South Korea’s example!