Recently I sneaked a trip back to the motherland for my cousin's wedding - it was a super spontaneous decision but possibly the best one I've made all year. It had been about 8 years since I'd visited last and there was definitely a bit of a culture shock back then, but this time around, I loved every minute of my two and a half week stay in Korea - probably due to a combination of me growing up a little bit and learning to appreciate traveling and other cultures, and improvements in the quality of living in Korea. This resulted in some amazing things to look at and love... here is some pictorial evidence.
One of the main imperial palaces in Seoul.
It was the last week of August and the heat was unbelievable! Temperatures in the mid thirties (celcius), and humidity levels of a gazillion.
Not a bad place for a king/queen to chill out.
What traditional homes used to be like.
Statues within the palatial grounds.
I loved this brickwork.
Old school shoes.
I consumed about fifty of these ice creams to counter the heat... didn't work.
Random stairs - everything was just so pretty.
Another palace in Suwon - found a guard to stand next to.
Food! There was a lot of eating involved - Korea has a huge variety of dishes, and each meal came with at least a few different kinds of side dishes.
Case in point.
These potato pancakes were literally ground up potato and oil and salt. I ate them probably way too many times. They only grind the potatoes if you order the pancakes (as potatoes change colour once ground) so these were always super fresh and super delicious.
Cheonggyecheon - one of the ways Korea has changed in the recent years.
I also managed to catch a tour-train along the rural mountain ranges.
A typical rural village.
Climbed up a ginormous hill to a Buddhist temple - they are usually up high in mountains so that the monks can meditate and reflect in peace and quiet.
Where the monks study and pray - they allowed visitors to look around.
For any thirsty passers.
A typical Korean country side.