After Japan, Korea is the most high-tech country on Earth, meaning its capital is one of the tech-savviest cities in the world.
Everywhere you look, you’ll see the latest gadgets—especially apparent when you behold entire subway cars filled with people on their smartphones. With all this connectivity going on, it only makes sense that Seoul would offer free Wi-Fi access citywide. From every street corner, bus, or taxi, smartphones hum with 3G signals, making it a breeze to book a hotel or Google directions for your next destination.
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A Walk in the Clouds
At 820 feet high, the towering 63 Building in South Korea’s capital of Seoul was at one time the highest building outside of North America, when it was first constructed in July, 1985. Clad entirely in gold, it is still the world’s tallest gold clad structure, a source of great pride for Koreans.
Containing the world’s highest art gallery, on the 60th floor, and the aptly named Walking in the Cloud restaurant on the 59th offer spectacular views as far away as Incheon on clear days.
Korea is a quirky country, and in the evening, some of the elevators are reserved exclusively for couples. Known as Love Elevators, they give the couple a romantically exclusive, one minute ride skywards.
50 63-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, +82 2-789-5663 http://www.63.co.kr/home/63CITY/eng/main.do Subway Line 5
Just south of the Han Rover, and built as the centerpiece of the Seoul Sports Complex, the Seoul Olympic Stadium was the magnificent home of the 1988 Olympiad.
Sadly, that games is best remembered for drug cheat Ben Johnson’s shameful one hundred meter world record, but was also the venue for some outstanding sporting performances, most notably by American Carl Lewis.
These days, the stadium is more known for its world-class music concerts, and it once held 100,000 screaming Michael Jackson fans. However, K-Pop is the more popular show of choice for young Koreans.
10 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, +82 2-2240-8940 http://www.olympicpark.co.kr/jsp/english/contents/guide/transport.jsp Subway Line 2
No visit to Seoul is complete without a visit to the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Dating back to the late fourteenth century, and rising out of the ground like some giant feature of Teletubby land, the tombs are a unique architectural feature, and not to be missed.
Lasting for over five hundred years, the Kings and the Queens of the Joseon era were powerful, and clearly knew how to select their burial sites. The area is surrounding by stunning natural beauty, in the form of mountains, rivers and lakes.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the tombs and the surrounding area are considered to be of Outstanding International Importance.
Gyeonggi-do, Guri-si, Donggureung-ro 217-1 http://asiaenglish.visitkorea.or.kr/ena/CU/CU_EN_8_4_2_8.jsp Subway Line 1