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105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Look to the top of Seoul’s 860-foot-tall Namsan Mountain and you’ll see the N Seoul Tower, which rises an additional 777 feet. This aerial perch is the highest point in the city and offers incredible views. Far below, Seoul sprawls out...
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Seoul, South Korea
The traditional curves of the sloping roofs and intricate patterns adorning doors and gates are the benchmarks of Bukchon Hanok Village in central Seoul. Set on a gently rising slope with views of the modern metropolis in the distance, the...
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28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Pildong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A must-do experience in South Korea. Visit any traditional teahouse or take a lesson in the art of tea making. Lessons last 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the group. You will see that tea making is a skill that requires a lot of patience!...
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Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Seoul is the quaint Insadong district, where a Korea of yore comes to life in the form of traditional artists and musicians, shops selling Korean crafts and souvenirs, and street performers dressed in native...
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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
An artery of calm running through central Seoul is the Cheonggyecheon stream. This soothing green space proffers a respite from the bustle, with tranquil waterfalls, bridges, and landscaped rock formations adorning the 5.2 miles of wooden walkways...
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60 Jangchungdan-ro, Jangchungdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Treatments at the Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul draw on regional therapies and ingredients. Banyan Tree’s green tea bath treatment was inspired by the bathing rituals of jjimjilbangs—Korean public bathhouses. Korean green tea is rich in...
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Deoksugung-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Bukchon, the historic neighborhood between Gyeongbok-gung and Changdeok-gung palaces in the heart of Seoul, is the home of buk-chon son mandu, which translates as "handmade dumplings." Even though this is a Seoul chain restaurant, the namesake...
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29-4 Bukchon-ro 6-gil, Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In a metropolitan area of 20 million people, finding an oasis is a must for keeping your sanity. Seoul's Bukchon neighborhood still has a plentiful supply of traditional courtyard gardens—many of the "hanok" (traditional houses) have been opened...
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Changdeokgung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Covering 78 acres of hilly forest in the middle of Seoul, the Huweon, or "Rear Garden" of Changdeok-gung Palace is better known by the city's millions as Biweon, or "The Secret Garden." Once exclusively for the royal family, today it's a favorite...
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South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Yejang-dong, 삼일대로 231
Forget the tower at the top, head to Namsan to take a walk in Seoul’s green heart. If you’re very ambitious, a stairway leads to the top of the mountain and makes for some inspiring views of the city. But if fresh air and exercise are what you’re...
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175 Sejong-daero, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The major thoroughfare of downtown Seoul, Sejong Street, is brimming with art, fountains, statues, palaces, embassies and, of course, people. There couldn’t be a better place to walk through the city and take it all in. Pause to read the plaques...
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161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Originally built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest and greatest of Seoul’s Five Grand Palaces. Burned down during the Japanese invasion of 1592, it was reconstructed in 1867. Today, the palace grounds, filled with lotus ponds,...
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531 Bongeunsa-ro, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Modernization. Westernization. Globalization. These words are sometimes used synonymously, but while all three certainly might be used to describe East Asia, distinctions should be made. South of the Han River in Seoul is the Gangnam district; the...
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When Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace was built in the 1390s, it was the centerpiece of the newly established Joseon dynasty, which had just named the city as its capital. Six centuries later, after invasions, fires, colonization, and wars, its...
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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
Chong-gye-cheon stream and park is a several-miles-long ribbon of pedestrian tranquility in the heart of Seoul. For decades, an elevated expressway ran through the heart of Seoul. The air pollution and congestion made people forget that a stream...
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25 Hàng Giầy, Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnamese food is widely regarded as one of the world's healthier cuisines. There's nothing particularly holistic or nutritious about this traditional favorite however. A local variant on steak and eggs, the dish is a calorific wonder. Steak is...
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Hàng Đào, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Vietnam has a coffee culture all to its own and in Hanoi, this includes a few cafes that serve it with egg. Whipped with sweetened condensed milk, the egg sits atop the slow roasted coffee, providing you with a hot afternoon treat that you'll...
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118 Lê Duẩn, Văn Miếu, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
My first day in Ha Noi, I was lucky enough to meet up with fellow AFAR traveler Heather, who also aimlessly wanders to get a sense of a new place. Soon after dropping off our bags, we started following our curiosities. At some point in the...
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Hội An, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam
A short drive south of Da Nang, Hoi An is a spellbinding UNESCO World Heritage site, with intact 16th-century architecture that celebrates its origins as a trading port that long welcomed merchant ships from China, Japan, and Europe. The Old Town...
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5 Hàng Tre, Lý Thái Tổ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Highway 4 was one of my favorite dining experience I have ever had-in my life! Knowing that Vietnamese cuisine may be a little eccentric, I was ready to try things my taste buds have never met! As you enter the restaurant you are seated at a low...
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Lương Ngọc Quyến, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
As a former resident of Vietnam, I’ve lost track of how many bia ho’i bars I’ve spent evenings at around Hanoi. For me, they are by far the best place to drink in the city, and not simply because they are cheap! Each bar is usually buzzing,...