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Seoul - January

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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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Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Notebooks and markers and pencils, oh my! Art Box offers a kaleidoscopic array of school supply fun, a favorite among Korean students of all ages. Found in various locations around Seoul, this colorful stationery shop sells everything from...
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161 Sajik-ro, Sejongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A statue of King Sejong, the man who invented Hangul, the Korean alphabet stands before Gwanghwamun gate (out of frame, on the far left). Out of frame to the right is a statue of Yi Sun-shin (1545-1598), considered to be Korea`s greatest admiral....
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Earlier in the evening, this spot in Gwanghwamun Plaza was full of families, children playing in the fountains beneath the statue of 16th-c. Admiral Yi Sun-shin. After dinner, with the kids gone, I got a moment of calm. For decades, this statue...
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Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Walking in one of Seoul's newer neighborhoods south of the Han River, this unlikely art caught my eye: a sculpture of backpack-toting gorilla climbing up an apartment building. The Gangnam district of Seoul has splashes of whimsy among the new...
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60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A great way to spend an afternoon in Seoul: a good book and the genius of sculptor Louise Bourgeois at the Leeum Museum. A gentleman relaxes on ‘Eye Benches,’ while 'Maman' stands guard. It’s in Itaewon that Samsung planted the Leeum Contemporary...
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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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240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil 3(sam)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The world’s largest indoor amusement park, Lotte World gets more than 7 million visitors annually. Seasonal festivals like the Rio Samba Carnival and the Happy Christmas Party dictate the themes of the daily parades and performances, while...
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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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94 Wausan-ro, Changjeon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
If the name of Seoul’s favorite new ice cream shop sounds familiar, maybe it’s because the moniker is gleaned from an intersection in San Francisco where the owner used to live. This small-batch parlor serves up imaginative flavors of ice cream,...
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137 Seobinggo-ro, Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Korea and houses a comprehensive collection of Korean cultural artifacts that tell the story of Korea’s fascinating history, from ancient days to the modern era. There’s also the Children’s...
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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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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...