What do you imagine when you think of Seoul? The palaces, people positing for pictures in traditional clothes, the unique mix of the tradition of habit and the modernity of skyscrapers? Well, get ready to get to know the other, "Parasite"-like side of Korea's capital - a small area inside Seoul built on the ruins of the painful memories of the past. Welcome to Haebangchon (us locals call it HBC), Village of Freedom, which has become a truly unique spot for Korean people to open up and absorb all things foreign. While I’m going to help you understand where the contemporary Korean society stands today, we will enjoy amazing views of the city and Namsan Tower, feel the festivity of the locals, celebrate the changing Seoul - the good, the bad and the weird.
I am a Korean Studies specialist who first set foot in Incheon Airport in the fall of 2009. (Wow, it's been a while!) My biggest hobby and my lifestyle is simply Seoul. Because naturally, when you're abroad, you walk around endlessly exploring, wandering and wondering, and that pretty much all you do when you're new to town. It took me time, effort and many band-aids for my feet to accumulate knowledge about this country, find places where I can rest my mind and just let the city carry me away. I am super excited to share all I know with you! My goal is to provide a bit differentiated angle on Seoul for the travelers who wish to broaden their horizons, learn more about the history, and put things in perspective.
We will see how the local Buddhist temples co-exist with bars and diners within the environment that strongly reminds of the 1970s' industrial boom. I will take you to the HBC's hot spots - Shinheung market, Namsan Tower trail, 108 Sky Stairwell, and Yongsan observatory, where we will enjoy the view of the city.