I’m stationed in Alaska and we are part of the Pacific Air Forces, meaning our area of operations extends across the Pacific. South Korea is a big part of our life here.
We were back in South Korea a couple of months ago, but it wasn’t without drama. We missed a connection in San Francisco and had to spend the night at the airport. The next day we got rebooked through Los Angeles and onto Seoul. Unfortunately our bags didn’t make it.
We made it to our final destination without the bags and for some of us without uniforms. We worked for a couple of days in our civilian attire. The bags made it 2 days later..pheeew.
We did what we were supposed to do and in about 10 days we were done. I had taken 2 days of leave to sightsee the capital Seoul before heading back to Anchorage.
Seoul has a population of about 10 million people. It has a very good public transportation system too. I had booked a hotel in the middle of downtown close to the train station. I found a luggage storage facility at the airport as taxis are very expensive and I didn’t want to be lugging around 3 bags of gear.
I used the Incheon to Seoul train. It’s a distance of 27km and they even have a direct non-stop one. I missed that and used the regular one making frequent stops along the way.
Seoul is hilly, I figured that out fast after checking in to my hotel then setting off to explore the Namsan Seoul Tower. One of the ways to have a birds eye view of Seoul.
The pictures above are of the “rural” Korea, the views of Seoul landing back at domestic Gimpo Airport and the Seoul Tower.
The following day I took a regular train tho the Lotte World Tower which is even higher than the Seoul Tower. It has fantastic views of the city. The next stop was the Gwangjang market, famous for street food. It’s easy to move around using trains or buses. I found the market and the food was as interesting as it gets. I wasn’t as adventurous as I had flights to take the following day and having a running tummy wasn’t something I wanted. I went with pork, some vegetable pancakes and fruit salad. They had all kinds of seafood, soups and meats. They even had seafood omelettes. The food section is inside a market with stalls selling clothes, food and all kinds of second hand stuff.
After the market tour I took a bus and toured the city including the Itaewon part of town popular with the military, university students and Americans. There a is a nearby Korean War Memorial nearby show casing all the military gear used by Americans and the Koreans. A walk around other parts of the city was tiring as it’s quite hilly around Seoul. It’s a great vibrant city full of life. It reminded me of Nairobi but more technologically advanced with very good infrastructure.
I spent the last night experimenting with night photography of the Seoul skyline. It was trial and error but I got some nice shots.
The next day I took a train back to Incheon airport and headed out for the long flight back home via San Francisco and Seattle.
I’ll be back to Seoul sometime. I didn’t barely scratch the surface of what the city has to offer.