A roof fragment of a traditional Korean building, with a tree behind it.
# Munjeongjeon, a council hall, in the Changgyeonggung palace complex. In the original version of this building (it was later destroyed and rebuilt) in 1762, Prince Sado was forced by his father to climb into a wooden rice chest. It was as a punishment. He has stayed there for a week until his death from dehydration.
A traditional Korean, wooden gate. It's open, and a modern city is behind it.
# Being a capital since the fourteenth century, Seoul has no less than five major royal palaces. All are located in the city center and within a walking distance from each other.
Night landscape of the city seen from above.
# Seoul, a city of 10 million people, is a home of roughly one if five South Koreans. Here seen in the evening from the N Seoul Tower, a major tourist attraction. Over 230 meter tall tower is built on top of the Namsan peak that itself is 270 meters tall. This makes it a good spot to admire this large aglomeration.
An abstract mosaic of tilted rectangles.
# There are many beautiful, modern buildings in Seoul. Here is the Hanwha building in between Euljiro avenue and the Cheonggyecheon stream.
A pair of nearly identical scyscrapers seen from below.
# Parc.1 - twin towers located in the Yeouido district, Seoul. Yeouido is home to multiple tall skyscrapers. In total Seoul has 126 buildings at least 150 meters tall. And six over 250 meters.
A dark scyscrapper wall with light seen at an angle, with straight illuminated diagonal lines.
# One IFC (International Finance Center) Tower, also in Yeouido district. It was built by Hyundai, one of the largest Korean chaebols. Those huge corporations are usually controlled by a single family and have enormous impact on Korean economy. Hyundai alone is responsible for around 10% of South Korean GDP. Unsurprisingly, that large concentration of influence can lead to corruption. The former president - Park Geun-hye - has been sentenced in 2018 to 24 years imprisonment largely for charges around corruption in dealing with chaebols.
An abstract view of a glass building wall with another building reflections on it.
# Seoul City Hall is a modern building tucked next to an previous one (now a library) in an interesting mix of old and new. It's located at one end of the Seoul Plaza, a popular place where concerts and events take place. It's also one of the spots where protests against the now-imprisoned president Park Geun-hye were held in 2016.
Two scryscrapers seen from below. The top one is relfected on a wall of the bottom one.
# Two buildings next to the Cheonggyecheon stream, Seoul.
A very tall skyscraper seen from below.
# The tallest building in South Korea and sixth tallest in the world - the Lotte World Tower. Designed to withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes and winds up to 280 kilometers per hour.
A steel and glass building fascade with another fascade reflected in it.
# One of the buildings located next to the Seoullo 7017 - an overpass highway turned park, right in the city centre.
A series of bent, white bars with a building behind them.
# Somewhere in the area around the Sungnyemun Gate, Seoul.
A very regular grid of two orthogonal walls covered with square windows.
# The building of the Daeshin Financial Center in Seoul.
Female and male sitting on a bench in a romantic pose, with woman holding mans neck.
# South Korea's fertility rate is 0.73 (2023) - one of the lowest in the world. For comparison, in the UK it's 1.75 and in China - 1.16. Over the past 16 years the government has spent $200 billion trying to change the situation, with no improvement to speak of.
A woman walking up a steep sidewalk, wearing a light trench coat.
# Seoul is built on numerous hills. Over forty actually, according to Wikipedia. Fortunately, subway and bus network is vast and essy to navigate, which often helps avoiding the steep climbs. Subway alone consists of over 20 lines. The nine core lines move around 5 million passengers every day.
A white lighthouse on a pier, in front of a cliff.
# Hongdo - a small island on the Yellow Sea 115 km west from Mokpo. It's roughly six kilometers long and less than 300 meters across in the narrowest part. There's no airport. The only way to get there is by ferry that takes 3 hours. Thanks to that there are very few tourists.
Lighthouse on a concrete pier.
# Only a few hudred people live on Hongdo. There's one small supermarket, two cafes and a few restaurants serving mostly fish and seafood. There's no need to book an acommodation beforehand - local women are waiting by the pier exit when the ferry arrives, offerring rooms.
A white lighthouse appears very small between two large, triangular, rocky mountains.
# The main tourist attraction on Hongdo is a boat tour around the island. It takes about 2 hours. Views are stunning. It's a relaxing experience especially considering that the boat is small, there are maybe around 30 tourists in total.
Sea and some rocks seens from within a boat.
# Tourist boat makes a rendezvous with a fishing one at one point. It's an opportunity for tourists to eat fresh lunch. Fish, still alive, are killed and sliced to order. Served with some cabbage and optional alcohol.
Beach covered with rocks, sea, and tall mountain.
# On the other side of the island from the pier (because island is so narrow at this point it's less then 300 meters away), there's a lovely shore full of rocks. Some folks use them to build small pagodas, or rock towers.
A light tree behind a tea plantantion field.
# The Daehan Dawon greet tea plantation. Almost six million tea trees grow in this area producing 40% of all green tea yield of the whole country.
Terraces of tea plants growing on a hill side.
# The Daehan Dawon greet tea plantation.
An angler standing on a rock by the sea, trying to catch a fish.
# An angler on the southern end of the Daecheon Beach, some 200 km south of Seoul.
Rooftops of buildings, with TV antennas. A tower on a hill is seen in the distance.
# N Seoul Tower seen from the Naksan Park few kilometers away.
A view of a city, with traffic lights, street signs, etc. In the distance there's a tall tower.
# Street in the vicinity of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, with N Seoul Tower in the distance.
An oval building behind a concrete wall.
# The Dongdaemun Design Plaza - DDP. A striking building designed by Zaha Hadid and built in years 2009 - 2013. It's a lively place. On one of the evenings, outside, a classical music concert open to the public free of charge has been held.
A blurry image of a man about to drink a shot of alcohol, talking to another man. They sit by a table.
# Shot from the hip. Instead of raising it to the eye, camera is kept low - at the hip level. It makes it hard to frame and focus. However, it also makes the photographer invisible. No one around notices that a photograph is about to be taken, and so they don't change their manner or pose.
Man sits by a countertop, eating with chopsticks.
# Dongdaemun Market first opened and 1905. It's a good place to find Korean street food. It's very busy and crowded in the evenings, which only adds to the charm.