The U.S. Military Presence is Always Felt
No matter where you go in Seoul, you will continually be reminded of the U.S. military presence in Korea. Because of the large role the United States played un the U.N. defense of South Korea in the 1950's and over the last 50 years, this is unavoidable.
For the most part, the South Korean people realize that U.S. presence has had a positive influence. Without the U.S. presence, the present prosperity and democracy probably wouldn't exist. However, polls show that Koreans under the age of 35, brought up with the sunshine policy in a successsful nation worth being proud of, are less positively disposed toward the American presence. While they don't remember the Korean War, they do recall several accidents and crimes for which they believe American servicemen have received light or no punishment. While older Koreans support a continued US presence on peninsula, many younger Koreans would like to see it reduced.
Still, relations between individual Americans and Koreans are usually good. Lots of soldiers end up meeting Koreans and marrying them -- creating a strong and permanent link between the countries. No matter what the political situation, I have always been treated graciously by Koreans everywhere in Seoul.
This quarter has two faces, each of which seems totally different from each other. First, it is a most important financial district of Korea, having headquarter buildings of the nation's representative national and commercial banks such as the Industrial Bank of Korea, the Korea Exchange Bank, and the Kookmin Bank, as well as The Bank of Korea, the bank of issue. Moreover, a total of over 70 bank branches of the various financial institutions, including banks, securities companies, and short-term financing companies and investment firms are located within the area. Secondly, Myong-dong is known as a most advanced fashion and entertainment center. U2 Zone, V-Exchange, Trend 20, ENVY and Hamburger University are among the large number of fashion malls, which are packing the area more dense every year. Those multi-functional shopping spots, equipped with update facilities for consumers, mainly for the younger generation, draw in thousands of fashion-minded people from across the city. With the slogan, 'From head to feet' they have come to push out more or less the traditional specialty stores in this area. Cafes and bars with live music and various kinds of restaurants, in many cases boasting of long tradition, are still prospering, while McDonald's, Burger King, and other fast food restaurants are also extending their spaces. So it is natural that about two million people flow in and out of this area a day. As the shopping population includes a considerable number of foreign tourists and residents, boards and instructions for shopping written in Japanese or Chinese are often seen on the show windows of the stores.
Make sure when you use the escalator you stand RIGHT, walk LEFT in korea there really good at this but then you see the one person who stands left and backs every thing up. Don't be like that person if you stand, stand right.
Korean language was invented...
Korean language was invented by a Korean Emperor. His inspiration came from the structure of the ancient window. In Mandarin, it is known as 'Chuan Kou Wen Zi'. Some simple greetings and phrases are as follows. You can try using them on your next trip to Korea.
How are you? - Anyong haseyo?
Yes - Ne
No - Aniyo
How much is this? - Igo olma eyo?
That's too expensive! - Nomu pisayo!
Can I have that? - Jeogo kachodo teyo?
Thank you - Kamsamnida
get a "world cup fever" feeling
the opening match and one of the semi-final matches of the 2002 world cup was held in the Seoul World Cup stadium. at the entrance you'll find a gallery of pictures from the matches. tours of the stadium are also available for a fee.