.... can be dangerous, when you do it alone, without any papers. It is the offical residence of the president of the Republic of Korea. Also be careful when taking photos, the police is everywhere and will watch you ...
But they are very, very friendly. When I asked them about the way to "The Rose of Sharon-Garden" they all tryed to help me as much as they can.
But Cheong Wa Dae can be visited with organized tours. More infos are available at the information desk on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Tour tickets are distributed free of charge. BUT take your passport with you, there is no entrance without it!
1. crossing roads - cross underground where possible.
2. driving - the roads are wide and weird (my impression!!)
3. smog - I was fine, but my friend couldn't stop coughing the whole time we were there :/
4. motorcycles racing down market lanes.
5. not getting enough sleep - something is always open!! :))
Make sure that the places you want to see are open when you are there. Don't try and see certain palaces on monday. For some reason they were closed. The DMZ (North/South) border was closed on Monday as well. I don't know if it was only when I was there or maybe all the time. Just check before you go on your trip unless you like surprises like that.
We met some great guys that were in the American Air Forces while we were there. They were real gentlemen and humbly admitted to us that the US soldiers get a bad rap there because a lot of them deserve the bad rap. Not these guys!!! However, Seoul is only one hour south of the North Korean border and problems do escalate, particularly when university students protest.
Depending on your idea of entertainment. Karaoke bars are popular and I have numerous times been dragged to these rooms and forced to spoil the mood with my terrible singing voice. It takes some getting used to, and I am not used to it yet...though it doesn't bother me either.
Queuing is a in the Korean dictionary. I experienced heaps of times people jumping queues, especially at the subway ticket booths. Completely unmotivated people will step in front of you and put money on the counter as if you were just sightseeing the booth. If it happens to you; complain loudly, push back, argue or even wipe the money off the counter. This behaviour really gets my blood boiling!
FYI, some public toilets are the traditional type used in the country. You will need to squat down over it and the toilet tissue should be thrown into the waste basket.
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