Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Autumn in Seoul

My accommodation at Fraser Place in Seoul could not be better and I am writing this entry from there, at 8 am on an Autumn morning.

First impressions of a country and a capital are often formed on the trip from the airport into the city. Having touched down early evening after a six hour flight from Singapore, Seoul's haze reminded me very much of the current Indonesian smog that is choking Singapore. Many Asian cities have a similar challenge with Jakarta probably being the worst.

Here though the smog is largely industrial rather than agricultural burn-off and you can taste the air.

There is a dogged determination in the faces most as they go about their business - this is a city where business is to be had. The people are a hardy yet friendly bunch.

Alongside this commercial reality are the obvious references to culture and heritage. The city's investment in public art is very impressive. I have discovered a wealth of sculpture on my walks from the hotel to the British Council.

During my travels yesterday I also spotted a variety of western style steak houses which seem to be a popular alternative to the noodle and kimchi fare that others offer. Bread shops and patisserie also seem to be springing up like mushrooms and can be found every couple of blocks.

This morning I will use the camera on my mobile phone once again and capture some of the sights of this bustling metropolis.

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