|$200 US and its equivalent in s'om|
Once downtown, i was hit with the brutal humidity of Seoul. It was not nearly at hot as Uzbekistan, but was so humid that it felt a million times worse. I had rivers of sweat running down my face into my eyes and into my kimchi. Hideous.
Anyway, i visited the grand Gyeonbokgung Palace - an enormous complex of pagoda-roofed buildings separated by a network of courtyards and with a large, lily pad covered pool. It was originally built in the 14thC, but has been destroyed many times over the centuries, so it has been entirely restored. With the misty mountains in the background, it was all quire serene and lovely. There were masses of tourists there, but the place was large enough that i could look around without feeling overwhelmed by people. As i haven't been to far east Asia, it was quite unlike anything i have seen before and i really enjoyed myself.
After that, i went to the very touristy Insadong neighborhood. I had walked through there on my previous visit to Seoul, but as it had been so early, everything had been closed. This time, however, it was teeming with people. It is lined with lovely tea shops and souvenir stores and curious restaurants. I finally found a restaurant that had a vegetarian bibimbap on the menu, so i ate that, which was very good (especially after 2 weeks of Uzbek vegetarian cuisine).
I then walked many blocks, stopping to sample food from street vendors or poke around in shops, before returning to the Namdaemun Market, where i spent an hour or two walking and browsing and making a few purchases.
Back to the airport 2 hours before my flight home. It was a delightful day. It is amazing how much looking around one can cram into a 12 hours layover.
I am home now and am resting and trying to get over the illness that has been recurring since Samarkand.
As soon as i can make some sense of the hundreds of photos i took, i will post some here.
Thank you for keeping up with my Uzbek adventure.
Dale R. North