Seoul, The Largest Metropolis of South Korea - The Traveller


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seoul, The Largest Metropolis of South Korea

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is the largest metropolis of South Korea and includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis as well as the Gyeonggi province. It is one of the second largest metropolitan areas in the world with more than 25.6 million inhabitants and home to over half of South Koreans together with 632,000 international residents. Besides being the largest city, it is also one of East Asia’s financial as well as cultural epicentres having an awesome blend of ancient traditions and cutting edge digital technology.

Seoul is also a home to endless street food vendors with good educational system, serene Buddhist temples, accompanied with extraordinary architecture followed by endless monotonous rows of grey apartment building, with vast nightlife districts. Seoul in fact is a city of stark contrasts and is a political and cultural bub of the country and to some extent, after Greater Tokyo, is the second largest urban agglomeration on the planet.

Located on the Han River, the history of Seoul dates back to more than 2,000 years ago when it was formed in 18 BC by Baekie, one of the three kingdoms of Korea. Under the Joseon Dynasty, it continued as the capital of Korea. The Seoul Capital Area has five UNESCO World Heritage Sites namely Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

Modern Iconic Landmarks

One will find Seoul surrounded by mountains, the tallest being Mt. Bukhan and the world’s most visited national park. Some of the modern landmarks are the iconic Dogdaemun Design Plaza, Lotte World, which is the world’s second largest indoor theme park and the world’s longest bridge fountain, the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. Seoul, the birthplace of K-pop and the Korean Wave, had been voted as the world’s most preferred travel destination by the Chinese, Japanese and the Thai tourist for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011 and had more than 12 million international visitors in the year 2013. This made it one of the most visited cities and the world’s 7th biggest earner of tourism in East Asia.

Subway System – 2nd Most Transportation System in the World

Tourists can visit most places in Seoul through the subway system, which is the second most used transportation system in the world.Seoul is an appropriate location for those interested in food where a hanjeongsik, a multicourse banquet is a feast for the eye as well as the stomach, together with the cleverly prepared neo-Korean dishes. Besides these, provision of the piping hot, crispy hotteok, which are pancakes served with sweet and savoury fillings at street corner or fresh, delicious and fiery crab soup in Norvangjin Fish Market is available for those interested in indulging in tasty awesome dishes.

One should not miss the universe of teas that are served in charming tea houses which is the soul of Seoul. The people of Seoul follow two major religion namely Christianity and Buddhism while other religion include Korean, Shamanism and Confucianism and is a home to the world’s largest Christian believers wherein the YoidoFull Gospel Church comprises of 830,00 people. It has been observed that the population of Seoul has been dropping since early 1990s, which is due to the high cost of living together with an aging population.

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