I feel rather bad about this. Rather than attend the World Fair part of the Imagine Cup awards I instead snuck out and took a trip round Seoul. I'd checked that I wouldn't be needed for anything, and it is rather unlikely that I will get to this wonderful city again in a long while, so it was into a taxi and off to the shopping district.
Taxis in Seoul are ace. They are very inexpensive and very efficient. Some of their drivers can speak English too, which is nice. And they have air conditioning, which is all important.
So, all we had was two bits of paper. One had the name of the shopping district written on it, and the other had the name of the hotel written on it. Both of them contained the only Korean language that we had on us. But at no point did this seem a problem. The sun was out, the people were friendly, and away we went. Of course I had both cameras, and of course I took loads of pictures. Most of them will be up on Flickr later, for now here are a few choice snaps.
Then we found ourselves in a video game arcade. This was tucked away in a side street. Even so there were plenty of machines.
After spending a few hours happily wandering around and steadily accumulating bits and bobs we found another taxi, gave the driver the other piece of paper and headed back to the hotel. I've got some pictures of the trip, which will appear later.
By the time we got back it was pretty dark, but the air was clear and so it was time to take some night views.
Seoul is wonderful. If you get the chance to go, just go. And take me along too...
I've been thinking about this post. I'm wondering if it makes me seem more brave/stupid than I actually am. We did go off without much backup, but we had made sure that people back at the hotel knew where we were going and when we were due back. We also made sure that all the taxis that we took were proper ones, stayed in sight of each other and never strayed too far off the main streets. My impression is that Seoul is no more dangerous than any big city, but that is not a reason for taking undue chances.