Seoul would have to be an almost undiscovered gem of a place to visit. Well, not undiscovered at all of course, but not really on the tourist trail. If you ever get a chance to go, please do. It is wonderful.
We stayed near Insa-dong, a very long street full of delicious restaurants, antique shops, shops full of a variety of paint brushes of all sizes and types as well as ream upon ream of hand made paper. I was in heaven. Plus many street vendors selling a bewildering array of foods as well as gorgeous cheap scarves, hats and gloves. Even though it got to around 5 below zero we still had to wander around looking at everything and sampling as much local food as possible.
There are many side alleys full of restaurants, so we decided that was going to be our best way of finding the unexpected. That did happen one lunch time when we followed a small group into a tiny alley, through a door and then into a very warm and cozy restaurant. After a great deal of unwrapping of scarves, coats, hats, gloves and getting settled into the only remaining small table, we were rather horrified to find that the restaurant specialised in spinal cords! Spinal Cords, intestines, maybe livers or maybe something else, not sure. Perhaps they would have tasted great, but we just couldn't manage to summon the courage to eat them.
Luckily they also had a yummy beef dish,( it was beef, we checked) which saved the day.
I love the differences in culture, foods, outlooks that are evident when we travel. How spinal cord is a delicacy in one culture and not in another.
One thing that was definitely the same in Seoul was coffee. Seoul has the best coffee in Asia I think. It is such a livable, urbane, interesting city. Can't wait to go back again.