Suwon, South Korea

6th December 2015

This weekend is my last in Korea. I’ve been here for almost 6 weeks so I wanted to go outside of Seoul for my last weekend. I’ve spent 10% of this year in Korea. I spent the day in Suwon, a city about an hour south of Seoul.

Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress

Suwon is on the subway, but it’s a million stations from Seoul Station so I just got the train there. I wanted to go to Hwaseong Fortress. It is op top of a mountain in the middle of the city and about a ten minute walk from Suwon Station. Getting up the hill to Hwaseong Fortress is steep. At the top the iOS Health app said I had walked up 31 flights of stairs.

The view from the top is amazing. A modern city in the background and a 300-year-old fortress in the foreground. I think I missed a lot of it by going the wrong direction, but the view is amazing so I didn’t miss out too much. It was probably just as impressive as Namsan Mountain in Seoul.

It’s starting to get cold in Korea now, it’s snowing most days but today was sunny and not that cold. Stood at the top of the fortress with blue skies was a bonus as the visibility was good.

Walking down the other side of the mountain into Suwon City it looks like any other Korean city. I just wondered around in the city for a while and then made a move to the metro station. Hwaseong Fortress is massive and I only saw a small section if it but it is impressive. As for the rest of Suwon, it’s nice but there isn’t much there. I was there for 4 hours and didn’t see much or take many photos.

Gangnam

From Suwon I decided to go back into Seoul on the south side and have a wonder about in Gangnam. After taking the metro for about an hour and a half, I arrived at Gangnam station. Winter is in full swing now and it’s getting dark earlier and earlier. I think I got to Gangnam at 4 and it was already getting dark. Right outside of Gangnam station there was a massive stage and some people singing cheesy K-pop. I can’t understand K-pop but I know it’s cheesy.

Gangnam on a Saturday night is mad busy. I found a Czech bar right by Gangnam Station and got some food. You order your beer in there and they deliver it in a little train that goes around the bar. They need these in every boozer around the UK.

The massive American presence is obvious when walking around Seoul by the fast food chains like Taco Bell. No English food sadly, I want a Greggs pasty. I didn’t stay in Gangnam long, it’s just loads of shops and bars. Good for a night out, but I’m not interested in that so I just headed back to Seoul Station.

Gangnam, Seoul at Night
Gangnam, Seoul at Night

Where Next

Looking back at Korea. I wish I had gone to see the south of the country at Busan and Nami Island. I’m sure I will be back here again at some point in the future so I can visit the south of the country. I’m not the biggest fan of a lot of Korean food (I love the Korean dumplings and Bulgogi was good) but I would like to come back.

As for what’s in store next, I am heading back to London for Christmas. Before going home, I will be in Taipei for a week so that should be interesting. I’ve always wanted to go to China but it’s a faff (with visas and internet censorship and that) so Taiwan is an easy alternative.