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Rediscover Seoul's Food & Culture

© Anders Overgaard The Myeong-dong shopping district in Seoul.

Photo: Anders Overgaard

Travel to a city at a crossroads of past and future. From art-museums and galleries to high-tech shopping and tasty traditional fare, this cultural immersion trip has all aspects covered.

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Destinations: Seoul

Inspired by: Rediscovering Seoul — by Gary Shteyngart, Published Oct. 2008

Hotels (3)

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    W Seoul Walkerhill

    The hippest hotel in town (as all W’s aim to be) occupies an angular, 14-story glass building overlooking the Han River, 30 minutes east of downtow

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    Park Hyatt, Seoul

    This 24-story glass tower, set south of the Han River near the COEX convention and shopping center, caters to Seoul’s nouveaux riches and visiting ... More
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    The Shilla

    If hotel design were an Olympic sport, the Shilla would be the Michael Phelps of Seoul properties. Adjacent to the 23-acre, lushly landscaped Jangc

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Restaurants (6)

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    50

    At the new hot spot called 50, that amount of dollars will buy you exactly half a bottle of unremarkable Kendall-Jackson wine.

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    Budnamujip

    At Budnamujip restaurant, in an area far south of the Han River and the city’s center, the specialty is galbi, short ribs traditionally seasoned wi

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    Hanjanui Chueok

    Enormous pitchers of Hite beer land on tables and are consumed instantly by the eclectic, raucous, smoky clientele. The bar food here would find fe

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    Plastic

    A café frequented by the wealthy plastic-surgery set.

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    Seobuk

    The specialty here is gamjatang stew, a mash of pork and potato covered with sesame leaf. Korean cuisine is all about taste, not presentation. The

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    Solmoemaeul

    At this airy place, the emphasis is on royal cuisine, which stretches back to a time before Korea’s fateful encounter with the chili pepper some 25

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Activities (8)

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    Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

    The new Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, up on Mount Namsan and overlooking the seedy Itaewon district, has been spearheading Seoul’s reputation as an

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    Bar Da

    This exquisite bar is truly a hole in a concrete wall, full of glamorous nerds munching on dried anchovies.

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    Hurest Well Being Club Spa

    The Hurest Well Being Club sits between the 15th and 17th floors of a skyscraper, and offers great views of the surrounding office towers and the t

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    Kyobo Bookshop

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    Lotte World

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    Stereo Bar

    Head to the candy-colored basement Stereo Bar, where a slogan written on an ashtray could pretty much sum up the national mood: don’t work too hard

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    War Memorial of Korea

    The War Memorial of Korea features dioramas of life in wartime; its hokey cardboard nature notwithstanding, the exhibit shows a civilization that c

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    Yongsan Electronics Market

    Head to the Yongsan Electronics Market, also known as Electroland. Here a half-dozen buildings of substantial size house entire shops devoted to GP

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