posted by Guest blogger - Elizabeth Holbrook | 3 Comments
South Korea, hands down, has the best eyewear. From thick, coke bottle frames to brightly colored spectacles, Koreans both young and old alike, are always sporting the latest trends. I decided to spend my first day in Seoul hunting down the perfect pair of specs.
I took the subway to Namdaemun market, one of the oldest continually running markets in the city, and began my quest. Wandering through the closed off streets, I passed fruit stands, food stalls and vendors selling any and every item known to man. I soon found row after row of eyewear stores lining the streets. Randomly, I picked a shop and walked in. I immediately headed to the center table lined with cheap frames and picked out a pair of big square glasses. My eye exam (an interesting process with the language barrier), frames and lenses came to a total of 30,000 won, approximately 25 US dollars. Success!
Happy and sporting my new specs, I headed out of the market and passed a sign pointing the way towards Namsan Tower, a popular lookout of the city. After a few wrong turns, I found my way to Namsan Mountain. Opting out of the cable car, I hiked the short trail, arriving at the tower just around sunset, the city of Seoul spread out before me.
After snapping some pictures and exploring the grounds, I headed back to Tara’s apartment to regroup and head out for dinner. We decided on dak galbi, a chicken stir-fry dish, minus the dak (chicken). Our vegetarian version of the meal consisted of rice cakes, cabbage, greens, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and ramen, all cooked in a spicy sauce in a skillet at our table. Combined with a couple of cold beers, it was the perfect ending to my first day in Seoul.
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