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Photos of Seoul, South Korea - Part 1 of 4

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This is part one of a series of photographs I took in Seoul, South Korea earlier this year.

Overall, I found the architecture of Seoul much less daring and provocative than the architecture of Japan or China, but there are some stand-outs like the main post office and Trenue.

I was surprised to find how Westernized Seoul is. In a lot of places, aside from the people, it looked like any major American metropolis. But it wasn't as sanitized and bland as Singapore.

On the Western to Wacky scale, I'd put Seoul right after Singapore.

Singapore -> Seoul -> Hong Kong -> Bangkok -> Tokyo

I'm going to make a bunch of these pictures into free downloadable computer desktop wallpaper. Look for them later today at http://www.AsianArchitecture.info/ under the Extras section.

63Building-Seoul-008.jpg

Alley-Seoul-002.jpg

AllianzBuilding-Seoul-004.jpg

Antiqueshop-Seoul-002.jpg

BankofKoreaFountain-Seoul-002.jpg

BankofKoreaFountain-Seoul-006.jpg

BankofKoreaHeadOffice-Seoul-004.jpg

BeefMAXXsign-Seoul-002.jpg

BosingakBellTower-Seoul-004.jpg

BosingakBellTower-Seoul-006.jpg

CheilBuildingCOEX-002.jpg

Chungmurosubwaystation-Seoul-002.jpg

Chungmurosubwaystation-Seoul-004.jpg

Collapsedbuilding-Seoul-002.jpg

DaetooBuilding-Seoul-004.jpg

Deliverymotorcycles-Seoul-002.jpg

Deliverymotorcycles-Seoul-006.jpg

Deliverymotorcycles-Seoul-008.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-004.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-008.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-010.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-014.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-016.jpg

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-022.jpg

DongdaemunGate-Seoul-004.jpg

Dressingroom-Seoul-002.jpg

Eggtruck-Seoul-002.jpg

Floorcleaner-Seoul-002.jpg

GalleriaDepartmentStoreLuxuryHallWest-Seoul-002.jpg

GalleriaDepartmentStoreLuxuryHallWest-Seoul-006.jpg

GalleriaDepartmentStoreLuxuryHallWest-Seoul-010.jpg

GlassTower-Seoul-004.jpg

GoodmorningCity-Seoul-002.jpg

GoodmorningCity-Seoul-004.jpg

Guyinatoycar-Seoul-002.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-010.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-012.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-018.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-022.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-032.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-036.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-038.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-040.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-042.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-044.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-054.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-064.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-084.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-096.jpg

GyeongbokgungPalace-Seoul-108.jpg

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I have to say, I love how foreign countries cut to the truth. Beef Maxx, love it.

BeefMAXXsign-Seoul-002.jpg

The classic old next to the new, nice.

BosingakBellTower-Seoul-006.jpg

Was this some sort of tourist show or real?

DeoksugungPalace-Seoul-008.jpg

What was your take on this, Ed? How fast was he actually going?

Guyinatoycar-Seoul-002.jpg

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Not exactly a tourist show, but not exactly useful, either. It's the ceremonial changing of the guards. It happens at a bunch of the palaces around the city. There are five main palaces and several smaller ones. In function, it's similar to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in London -- ceremonial, authentic, but not actually useful anymore.

As for the guy with the water buckets, he was going maybe five miles an hour. Tap water isn't reliably safe to drink in Seoul unless you're at a big modern hotel or a Western-style restaurant, which have their own water filtration systems. He's probably going to fill up those jugs with drinking water. Why he's doing it in the kiddie car -- well, it's probably his only transportation.

Although Seoul on the surface appears very glitzy and modern, it is still very very poor, and in many ways still recovering from decades of war -- Not just the Korean War that we were involved in, but many wars before it. But it's the sort of poverty where people don't realize they're poor -- they just do things the way they always have.

Unlike a city like Houston which can be described as modern with pockets of poverty, Seoul is more a poor city with pockets of affluence. And in spite of LuckyGoldstar and Samsung and Hanwha, much of that prosperity is attributable to the 50,000 American soldiers plus their families stationed in the area. I think if America ever pulled its troops out of Korea, it would send that country into decades of deep economic depression.

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Not exactly a tourist show, but not exactly useful, either. It's the ceremonial changing of the guards. It happens at a bunch of the palaces around the city. There are five main palaces and several smaller ones. In function, it's similar to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace in London -- ceremonial, authentic, but not actually useful anymore.

Changing of the guards ceremonies are always kind of cool, at least the one I saw in Athens was. It was intimidating.

As for the guy with the water buckets, he was going maybe five miles an hour. Tap water isn't reliably safe to drink in Seoul unless you're at a big modern hotel or a Western-style restaurant, which have their own water filtration systems. He's probably going to fill up those jugs with drinking water. Why he's doing it in the kiddie car -- well, it's probably his only transportation.

American bike enthusiasts might have been upset with him b/c it looks like he's in a bike lane ;)

Although Seoul on the surface appears very glitzy and modern, it is still very very poor, and in many ways still recovering from decades of war -- Not just the Korean War that we were involved in, but many wars before it. But it's the sort of poverty where people don't realize they're poor -- they just do things the way they always have.

I guess people all over the world have different living standards. They have those they still consider poorer than themselves, right? I'm sure they consider those without food and clothes the truly poor, unlike the US where we think a substandard apartment with little material things to fill it is "poor."

Unlike a city like Houston which can be described as modern with pockets of poverty, Seoul is more a poor city with pockets of affluence. And in spite of LuckyGoldstar and Samsung and Hanwha, much of that prosperity is attributable to the 50,000 American soldiers plus their families stationed in the area. I think if America ever pulled its troops out of Korea, it would send that country into decades of deep economic depression.

I have a friend going to teach English there in a month. Even though it's not a lot compared to what he was making here, I guess it's more than the average income there?

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Poverty is relative. But the more I travel, the less sympathy I have for the cup-shaking Americans I see begging here.

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