Seoul South Korea is a bustling metropolis, built on a foundation of both cutting-edge technology and ancient tradition. With a metropolitan population of 25.6 million it’s one of the largest cities in Asia. But it is possible to get some quiet time in the city by visiting one of the many Buddhist temples or traditional teahouses. Or explore farther: the excellent transportation infrastructure and compact city layout make it simple to get out of town to explore nearby mountains or forested national parks.
The Glad Hotel Yeuoido is a quirky yet modern hotel set in a skyscraper-filled area nicknamed Seoul’s Manhattan. The brutalist exterior sets itself apart from the rest of the hood with a unique stacked brick design motif (courtesy of award-winning design agency Joh & Company). Interior hallways resemble city streets, complete with park benches and street signs. Each of the 319 guest rooms offer heated floors, surround sound speakers and free wifi. The Glad Hotel also offers up a casual buffet style restaurant and whiskey bar, serving the city’s most extensive collection of single malts.
Glad Hotel Yeuoido
Proving that not all food in Korea is meat-focused, this Insadong vegan restaurant reflects the values of a Taiwanese religious sect. The modern space serves up vegan versions of Korean classics including noodles and dumplings along with non-alcoholic beverages. Try the fried faux-pork in plum sauce with traditional side dishes of kimchi and lotus root.
14-5 Insadong 12-gil
This mass urban renewal project opened in 2005 to much controversy (mostly due to it’s staggering $900 million price tag). But the newly uncovered stream (formerly covered by an elevated highway) has become a favorite of locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to take a leisurely summer evening stroll.