ONE MIGHT think that every big city in Asia is a megalopolis such as Hong Kong or Tokyo: streets with hundreds of people moving fast in different directions and breath-taking skyscrapers invading the place. It seems to me a claustrophobic experience…
Surprisingly, Seoul – capital of South Korea – with a population over 10 million, remains quiet. Visiting its temples and gardens we could hear just silence while massive office buildings were erected down the hill, on the other side of the city.
One of the hidden gems of Seoul is Ihwa, the quarter of murals. The Local Public Art Committee carried out the Naksan project in 2006 with the aim of revitalising the image of the city, offering a new attraction for the increasing number of tourists: street art.
This place is located on top of one of the hills surrounding Seoul. On the way up, several universities and Arts schools left behind explanations that Arts students were the ones in charge of painting walls, making sculptures and transforming this area into a new version of Montmartre in Seoul.
Here a new generation of hand-craft designers have settled their workshops, attracting tourists and inspiring influential fashion icons such as Olivia Palermo.
Another hidden gem to enjoy the silence of the city of Seoul is the Changdeokgung Palace Secret Garden. This place was designed very carefully to be admired from different points of view. Its appearance really changes depending on the location you are looking from and the season of the year. With no doubt, another must-see in Seoul.
Translated and adapted by Ana Escaso.
Words by Andreyna Valera.
Photo credit: Andreyna Valera.