Seoul, the enigmatic capital of South Korea is a city where the old and new co-exist quite peacefully. Accordingly the landscape of Seoul, the largest city in South Korea is dotted with sky touching high rises, modern highways and ancient palaces, temples and beautiful gardens. Seoul which is surrounded by mountains is located in the center of the Korean Peninsula on the Han River.
Seoul is a bustling, crowded city which is home to nearly 12 million people and the city can trace back its history to 18th century BC when Baekje Kingdom of Korea established its capital here. Seoul then went on to become the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The central market place of the Joseaon Dynasty city still exists today in the form of the traditional downtown area of Seoul and it is populated by the city’s many popular markets, hotels and old world attractions.
If you plan to head out to Seoul from a US city, then you are likely to have a long haul flight in front of you which depending on whether it has or doesn’t have stops en-route is likely to extend over sixteen hours. Perhaps the best way to tackle such a journey which is known produce mind numbing jet lag that results in fatigue, insomnia and disorientation is to travel business class to Seoul. Business class air tickets are believed to be universally expensive however business class fares to Seoul need not be prohibitive for several airlines that fly to Korea from the US including Korean Air which is the national and largest airline in South Korea. Airlines that offer connections to Seoul of...Read Moreten announce airfares promotions which take the form of discount business class airfares to Seoul.
These cheap business class flights to Seoul often sell out quickly and if you happen to miss a business class deal to Seoul, you can always try your luck with a reputable travel agent who specializes in business class travel to South Korea. Travel agents often have a wide array of discount business class fares to several destinations due to the personal connections that they have with various airlines. These personal relationships are built over years and are usually bolstered by established sales records which are characterized by huge volumes. As a result of which travel agents usually can ensure regular, repeat business for airlines. They are thus awarded with access to these discount business class airfares which they then offer for sale to their regular clients.
It must be mentioned though that these cheap business class seats are by no means inferior to full price business class seats as they come outfitted with all the perks of regular business class like dedicated and fast track check-in, extra luggage allowance, fully flat beds, superior service and limitless gourmet food and wine on board. Moreover theses cheap business class airfares to Seoul sometimes even grant you valuable mileage accrual as well as the all important pre-flight seat selection though sometimes they do come with conditions like a 50 day advance purchase requirement. This is but a minor inconvenience when you consider the tremendous savings that these discount business flights to Seoul afford.
Seoul has a temperate climate which is characterized by four distinct seasons. Summers in Seoul are sultry and warm with temperatures registering an average of 95oF (35oC) though the city alos receives much rain during the traditional monsoon months of June to September. Winters in Seoul are usually frigid and cold and feature much snowfall. Temperatures during the winter months in Seoul often touch 7oF or -13oC. The best seasons to visit Seoul are autumn and spring when the skies are clear and daytime temperatures are usually pleasant at 14oC (57oF).
International visitors to Seoul usually gain access to the city via its state of the art Incheon international airport which is located 30 miles (50km) from central Seoul at Incheon. Seoul’s Incheon airport has constantly been ranked as one of the best airports in the world as it offers luxe amenities like a golf course, spa, a casino, indoor gardens and even a museum in the form of the Museum of Korean Culture. Getting into the city from the airport is also easy as the airport is well connected to the city center by regular and express trains, taxis and buses. Taxis and buses use the Airport Expressway to transport visitors to the city though it is always useful to have the address of your destination written in Korean for the taxi-drivers many of whom don’t speak or understand English. Transport within the city is provided by an excellent though crowded network of subways, buses and taxis.
As for cell phone services, South Korea operates on a CDMA standard which is superior but not compatible with the GSM cell phone network that is used in most countries so it is likely that your home cell phone will not work when you get in to Seoul though you can easily rent a cell phone from the airport outlets of one of the local cell phone providers.
South Korea is highly wired nation which the largest percentage of broadband users and if as a visitor you need to have internet access you could always visit one of the many South Korean PC Bangs or Internet Cafés that dot the cityscape of Seoul. The electrical standards in Seoul can be either 110 or 220 volts, 60Hz though most hotels operate on 220 volts and are well equipped with adapters for their guests. The Korean Won is legal tender in South Korea and currency can be easily changed at banks and hotels.
Seoul’s most popular attractions include several historic temples and palaces. However its most famous attraction is the Gyeongbokgung Palace which was built in 1395 and which encompasses the National Folk Museum of Korea. This museum offers exhibits of sumptuous royal apartments and staterooms, immaculate gardens and elegant lotus ponds. Yet another palace attraction is Seoul is Changdeokgung which is situated in the midst of a park in Jogno-gu. This palace is commonly referred to as the East Palace and it was once the favored abode of the kings of Joseon Dynasty. Aside from these palaces, Seoul also has several ancient temples that are also worth visiting on any trip to city. Bongeunsa is famed Buddhist temple in Seoul which is located in Gangnam-gu. This temple was founded in 794 AD by Yeon-hoe, a high ranking monk. The temple was rebuilt and expanded on in 1498 and today it is the main temple of the Buddhist sect in Korea. The temple also offers a Temple Stay program for visitors who want to learn more about the temple and Buddhism.
Another interesting old-world attraction in Seoul is the Namsangol Hanok Village which a restored, traditional Korean village located in the heart of the city. This old world village is composed of five preserved old world homes that illustrate the various social levels that characterized society under the Joseon Dynasty. These traditional homes offer visitors a insight into life under the Joseon Dynsaty as they also feature traditional Korean tea salons, souvenir shops and local traditional arts and crafts.
The more modern attractions of Seoul exist in the form of Lotte World which is the world’s largest theme park that offers numerous attractions in the form of recreational activities, thrilling high altitude rides, laser shows, walking trails and an indoor ice rink. Also of interest is the Namsan Park which is located on the top of Mount Namsan and is accessed by the Namsan Park cable car. This park offers attractions like the Seoul Tower, the maritime Aquarium, a botanical garden and the Namsan Library. The Seoul Grand Park Zoo is another noteworthy attraction of Seoul as it is one of the largest zoos in the world which is also home to a botanic garden, the Seoul Land amusement park, several hiking trails and camp grounds and a contemporary a Hide