Visited Seoul for a week and just thought I’d share my thoughts. Been jotting down random notes so this is a complete jumble, just put them all together…
Like Tokyo here in many ways.
Most people I’ve encountered have been incredibly friendly and go out of their way to help. We got lost and it was about midnight in a random part of the city. Asked a tough looking guy at a bus stop how to get to my station - he stopped what he was doing and called his friend to find out the answer and walked us 5 mins to the right stop. Amazing.
It’s really safe and respectful…the old people ALWAYS have a seat on the train…nobody else sits in the old people area.
People actively pick up other people’s rubbish if they see it and find a bin. Seen it many times.
Pretty much everyone is immaculately dressed, even the old people. They take great pride in their appearance…but:
Negatives - the strive for perfection strikes me as really sad. It seems to me that society pushes everyone to match an ideal. I know this occurs everywhere in the world, but it’s more apparent and direct here. You go to the metro, there’s mirrors by the escalators to check yourself before going down. On the way down the stairs, you are surrounded by adverts for plastic surgery… and without exaggeration - I’ve seen at least 10 people a day showing the signs of recent cosmetic surgery to their face.
The worship of celebrities is telling too. As far as I can see, these celebrities look disturbingly similar to each other. ‘Perfect’ faces, ready for the Argos catalogue of cosmetic surgery options.
Overall, it’s been an amazing trip, and I love how polite and respectful of each other everyone seems to be. I felt like Japan was a bit cold in that the politeness was over the top to the point where I was uncertain of its sincerity. In korea it feels more genuine.
Just a week- so can’t back up all of these points…just how I saw things, and I mean no offence to anyone!