Top 5 Reasons to Visit Seoul

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Seoul

If you have not been to Seoul yet, now is a good time to start planning that trip. South Korea’s capital city is an increasingly popular destination for tourists. While not as popular as the world’s most touristy destinations like Bangkok, London, and Paris, Seoul draws its fair share of visitors who are drawn to its unique set of attractions and marvels. From traditional to contemporary attractions and everything in between, here are five of the best reasons to visit this vibrant city.

1. Traditional and Modern
Seoul is both traditional and modern. It is an urban jungle that juxtaposes the old and new. Historical and cultural landmarks that date back to hundreds of years sit in the midst of the city among contemporary buildings. Some of the city’s famous landmarks include the Bongeunsa Temple, Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gwanghwamun Gate, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine, and Namdaemun Gate among others.

2. The Food & Nightlife
Namdaemun Market's Galchi Jorim Alley
Food lovers will find plenty of dining options in Seoul. From street food stalls to high-end gourmet restaurants, there is no dearth of places to savor Korean and international cuisines. It is a place suited for culinary adventures with must-try dishes and treats like bibimbap (mixed rice), bulgogi, ddukbokkie (spicy rice cakes), haemul pajeon, hoeddeok, japchae (sweet potato noodle dish), kimchi, samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly barbeque), samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), seolleongtang, soondae (blood sausage), and soondubu jiggae among many others. Seoul’s nightlife likewise has plenty of options for people who love a good party or simply want to find a suitable place to unwind. Popular nightlife destinations include Apgujeong, Gangnam Station, Hongdae, and Itaewon.

3. Technology & Design
Samsung headquarters
Seoul is a technology-savvy city. It is also one of the most connected cities in the world with free Wi-Fi that boasts of fast Internet speed. And it is continuously improving with the government committing more investments for mobile infrastructures. Cashless transactions are also quite common. Apart from innovations in technology, Seoul also is also making strides in design. It was named World Design Capital in 2010 by a prestigious group of industrial designers.

4. Transport System
Sindorim station
Seoul’s transport system offers a convenient way to get around or travel to nearby cities. It has an extensive network of buses, subways, and taxis. Transportation cards are widely used and easily accessible even to tourists unfamiliar with the ways of the city. Subways are color-coded and buses have numbers or easily identifiable colors or marks.

5. Nature and Green Spaces
Seoul Olympic Park
Seoul may be a bustling urban metropolis, but it still has plenty of green spaces. The city is also ringed with mountains some of which are visible from places like Gyeongbokgung Palace. Among the top places for nature and outdoor lovers include Cheonggyecheon Stream, Dream Forest, the gardens in the city’s royal palaces, Noeul Park, Olympic Park, Seonyudo Park, Seoul Forest, World Cup Park, Yeouido Hangang Park, and more. The mountains are also accessible from the city with subway lines making it easier to go on a quick trip to places like Achasan Mountain (Subway Line 5) and Gwanaksan Mountain (Subway Line 2).

Mulroney: The Opera – Synopsis

Mulroney: The Opera – Synopsis

Joyously irreverent, Mulroney: The Opera blends political satire with an original operatic score. It is at once a comedy, a tragedy and always thoroughly epic in its portrayal of contemporary political life in Canada. Within the ‘Holy Grail’ of musical forms – the Opera – these stories, scandals and real-life politicians are finally given the larger-than-life platform they deserve.

The story begins in 2002 as Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th Prime Minister, arrives at the House of Commons for the unveiling of his official portrait. After a less than enthusiastic introduction from Jean Chretien, Mulroney bemoans the lack of appreciation from a country that has wholly misunderstood him, and begins to bend the ear of an unsuspecting security guard.

Mulroney tells his story: from the early days in Baie Comeau, to meeting and marrying Mila Pivnicki, and from his sweeping win of the Prime Minister’s office, to the controversies that have plagued him…ever since.

Along the way we meet Mulroney’s childhood hero Col. Robert McCormick, Jean Chretien, Mila Mulroney, competitors Ed Broadbent and John Turner, Cabinet Ministers Coates, Fraser, Gravel, and Blais Grenier, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, and of course, Mulroney’s nemesis, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

From the creative team that brought to life the comic-opera television special “Burnt Toast,” Mulroney: The Opera is composed by Alexina Louie, written by Dan Redican, and directed by Larry Weinstein.

A parade of familiar faces in front of the camera includes Stephanie Anne Mills as Mila, Colin Mochrie as Jean Chretien, Wayne Best as Trudeau, Michael Murphy as Col. McCormick, Janet-Laine Green as Nancy Reagan, Sean Cullen as Bob Coates, and the phenomenal Rick Miller as Brian Mulroney.

Behind the scenes, some of Canada’s most revered opera singers give voice to the revelry. Peter Barrett sings Chretien, Martin Houtman sings Ronald Reagan, Zorana Sadiq takes on Mila, Joel Katz portrays McCormick, Shannon Mercer is Blais Grenier, Lawrence Wiliford is Trudeau, and brilliant bass-baritone, Daniel Okulitch performs the voice of Brian Mulroney.

A Rhombus Media production, Mulroney: The Opera is produced by Jessica Daniel and Larry Weinstein, and executive produced by Niv Fichman and Mark Slone.