SEOUL - tradition meets modern

In the continuation of my travel report series, I would like to bring you closer to the wonderful country Korea and its people. Perhaps this will increase your desire to travel and get to know the country of origin of our Korean martial arts. I will start with the state capital Seoul.

Seoul, the capital of South Korea is almost certainly the first port of call for anyone traveling to Korea after a ten-hour direct flight from Frankfurt with a landing at the international airport in Incheon. From there you can easily get to the metropolis by train or bus. If you are lucky and know some people, you may even be picked up on site. When you arrive in Seoul, you should relax and orient yourself first! After a delicious meal at the street stalls or the countless restaurants and a good night's sleep, you should be fit for Seoul. Once you have read the metro and bus route maps available everywhere, it is very easy to move around Seoul and travel quickly to most sights. It is usually much longer by car and I therefore always recommend using public transport, especially since the cost of tickets is very low. It is best to buy a rechargeable card that gives quick access to the buses or the metro. Seoul winds between 37 forested mountains and is crossed by the huge Han River. Here alone the visitor has a large number of excursion options.

A trip to one of the hills to catch a glimpse of Seoul is certainly highly recommended. If you don't want to travel around the surrounding area, you can also climb the N-Seoul Tower and from there have a stunning view of Seoul. You cannot miss this striking viewpoint! Seoul consists of a huge number of skyscrapers and residential towers between which you can still find old Seoul with its traditional, old houses (Hanoks) and temples. The modern and hip Seoul can be found in the well-known Gangnam district, among others. Known for the hit "Gangnam Style" but also for the Taekwondo headquarters KUKKIWON, which is located in this district of Seoul. Another interesting piece of modernity was created by the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. In the university district of Hongdae, it is always bustling and hip due to the large number of students. A visit to the cafes is always worthwhile. If you want to get to know the old Seoul and go back in time, I recommend one or more overnight stays in a Hanok. These old traditional houses can still be found everywhere in Seoul, but especially in the Bukchon Hanok Village. Other must-sees are the Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of the five palaces from the Joseon period, the Jogyesa Temple and of course the two large markets, Dongdaemunmarkt (at the old east gate) and Namdaemunmarkt (at the old south gate). Every visitor to Seoul should also visit the artist street Insa-Dong and stock up on beautiful souvenirs. Seoul is not only home to the world famous Taekwondo headquarters KUKKIWON, but also that of the head office of our hapkido association of the Korea Hapkido Center Association under the leadership of our president Prof. Song Soon-Ki. Every hapkidoin is welcome there! I will be happy to provide the exact address in the Chun-In Martial Arts School on request! Every martial artist who wants to get an insight into an original Korean martial art / martial arts school, whether taekwondo, hapkido, gumdo or any other martial art style, should simply trust one of the countless dojangs and politely ask if they can watch or participate. I am pretty sure that he is most welcome and that his wish will be fulfilled. In any case, it is advisable to look at the sights before leaving to know what you want to see. Seoul is just too big and interesting to fully discover when visiting. The space in this article would also be blown up if I went into all the sights. Therefore, only a brief overview of those that I would recommend on your first visit. I am happy to answer inquiries at the email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for further information. On german.visitkorea.or.kr, the homepage, the Korean tourism center, you will still find a lot of useful information about Korea. Travel guides etc. can also be ordered there.
Yours Jens Wilke (jw)
Jens Wilke
7.DAN Hapkido (KHCA), Präsident Korea Hapkido Center Association Germany 7.Dan Taekwondo (Jidokwan), 6.Dan Taekwondo (Kukkiwon) 13.Khan Muaythai,International Referee and ITO IFMA