Seoul is a true 24-hour city. There is an inescapable buzz to the place: constantly busy, constantly working. This is reflected in the attitude of the locals who seem to never sleep, with long working days rolling into all night shopping, dining, and drinking. Despite the cut-and-thrust, moments of peace can be found in the craggy hiking trails north and east of the city, or in older districts which still retain original ‘hanok’ housing and a traditional air. Once written off as grey concrete sprawl, Seoullite planners have become much more aware of the urban aesthetic in recent years. The pioneering Cheonggyecheon stream – formerly a clogged 10-lane, split level highway, now a flowing 10-mile network of streams, fountains and gardens – has inspired further development of parks and green spaces, particularly on either bank of the Han and on all sides of the central Mt. Namsam. The Korean capital has something for everyone, and as the old Korean proverb goes: ‘even if you have to crawl on your knees, get to Seoul!’

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