Seoul architecture

SEOUL: Visa Trip ii

I have been in Shanghai for 120 days so that means another visa trip, destination; Seoul, South Korea. I usually like to travel alone but my homie Brian Kleiber of Culture Cycles was keen on taking a trip to Seoul so we sent it out there together.

Photo: AG

We landed at the Icheon airport early on Friday morning. The first thing I did was grab a sim card for the weekend. Seoul is known for its fast 4G service. It was crazy fast. It was far faster then wifi in Shanghai, but that isn’t saying much.

We hopped on a train to get to the city center and immediately got lost after we left the train station. I have only been in China for 4 months but I have gotten used to the language. I can’t speak mandarin well and cant understand everything, but I can get a sense of what someone is trying to say. In Seoul they don’t speak mandarin, they speak Korean and it is not similar to Mandarin. It felt like dejavu to when I first arrived in China.

Photo: AG

So were lost trying to find our place but in the mix of all that we found Timber skate shop. They were super friendly and helped us find our hostel, which was minutes away. We talked for a bit about where to skate and they told us to hit the Cult Skatepark. We dropped our bags off at the hostel and headed straight to the park.

Photo: Brian
Hill we bombed every morning.

Photo: Brian

Photo: Brian

The Cult Skate Park isn’t your typical skate park. It’s a public park with little to no supervision. It is just like any plaza that you would consider a spot except the local skate community turned it into a skate park. There are boxes, kickers, rails and even a 9ft quarter pipe with a launch ramp. Brian and I skated for a couple hours and the locals at the park were siked to see some foreign skaters. Its always a good time skating something new. Check out the Seoul Snapchat story below to see some clips of Brian and I skating the park.

Photo: Brian

We were done skating and hungry so we explored the city looking for a place to grab some food. We found this seafood restaurant that cooked the food in front of you. The tables we sat at had these stoves on them and we eat right out of the pot that our food cooked in. Fun stuff.

After dinner we headed to an area of Seoul called Hongdae. The area is known for its party/club scene. The night was filled with drinks and super loud music. It was nothing special. I had a good time, but I wasn’t in Seoul to party so I didn’t stay out too late. I was there to explore the city, eat good food and skate.

The next day we woke up early and had plans for this coffee shop that was recommended to us from a friend who had just came back from Seoul. Funny enough the name of the coffee shop was named Alex. After breakfast we spent the day getting lost and taking pictures.

Reflection of a tree on my phone. Messing around with my 50mm 1.4

Brian searching his soul in Seoul

Listening to Froth in the park.
Photos: AG

The highlight of the day was wandering into this park; Namsan Park. The park had walking paths and some wooded areas to go chill in the shade. The park was also hilly which made the walking paths into a great snake run.

Photo: Brian

Brain with that Tarzan Steeze
Photo: AG

We wandered long enough to get pretty deep into the woods and found a drainage ditch that had potential as a spot. With inspiration from the Worble, we brushed away some twigs and sent it down this sketchy ditch.

The session at the drainage ditch fizzled out and we went in search of some bulgogi. Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of grilled marinated beef and was served to us the same way the seafood we got last night. Seoul definitely has a unique way of serving food. I have eaten this style before in the states but it is a special occasion to eat this way. Here this is the standard way to enjoy a meal. In general It’s common in Asia to order a bunch of small dishes and share the meal.

Sunday was our last day in Seoul. Brian and I skated Cult Park for a little bit in the AM. We ended up meeting some guys who were familiar with the Shanghai Skate scene and knew a bunch of people we skate with back in Shanghai… Small world.. Shouts out to Quentin from Unsung Magazine and Jin of The Quiet Leaf. The skate scene in Asia is so small that this happens often. I love it.

That afternoon I took a train back to the Ichenon airport and was on my way back to Shanghai.

Check back with me in 60 days for Visa Trip number 3

A L E X

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