Seoul is a city with two faces – one depicts the city's ancient culture and the other the latest trends. The tea shops and small boutiques of historical Insandong, the Biwon garden, the Namsan park and the dazzling royal palaces offer a fascinating contrast to the sea of neon lights, skyscrapers and latest technology. A stream that has been dug out from under the tarmac runs through the city centre with beautiful boulevards on both sides, and a surreal tranquillity seems to prevail in the yards of the city's temples.
The seventh largest metropolis in the world, it is the centre of Asian pop culture. Here, stylish fusion restaurants compete with street kitchens, and the alternative to the designer boutiques in Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong-dong is the traditional Namdaemun street market. Only a short train journey away from Seoul, sandy beaches surrounded by rocks and mountains await travellers. It is possible to stay at a temple overnight, go hiking or downhill skiing.