"Welcome to The Land of Big Smog" Top 5 Page for this destination Seoul by jburron

Seoul Travel Guide: 3,232 reviews and 8,492 photos

A Small Part of Seoul, Downtown. - Seoul
A Small Part of Seoul, Downtown.

Many thanks to Ian for suggesting I keep my more 'Seoul-centric' tips here and my more 'Korean' ones in my South Korea pages. At present I have 255 in total, split about 50/50--this will change, though as I am adding 2-3 a day lately (we'll see how long that lasts).

Here it is, where the air pollution is 2x that of New York...or any other developed country, as far as I know. But that's only if you go outdoors. If anything, Seoul is a city where you can get a lot done inside--what with the buildings, subways and such.

Funny thing, I never really noticed the smog here. You can see it on some days, but it's also in my hometown of Vancouver (Canada) too.

Some of the best weather, I think, is right here. Because 12 million people generate a lot of heat there is a permanent high pressure region over the city--which means that it only seems to rain/precip in the day here in July and August. The rest of the months it only rains at night. Now that is cool. Snow here is pretty sparce (especially compared to the rural areas of Korea) but there can be some wicked cold winds in December-February.

If you're here to work, there are lots of teaching jobs (you NEED at least a bachelor's degree to get one legally) and a few financial/office jobs.

Here's a shot of Seoul/Han River on a smoggy day. - Seoul

Here's a shot of Seoul/Han River on a smoggy day.

Many things to do, places to go (see tips... more to come) so you really can't get bored here. Quite a few expats and a fairly nice community of 'em (depends who you meet, of course). Some Koreans like foreigners too and can speak ok English (but this is the exception) so within a little while most relatively extroverted people can get a little clique going here.

Subways are simple (my 20-yr-old cousin was here 4 days before using it solo) but you'll need good directions/landmarks for taxies (although they have translators via cell phone now).

View to the East, where the smog blows to. - Seoul

View to the East, where the smog blows to.

Please enjoy these tips. I add a new one almost everyday...and I challenge you to read (and rate) every one of them.

I also have a blog at Hometown: Yeouido just in case you want a less organized version of how things work here. Be sure to sign on to the "blogarithm" email notifier and you'll get a friendly email every time I update my blog.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:weather, jobs, people, fun
  • Cons:pollution, language
  • In a nutshell:You ain't in Kansas any longer!
  • Intro Updated Jan 7, 2005
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Reviews (132)

Comments (47)

  • Oct 4, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Smog? In Seoul? Sure you never have been to Beijing, THERE you can smell, see and taste what smog is. I have been over 14 times to Seoul and also hiking there, and what you posted as "smoggy" photos is no smog. Compared to it´s size, Seoul is sure one of the most clean and non smoggy cities I think, and there is so much more green than in many other Megacities. When I e.g. cross the big bridges over the Hangang river from Yeouido,and there is lots of traffic, I can breathe deep and never get a smell from cars in my nose. Just do this in Beiging or Tokyo....I think pollution was a thing in the past, not yet.

  • Jul 19, 2010 at 5:44 AM

    yeah skate park is closed down, go to ttukseom resort, 728 on line number 7 its the new skate spot.

  • Ladyfromasia's Profile Photo
    Jan 20, 2009 at 5:17 AM

    Great page!!! Will note all your info for my coming trip to Korea :) ***Happy New Year 2009***

  • Oct 22, 2007 at 10:09 PM

    Informative piece of write-up. The best of which is the nightlife piece. You are like the N. Korean infiltrated into the deep end of it presenting the bad, good & the ugly. Pleasant. Helpful for my trip Oct. 23 (12 days). TQ

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM

    nice to read your informative tips - ive got a stopover next mth so have to plan what to do and how - 630pm arr to 1530 pm dep - will keep reading!

  • schwein's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2007 at 6:51 AM

    Unfortunately, this park has been closed, dissassembled, and replaced with a basketball court.

  • Jun 21, 2007 at 2:49 AM

    Excellent page and tips! Will be back soon to read it better

  • Mar 14, 2007 at 5:33 AM

    Fantastic page, completely saturated with all the info you would need to go to seoul. You have given me the confidence and willingness to go to seoul in September to teach English! lemme know if your about there and we'll go for a pint mate. Sam.

  • JessH's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2007 at 1:20 AM

    Hello! Highly informative & insightful page. Seoul certainly looks like an intriguing place! But seeing that they don't have any morals about what they eat, I think I'll pass; or bring my own Linda McCartney's lasagne :-) Greetings from Dubai / Jess

  • TheTravelSlut's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2006 at 9:35 AM

    Very comprehensive pages here. I'll be back before my trip in March. Thanks. Ann, The Travel Slut

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