Seoul subsumes old and new

loading The spectacular facade of the Leeum Museum of Art shows the handiwork of three star architects and an amazing Anish Kapoor artwork in the foreground.

“Seoul, Soul of Asia” is the Korean capital’s tourism tagline, and it lives up to this reputation through its eclectic embrace of the old and new.

Springtime in Seoul is glorious. Flowers are abloom, everyone spends long hours outdoors and even the protestors sitting in front of the Hyundai building seem less angry. On a whim, I bought tickets to visit and stay with my friend Jooyoung Yoo and her parents in Seoul. My trip coincided with Buddha’s birthday – Seokgatansinil, which falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, lending every street a carnival-like atmosphere where pretty, multi-coloured paper lanterns swung and swayed in the warm breeze.

Of palaces and modern art

Moving around on my own, I was struck by how easy it was to find Englishspeaking Koreans. At times, the city’s cool cosmopolitanism was beguiling.

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