Seoul has been considered by many travellers as one of the worst city to visit but it was also listed as one of the best places to go in 2010 by The New York Times and ranked in the Top 10 list of global cities by Foreign Policy magazine, for exemplifying “business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience and political engagement.”
South Korea's capital is blazing a trail into our future while also holding the distinction as being, as Simon Richmond puts it in our story "Top 10 ways you can learn to love Seoul" (the headline itself hinting at the city's negative reputation), "one of Asia's most underrated and unjustly maligned cities."
In addition to Mr. Richmond's arguments, our writer Martin Robinson makes the case for adding Seoul to your travel bucket list with his "A perfect day in Seoul", a scouring of the highlights of the city district by district, and "Fast forward into the future in Seoul," a demonstration of how the city is innovatively leading the world in entertainment, shopping, art and even dating. But it is not all "Go, go, go!" in Seoul. You need to relax as well, and the city is known for its mega spas, a guide to which is found in "Seoul's 24-hour luxury spas." Finally, one strangely and unfortunately unique spot you should take in while in South Korea, just for the pure gonzo thrill (and surprising natural beauty) is the DMZ, described in the story, "Seoul's Demilitarized Zone." As a side note, Seoul's Incheon International Airport makes Amelia Thomas's "Best airports of the world" list, which you will also find on the city's new travel guide on BBC Travel.
Whether Seoul is a holiday destination fit for you is something you will have to discover for yourself. While planning a trip to Morocco I remember reading how Marrakesh was one the least re-visited cities by tourists, that the majority of people who went decided they never wanted to go back. Maybe they meant it like skydiving, a thrill I personally loved but probably will never do again. I found Marrakesh a wonder of kinetic energy, architectural beauty, history and cultural immersion. I am glad I did not listen to the naysayers. Since leaving the city I have wanted to return, and one day I will. One day I will also make it to Seoul, and here are some of the reasons why:
Monday: Top 10 ways you can learn to love Seoul and photo gallery
Tuesday: Seoul's Demilitarized Zone
Wednesday: Seoul's 24-hour luxury spas
Thursday: Fast forward into the future in Seoul
Friday: A perfect day in Seoul