Sometimes, living in Seoul or being a tourist in Seoul, you need to take a break from the high-rise apartments, neon lights, and crowds. If you need a bit of downtime, it's worth having a wander around the 14th century palaces and their surrounding areas to discover a bit of old-style Korea.
Seoul has a number of palaces, the big three to visit are Changdeokgung, Gyeongbokgung, and Deoksugung. Great places to relax, the surroundings are calm, peaceful, and here you can see traditional Korean architecture at its best. I visited Gyeongbokgung with friends and family on a hot summer’s day – we even tagged along with a tour group – my first time! Here, we spent the best part of the day wandering around the grounds peeking into 14th century pavilions and finding a bit of shelter under the cherry trees by the lotus lakes and pagodas.
I love exploring the backstreets and Seoul has a number of areas where you can spend an afternoon pottering around. Samcheong-dong (삼청동) is one of these areas and it lies east of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Here you can sip coffee and eat cake in cute cafes, buy knickknacks in little vintage jewelery shops and take a walk through the hilly backstreets. This is one of the few areas left in Seoul where you can poke your nose in beautiful old residential homes and get a view of up-turned rooftops, which is symbolic of old Korea.
If you’re lucky, you might spot a traditional musical procession or even Koreans wandering around dressed in traditional Hanbok clothing. I found a pair of tourists on honeymoon from the UK dressed up in Hanbok. They were having their photos taken by Deoksugung Palace and they kindly let me take their picture with my Snow Cat Diana F+.
There’s so much to keep lomographers busy in Korea, especially in Seoul. Just make sure you stock up on plenty of film for your camera!
The Diana F+ SnowCat is a collaboration between Lomography and SnowCat, a renowned illustrator in Korea. All the features of the original Diana F+ are here, all dressed in black and white. See it with the rest of the Diana Clones here!