An 8 hour layover in Seoul…
When i was booking my flight to India the minimum layover I was getting was 5 hours in Seoul/Tokyo. 5 hours is a lot to just sit in a lounge but not enough to leave the airport. I decided to take an 8.5 hour layover instead and get a small taste of Seoul, South Korea. With Travel I always love to mix culture, history, photography, and food. So, my plan was to see 1-2 historically/culturally interesting spots where I would do some photography as well. Then have 1 nice meal to get a flavor of authentic Korean food. This would be more than enough for the time.
As I left the airport and flagged a cab little did I know that the next few hours were going to go completely different from my plan but with a much better outcome. The cab driver was super nice and we communicated as well as we could given that I don’t know Korean. As we got close to Seoul he volunteered to give me a tour of the city from his perspective. While I like a well organized plan I also love spontaneity. Besides when would I get a chance to experience Seoul from a 63 year old native’s perspective. Besides, not much is open at 5AM.
5 hours later, I didn’t do a single thing on my list but I experienced a lot more than I had hoped to. As we hung around the city I got a tour on the history, the culture, and the relevance of some of the spots that we saw from outside as most places don’t open before 10AM. I ended up going to a Buddhist temple at the crack of dawn with the priests chanting hymns which was a beautiful experience.
Song took me to a place where he eats food in the morning and while I have no idea what I ate it was exactly the kind of experience I was hoping for. Tips are considered disrespectful in Korea so with great difficulty all I could do as a gesture to say thanks was pa y for his breakfast. Sometimes you meet people that remind you to be kinder, and nicer to strangers. Thank you kind stranger 🙏🏽