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Seoul: A "tasteless" city?

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Park Moo-jong

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is a megacity that has an official history of 628 years, and is considered the historical center of the country.

Ranked as an "alpha city," Seoul, with a population of almost 10 million, is the fourth-largest metropolitan economy in the world after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles, even larger than London and Paris.

Seoul is undisputedly one of the most favorite tourist destinations in the world, especially for Chinese, Japanese and Southeast Asians, though the coronavirus pandemic is stopping them for now.

In October 1998, the editor of Hemispheres, the monthly inflight magazine of United Airlines, asked me to write an article titled "15 Fascinating Facts about Seoul." I accepted without hesitation and sent it overnight.

The 15 things I boasted of included, among others: Seoul is one of the safest cities in the world where foreign visitors, irrespective of gender, can walk in the streets even in the dead of night alone and it has numerous cultural assets like the four old palaces of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) in its heart.

In particular, I wrote that Seoul is surrounded by mountains that citizens can reach in less than 30 minutes by........

© The Korea Times

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