Autumn – winter - spring, three seasons that are impossible for me to experience in my country, Indonesia. We only have two seasons in Indonesia, wet and dry, with average temperatures around 28° C all year long. That’s why I was so curious about how those three seasons look and feel like until a few years ago. I went to Seoul for the first time in 2011 and it was also my first autumn experience. It was cold enough for me but I didn’t even remember when I felt cold because I was too excited to explore Seoul.
My first trip to Seoul was in late autumn but I was lucky enough to see the last autumn foliage of the years. It was a drama filming location themed tour, I went to many major tourist sites in Seoul that I used to see them all, only on my favorite dramas. Gyeongbokgung (as seen on many historical dramas), Gwanghwamun Square (as seen on IRIS), N-Seoul Tower (as seen on Boys Before Flowers), Dongdaemun (as seen on Cinderella Man), Myeongdong (as seen on Princess Hours, You are Beautiful and many more) were some of the places that I went at that time. Strolling around Seoul, walking side by side with Seoulities and eating Korean food in its hometown, made me feel like I was starring on my own drama ㅋㅋㅋ.
My second trip to Seoul was in winter 2013 and it was an independent trip. As my first winter destination, Seoul gave me an extraordinary winter scenery with the harmony of traditional building, modern building side by side along with white snow that covered the rooftops and roads. This time, my focus was to experience the snow and again, paid a visit to one of my favorite drama ‘A Gentlemen Dignity’ s filming location at Gangnam. I managed to go to the Mango Six café at Gangnam which was featured almost in every episodes on the drama after a local citizen helped me to find that place. It was my first time to Gangnam, so it was quite hard for me to understand the direction that I got from internet. Thanks for that ‘ajeossi 아저씨’s help, without him I didn’t think I could find the café.
Back to my first mission to experience the snow, at that time, I couldn’t really experience it in Seoul because there wasn’t any snow on that week but the city still had its winter scenery. Some of the roads and rooftops still covered by snow. I finally got my first snow experience at Nami island, Chuncheon, Gangwon Province. It was an unforgettable moment for me, I still remember clearly how I played around the 'Nami' winter wonderland without worry about getting wet. Overall, I love my winter trip. I wish I can go to Seoul again in winter someday.
In 2015, I visited Seoul twice. I’ve never ever thought that I could visit it twice a year. The first visit was in spring. It was my third ‘season special’ trip to Seoul, my first solo trip to Seoul and again, Seoul was the first city that showed me how did the spring season look like. I went there for 4 days and I managed to see the beautiful spring flowers in full bloom at four royal palaces, Jongmyo shrine, The Blue House, Ewha Women University and on the cherry blossoms festival at Yeouido and Seokchon lake. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the beautiful spring scenery at those places. Every places offered me their own splendid views and charms. It was my first time seeing the ‘real cherry blossom and maehwa’. They both were more beautiful than the artificial ones. At that time, I thought that this visit would be my one and only trip to Seoul in 2015 because I used up all my personal leave entitlements already. In fact, I went there again on November.
My November trip to Seoul in 2015 was a trip that I won from Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)’s event. By the time I submitted my application for that event, I had already left my job so I didn’t need to worry about how to get a permission from my boss anymore ^^. This trip was a miracle and healing trip for me. Until now, I feel like I was the luckiest person in my country last year ^^. I won a free trip to Seoul and I could visit that city for the second time in 2015. I went there with 13 winners from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Philippine. I was the only winner from Indonesia. I met new friends from this trip and finally, I could experience the autumn vibrant again. I went to many places and experienced many new things during this 4 days 3 nights trip. I went to Deoksugung, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Bukchon Hanok Village, Myeongdong, Trick Eye Museum, Kondae Common Ground, Yeouido, and Grevin Museum. Deoksugung looks so pretty in autumn, I love to see the autumn leaves in yellow and red, the palace’s traditional ornaments and royal guard’s uniform in colorful palette. I also enjoyed my visit to the Bukchon Hanok Village to try the famous Bukchon ramyeon and learn how to make an aromatherapy candle at one of the workshops there . Grevin Museum also gave me another experience in Seoul. I ‘met’ many famous people from all around the world at this place, from the famous world leaders, like Pope Francis, Obama, Queen Elizabeth, etc to the famous Hallyu stars, like Lee Min Ho, Hyun Bin, Kim Tae Hee and more. It was so much fun, I spend more than two hours to take a picture with this wax museum collections ^^.
On this trip, I also got a chance to learn how to play the Janggu drum at Jeongdong theatre. It was just a 30 minutes lesson but I had learned some basic rhythms by the time they finished the lesson. I was so happy when I received the Janggu drum experience certificate a day before I went back to Indonesia. After the Janggu drum experience, I watched the MISO ‘Baebijang-Jeon 배비장전’ performance at the same place. MISO is Korean traditional musical and art performance that consists of: traditional dance, instrumental performances, percussion and traditional Korean storytelling called Pansori. Unlike the other theatrical performance, MISO is offering us a collaboration of traditional and modern art with a very interesting story and impressive performance. It was one of the best performances that I’ve watched in my life.
After I’ve visited Seoul for four times in three different seasons, I can say that I’m falling in love with Seoul.
I love Seoul because of its friendly people, beautiful nature, impressive culture, delicious food and high technology.
I love Seoul because it was the city where I experienced my first autumn, winter and spring.
I love Seoul because it is the city where I’ve spent the happiest moment in my life.
I love Seoul because it makes me feel like home every time I go there.
I love Seoul because it is the city where my bias live ^^.
How can I not love Seoul, when this city always offers the best things for me…
That’s why I wanna go to Seoul again and again … 서울에 다시 가고 싶어요