The first thing that I noticed about Seoul upon landing on a Sunday evening, was how green the city is. For all of its metropolitan evolution, the city is still built around a sprawling river and Mount Namsan, which I had a near perfect view of from my room at the Grand Hyatt.
The second thing to notice, is that it is truly a city built for the night time. Arriving at 9pm, there was no shortage of options for supper. I was reminded of this late-night proclivity the next morning, when discovering that most of the city opens up at 11am (tough for a foreigner who got up at six), and the following evening, after Gucci's Cruise 2024 show and after the afterparty, where we discovered how hard Koreans can party (the answer is extremely hard).
After adjusting to the late start of 11am, myself, Nicole Warne, and photographer Jake Terrey set out to the Dongmyo flea market to see what it was all about. The answer? Masses of stalls for a vintage streewear-lovers idea of heaven, the occasional fish cake stall, folks with belongings like crockery and old electronics sprawled out on the pavement. Go here if you are in need of a vintage hockey jersey or pair of cargo pants. You will find a hundred. Back in the car and we were off to Myeong-dong to stroll through the bustling streets and shop for kitschy souvenirs and sheet masks for our tired faces. Jake stopped for a very quick BBQ, Nicole and I spent a long time in a convenience store.
That evening we were treated to a welcome dinner at Samcheonggak, a historic site established in 1972, which serves up traditional Korean banquet style food. We had 12 courses of traditional dishes, which felt like a truly special way to experience our first evening.
The second day was show day, and to add to our brimming excitement, we made our way to Changdeokgung Palace in the middle of the city to learn further about the history of the city. Following a refreshing lunch, we prepared for the Gucci Cruise 2024 show, which took place at the 14th century Gyeongbokgung Palace. The sun dipped behind the huge monument as we arrived, taking our seats before the beginning of a truly experiential show.
The afterparty was a short walk away, so we trotted past the hoards of fans outside the show venue who were waiting for their favourite celebrities before arriving to a shot of tequila at the afterparty space. Things kicked off with a performance from Jay Park, and before we knew it, A$AP Rocky was serenading us with his smile before passing the stage to Mark Ronson, who ended the night by getting the whole party dancing. As we were ushered out of the venue, we found ourselves piling into a sprinter van and off to the next location. Where was it? I haven't a clue!