Forget the reserve of Japan, it’s a different world in Korea, with chaos and emotion raw and infecting. Middle aged travellers may prefer Japan, but the young will love the energy here.
Moments we didn’t see in Japan……. On the tube, a harassed mother shouting to her boy. Sitting on a bus, the driver remonstrating with a car blocking a narrow road. In the street, teenage girls in the tiniest shorts adjusting their hair. In a taxi, the attitude that makes you demand to be let out.
As well as the people, Korea’s second city is a simmering kaleidoscope of buildings; new and old, battered and glistening. The concrete and neon feels alive, on the go and changing in front of your eyes. Getting higher, getting wealthier, getting more global.
And we’ve noticed a big generational difference here. Many older people are missing out on the progress, sitting on the pavement selling their fruit, whilst the younger people are amongst the best educated in the world, totally online with a global perspective. The mums look bemused and weary, whilst their kids scan smartphones for the latest music, trend or happening.
We used the excellent bus and metro system to get around, and enjoyed particularly walking along Gwangalli Beach at dusk past the karaoke performers, with the millions of LEDs on Gwangan Bridge flashing away, the view of the city from the rugged coastline at Igidae, and a visit to Gamcheon Culture Village.