Bridgette ni Brian
Chuseok - Autumn in Korea
Part of my adventure is living in Seoul, South Korea. Believe me - five years ago, I would have never expected that I could say "I'm living in Seoul." Yet, here I am.
Every autumn, Korea goes a little crazy in mid-September to early October, depending on the lunar calendar. On the 15th day, of the 8th month of the lunar year, Korea celebrates Chuseok. Usually, they describe it as Korean Thanksgiving, but it's a little more intense than that. For one thing, this is a holiday that has been celebrated non-stop for thousands of years. For another thing, it's a harvest festival.
For expats living in Korea, the country's fast-pace slows, but not by much. Most people get the three days off, so that gives us time to travel and see the country. For me, I opted to remain in the Seoul area and enjoy the local sights.
Seoul has done a lot to make its river area a beautiful place to visit. On both the north and south sides of the Han River (한강) there are bike and pedestrian paths which lead from one park to another and another. Near my end of town (the far eastern end), there isn't a lot to see, but a short 30 minutes away (by bike) and I have coffee shops and other interesting places.
The rather large building in the distance is Lotte Tower, and is the tallest building in Korea, and 6th tallest in Asia. It boasts a hotel, apartments, conference halls, and an amazing observational deck area. I highly recommend going there during the autumn and spring before the dust settles in.
Over twenty bridges cross the Han River, and most have bike/pedestrian access to the river. Anytime Koreans get tired of city life, they wander down to the river.
Another place many locals wind up is North Seoul Tower on Namsan (남산). San is the Korean word for mountain. Most know it simply as N. Seoul Tower, and it's a great place to get a view of Seoul.
There are several ways to reach the top, but because I like hiking, I prefer the stairs (and it's easy to find). You can also arrive by bus or cable car. Like Lotte Tower, N. Seoul Tower has an observation deck, which is beautiful at the same times of the year. Some people prefer going up during the day, but I like looking at the city at night.
Autumn is a wonderful time in Korea. Hope many of you can come visit some time.