Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gotta Have Seoul

Arrived in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday, September 13 after a long 14-hour flight from Eugene by way of San Francisco.

Why South Korea, a country I heretofore had no interest or inkling to visit? My purpose was two-fold: visit my daughter Gina, who is teaching English in Busan, and lecture on healthcare public relations at Sogang University, a Jesuit college located in the heart of Seoul.

Seoul is the capital of South Korea, and with a population of over 10 million people, is one of the world's largest cities.

The greater metropolitan area, which includes the major port city of Incheon, has nearly 25 million inhabitants -- making it the second-largest urban area in the world.

Almost half of the total population of South Korea lives in the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area.

To give you an idea of the population density in this country, South Korea is nearly 39,000 square miles with over 48 million people living within its borders. Oregon, on the other hand, is over 98,000 square miles with a population of not quite 4 million.

Located on the Han River in the center of the Korean Peninsula (top), the city has been an important settlement for over 2,000 years when Baekje -- one of the three kingdoms of Korea -- established its capital in what is now southeast Seoul.

Seoul has one of world's most technologically advanced infrastructures and is often called the "tech capital of the world." Everybody -- and I mean everybody -- has a cell phone.

After arriving in the Incheon International Airport and passing through customs, I took a taxi to the Ibis Myeong-dong Hotel in downtown Seoul -- GonzoPR World Headquarters during my stay in South Korea.

I must admit, it felt a bit like I had just landed on the moon, only there were lots o' people milling about everywhere outside. Soon, I was to take my "giant leap" into the city streets of Seoul.

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