Seoul is a massive and geographically confusing city whereby taxis are the preferred – if only – mode of transportation for the disabled traveler to get around as well as find anything! It’s a fast-paced, economic powerhouse and a true metropolitan city. That being said, it’s not the most accessible or friendly place and finding an address might take you the entire trip! It may be the culture, but the Koreans seem to be a bit more ethno-centric than other cultures. But! In terms of real Korean food, you’ll encounter delicious Korean barbeques, quaint shopping areas such as Insadong, palaces and beautiful teahouses off the beaten track.
Physically Disabled People in Seoul
It was my experience in Seoul, Korea that physically handicap people didn't appear in public. I did visit a place, Sam Yook Rehabilitation Center, an orphanage of sorts located two hours south of Seoul and a place where I lived for many years.
I mention the disability situation in Seoul because it speaks to Asia as a whole, it appears. The local physically disabled population, which is enormous in Asia, generally appears to be non-existent in public arenas, especially in Korea and Beijing. Shanghai and Hong Kong, which are a bit more westernized, have a bit more showing of handicap people. Thailand has many disabled tourists but the physically impaired Thais, unfortunately, are usually on the sidewalks asking for money. Handicap people in Asia are generally hidden and tucked away.
We're fortunate ones in the western world indeed!
I thought I'd share with you a few photos of my visit to the Sam Yook Rehabilitation Center.
Seoul is divided by the Han River, running east and west. Most of the attractions lie north of the river. Itaewon is just north of the river and lies towards the east side of the city center. The main palaces and the Namdaemun Market are northwest of Itaewon.
Here’s a link to a nice map of Seoul: http://www.johomaps.com/as/korea/seoul/seoulmetro.html
Courtesy of Johomaps
The Koreans speak, well, Korean. Korean is a difficult language with tons of syllables in one word. It’s definitely challenging.
Times to Go
Low Season: Summer and winter
High Season: Fall and Spring