In Newsweek, novelist Kyung-sook Shin (of “Please Look After Mom” fame) writes about the city of Seoul:
At a glance, Seoul might seem like a place of ceaseless change, but the heart of the city is also occupied by a river, mountains, and royal palaces. When you are by the river, in the mountains, or in one of the royal palaces, you almost have to wonder if you are still in the same bustling city. I think this mix of urban dynamism and natural quiet makes for a marvelous harmony. You could even say Seoul is made almost entirely of mountains. Every neighborhood has a nearby mountain that it might claim as its own symbol. Perhaps the mountain most beloved by Seoul residents is Bukhan Mountain. On the weekends, it’s common to see the mountain trails crammed with throngs of hikers. Still, if you happen to find your way to Seoul, I recommend you make your way up these trails, where you are sure to find luxurious pines, white crags, and babbling brooks.
As I said at my Tumblr photoblog, “Say what you will about Seoul’s built environment, but the natural setting cannot be beat.”