Seoul

Having flown to Seoul we thought this would certainly be the place to buy second hand bicycles. We managed to find a couple on a website called Naver with a little help from our host Gino to make the arrangements. The bikes we viewed weren’t perfect by a long stretch but they were cheap and we could modify them enough to give us a chance of making it to Busan! My bike was an Alton road master which was a BEAST and must have been popular in the 80’s because of the down tube shifters and snazzy bullhorn handle bars!

We happened to find a shop that sold second hand and new bikes with a man busying himself inside his workshop. We gestured to him that we wanted a rack for the rear of our bikes and I also thought a basket might be useful for mine as it had the space for one! He fitted the racks to both our bikes and a basket to my front for ₩23,000 including labour time. The man was lovely and very proficient at his job. 

To make DIY panniers we bought some cheap metal grids from Daiso to attach to the rear sides of our wheels. To secure them we used cable ties attaching them to the rear racks and bars on the bikes. The grids worked really well leaving us ready to buy some bags to attach to them. Amazingly we discovered a great local second-hand market down a city side street and managed to swag ourselves some children’s backpacks which were the perfect size to feed through the metal grids. This provided us with reasonable enough storage space to stash our belongings whilst cycling. We paid whopping ₩3,000 per backpack and waterproofed them by shielding them in tarp. 

We really enjoyed our time wondering through Seoul and was pleasantly surprised when we stumbled across the 18 km fortress wall. With it being beautiful crisp weather, we decided to navigate the Naksan course which lead us up to a fantastic view of the city, contrasting from old to new. 

We also visited a few other sites such as the National Folk Museum, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary art, along with Gyeongbok Palace which was the largest of five palaces built by the Joseon dynasty.

It was interesting to wonder around internal palace grounds as we saw many people dressed in traditional Korean attire, hanbok. It almost felt as though we had stumbled onto a movie set as they were all so extravagantly dressed.  Seoul tower was also great to visit during sunset as the walk up to the tower was delightful with excellent views of the city.