‘The Amazing Race’ At Walking Pace: Everywhere You Need To Visit In … Seoul
Blink and you might miss some of the incredible locations 'The Amazing Race Australia' contestants are whizzing through on their quest for $250,000.
The competition has kicked off in Seoul, South Korea and -- despite all that running -- we've observed some very tempting reasons to consider booking a flight to the East Asian capital.
Every episode, we'll be slowing things down a bit so you can appreciate some of the roadblock, detour and pitstop locations and imagine yourself taking a leisurely stroll through all the upcoming cities the 'Amazing Race' contestants will visit.
It'll be your regular reminder that jogging, stressful taxi rides, sabotaging your fellow travellers and jumping on the backs of camels are definitely not essential elements of an overseas trip.
We'll be taking note of every historic landmark, foodie hotspot and local activity to save you frantically Googling for that one dumpling place that flashed up on the screen.
What better way to gather your bearings in a new city than climbing to its (second) highest point and surveying the stunning combination of nature, urban landscapes and the Han River below?
The first order of business for the 11 'Amazing Race' teams was to make it to the observatory deck of the Namsan Tower, find the red and yellow clue below and grab a postcard from the gift shop matching the location.
If you're planning on heading to Seoul, you can explore the traditional Korean architecture of Namsangol Hanok Village, make your way up the winding stone steps to the tower which offers a stunning view of the Seoul skyline (and the highest bathroom in the land, according to visitseoul.net!).
Where: Namsangol Hanok Village: 28 Toegye-ro 34-gil, Pil-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, Namsan Tower: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
Price: About $14 for adults and $11 for kids for tower observatory entry.
Flyboarding On The Han River
If propelling out of a river powered by jets of water didn't scare nuns Judy and Therese, then there's no reason the rest of us shouldn't give it a crack.
While one member of each team had to make it two metres above the Han River before they could proceed to the next challenge, you can take your time to practice loop-de-loops and impressive twirls at the flyboarding amenities in Seoul between May and September.
Where: Jamwong Hangang Park.
Price: About $90 for a 15-minute ride (only during Summer).
Can you even imagine visiting this glorious market and not being able to stop and smell the mandu (Korean dumplings)? During this detour, a few of the pairs had to make 50 of their own dumplings, to the standard expected by a local dumpling master.
With over 5,000 stalls and shops at the Gwangjang Market, you can work your way through a mountain of tasty bindaetteok (mung bean and kimchi pancake), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), sundae (blood sausage), and drink some makgeolli (sparkling rice wine).
Where: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
How Much: A plate of tteokbokki will only set you back about $3-$5.
While half the teams were off folding dumplings (and poor Alana and Niko were circling the city in a cab), the rest of the duos were learning the speedy art of sport stacking.
Host Beau Ryan got to watch female world-record holder Si Eun Kim (above) work her magic in stacking and dismantling her pile of plastic cups in seconds at the Hanyang University Gym but there are plenty of ways to enjoy cup stacking (like bingeing the mesmerising clips of the sport on YouTube).
It's not a bad idea to familiarise yourself with the only sport to involve juggling drinking vessels because -- for the first time ever -- Sport Stackers will be competing at an Olympic level at the Tokyo 2020 games.
Where: You can check out upcoming tournaments (in Seoul, and globally) on the World Sport Stacking Association website.
The Seoul Skygarden/Seoullo 7017 Bridge
You've climbed to the top of a tower, eaten your bodyweight in mandu and worked up your appetite all over again with a round of cup stacking -- so the Sky Garden provides the perfect, tranquil location to end your day in Seoul.
Seoullo 7017 Bridge was the first pitstop of this season of 'The Amazing Race Australia' and gets its name from the year 1970 (when the overpass was first constructed) and 2017 (when it was turned into a luscious, green pedestrian high line).
The sky garden has 600 varieties of plants and fruit-bearing trees, an art gallery, a foot pool (!) to soak your tootsies on the go, 'Bangbang' trampolines and a host of restaurants.
There's also a delicious looking sandwich shop called Egg Drop nearby, a kiosk that specialises in creamy, fluffy eggs between buttery brioche toast with your choice of toppings.
Where: Hoehyeon Station (subway line 4) exit 3 and, at the other end, Seoul Station (subway lines 1, 4) exits 2, 8.