Korean relationships are complicated by social hierarchy, and the concept of losing face is integral to Korean hierarchy. Koreans always show utmost respect to each other and can seem to be overly pleasant, in order to avoid potential disagreements which may lead to losing face. The curious facts about the King's Palaces make a history trip around Seoul all the more interesting. The Palace of Shining Happiness was the first royal residence built, in the late 1300s. In the late 1800s, the royal family relocated to the Palace of Virtuous Longevity, and around the same time, an extension was built to The Palace of Shining Happiness, which was called the Palace of Prospering Virtue. This has now been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List and is well worth a visit. The Secret Garden of Biwon is also worth seeing. If you fancy a bit of traditional food, try Wonjo WonHalmae Dakhanmari. In a back lane, it is not the easiest to find but that is exactly what makes this a hidden gem. The clientele is mostly locals, many of which come here for a nice hot chicken broth. Though they speak little English, communication is made easier with illustrative pictures and gestures. If Korean food is not your thing, then all other tastes are of course catered for elsewhere, including Indian, French and American cuisines. During your stay, treat yourself to a leather jacket, belt, wallet or bag. Anything made of leather is a Seoul speciality. A traditional drink is Geumsan Insamju, a rice wine which is made from a 600 year old recipe. As night falls, head to one of the tiny underground venues in Hongkik, which is a well-known hotspot for live indie music. Seoul is a representation of a true rags to riches story, in every aspect of life and culture it is a fascinating melange of old and new, where East meets West.