When Koreans think of famous cities in Korea, they will surely say Seoul, especially the area of Gangnam. However, a place can be famous despite not be a hot spot for young adults. One such example is Daehangno or University Road in Seoul. There one can find plenty of tasty restaurants, theaters, and campus club activities. Just like this, other nations also have well-known cities and places that are not recognized or familiar to people outside of that nation. The Sookmyung Times met three foreign students and asked them about well-liked but relatively unknown places to people outside of their homeland.
Q1. Could you briefly introduce us to an eminent city or place from your nation that outsiders might not have heard about before?
Personally, I really like Ulm. Most visitors frequent the more renowned cities in Germany like Berlin and Cologne, but since I live in the southern part of Germany, whenever someone visits me there, I like to introduce them to Ulm. I like the mountain scenery there. Ulm is divided into Ulm and neu Ulm. Ulm is located in Baden-Wurttemberg while neu Ulm is located in Bavaria. Basically the city rests in two different nations, so each side follows different laws. For example, on the Bavarian side, you are not allowed to feed the wild ducks, but on the Baden-Wurttemberg side, you are not restricted from feeding them. Also, on the Ulm side, you can visit the tallest Catholic Church tower in the world. Although Ulm is quite small—it only has 3 universities—it is known among tourists and exchange students for its small pubs and bars.
Whenever one thinks of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is sure to come to mind. The city is named after our great leader who reunited the divided nation and led the country down the path of independence. Another famous place is Quang Ninh province, which is home to Ha Long Bay- a world heritage site. There are plenty of must-see destinations across Vietnam, however, I, myself, think Da Nang City seems to get the most visitors. They come from overseas nations as well as from different placed domestically. Da Nang is the third largest city in Vietnam in terms of urban population and it is the biggest city in Central Vietnam. Located at the opening end of the Han River, the city itself is often described with words like artistic beauty.
Philadelphia is among the more famous cities in America. It is also my home city. Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the fifth-most populous in the United States. It is located on the east coast. New York is about a 2-hour drive away. The weather is quite similar to Seoul! We have all four seasons. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley. Philadelphia became a major industrial center thanks to an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African-Americans during the Great Migration and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.
Q2. Do people generally feel the same as you about the city you just mentioned?
Honestly, I’m not sure what others think of Ulm. But I like Ulm. Though it’s a city, it has a small-village like atmosphere so people feel comfortable at all times. I should mention that it is the smallest of all the big cities as well. You have all the opportunities of metropolitan life in Ulm but it is also quiet and life is serene. Also, the transportation in Ulm is very good. Moreover, since it is near the Alps, I find Ulm nice because people can easily go hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. Also, it’s just 2-hours away from France on the western side of the city.
The citizens of Da Nang are always described as friendly and hospitable. Because of its great tourism promotions, Da Nang has a well-developed tourism industry, and the modern city attracts multitudes of visitors all year long. In the city, free Wifi is available everywhere, and tourists who come to Da Nang can be seen wandering along its crystal beach coastline while enjoying some summer juices. Whether you are walking or riding a bike in the city, you will always feel relaxed and will enjoy the wholesome atmosphere because the ground is rubbish-free. Da Nang citizens have always had great concern for the environment. For many people in Vietnam, Da Nang is the city they travel to in order to recharge themselves. They spend time viewing beautiful and historical sites, eating delicious food, and meeting friendly people. Personally, I go to Da Nang often. My family has been to Da Nang for three consecutive summer vacations. I love the modern, yet humble and elegant beauty of this city.
A lot of people think Philadelphia is unsafe due to its high crime rate. Indeed, it is dangerous, especially at night, but it’s a nice city to explore during the day. Philadelphia is a diverse city and there are so many people of different cultures and beliefs who live there. Because of that, you can try different varieties of food! I really enjoy the culture of Philadelphia. We even have our own slang! For example, we use the word "jawn" to describe pretty much everything! "Look at that jawn over there!"
Q3. What are some of the must-see places in the city?
My favorite place is Besitos. Besitos is similar to a nightclub. On Tuesday night, it hosts a unique dance night party. It will roll a dice and the numbers that pop up on the dice will the cost of your cocktails for the night. It is fun and enjoyable since regularly priced cocktails are expensive. Let me give you an example, if you roll a die and the number you roll is 1, then the price of your cocktail will be one Euro per cocktail for the evening. It is very popular among people.
Tourists love going to the front of the Dragon Bridge which crosses Han River to see the dragon spraying water and fire. The whole process is automatic, and it is only turned on during the weekends. Most people who visit Da Nang watch the show. Another popular site is Marble Mountains. These mountains are rocky limestone outcrops that protrude from the beach just south of Da Nang. If you follow the mountain path, you will come to the top of forested cliffs, which offers the visitor a spectacular views of Non Nuoc Beach and the South China Sea. Non Nuoc Beach, along with My Khe beach to the north, are home to expensive resorts, surfing places, and entertainment facilities. I should also mention Son Tra Mountain. It’s just a few miles away from the downtown because it offers visitors relaxing wild streams and comfortable resorts along the seaside. While the elderly prefer visiting historical sites, youngsters favour adventure and discovery, so you will usually find them at entertainment sites, and Ba Na Hill in Da Nang is one great example.
It is a city full of American history. You can join a tour of all the historic places! The first American flag was made here. It is also nicknamed the "City of Brotherly Love". It is smaller than New York City, but there are plenty of things to do. My city is famous for cheesesteaks! If you ever come to Philadelphia, you must try Jim's Steak on South Street. You should also visit the Philadelphia's Art Museum and the Rocky Statue, which is nearby. During winter, you can go to Penn's Landing and ice skate! And the area called "University City" is where most young people hang out. You can take a stroll and see many small shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The Ivy League school, University of Pennsylvania, is in this area. It is equivalent to a SKY university in South Korea.