Let me just start by saying Korea is my favourite holiday destination of all time. I am well and truly in love with this place.
I have been to Seoul twice now, and if there is one thing I can recommend you do to make your trip more enjoyable, it is to go when the temperature is comfortable. I cannot tell you what a world of difference it made to be able to sightsee and walk around without incessant heat, or extreme cold nipping at your heels.
There is a lot of information on the internet on Seoul – things to do, places to go, food to eat; a quick Google and you pretty much can plan your entire itinerary from there. So I’m going to attempt to go a little bit outside your typical scope of activities and give you my own personal list of:
Top 5 Most Incredible Things to Do in and Around Seoul That You Can't Do Anywhere Else
Five. Take a day trip to Incheon.
Let’s say you have some spare time (which, honestly, there is so much to do in Seoul city itself you might not actually have). I actually really enjoyed myself in Incheon. The Chinatown there is unlike any other I’ve been to – beautiful, clean, and contains an interesting combination of both Chinese and Korean culture.
It is also the birthplace of Jjajeongmyeon – a wonderfully simple black bean sauce noodles that I really love.
And, if you go there, you absolutely have to eat at Outdark, a fried chicken joint not too far from the Bucheon station. It was the best meal I had in all of Korea, across both trips.
Four. Dance at Octagon. Gang Nam.
Still sitting at top two of my favourite places to go clubbing worldwide – yes Octagon is a little bit exy, yes they are a little bit atas, and yes, clubbing isn’t everybody’s thing. But I actually really enjoyed myself the one time I went. And what made it all the more awesome to me was that there were 2 female DJs spinning the night I was there and they were both incredible. It’s smoke-free, always packed, and the people (both men and women) were truly gorgeous.
Three. Shop at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Dong Dae Mun.
If you are the kind that like to own items of the unique-variety, that you can’t get from just anywhere. I’d highly recommend saving your dough until you get to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (aka. DDP). There is a whole host of Korean-designed items, most locally made. A whole ton of nifty and unusual goods, from apparel to household items and technology. Even if you’re not one to spend, it is definitely worth a look-around due to the inspiration it might give you. And to be able to explore Zaha Hadid’s award winning architecture is nothing to shrug about.
Two. Take a day trip to Nami Island.
Yes, Nami is where Winter Sonata was filmed, and despite being a fan of the show I was not really keen on visiting. If Reuben hadn’t suggested it, I wouldn’t have even thought to go because the photos and videos I’ve seen of the place were rather *meh*.
I was so (thankfully) wrong.
A picture says a thousand words, but to see something of such beauty in real life... Utterly unforgettable. Taking into consideration just how easy and affordable it is to go there, I now highly recommend it. Not to mention you also get to experience their extremely comfortable and fast-moving ITX trains. Multiple birds with one stone.
One. Print your own custom Jordans. Hong Dae.
(Can you read what it says?)
Almost right out the Hongdae subway station stands a massive Jordans store, and within this store you can actually get your own t-shirts or metal pins custom-made, both of which are done professionally and are gorgeous. It isn’t too costly – about RM200 for the t-shirt, and these are items that you can take home that would far exceed any other souvenirs you find elsewhere, making it my number one thing to do to commemorate the great time you had in Korea.
BONUS ROUND. Play a game (or multiple) of League at LOLPark.
If you're a nerdy nerd like me, then this place will likely blow your mind. Where the LCK (League Championship, Korea) is held during the season, not only are there several wonderful pieces of art and statues paying homage to the many amazing players that have come out of Korea, but there is even a huge cyber cafe, a merchandise store, and an actual food area where you can have your meals.
Also, this was where Reuben and I got to meet Riot Dash (aka. James), and his lovely girlfriend Chesney - so really, this location has cemented itself in my mind as the absolute best place in Korea.
And what do you think? Have you been to Korea recently? What are your favourite places? I fully intend to go back ASAP and can't wait to explore more of this country, so let me know if you have any recommendations for me to check out!
Till next time,