Saturday, October 5, 2013

10 Things To Do in South Korea

If you think watching Korean dramas all day everyday is enough to get to know the land of fermented cabbage and epicanthal folds,  I must tell you that are wrong. There is more to South Korea than kimchi, BB creams, insanely unblemished pale people and KPOP.

Below are the list of the things I did to get to know South Korea and eventually fall in adoration with this amazing country.

1. Visit Jeju Island.
Jejudo a.k.a. Jeju is one of the most magical place I have ever been to. No trip to South Korea is complete without a stop at Jeju. If I am going to visit Korea again, I will skip Seoul and head straight to this breathtaking place. The following are the must visit places in Jeju. 

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Seonim Bridge

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall Number 2

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall Number 3

Green Tea Museum

Alive Museum


Glass Castle


Jeju Loveland


Ecoland


Sangumburi Crater

The Oldest Grandfather Statue in Jeju
Trivia: Grandfather statues usually come in pairs. The placement of the hands on the two statues are usually different. The one where the right arm is on top of the left arm represents a Scholar (like a right arm on top of a table while studying), and the one where the left arm is on top of the right arm is the Soldier (like how a soldier holds a riffle in salute position).



Jeju Folk Village

Seongsan Ilchulbong a.k.a. Sunrise Peak

Still at Seongsan Ilchulbong


Mt. Seopjikoji a.k.a. Narrow Road

Manjanggul Lava Cave

2. Overdose in Korean Food.
The thing that I love about Korean food is that it is guilt free. It is not hard to find a good dose of fresh fruits and vegetables while I was in the hustle and bustle of the city. Some local restaurants actually has a garden beside their stalls where they grow their ingredients. How awesome is that! Being the health and wellness freak that I am, this is probably one of the top reason why I love this country.

When they said that a Korean meal is festive, they are not kidding
The best dried squid I ever tasted
Dak Galbi

No more Dak Galbi

Korean Pizza

A Jeju-do native dish: Noodle with pork

Green Tea Ice Cream

Black Pork

Bibimbap

3. Seoul City Tour.
A city with a heart is how I would describe Seoul. This city is the perfect mix of the old (well-preserved palaces) and the new (high rise and state of the art buildings). People here seemed more friendly and accommodating to tourists unlike the Zombie Singapore where most of it's inhabitants appear to be dead people walking. And don't forget to visit the N Seoul Tower in Mt. Namsan (a.k.a. Namsan Tower) at night for a good view of the Seoul City lights.

Bukchon Hanok Village

Gyeongbukgong Palace


Inside the Palace

Palace grounds



Deuksugung Palace
 
Perfect mix of the old and the new
Cheongkuechon Stream
Myeongdong
Banpo Bridge

Seoul Night Lights

N Seoul Tower a.k.a. Namsan Tower


4. Get lost and be lost in translation.
If only I was alone, I would have wanted to get lost in the subway or the streets more while in South Korea. I think getting lost in an unknown place and finding myself in weird situations make a trip more interesting (and exciting).
One thing to note is that in Korea not all directions has an English translation. Like what I said in number 3, most people in Seoul seems approachable so you may ask for directions but not everyone is good in speaking English. Which is not a problem really, I am sure you will eventually find someone who will help you out. 



5. Learn how to speak Korean.
I like hearing Koreans speak to each other even if I don't understand them and I don't know why. Probably because they always sound like they are complaining but in a cute, non offensive way. Knowing some Korean words will come handy from time to time and works well as an ice breaker. Click HERE for some useful English - Korean translations because han gaji eon-eoneun chungbunhaji mos hae.

6. Make your Own Korean Drama.
After learning some Korean words in number 5, might as well make your own Korean drama! 

 
7. Climb a Mountain. There are multiple mountains in Seoul. Say what? A city with a heart that has a multitude of healthy foods and is surrounded by mountains that are just a subway station away. This place is heaven for health buffs. There are 37 mountains in Seoul and it would be a waste to not climb even one of them and see the beauty of Seoul from afar.
Seoul at Sunrise as seen from Mt. Ansan
8. Drink Soju. Soju is an alcoholic beverage native to Korea. It usually has a 20% alcohol content. But yeah, you don't really need to know that. To be drunk in a foreign country is good enough reason to drink Soju. :)
9. Have Fun! Sure, there is an endless list of tourist spots in South Korea and it is nice to visit as many as possible and then brag about them on social media sites but do not forget to actually have fun. This is not the Amazing Race, do not hesitate to stop and enjoy the place you are in, goof around with your friends, family or special someone. I would have wanted to go bunjee jumping in Bundang or visit Hongdae for some hipster art and check out the local indie music scene but I skipped it for my friends and I am perfectly fine with that. I had the time of my life and I am thankful to everyone that made this trip a blast.

 
10. Fall in Love. I never expected that I would like this country. I never liked Koreans that I encountered in the Philippines and I think that liking South Korea is a little too mainstream. But I ended up falling in love with everything about this country; the culture, the food, the places, the people. A dream destination indeed. Whether you are a creature of comfort or an adventure seeker, South Korea has something to offer to make your stay a memorable one and make you want to keep coming back for more.
The South Korea Series: Itinerary and Expenses for Seven Days and Six Nights in South Korea  10 Things To Do in South Korea My Favorite Place in South Korea

2 comments:

  1. ang ganda ng cliff at waterfall :) kakainggit...

    ReplyDelete
  2. :D Salamat sa pagbisita ulit sir. :) maganda nga po yung cliff sir, parang painting sa totoong buhay at yung waves na humahampas sa kanya ay parang nangangain ng tao. :)

    ReplyDelete