I’ve seen many foreign visitors holding their bag so preciously and carrying a backpack with multiple rocks as if they could be a target of robbery.
I’m telling you now that YOU DON’T NEED THOSE THING in Korea.
Of course we have crimes and potential dangers, but compare to other countries, felony against tourist is unlikely to happen.
“By U.S. standards, crime rates throughout the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea) are low, and the country is generally a safe destination for most travelers. A majority of the crimes that are reported are non-violent and non-confrontational,including: pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and thefts from hotel rooms or homes, which occur more frequently in major metropolitan areas, tourist sites, and crowded markets.
While crimes involving firearms are extremely rare due to stringent gun control laws, violent crimes sometimes occur and often involve the use of knives. Other such crimes, such as burglaries of occupied residences, are also relatively rare”
(OECD Better Life Index, 2015)
As this OECD static show, Korea has ranked 6th safest country in the world. The well-organized social security and public surveillance system will make you feel safe and easy in Korea.
You can stagger around, being drunk, in Seoul, the 24 hours-on city.
As you all know, Korea is one of the most developed country in Internet/IT technology section.
The 4G+ (3 times faster than 3G) is basic option on the smartphone and for those who don’t have enough plan, free WiFi is provided almost everywhere,
Here’s a list of where you can get WiFi.
and 269072905302 more places you can imagine.
It’s free and fast.
The subway timetable is clear and well-kept. You can see on an electronic display in the platform where your transportation (bus/subway) is and what time it arrives . Especially subway is hardly delayed.
Both subway and bus are convenient, but they have their own ups and downs.
1. If you’re on a tight schedule,
better take the subway.
It will take you exactly to where you wanted to be at the time you want. Also, you can enjoy various foods in convenient stores or tiny pop-up stores located in the station such as waffles, breads, Korean rice cakes, juice, ice creams, sandwiches etc.
2.If you’re less busy,
better take the bus.
Seoul is such a beautiful place with traditional buildings and modern buildings altogether. If you don’t want to miss the unique atmosphere of Korea, take the bus.
HERE you can see the metro map in English. It provides the time schedule and expected journey time.
No charge for using public toilets! You can use public toilets located in stations or tourist attractions for free.
If you are in an emergency (about to wet your pants:/), you can enter any stores (restaurant, cafe, shops…) and ask them if you can use the toilet for a moment. The generous Korean won’t say no and gently let you know where the toilet is.
‘Four distinct seasons’ means Korea changes its clothe at least four times a year. Each season has its own beauty.
-Spring (March~May): Colorful-
The word ‘colorful’ represents the spring in Korea . Many different flower trees are planted along the street and people wear brighter clothes. Also, there are numerous festivals that you can feel colorful Korea.
There are several spring festivals in Korea.
Unfortunately, the color yellow not only comes from the flowers, but from ‘the yellow dust’ as well. So, if you are planning to visit Korea in Spring, don’t forget to bring a mask (or you can buy the special mask for the yellow dust in pharmacy in Korea).
-Summer (Jun~August): Hot and Cool-
If someone asks me to describe summer in Korea in one word,
I would choose the word ‘HOT’.
YES, it’s hot. The highest temperature of the 2016 summer was 38.6 cº. The number itself doesn’t seem so high, but the problem is HUMIDITY. The humidity percents skyrocket up to 81% in July, when the Monsoon season comes. People couldn’t come out of buildings and choose to stay inside.
So, here is the COOL part.
Since summer in Korea is extremely hot (and winter is freezing) and it is almost impossible to do any outdoor activity, so-called ‘Bang culture’ (‘Bang’ means ‘room’ in Korean) is very well developed.
For example, there is PC Bang, where there are dozens of computers and you can play computer games as much as you want while having some foods/snacks (yes they sell food for gamers!) as long as you have enough money. Also, there is room cafe (the place you can sing, play Wii, read comic book, watch movie, etc.), Norae-Bang(karaoke), Dang-Gu-Jang(biliard) and so on.
Another COOL part is the coast.
People gather where cool water is to avoid the hot weather. During the day, the coastal area is a great place for friends and families to hang out. But at night, it becomes a meeting place for the young people who try to find their date.
So, summer may not be the perfect season to come to Korea. But still I insist you to visit Korea in the summer. Because you can feel the COOL Korea out of its crazy hotness.
-Autumn (September~November): Autumnal Tint-
Perfect weather (not hot nor cold) and beautiful scenery, the autumn in Korea is the perfect season for travelers. Since more than 70% of its territory consist of mountains, you can enjoy the autumnal tint all over the country, walking along the street, going for a walk to the park and having picnics on the campus.
I give you the list of hiking places you can visit.
Recommended Autumn Destinations
– Mountain Fall Foliage Sites
-Winter (December~February): Festival-
Winter in Korea, it’s freezing like the ice. Especially in January and February, it goes down to the negative 15~20cº.
But, as I said before, if you can feel ‘cool’ from the ‘hot summer’, the other way around is also possible. Even if it’s super cold, the passionate Koreans try to enjoy their life. That’s why I say winter of Korea is the season of ‘festival’
You can go ice-fishing, skiing, skating, and go to see the sunrise on the very first day of the new year to pray all well for your family and friends.
Normally we go somewhere to get the food.
But here in Korea, the food comes to you!
Here’s the list of food you can order.
– Fried chicken
– Chinese food
and 32827498 more foods.
Especially fried chicken and beer (chimaek) in the Han river is the best combination I recommend.
-The night view of Han river-
With the breathtaking night view of the Han river, enjoy your food that comes to you by a single phone call.
There is no tips for food or services in Korea. Don’t worry and enjoy your food 🙂
When I traveled around Europe, one of the most unfamiliar things as Korean was that I had to buy drinking water in restaurants.
But here in Korea, water is free to be served when you order food. Also, you can find free drinking fountains in almost every public place, such as subway stations, museums and school buildings. If you can’t find any drinking fountains, you can drink tap water in Seoul.
Korea is famous for keeping their old palaces very well. It’s worth to visit the 5 most famous palaces located in Seoul.
1. Gyeongbok-gung (Gyeongbok Palace)
Gyeongbokgung (Hangul: 경복궁; Hanja: 景福宮), also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Built in 1395, it is located in northern Seoul, South Korea. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings’ households, as well as the government of Joseon. (wikipedia)
It’s located in Jong-ro/Gwang-hwa-moon area. I personally recommend you to visit Gwanghwamoon plaza as well. There you can find the beauty of tradition and modern times at the same time.
2. Changgyeong-gung (Changgyeong Palace)
Changgyeong Palace was built in the mid-15th century by King Sejong for his father, Taejong. It was originally named “Suganggung,” but it was renovated and enlarged in 1483 by King Seongjong, at which time it received its current name. Many structures were destroyed during Japan’s multiple late 16th century attempts to conquer Korea and invade China. It was rebuilt by successive Joseon Kings but was once again largely destroyed by the Japanese in the early 20th century, but this time torn down methodically to make room for a modern park, a showplace for the empire, akin to Tokyo’s Ueno Park. (wikipedia)
3. Changdeok-gung (Changdeok Palace) and Huwon [UNESCO World Heritage]
Changdeokgung (Hangul, 창덕궁, 昌德宮; literally, “Prospering Virtue Palace”), also known as Changdeokgung Palace or Changdeok Palace, is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). As it is located east of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeokgung—along with Changgyeonggung—is also referred to as the “East Palace” (동궐, 東闕, Donggwol). (wikipedia)
4. Deoksu-gung (Deoksu Palace)
Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by members of Korea’s royal family during the Joseon monarchy until colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The buildings are of varying styles, including some of natural cryptomeria wood), painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built of stone to replicate western palatial structures. (wikipedia)
5. Gyeonghui-gung (Gyeonghui Palace)
Gyeonghui Palace (in Korean: Gyeonghuigung, literally Palace of Serene Harmony) was a palace located in Seoul, South Korea. It was one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the Joseon Dynasty. Construction began in the 1600s during the reign of King Gwanghaegun. In the latter Joseon period, Gyeonghuigung served as the secondary palace for the king, and as it was situated on the west side of Seoul, it was also called Seogwol (a palace of the west). The Secondary palace is usually the palace where the King moves to in times of emergency.(wikipedia)
There is light, people, food, drink, laugh, fun, thrill, adventure, tradition, love, friend and new. Seoul is ON 24 hours, waiting for you.
Come and try Seoul, the city never sleeps.