A Few Basic Travel Tips for your Vacation in Seoul – South Korea

A Few Basic Travel Tips for your Vacation in Seoul – South Korea

Preparing for a vacation in Seoul, South Korea can be exciting and anxious all in one.

Think about it, a city with over 10-million people with most of the population speaking a different language than you, it’s a lot to get your head around.

Especially if you are entering the city for the first time for a vacation in Korea and without a clue what to do or where to go.

Off the cusps, Seoul is a fantastic city with great people. Sure, it can seem chaotic in the city-centre, with people flocking in all directions and eager to get to their point of interest.

Moreover, you’ll be entering a city, with a proud culture and beautiful traditions, which makes South Korea great to visit.

Preparing for your Seoul vacation will require a little homework, as is the case for any destination you visit worldwide.

The need to find Seoul attractions or activities, learning the law and sourcing a little help with the local language. In this article, you’ll find a few helpful tips to help get you prepared for your vacation in Seoul.

 

Are you having a Vacation in Seoul? Look for hotels on TripAdvisor!

Klook.com

 

vacation in Seoul

The Gyeongbokgung Palace needs to be on your list during your vacation in Seoul.

 

 

Travel Tips for your Vacation in Seoul – South Korea

 

 

Be Prepared on Arrival at Incheon Airport

Arriving at Incheon airport (Seoul’s major International Airport) for a Korea Vacation can be overwhelming at first, although the country is as safe as houses, the sheer size and population may give you a little stage fright at first.

The best advice is to get yourself to the hotel from the airport the easiest possible way and gather then your thoughts once you recover from the flight.

Be prepared in advance upon arriving in Seoul by organising transfers from the airport to get your time in Seoul off to a smooth start. The other option is also to catch a taxi, and there are many waiting at the airport.

 

Klook.com

 

Keep Connected in Seoul

Keeping connected in Seoul is no hassle at all with good WIFI connection available in a most café’s, restaurants and shopping malls throughout the city.

Although in a city so large and when the language barrier is so apparent, purchasing a portable WIFI egg or a local sim-card can be a good idea.

Especially when you are in desperate need for help or directions and all you have nearby is the ever-evolving smartphone in your possession.

 

Klook.com

 

Learn a few essential Korean Phrases

Not to learn a few basic phrases in the local language is a pet hate of mine.

When tourists travel into a foreign land where English is not the common language, and you don’t go out of your way to learn a few words, I find is a bit rude.

No one is asking you to knuckle down and study a whole range of words, but a few of the basics, like hello, please, thank you, I’m sorry, and goodbye will go a long way in showing respect when doing something basic like ordering a coffee in a café.

 

Myeongdong

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Seoul.

 

Embrace the Seoul Public Transportation

The Seoul MRT system will drive you crazy in the beginning of your South Korea vacation.

All the different colours and lines heading in all directions, it’ll be like trying to figure out a maze in a kid’s activity book, which will seem an easier task than working out the map to the Seoul MRT system.

Embrace the transportation and purchase yourself a Seoul MRT card, because, in the end, it will be the cheapest and most convenient way to get around Seoul and to visit many different attractions.

Don’t worry, maps and audio speakers in the trains are in both Korean and English.

 

Download Helpful Apps

Smartphone Apps, where would we be without them, and to think not long ago they were nothing to us, where now, we can’t survive without them.

Certain Apps will help you when you travel in Seoul, from primary Korean language to Google Map apps (both online or offline) and even the Seoul MRT map App which is available to download for your convenience of getting around Seoul.

Apps to download for Seoul Trip

TripAdvisor

Google Maps

Learn Korean – Grammar

Seoul MRT Map

 

Hold No Fear in Seoul

Hold no fear when having a vacation in Seoul, because there is nothing to fear for travel in South Korea. Of course, things can go wrong, because, in the real world, shit happens and that’s where travel insurance is recommended for any trip around the world.

Visit South Korea with your eyes wide open and take in all the atmosphere, the vibrancy and the people who make this country as great as it is. Because, if you blink for even a second wandering the streets of Seoul, you may miss something incredible.

As for the neighbours in North, don’t even give it a second thought, in fact, I highly recommend that when you are in Seoul, to take the all-day DMZ tour and get up close to North Korea, it’s an incredible experience.

 

 

 

 

in Seoul

Enjoy a vacation in Seoul through all seasons.

trazy.com

Klook.com

Booking.com
Seoul

Pin it!!!!

Seoul

Pin it!!!

Booking.com

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Seoul In Spring – South Korea

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Seoul In Spring – South Korea

It’s undoubtedly the best time to visit Seoul!

It’s the winter snow is melting, and the weather is warming. The flowers are blossoming, and the birds are chirping quite loudly. The skies are also clearing, and the city of Seoul is seen from the top of Bugak Mountain, it’s quite gorgeous indeed.

It can only mean one thing, that springtime has come around again in Seoul, and this beautiful country is at it’s very best with Spring in Korea.

Everyone loves spring, it’s the middle period between chilling cold and scorching temperatures, where the weather is perfect, and everyone is out and about admiring the colour in the city of Seoul.

Let’s not forget the cherry blossom.

It speaks vilumes for the best time to visit South Korea, with scenic nature, the beauty and the vividly beautiful colours that surround you. Therefore, here are five reasons to visit Seoul in spring.

 

Visiting Seoul, South Korea in Springtime? Look for hotels on TripAdvisor

 

 

 

Hangang Park, South Korea

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Seoul In Spring and visit places like Hangang Park.

 

 

5 Reasons You Need To Visit Seoul In Spring – South Korea

 

 

1. The Sun comes out for a Gorgeous Seoul Spring

Like anywhere around the world, when spring arrives, the weather begins to warm, and that winter chill becomes a thing of the past until next cold season.

Of course, the warmth in the Capital takes a little longer with the temperatures being close to freezing conditions in March, but as the weeks come, you may be able to wear a jumper and take the jacket off.

When the weather does begin to warm a little more in April, in Seoul, it’s a welcome relief as the sub-zero temperatures are gone and the sun comes out in the crystal clear blue skies and the people change their thick winter coats for shorts and a t-shirt.

 

Visit Seoul in Spring

Seoul in Spring is incredible on a clear day.

 

2. The Tulips Come to life and make Seoul in Spring Irresistible

The Tulips come to life in Spring, and no one puts on a better display in Seoul than the Everland Theme Park. Each spring the Tulip festival takes centre stage with a vast array of tulips on display and with fantastic colour and clean smell.

It’s not only Everland where the Tulips are fully paraded and perfectly landscaped, with the city decorated with thousands of tulips — making a gorgeous city that even better on the eye.

 

Seoulin spring

The tulips are sensational with full colour.

 

3. Cherry Blossoms come alive

There is no better sight than seeing the Cherry Blossoms in full colour. In Seoul, you’re surrounded by a variety of Cherry Blossom trees which are at their peak colour of either white or pink.

It becomes a photographer dream with plenty of fantastic photo opportunities. It will put a smile to the dial to see nature at its finest. But you will need to get in early, or you will miss out because the blossoms will quickly fade away.

 

cherry blossoms Korea

You got to love the Cherry blossoms.

 

4. There is no better time to take a hike during Spring Season in Seoul

Hiking can be done in any season when you visit Seoul.

However, without a doubt, the best time to take a walk is in springtime, the weather is warming, and there is no need to worry about frostbite.

The summer sting and soaring humidity have yet to hit the boiling point, so there is no need to worry about a heat stroke. Just bring water.

The mountains are green with leaves gaining their colour as the white snow melts away.

However, best of all the city of Seoul and parklands are at their very best with beautifully landscaped gardens, dazzling water features and fantastic scenery.

You need to hope for a clear Seoul day, which is unpredictable at best.

 

Spring time Seoul

Take a hike in Springtime.

 

5. Baseball time is a fun time

Baseball might not be to everyone’s liking. When the season kicks off in early April, be sure to get to a game of Baseball.

Whether you are a fan of the big-hitting curve ball game or not, it doesn’t matter, witness the electric atmosphere of Korean Baseball in full voice and soak in the atmosphere along with the roar of the crowd.

The entertainment is fun on the field, but you can’t but help losing yourself with the entertainment provided from the stands. Oh and not to mention the beautiful cheerleaders too.

 

Visiting Seoul, South Korea in Springtime? Look for hotels on TripAdvisor

 

Visit Seoul in spring.

Korean baseball begins in springtime.

Enjoy Day Trips in Seoul with Get Your Guide!

 
trazy.com

Klook.com

Booking.com
Booking.com

An Interactive guide to the History of the Winter Olympics

An Interactive guide to the History of the Winter Olympics

I’m excited!!! And I have every right to be.

That’s because two of my biggest loves in life are coming together to host a very big international sporting event, and of course, I speak of the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea which commences on the 9th February 2018.

 

 

Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Picture by Pexels.

Travel and sport are my biggest passions in life and when you include a personal all-time favourite travel destination in South Korea, there will be no containing the excitement levels in my household.

The only downside is that I won’t be able to attend the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang as a spectator, cheering on the Koreans and naturally my home country, Australia, who do normally feature in the bottom half of the medal telly at most games.  

For the next couple of weeks, my eyes will be firmly glued to the television screens, watching the brave athletes put their body on the line to win gold for themselves and country. I mean literally, “put their body on the line,” and you’ll know what I mean if you have seen some of the terrifying sports that take place during the Winter Olympics, it is quite the spectacle.

Not only can I enjoy the rush of the games, but courtesy of Logojoy, who have a put together a cool, interactive guide of the highs, lows and logos throughout the years of Winter Olympics history, I will be able to have a descriptive history lesson while watching the games in South Korea. And for those  of you who love learning the history of major sporting events, this interactive guide is a must read.

You can read about the history of the Winter Olympics leading into the PyeongChang games with this awesome interactive guide that is situated below this article. All you need to do is click through the years and read about some amazing controversy and stories of how things evolved all the way to modern times of today.

So, turn the kettle on, make a coffee, sit back and read through the Interactive guide produced by the team at Logojoy, while cheering on your home country to Olympic gold. It’s going to be a great couple of weeks watching world-class sport taking place in freezing temperatures.

Heading off to South Korea during or after the games? Check for hotels on TripAdvisor.

Klook.com

Booking.com

9 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Seoul in South Korea

9 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Seoul in South Korea

While sitting at an airport and getting ready for my next adventure, it had me thinking of when I last visit to Seoul in South Korea and how the craving I had to get back their real soon. I have already visited the city on three separate occasions, yet, I still yearn for more Korean. The country is that good when it comes to travel.

Thinking of Seoul had me jotting down what makes that country so unique and why it would appeal to so many other travellers who wish to visit the East Asian country (forgetting about the bullshit in the north, although of little concern now). Hence, I turned my current reminiscing into a blog post while waiting in transit in Bangkok.

All in all, I came up with nine significant reasons why you need to visit Seoul in South Korea, yet if I thought longer and harder about, there would be a heap more than nine reasons to visit the buzzing city.

 

Are you visiting Seoul for a holiday to remember?
Check out TripAdvisor for hotels!

 

Visit Seoul in South Korea

9 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Seoul in South Korea.

 

9 Epic Reasons You Need to Visit Seoul in South Korea

 

The Culture

Like with any Asian country, culture is what makes the destination so fulfilling as it is. South Korea is no exception as it’s rich history and proud tradition due to Korea’s strong heritage. The Korean culture is evident throughout, from their polite manners, fantastic food, strong family values, deep history and even their traditional dress (hanbok), South Korea is full of culture and ethics.

 

The people

In everyday life, South Koreans are busy folk and always move with urgency. It comes with the experience of living in the city of Seoul. On the streets of Seoul, it’s each to their own, doors won’t be held open for you, even if you are standing two feet behind the person in front of you, and on those crazy train rides, you need to push and shove to get anywhere, or you may miss out.

Don’t take it personally; it just comes with the hustle and bustle of a busy city. The Korean are astonishing people and very respectful. They show manners to their elders with kind words and politeness in everyday life, especially within their own families. 

 

Have a massive day out at Everland Theme-Park
and Purchase your tickets through Klook!

Klook.com

 

Places to visit in Seoul

The people of Korea are fabulous and friendly people.

 

The Bustling city of Seoul

The modern town will delight you from the outset. It’s a crazy city that packs the lot, from the stunning Skyrise Buildings to the gorgeous landscapes which are remarkable within the CBD, the Cheonggyecheon Stream is an example of that.

The City of Seoul honestly has no boring bits, with their walking streets, side alleyways with fascinating hidden restaurants and astounding attractions that are a tourist hit. Seoul in South Korea is a city that truly never sleeps.

 

Seoul

Visit Seoul in South Korea

 

Temples and Palaces

Seoul may be a modern city with modern luxuries. However, it does not forget about its proud tradition and astonishing history. There are many essential temples in Seoul, which are incredible in design and the landscaped gardens throughout various attractions, is delightful.

A day is not wasted when you spend only a few bucks to stroll the major temples or palaces with hundreds of years of fascinating yet sad history. During your Korean vacation, make sure you visit one of the major temples, even, all of them, during your stay in Seoul.

 

Go to great heights at Lotte World Tower by purchasing
your tickets to the Observation Deck through Klook!

 Klook.com

 

Gyeongbokgung

the crowds gather to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.

 

 

Lush landscapes within the City Centre

As mentioned previously, the views and gardens within and around the city are beautiful. It’s fascinating how a big city like, with millions in population, can get it so right. It’s quite mesmerising to see the colour throughout the city and its a Credit to whoever is responsible for the glamorous layout. No matter whichever the season you are visiting, Seoul is always looking fabulous.

 

Hangang Park

Hangang Park in Seoul is a stunning location by the river.

 

Delicious Korean Food

Asian food of any variety is typically merely divine, and of course, Korean food is no exception. During your stay, make sure you are dining out on their sizzling Korean barbeques, bulgogi (marinated beef), a fulfilling rice noodle soup and delicious black bean noodles, to only name a few. You will find a vast range of delicious foods to try when you visit Seoul in South Korea.

For more information, take a look at my top 5 foods to eat in Korea for further advice.

 

Amazing Attractions of Seoul

Family fun is assured in Seoul and the surrounding areas, with a large number of attractions that would delight any traveller to the East Asian country. Everland, just a little out of Seoul and it matches with any theme park in the world with its thrilling rides, entertaining shows and the Safari Park with wildlife galore.

In the city, there is an indoor theme park, Lotte world, that you need to visit during your adventure, along with numerous other parklands and attractions.

 

Click here to purchase your 1-Day Lotte World Pass!

Klook.com

 

 

Sports Craze in Seoul

If you are an avid sports fan like me, then  South Korea has you covered. Soccer, baseball and Taekwondo are the big three amongst a broad range of sports on offer in Seoul and to attend a professional sporting event is value for your dollar with fan interaction taken to another level.

 

Jamsil Stadium

Supporting the Samsung Lions in Korean Baseball at Jamsil Stadium.

 

Snow time in the city

If you love to ski or snowboard on the slopes, South Korea is full of mountain ranges with plenty of thick snow to enjoy the thrills of the winter sport. The snow season generally starts in December and runs through to April and during this time of the year, the ski fields are alive and buzzing with many tourists.

The best bit about a lot of these ski fields is the most famous slopes only a couple of hours from Seoul. I highly recommend  Deogyusan National Park in Muju for an epic winter thrill.

 

 

Seoul, South Korea

Snow time in South Korea is gorgeous.

Klook.com

Booking.com
Booking.com

Dreaming of my Only White Christmas in South Korea

Dreaming of my Only White Christmas in South Korea

Don’t get concerned, and I am not about to start singing Bing Crosby’s White Christmas. I will need a few more drinks before I start singing. But the song does remind me of my one and only Christmas in the magic of snow.

I remember it as it was yesterday. The first white Christmas happened in Muju-Gun, a town in the central part of South Korea and it was simply breathtaking, bringing a whole new meaning to Christmas. At least for myself and family.

 

Fun in the snow.

Fun in the snow.

 

Why does a White Christmas mean so much?

I am an Aussie, and that means Christmas is snags on a barbie, beer out in the esky, swimming at the beach as the melting sun scorches your skin and you are dressing down rather than rugging up.  Yes, Christmas in Australia doesn’t sound so bad, it’s great to be truthful. But you know the saying, a change is as good as a holiday.

Now I am not a winter fan; I despise it. The part of Australia that I live in during winter time, of course, gets cold, wet, windy and just plain old-miserable. But it doesn’t snow, and to me, the snow adds something extra to an occasion like winter, an added tinge of excitement, even happiness. I know that was my feelings for my family and me.

Others who live in such a climate may tell me I am crazy; perhaps you are sick of the snow, sick of the cold and maybe you have the endeavour of having Christmas in the heat of summer. Not me, however, how I would long for another White Christmas.

 

Family fun in Muju

Family fun in Muju

 

What is about Muju?

Muju was something special. Tucked away in the middle of South Korea, the scenery was divine. Mountains saturated the region with blissful white snow covering the peaks. It was a site to see.

The township was friendly, laid back and unique. It didn’t come with the hustle and bustle of the capital city in Seoul or the modern features. It had a small town feel about it, where all the locals knew each other, and everyone wasn’t in a hurry.

Old ladies would stand in front of their restaurants, willing people to come and eat at their shop, almost begging. The town itself offered plenty of little guesthouses, restaurants, ski shop and general stores.

 

Muju is spectacular in the white snow and ice.

Muju is spectacular in the white snow and ice.

 

Hiking is the number one thing to do in Muju along with skiing in the winter. And for a good reason too. The breathtaking scenery as you slug your way through the thick snow, into the forest, up to the mountain and along the valley was pure delight. Make sure you bring your camera as a million pictures wouldn’t be enough in Muju.

Your only sense of modern in Muju is the Deogyusan Resort. A European style resorts it is where you go for the ski slopes, fine dining and your only escape of Western food, not that you particularly need it when Korean food is so good. The resort is expensive, but if you like being where the action is, you will be in the right place.

 

Deogyusan Resort

Deogyusan Resort.

 

Christmas time in Muju?

It is different. You could easily be forgiven that Christmas doesn’t exist. There is a little celebration going on in the township and decoration are limited. Still, it didn’t take away from the romance of a very merry White Christmas.

How could it? Everything was white, from mountain tops to the trees, to the railings and houses. Then you add the enjoyment of making a snowman with the kids and of course snowball fights, it brings family fun goes to another level — the only type of fun you can only enjoy when snow is involved.

 

white christmas in SOuth Korea

Enjoying White Christmas in South Korea.

 

If you do want a little Christmas touch, all you need to do is head to the resort. Decorations are on show, and at night the resort is well and truly lit up and looking spectacular in its Christmas lights. Carols can be heard throughout the resort, belting out popular Christmas carols, whether it is in Korean or English, it doesn’t matter you still know the song and sing to the tune.

Now maybe other regions in the world do their White Christmas with a little bit more passion. I am sure it is the case. But it won’t stop me from having an unusual attraction towards Muju and my only ever Christmas in the cold snow.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas to all you travellers, from your Fair Dinkum Traveller.

 

Muju lights up in Christmas

Klook.com

Booking.com
Booking.com

The day I met A North Korean Defector in Seoul – South Korea

The day I met A North Korean Defector in Seoul – South Korea

She was a pretty girl, who was aged around thirty. That was my first recollection of the North Korean defector when I first saw her on a bus tour in Seoul, Korea. I certainly couldn’t speak to her, but my South Korean wife certainly could. So this is her story, which is one of bravery, but also very sad.

The Korean woman (her name is unknown) triumphed and risked everything to give her daughter a better life. She lost so much also, forced to leave her native land. However, the result was freedom, a better world and a better experience. This tale of the triumph of a phenomenal woman is the story of the first and only defector of any kind that I have ever met.

It’s the day I met a North Korean defector when on a tour DMZ Tour in the year 2016.

 

Korean defector

A North Korean Defector makes her way into South Korea.

 

The Day I Met a North Korean Defector

 

Leaving North Korea

It was at least twelve months of planning. To find the right authorities, a secret group so to speak, and escape North Korea to the borders of China. She kept it all a secret to those close to her, including her husband. She explained that he would not have had anything to do with such an escape and would forbid it at all cost. So secrecy it had to be. I can only imagine how difficult that would have been for her.

In the middle of a night, after months of preparation, secrecy and fear. She left her house with her daughter in tow, forced to drug her daughter with sleeping tablets so she would be quiet during the escape When all appeared safe during the still of the night, this brave woman, her daughter and a group of other hopeful defectors they headed for the borders. The escape for mum and daughter went smoothly as they made it to China without hiccup and freedom was so close.

 

Settling in South Korea

The transition was entirely smooth into her new life in South Korea, with The South Korean government helping her and the daughter get on their feet and well settled in Seoul. She received grants such as getting an apartment, education, money and a job.

The sacrifice she made and the bravery she showed had been rewarded with a life away from poverty. She now had a job of portraying her story to tourist and to top it off, her daughter was well educated in a new school. While I only saw her this once, she indeed appeared to be happy, go lucky person and a sure sign that her life’s brave decision had been the right one.

 

Sacrifices she made

Sacrifices were plenty and she lost plenty in crossing the border. The risk of getting caught could have meant death or years of hard labour in a North Korean prison. No doubt losing her daughter who would have been taken from her.

Through it all, she lost her husband, he never knew of the escape, and if he did, it would have been forbidden. She knows there is no hope that she will see her husband again, “he would never have understood,” those were her words, in Korean of course.

She lost her parents, although she communicates with them regularly by telephone, using a Chinese telecom service, it means her calls can’t be traced, and she has to be very careful not to put any harm on her family in the North. Her Hope remains she will still see them again, but that is all it remains, is hope.

It is a story of the bravery of how she went through hell, and she ended up with freedom. Many like her have attempted to flee the country, some have succeeded, many have failed. But this woman triumphed over adversity, and that is the story of the only North Korean defector I have ever met.

 

The North Korean Defector now lives in freedom in Seoul, South Korea

The North Korean Defector now lives in freedom in Seoul, South Korea.

 

It is well known that the South Korean government are always keen to help those who are wishing too free themselves from the north and receive a little information from the neighbours in the north. For security reason pictures were not allowed taken of the North Korean Defector.

Klook.com

Booking.com

James Bond Island

Subscribe To Our Monthly Newsletter

Subscribe to Fair Dinkum Traveller to receive our free monthly newsletter and to be in the running for future giveaways.

You have Successfully Subscribed!