Decked with a dazzling coastline, South Korea offers inimitable history, culture and beautiful landscapes. Rich in experiences, this upcoming Asian jewel offers myriad options whether you are travelling with family, a loved one or a group of friends. We narrow down a few themes that are sure to get you excited about South Korea.
Enjoy a unique eating out experience
Themed cafes are a global rage, but the ones in Seoul take it to a whole new level. Right next to Hongdae’s main shopping street, the Hello Kitty Cafe lures children and adults alike with its pretty facade. The story that begins at the door is well-illustrated through themed-wallpaper, accessories, and furniture. It is safe to say you will be surrounded by all things Hello Kitty. Besides the usual cafe food selection of coffee and cakes, there are also Hello Kitty souvenirs for you to purchase!
For those romantic at heart, Banji Café, part of a shop popular for customized jewellery, is a must-visit!
Custom-made jewellery became widely popular after Korean celebrities on the popular TV show ‘We Got Married’, made their own matching rings here. You can take the romance a notch higher by enjoying a delicious cup of coffee on the rooftop while your shiny souvenirs are being made! One great food avenue that must be on your list is Ddong Cafe, aka poop cafe. At this quirky themed café, try the drinks that come in mugs shaped to resemble toilets along with a host of other delicacies presented in toilet-shaped serve ware. Lastly, don’t miss The Stylenanda Pink Pool Café, one of the trendiest cafes, that has popped up recently in Seoul. Once here, you’ll be welcomed by lights so bright it feels like you’re on stage.
A Shopping guide for the Nocturnal
When in Seoul, the world-famous shopping paradise, all one needs is a plump wallet full of cash and a heart to splurge. One does not need to compromise on sight-seeing for shopping; there are markets that stay open until wee hours of morning. In Seoul, head to the Dongdaemun area to satiate your shopping desires through over 26 malls and 30,000 shops.
In the same neighbourhood sits the Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market, where you can get retail apparel, accessories and other goods, at discounted rates. The opening days of the markets may vary by location, so it is better to check the official website before visiting. This year, the market will open at Yeouido Hangang Park, Banpo Hangang Park, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Cheonggyecheon Stream, and Culture Tank.
Party like a local
Seoul has one of the most vivid nightlife landscapes in Asia, thus attracting the nightlife seekers looking for a unique experience. It is interesting to note that the locals prefer to party in cha (rounds) rather than sticking to just one outlet. Rather than downing a few drinks in a single bar or restaurant, they visit multiple locations until early morning for a more rewarding experience. The evening begins with a visit to a gogi jib (a barbecue restaurant) to enjoy a meal together. To get the party started, one needs to just put on their party shoes, grab a soju (a local drink) and venture into the colourful, well-lit Hongdae District of Seoul.
Hongdae’s loud, young vibe is perfect for those looking to escape and enjoy some cheap drinks. It lures visitors with its underground music scene, street performers, and hip-hop clubs. If you are looking to scale up the fun, head to Gangnam district, home to the city’s high-end clubs. There is nothing more soothing than summing up an evening with a session at a noraebang (karaoke bar), which forms an important part of the culture in South Korea. Popular with Koreans of all ages, these private singing chambers are practically everywhere in Seoul and make for the perfect spot to round off an evening of fun.
An adrenaline packed outing
South Korea may be a small nation, but its diverse landscape offers a variety of adventure. As South Korean is covered by mountains, the abundance of snow makes it a worthwhile choice for keen skiers and snowboarders. Gangwon-do is the best province in South Korea to enjoy snow sports, as its altitude allows for the highest snowfall.
Another popular sport here is surfing. For a seasoned surfer or an amateur looking to enjoy a lesson or two, Jeju Island is extremely popular and is known as the birthplace of surfing in Korea.
Known for its big waves, the island attracts local and foreign surfers alike. Busan, built on the seafront, is both a modern metropolis and a holiday getaway. This major port city has many pristine beaches that attract adventure enthusiasts. Yangyang County, in Gangwon Province, is another destination that’s famed as a surfing paradise of Korea. Get your fix of fun with Skyline Luge in Tongyeong -the first attraction of its kind in South Korea. Skyline Luge offers a fun-filled outdoor experience that is suitable for riders of all ages and experience levels.
Don't miss the chance to ride the Skyline ZipWire from an 80m-high tower boarding to Nami Island. It is certainly the coolest way to view the beauty of the Island in all its glory. The Nami Skyline ZipWire is one of the biggest ziplining experiences in Asia.