Just got back from a 10 days trip to South Korea. The holiday didn’t disappoint; the weather was cold, the food was hot and never ending – With a sense of assurance knowing that we’re never too far off from a fried chicken joint. Not a bad recipe for a short break.
The scenery, the people, the rich culture and mouthwatering food. Yes, the food. The country is breathtaking. Did I mention the food? Here are a list of things that we love during our trip.
For food-obsessed travelers like us, our trip was a daze of hunting down all these eateries recommended by other bloggers – stuffing ourselves with everything from traditional Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang), Grilled pork belly (Samgyeopsal-gui), Pork Wraps (Bo-ssam) to Cold Pig Trotter (Jokbal) in Busan. Food in Korea is a hearty affair.
- 조선초가 한끼
- Dongdaemun Grilled Fish Street
- Baekje Samgyetang (백제삼계탕)
- BHC Fried Chicken (치킨)
- Bongchu Jjimdak (봉추찜닭)
- Hannyang Jokbal, Busan (한양족발)
- Twin Pork Soup, Busan (쌍둥이 돼지국밥)
Myeong Dong is the absolute mecca for cosmetics (I’m looking at you Olive Young). If you have the time, try the smaller outlets that can’t offer tax rebates – they usually make up by throwing in tons of samples with some persuasion. Then head on over to Lottemart for all your tidbits. If you’re heading down to Busan, it is less touristy and a fantastic place for cheap, fashionable clothing.
- Olive Young (올리브영)
- Lottemart (롯데마트)
- Line Friends Store (라인프렌즈)
First off, Myeongdong is touristy. You can almost certainly find Taiwan tourists queuing diligently outside Isaac Toast in the mornings and conversations held in fluent Chinese and Cantonese on almost every table over at Baekje Samgyetang (백제삼계탕).
As one who usually give tours a miss, I will most definitely recommend the Nami Island + Gangchon Rail Bike + Petite France Village Day Tour for couples. Blest with good weather, the day was a wonderful surprise – chilled out, friendly and picturesque; the clouds chased away by the wind with a blue sky illuminating the journey.
Link we booked from
Having visited both Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa (드래곤힐스파 (용산)) and Spa Land Centum City (스파랜드 센텀시티) over in Busan, I will say that there’s nothing quite like going to a Korean Spa – each in itself a unique experience. Recommended only if you’re okay with complete nudity in front of strangers.
- Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa (드래곤힐스파 (용산))
- Spa Land Centum City, Busan (스파랜드 센텀시티)
Nanta and Jump are the not only the 2 most well known musicals in Seoul, they’re also frequently listed as ‘must-sees’ for tourists. With its slapstick acrobatics and martial arts, Jump was absolutely hilarious. The performers were highly skilled and precise in their movements and the crowd participation. Awesome.
- Jump Theater (점프)
Like the Ghibli film Ponpoko? That’s probably why they can even come up with the idea of making a cafe full of raccoons. At these cafes, customers can pet and take pictures of raccoons! They were quite active, fluffy, and cute. Remember to wear jeans or you might end up all 15 shades of grey.
- Raccoon Cafe Kkukkune (라쿤카페 꾸꾸네)
Markets are the perfect illustration of daily life in any country. The absolute no-frills introduction what the traditions are, where the addiction lies and the source of life for its residents.
- Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
- Jagalchi Market, Busan (부산 자갈치시장)
Spend a day experiencing South Korea dressed in traditional Hanbok visiting traditional hanoks (Korean traditional houses). Certain hanoks are still resident occupied while most of it were converted into chic cafes, charming art galleries and traditional eateries. We spent our day at Bukchon Hanok Village; a stone throw away from Gyeongbokgung Palace. Do note that the palace closes relatively early depending on the month.
- Oneday Hanbok (원데이한복)
- Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)
Thank you South Korea! We love you!