With tons of great shopping and tasty food, Korea is easily one of my favourite destinations to travel to in Asia. I love the people, the weather and how easy it is to travel around. On my most recent trip to Korea, I decided to note down some of the places I really enjoyed as well as some of the activities I think everyone should try should they be headed there for the holidays. So without further ado, here are the top 8 things to consider doing on your next trip to Korea!
P.s, full travel guides on the respective places I went to are linked in the headers!
For the food and shopping lovers, Ewha is the place to be. This place caters to students, specifically females, and thus sells clothes, shoes and cosmetics for lower prices. You’ll be able to snag great deals here and experience the youthful Korean atmosphere. the food here is also exceptional with a life-changing (dramatic but so true!) black sesame- sakura soft serve ice-cream from Blackburn. I loved it so much I went back to Ewha just for it again!
Hongdae is another popular street in Korea with many cafes where young couples go to date. There’s a lot of shopping that can be done, including the popular stores Chuu and StyleNanda which are located there. The food scene is incredible too, I highly recommend getting some Korean BBQ and sake outdoors, yoogane-style chicken hot plate and ofcourse, Bingsu!
Myeongdong is known as the makeup-lover’s dream and paradise and is famous for being a cosmetics hub. I, personally, don’t get my cosmetics there as I feel the prices are marked up since there are so many tourists. I would much rather get my cosmetics in Ewha! The streets of Myeongdong are also lined with street stalls selling large variety of food. My favourites include the sweet potato with a warm caramel like outside, and the taiyaki!
GANGNAM UNDERGROUND SHOPPING
This is a great place to get all your clothes shopping done. Gangnam underground shopping is a nice area with many clothing stores and a couple of cosmetic stores. The clothes are generally not too pricey and I think it’s worth a visit!
Located in Ewha is a little shop called baviphat which sells cosmetics at wholesale prices. Don’t be shocked to find heavily marked down prices on skincare and makeup products you see being sold at full price in stores. When I first discovered this store, I was worried about fakes because I couldn’t believe the prices. I checked with my airbnb host however and she told me they were safe to buy. So far I’ve used the items and they feel perfectly fine to me. When I match them to the ones I bought from usual stores previously, they also feel identical. My thoughts are that they receive stock straight from the distributors which allow them to price their products lower, but I can’t be sure.
If you want to experience some traditional Korean food and culture, be sure to head down to Gwangjang market. This market sells all sorts of items, from textiles to cooking equipment to utensils and food. Some of the food are ones harder to find elsewhere, such as savoury red bean and pumpkin porridge, traditional snacks and the famous live octopus. If you’re adventurous, you may want to come here and give it a try!
I was genuinely pleasantly surprised with the quality and affordability of the seafood in Sokcho. We had seafood twice and both were very good. In particular, we loved this place called No. 88 which serves fresh seafood to the grill based on pax, so you don’t even need to order. The best part was, the bill made out to be only about 13 SGD per person! What a steal!
ORDERING KOREAN DELIVERY FOOD
We’ve all seen the movies and dramas. Friends having fried chicken and jjajangmyun late at night, talking about their problems. Girls having a lonely night in with their delivery food. There’s a reason this scene is so common in shows, and that’s because food delivery is part of Korean culture! Our airbnb host was so kind to help us order jjajangmyun (black bean paste noodles), jjampong, (seafood noodle soup) mandu (dumplings) and soy-fried chicken. The soy fried chicken and the jjampong were my favourite and I still dream of it in Singapore. The next time I go to Korea, I will definitely be ordering it again. It’s also so convenient because the food comes quickly in about 20 minutes, arrives piping hot at your doorstep, and when you’re done with your food, just leave the plates at the doorstep and someone will come and collect it. How easy is that?
And that concludes my top 8 must-do things in Korea! Do let me know which of these you’re going to do on your trip and if there’s anything I missed that you think I should try. Happy reading!
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