From: March 2016 to Present
Visa type:  long term visa, currently living in Suwon.
Transport: In korea, Subways are easily accessible due to distinctly colored subway lines and directions in both  English and Korean. It is even more facile if you download the subway app  to  locate the location and transfers  in English. There are transport cards like T money and cash bees to be used in Subways, buses and Taxis by recharging at ticketing machines. It can be purchased at convenience stores and also at the Ticket vending machines in Subways with a very small deposit money. After the journey you can collect the deposit by returning the transport card  from “Deposit collector machine” located just outside the metro gate.   Internet can be accessible in major stations and public spaces with a free wifi. Bus travels are manageable provided you have some time to find bus numbers and locate the bus stops.  Bus fares are slightly more expensive yet comfortable than subways though locating a bus stop might be tricky if one doesn’t speak Korean.  In major stations all the bus stops are together with the bus number displayed Inter city buses are quite inexpensive and more favorable than local buses running through town. Taxis for hire are easily found around the city. Usually locals use the Kakao taxi app to book taxi services like Uber.

 

Place not to miss: There are too many choices in korea depending on your interest of travels. If i have to chose a travel experience which is special and interesting, then i  highly recommend to have a remarkable experience of the DMZ tour. It is a demilitarized tour on either side of the border between North and South Korea. What made it more  compulsive while travelling in seoul  is the possibility of the tour from only Seoul on a day trip. It is notified as a tour to the most heavily militarized border in the world.
Food recommendations: When i first visited Seoul, I was so surprised by the number of restaurants and coffee shops it has in every corner of the city.  If you are a food lover  with equally no limitation of  food types, korea is a place for you to find good food of different varieties. Vegan Travellers make sure you learn some vegan vocabulary to specify in restaurant. It is definitely a task to find vegetarian food but little bit of  research would put you in comfort. Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish and one just cannot avoid it in Korea. Among other varieties of food, I recommend Bulgogi, Dakgalbi, Bibimbap, tteokbokki, Gimbap, pajeon and Samgyeopsal. 
Try  Chimaek (a local term ) which essentially is a combination of the Korean beer with chicken. Typically Soju is the most favorite drink in Korea.
Korea has a pleasing tea culture but it is relatively expensive to experience it in Tea houses. If you are a tea lover dont miss out to experience Tea ceremonies, the korean way of drinking Tea. Korea doesn’t disappoint coffee lovers too with its unlimited coffee shops and high quality coffee. 
Day tours from capital: Seoul has many appealing places to go on day trips. A bit of effort on day trips would change your seoul trip to a best vacation.Here are some day trip ideas depending on your interests. Suwon Hwaseong Palace, a UNESCO world heritage site to experience Korean history and culture for History buffs.  Seoraksan National Park, another UNESCO designated site for Nature lovers. Seoraksan is considered as a Biosphere Protection site has the 3rd tallest mountain range in Korea. If you just have one day to explore outside seoul, do check for the The DMZ  tour for unique travel experience in Korea.
In addition, Nami island and Garden of Morning Calm can be toured in a day trip. For more ancient historic stories , visit Gyeongju in South East coast.
If you are flying between cities consider Jeju island, a UNESCO site well known as the most beautiful destination of korea. Of Course Busan for wonderful beaches.

Best seasons to travel: Spring and fall
It is wonderful to see Korea in any season as it has well- defined seasonal transformations. In spring, we see pretty cherry blossoms, large magnolias including flowers of many different varieties. In fall, we can see the fascinating fall colors. In Summer, climate changes to festive mood with summer vibes and K Pop music festivals. In winter, snow changes the entire landscape of cities. I haven’t seen any place with such well – defined seasons to enjoy nature’s abundant beauty. Korea can be a popular destination to experience its varied seasonal transitions. I recommend Spring and Fall to witness the gorgeous colors of nature. Summer, however, could be too warm and winter might not be snowy all the time, hence for tourists Spring and Fall are more desirable to visit.

 

Cherry blossom in Korea

 

Personal insights:  Korea is of everything for a traveler who wants to enjoy culture, fun and food. It has so many beautiful places and great activities ranging from culture, food, shopping,  K- pop music concerts and Korean dramas. I was super surprised of the lifestyle civilization it has along with the cultural details when i moved to Korea. I believe they have cultivated a keen sense of pragmatic culture intertwined in tradition and modernity. The best way of travelling in this country is to experience the details of everyday lifestyle that comforts its people. For instance, If you are buying something in supermarket during your travels, notice that product expiry date is within a short period of the date you purchase.  It means Supermarkets offering super fresh food. Also, Under ground shopping in korea is one of the major lifestyle attractions. The clothing quality in some shops are equally or more better as in mediocre brands of Shopping malls. So, do have a korean eye of details while travelling in korea and take back some interesting attributes.  Also, note that public wifi is available and free at major public spaces. On bonus, Korea has a great night life culture for travelers to enjoy the fullest. It is safe to stroll as late as 2 am in Gangnam district also. It is quite surprising that i didn’t get to hear about this country until i moved here. So, for all the travelers out there, Korea is an amazing place to explore and it is super safe to travel and enjoy. Don’t miss out !
Mud festival, Boryeong, South Korea

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