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