(Featured Image of Changdeokgung Palace from flickr.)
It has been almost two years since I first set foot on a foreign land and I’m so fortunate to have visited and “staycationed” in South Korea for four long months. I was sent there as a part of the exchange student program of my college but of course I did a lot of travelling across SoKor as well. I was able to visit its top four biggest cities– Seoul, Incheon, Busan, and Daegu plus a couple of provinces including Jeju Island. The time I visited was also a blessing in disguise because it was Autumn transitioning to Winter season hence the first snow experience too!
Really, there were a lot of “first times,” that I am able to strike off a number of items from my bucket list in no time. Some just came in right in the moment when I do not expect them that’s why I’m really grateful of everyone who helped me made South Korea 2013 possible. Now, let me help you add some ideas to your South Korea bucket list by sharing you this list of things to do in the Land of Morning Calm.
Namsan Tower (N Seoul Tower), Seoul City, South Korea
- Drink, party, and club hop with Koreans and foreigners at Hongdae.
- Shop and try not to make impulsive purchases at the trendiest and most premiere shopping destination in Korea, Myeongdong.
- Climb by feet or by cable car to the highest point in Seoul, Namsan Tower.
- Latch a lock at Love Padlock affixed at the Namsan Tower.
- Learn a bit of Korea’s history by visiting a Korean traditional village, Bukchon Village.
- Step foot on at least one of the Five Grand Palaces namely Gyeongbokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeonghuigung, and Changdeokgung. (Source)
- Get awed by the majestic buildings at Gangnam District.
Gwangalli Beach (in the picture) is pretty much the same as Haeundae Beach only that, on the other side of Gwangalli, you have the longest array of bars while a busy down town city center in Haeundae. The sea water seems to be a lot clearer in Haeundae too which made me realize that I decided right on skinny dipping on the latter. We have to book our tickets to Gumi first beforehand to ensure seats on the 2 hour ride.
Gwangan Bridge is more beautiful at night as neon lights traces it skeleton.
The Gwangalli Beach shore seems to be a home for some domestic birds as well.
Jagalchi Fish Market is one of the most famous fish markets in the world. All sorts of fresh and live seafood may be found here. It’s like the first drop off point of fresh catch from the nearby Nampo port.
I also enjoyed walking through the Jagalchi Market and be amazed by all sorts of live seafood there. Giant squids, octopuses, fish, giant clams, king crabs, eels, and others are all in motion in their respective basin aquariums.
Before going home, we dropped by at Nampodong which is a small area shopping center where I was able to buy some presents. I got my sister a photo calendar of a Kpop group, my mother a medium sized Busan emblem, and my friends some “I love Korea” shirts.
Anyway, here’s a video I made for this half-day trip. 🙂
Busan, South Korea
November 16, 2013
In the video: Snippets from Gwangalli Beach to Jagalchi Market to Nampodong.
Music: Octopus’ Garden by The Beatles
Busan’s national branding goes by the tag line “Dynamic Busan.” With all due respect to Seoul’s vibrance and modernism, I would most probably lean towards Busan more just because it gave me more energy when I first stepped onto its ground. There may be fewer people here than in Seoul but the place itself is intently screaming vigor and zest to me. Busan is the second largest metropolis in Korea and is located at the Southeastern of the peninsula. It is a mixture of countryside and city feels where you can see high rise buildings on this side, long beach lines on the other, and cliffs and mountains on another. Truly, it offers diversity to adventurers who fairly wants the best of both worlds.