(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.
I have heard of Daegu so many times (maybe even more than I have heard of Seoul) already simply because it is the hometown of a big percentage of KIT students hence the word of mouth that “Daegu is this, Daegu is that.” According to the this-and-that theory, Daegu is the 3rd or 4th largest city in all South Korea. They also claim that Daegu has a livelier night life as compared to Gumi (duh, Gumi is like a ghost town at night) since the dowtown area is much bigger.
Normally, it takes just 30 minutes by train (not KTX) from Gumi Stn. to Daegu Stn. When I went there last Saturday, I paid 3,100 won for the non-seating ticket. I departed past 9 am and was at Daegu city center by 9:40, I guess. That time, 90% of the stores are still closed that’s why I decided to grab a map from the tourist information booth (which you can find after getting down from the train station) and walk towards the silent and empty streets of Daegu. I have zero idea of where to go. I saw signages that there were city bus tours at Dongdaegu (East Daegu) leaving at 11 am or so. Heck, it would be very costly for me to take the train since it’s just a station away but would be very tiring if I walk through it. To my delight, I saw another street sign which points to some park called Gyeongsang-gamyeong and to Daegu Modern Art History Museum. There were nothing really fabulous besides traditional Korean architecture (Can we count how many times have I mentioned traditional Korean Architecture in this blog? Damn.) except if you’re a history buff or something.
Gyeongsang-gamyeong Park (free entrance)