Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Underrated Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, South Korea, is one of the most underrated places to visit. I highly recommend you visit this vibrant, animated “city of the future.”

Although I visited Seoul in November and froze the entirety of my trip, the charisma, food and action of the city confirmed my love of the city. I stayed in the Jongno District, more so known as the “palace district,” in a traditional hanuk. A hanuk is a type of wooden housing with heated flooring. It makes sleeping on the ground a sanctuary!

Located in Jongno is Insa-dong Street, where the casual tourist can find all sorts of knickknacks to bring home. Additionally, I visited the Changdeok-gung Palace just a skip away, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s architecture is similar to traditional architecture in China, and the grounds are huge, boasting a large garden and many, many ornate, colorful buildings.

Near the palace we stumbled into a small art gallery, featuring Warhols and other modern art. The owner graciously invited us in for coffee and fruit, and helped us learn a few Korean words.

I also went to the COEX mall in Samsung-dong. This mall is a huge maze with many shops and cute little restaurants – some well-hidden – as well as an interactive map and a stage for performances.

I couldn't believe how futuristic this mall is, and I imagined that every mall in every major city would eventually emulate this grand shopping center. I had some particularly delicious bim bop in the mall, which I could not stop eating in Seoul! For about $4 USD, you can enjoy a fresh, delicious meal. During my experience, restaurant owners were particularly friendly, and even offered us complimentary soju.

The subway system in Seoul is relatively navigable. Although I don’t speak a word of Korean, I was able to traverse a majority of the city. Most Koreans do not speak English, especially taxi drivers.

Finally, if you go to Seoul, you must go to the DMZ. You can arrange this through the USO, but it must be planned in advance. The tour includes the bus ride, a gander within the DMZ museum, and finally, the chilling North Korean border.

Although there is nothing in particular to see, except the museum and the hardened North Korean soldiers, it is a memorable experience and provides quite the context of North Korean-South Korean relations. We even had the opportunity to crawl in the underground tunnels North Korean soldiers dug that supposedly end up in the heart of Seoul for a planned ambush.

Seoul is hands-down one of my favorite cities in the world. If I have the opportunity, I will definitely visit again.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Luna Bay Booch's San Diego origin story

Woman owned hard kombucha brand brewed elsewhere, now sold locally

Seoul, South Korea, is one of the most underrated places to visit. I highly recommend you visit this vibrant, animated “city of the future.”

Although I visited Seoul in November and froze the entirety of my trip, the charisma, food and action of the city confirmed my love of the city. I stayed in the Jongno District, more so known as the “palace district,” in a traditional hanuk. A hanuk is a type of wooden housing with heated flooring. It makes sleeping on the ground a sanctuary!

Located in Jongno is Insa-dong Street, where the casual tourist can find all sorts of knickknacks to bring home. Additionally, I visited the Changdeok-gung Palace just a skip away, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace’s architecture is similar to traditional architecture in China, and the grounds are huge, boasting a large garden and many, many ornate, colorful buildings.

Near the palace we stumbled into a small art gallery, featuring Warhols and other modern art. The owner graciously invited us in for coffee and fruit, and helped us learn a few Korean words.

I also went to the COEX mall in Samsung-dong. This mall is a huge maze with many shops and cute little restaurants – some well-hidden – as well as an interactive map and a stage for performances.

I couldn't believe how futuristic this mall is, and I imagined that every mall in every major city would eventually emulate this grand shopping center. I had some particularly delicious bim bop in the mall, which I could not stop eating in Seoul! For about $4 USD, you can enjoy a fresh, delicious meal. During my experience, restaurant owners were particularly friendly, and even offered us complimentary soju.

The subway system in Seoul is relatively navigable. Although I don’t speak a word of Korean, I was able to traverse a majority of the city. Most Koreans do not speak English, especially taxi drivers.

Finally, if you go to Seoul, you must go to the DMZ. You can arrange this through the USO, but it must be planned in advance. The tour includes the bus ride, a gander within the DMZ museum, and finally, the chilling North Korean border.

Although there is nothing in particular to see, except the museum and the hardened North Korean soldiers, it is a memorable experience and provides quite the context of North Korean-South Korean relations. We even had the opportunity to crawl in the underground tunnels North Korean soldiers dug that supposedly end up in the heart of Seoul for a planned ambush.

Seoul is hands-down one of my favorite cities in the world. If I have the opportunity, I will definitely visit again.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Two poems by Julia Wehner

A reminder of how richly good it is to feel, and to live
Next Article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close