Go Kai Kai’s Travel Guide to Korea

Korea.

As utterly pretentious as it might sound, if there was only one place in the world that I absolutely had to visit in my lifetime, it would be (South) Korea. I still do have a long bucket list of places to go, but for some unknown reason, I feel this deep attraction to Korea compared to other places like say, Japan or France or USA. (Just giving some random examples here.) Maybe I was born Korean in another life. Who knows?

Anyway, I first set foot in Korea in January 2014 and it was a trip of many firsts.

First trip to Korea.
First time travelling solo.
First experience of winter.
And a very special first in celebrating a milestone birthday.

Since then, I’ve been back to Korea multiple times and am still not tired of Korea! (Maybe I should just move there.) There seems to be no end to the places of interest for me in Seoul alone, not to mention venturing further afield to the smaller cities and provinces.

Since I have so much love for Korea, I thought it would be good to set out some of my usual recommendations for anyone wanting to visit my favourite country.


So you’ll be going to Korea. Where should you go?

I love Korea so much that I have a ongoing bucket list of places to go and things to experience. However, if you have absolutely no clue about what to do and where to go in Korea, I would start at the following places:

The official Korea Tourism Organization website. This website is a wonderful source of information – from places to stay/go/do, right down to detailed information about how to get about town.

The Visit Korea Committee website is also another helpful site – look out for the discount coupons that you can print-out to gain maximum value for your won!

The Seoul City Korea Facebook page is a treasure trove of interesting places and things to do – quite a number of entries on my personal travel bucket list for future trips to Korea are gleaned from there.

TripAdvisor is great for crowdsourcing ideas for places of interest and itinerary feedback.

Ask your family and friends who have been to Korea. What did they enjoy, where would they go or recommend for first timers.


Go Kai Kai recommendations

For first time visitors or the places that a tour would usually bring you to:

  • Gyeongbukgung
  • Namsan Tower
  • Myeongdong
  • Cheonggyecheon
  • Namdaemun
  • Dongdaemun
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Insadong
  • Han River cruise
  • Lotte World
  • Garosugil
  • Nami Island
  • Everland
  • Seoraksan
  • Jeju
  • DMZ/JSA
  • Busan

For fans of K-pop:

  • SMTOWN @ COEX Artium
  • Apgujeong
  • Samcheongdong
  • Grevin Museum

For fans of K-dramas:

  • Namsangol Hanok Village
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Nami Island
  • Petite France
  • MBC Dramia
  • Korean Folk Village in Yongin
  • Grevin Museum

For fans of K-variety:

For the foodies:

  • Gwangjang Market
  • Noryangjin Fish Market
  • Itaewon
  • Garosugil
  • Samcheongdong
  • Myeongdong

For the shoppers:

  • Myeongdong
  • Dongdaemun
  • Namdaemun
  • Garosugil
  • Common Ground
  • Ehwa
  • Hongdae

For nature lovers:

  • Yeouido
  • Han River
  • Dream Forest
  • Garden of Morning Calm
  • Seoraksan
  • Jeju Island

For couples:

  • Namsan Tower

For families with children:

  • Lotte World
  • Everland
  • COEX Aquarium
  • Han River cruise

For people with interest in history and politics:

  • Gyeongbukgung
  • Changdeokgung
  • Changgyeonggung
  • Deoksugung
  • DMZ/JSA
  • The Blue House or Cheongwadae
  • The National Assembly
  • City Hall
  • The War Museum
  • National Folk Museum

For folks who like attractions with labels – e.g. highest, tallest, longest, etc:

  • Lotte World Tower
  • 63 Building
  • Namsan Tower

I have personally visited 95% of the places listed above and will be linking to individual posts of each place as it gets written up. (It’s a work in progress.)

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