10 Things to do in Seoul, South Korea
Seoul; fashion, technology, delicious food
When you get to visit Seoul, the capital of South Korea, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. After all, it’s a city where more than 10 million people live and there is a lot going on there. Fashion, technology, delicious food, comfortable hostels, Seoul has everything! So I give you 10 sights or things you really have to do or visit when going to Seoul. In my travel blog about Seoul, I write about my experiences in Seoul. Click here to read.
1.Go shopping at COEX mall and aquarium
Psy sings about some of them in “Gangnam Style”. The guys and girls who are hip beyond believe hang out
at the malls, like COEX. COEX is a large mall in the center of Gangnam. Aside of having a lot of shops, where you
can buy whatever you want, there is a large aquarium inside. There you can see all kinds of giang crabs, turtles, cute yellyfish and colourful tropical fish, sharks. And sometimes, you spontaneously come across a movie premier at COEX mall and you can see Korean celebrities.
2. Eat Bibimbap
When visiting Seoul, or South Korea for that matter, you absolutely have to try bibimbap!
Bibimbap is a mixture of different ingredients. The black bowl left in the pic is the actual bibimbap. It is a combination of rice, an egg, seasoned and fresh vegetables and bracken fern stems. You can eat it warm and cold and it’s usually served with kimchi (fermented vegetables; super healthy) and other side dishes. Bibimbap is very healthy.
3. Visit Lotte World
Situated in Lotte World Mall, one can find Lotte World. Lotte World is a wonderful looking indoor themepark with rollercoasters, slides,
various adventurous rides that will take you by jeep into the tombs of the pharaos or make you ride through castles in which you have to stop the dragon plague by shooting at them. There is a small outdoor section attached to it, with a real castle.
4. Visit Lotte World Folk Museum
At the same mall Lotte World is situated in, there is an impressive museum. The museum is about history and teaches its visitors about Korea from prehistoric times to the early modern times and the occupation by Japan. Never a dull moment in that museum. There are life sized dolls in beautiful traditional clothes and hanbok everywhere, they rebuilt small villages and temples and there is a giant minitiature village in which you can look at Seoul of the old age. When you visit Lotte World, this impressive museum is a must-visit!
5. Be amazed by all the plastic surgery and perfect celebrities
When you turn on the tv in Korea, you’ll notice the sheer perfection of the celebrities that act in soaps, are on the news and in shows. Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the world. You see advertisements for plastic surgery literally everywhere. In the subways and in the streets you can see these huge billboards with “before” and “after” pictures of people who were helped by plastic surgeons. One of the main streets of gangnam has a lot of plastic surgeon clinics. There is no taboo on plastic surgery here it seems. For the really bold ones: step into one of those clinics and see what they have to say. I did and they offered me a botox treatment to prevent wrinkles in the future. I’m not against plastic surgery and it may actually be a good idea, but me and my friend quickly went away. We drank a “detox smootie” afterwards though :P.
6. Visit a StarCraft match or a League of Legends match
Seoul is heaven for gamers. There are important matches League of Legends matches, Starcraft and other games being played in front of a live audience. You can just visit a studio and have a seat into the audience to watch your favourite gaming athletes play.
7. Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
Seoul is a crowded city. In a large park at the edge of Seoul, there is a large park in which some of the
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (also called Jeongneung Royal Tomb) are situated . They vary in age, but the similarities are striking. The grave is
usually in a neatly constructed hill, with a few statues on top.
8.K-live: Hologram concert
Situated on the top floor of the Lotte Fitin Mall in Seoul, you’ve got the possibility to visit a hologram concert. The concert started with a couple of real life dancers, who after a while blended in with K-pop stars. We saw the girls of 2ne1, Psy and the guys of Big Bang. Some of the visitors got presents from those celebrities. We were not allowed to film, so here is a official looking clip.
Bongeunsa is a large temple complex in Gangnam Center. There is a giant white Buddha statue at the heart of this center and there are temples in the traditional colours of Korean royalty. The skyscrapers in the background combined with these old temples gave me a surreal feeling.
10. Hip coffee stores
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when you’re in Gangnam, you should adopt a little Gangnam Style. I really enjoyed going to a hip coffee cafe at night, like the Coffee Bean in Seoul. You can eat high quality pie and drink tea in exciting flavours, or just go for the good ol’ hot cocoa. It was a lot of fun to see young, fashionable Koreans get together at other tables, laughing and enjoying themselves.
This post is done, but I realize that there are a lot more sights and things to visit in Seoul. Like the Chakdeong Palace, Insadong etc. Perhaps I will write about those sites some other day. You can read about my journey to Seoul if you click here. I went with my friend Nikos who also wrote a blog about it. Please click here to read his blog.