Monday, June 1, 2015

Seoul, Summer: 10 things to do in Korea

I'm in love with Korea , period. I was captivated by its charms during my first visit. I basically suffered from Korea/Seoul withdrawal after landing in Singapore. Thus, when SQ offered a promotion price to Korea, I knew that it was a god-sent sign that I have to head back. I was so desperate to go that I offered to pay for Leecher's air tickets. So, this Leecher jumped at the (sponsored) opportunity & came along for our 2nd trip to Korea :) During the 1st trip, we spent a good 8 days in Spring. With a different itinerary in hand, we headed to Korea for the summer. Here is my personal take on the 10 activities to do in Korea for summer!
1. Visit the traditional markets
The traditional Korean marketplace is one of the best way to soak up in the local spirit of Korea. In here, you get to rub shoulders with the ahjummas, bargain with the store-owners and feast to your heart's content. These traditional market places are littered throughout Seoul and Namdaemum Market is the most popular of all.
2. Pedal on a Railway bike 
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Be surrounded by nature as you pedal along the old abandoned railway tracks. Fans of Running Man would instantly recognise this as this was one of the games played in ep 144. We had a fun time pedaling the entire 8km distance, so head there for a morning workout before rewarding your tummy with chicken & beer later in the day!
3. Hike up Mount Bukhansan
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The Korean peninsula is covered mostly by mountains, hence it is no secret that hiking is one of Korea's national pastime. We embarked on a hike up Mount Bukhansan and were treated to a bird's eye view of Seoul at the top. Enough said! 
4. Visit Hongdae Flea Market
The Hongdae flea market aims to showcase local artists and handcrafted goods. Rather than selling second-hand goods, these artists gather every Saturday and showcase their creativity through their unique handiwork. Head there to enjoy an afternoon of impromptu street/music performance. 
5. Embark on a Korean summer food trail
Summer in Korea is no joke, with temperatures rising close to 35 degrees. We often find ourselves heading indoors to stay away from the heat. The best way to combat the summer heat - indulge in cold dishes like bingsu, naengmyeon and memil-guksu.
6. Catch a baseball game 
Catch the lotte giants in action at their home ground in Busan. Throughout the game, we were entertained by the cheerleaders on the sideline, the players on the pitch and not forgetting witnessing the first ever home-run of our lives. 
7. Conquer Hwaseong fortress
Surrounding the centre of Suwon, Hwaseong Fortress was constructred by King Jeongjo to honour his late father.  Listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, we braved the heat and sun to conquer the fortress wall that stretches close to 5.52km, stopping by various spots for picture taking. 
8. Play a game of Korean archery
While conquering the fortress, we took the chance and participated in Gukgung, also known as Korean traditional archery. This bow is relatively light and easy to pull. Follow the instructions of the instructor and you are ready to go!
   9. Enjoy the rainbow fountain at Banpo bridge
Want to enjoy a night's out with food and music? I will suggest that you grab some pizzas, takeaways and head to Banpo bridge for a night's out. At regular intervals, the bridge is illuminated with rainbow-coloured dancing lights, swaying to the sound of music.
10. Catch an exhibition at DPP
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Located in the heart of the city, Dongdaemun Design Plaza's building itself is a piece of art for you can't find any straight lines or walls. Head to DDP on a day, catch an exhibition and reignite your artistic spirit. 

Psst .... detailed posts will be linked once completed, stay tuned! 
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