According to the locals in Korea, here are the must-try Korean food, the hottest places for shopping, value-for-money accommodation, cool places of interests and cheap transport.
According to a local student, Lee, if you are eating outside, barbeque meat is one of the cheapest, which costs only 3000 to 5000 Korean Won (Note: 10000 won is approximately USD10.80) per set. The best drink to go with barbeque meat is Shochu (Korean’s version of Sake), which cost about 3000 won in restaurants and 1500 won in supermarkets.
Braised ribs would cost about 20000 won per set while mixed rice is about 3000 won per set. Beef and seafood are expensive as they can easily cost you about 20000 to 30000 won for one set. Fruits are expensive too, as there is only one place that produces them and that is Jeju. One kilogram of grapes cost about 2000 won and 2 apples for 1000 won.
There is a lot of variety for Korean foods, like the barbeque meat, glutinous rice cakes (their rice tastes good), ginseng chicken soup, hot stone bowl mixed rice (Bibimbam), delicious and nutritious soy sauce broth, duck soup, sashimi, beef rice soup, pan fried crucian carp and tofu hotpot are all very delicious.
At Jeju Island, you must try the raw seafood and at Suwon, there are the delicious pork ribs. In Korea, there are lots of unique snacks, like fried rice cakes, fried intestines, fish balls, rice wrapped in seaweed, chicken sticks, egg noodles, sweet biscuits, Shilim-Dong’s intestines, Sindang-Dong’s spicy rice cakes, Namdaemun market’s braised spicy oxtail, and many more.
In conclusion, Korean cuisines usually have lesser oil and meat and are usually ate with stainless steel cutleries. Koreans like to eat food that are raw, cold or fried and foreigners usually have a hard time adjusting to these tastes.
A posh hotel room would cost you about 170000 to 220000 won per night. The rates of inns and guest houses are much cheaper. Guest house costs only 11000 won per night, while inn costs between 20000 to 50000 won. Living with the locals is not only cheap but you will get the chance to develop friendship a local family and have fun experiencing the Korean lifestyle and culture.
In conclusion, there is plenty of accommodation to choose from in Korea. Although each of them is different in style, they are all neat, clean and warm in winter but some do not provide basic amenities.
The transportation system in Korea is very efficient and easy to get around. Taking a cab is very convenient but different taxi company charges differently; usually the fare starts from 2000 won. For buses, 1000 won can cover a long ride.
Plane tickets are reasonable too, it costs only 1050 won to go from QingDao to Incheon and the round trip costs only 1900 won.
Seoul’s underground train system is also very convenient but is always crowded. The ticket prices vary between 600 to 1400 KRW depending on the destination. Trains arrive every 2.5-3 minutes during peak hours and 4-6 minutes during off peak hours.
As a tourist, you can choose to drive around but you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid car license. You must have at least one year of driving experience and an international driving license which has an expiry date that is at least a year from the day you enter Korea.
Conclusion: Tourists need to arrange travelling schedule, food and accommodation 3 months prior to the peak period or festivity period as Koreans usually travel back to their hometowns for festive celebrations. Some of the peak period festive seasons include Lunar Chinese New Year, summer vacation (starting from the last week of July to the third week of August) and the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival.
D. Places of Interest
Seoul, Jeju, Busan are among some of the places that you must visit when touring Korea. In Seoul, you must visit Gyeongbokgung, which was an old palace. Namsan Park’s view is pretty nice too. For breath-taking beautiful night scenery, you can take a drive out at night to the bridge in Han-gang. If you want to visit Korea’s universities, you have to go to Sinchon. For beautiful scenery and a chance at experiencing a laid back and simplistic lifestyle, visit one of the most famous islands in Korea – Jeju Island. It is a must-visit tourist spot.
There are lots of fun and interesting places in Korea. In Seoul, there is the Changdeokgung, Changyeonggung, Deoksugung and there are also lots of temples. There is also the TaDong Park, Yong Pyong Ski Resort, Bukhansan, Seoul Tower and Gwanaksan where the views are beautiful. Dongnae Oncheon is beautiful too and there are also Suwon, Gang won-do, Incheon and Daejeon where you can visit its tea garden valley.
In Seoul, there are lots of cinemas, theatres, performances, movies and dances. There are also many parades, festivals and unique performances like the mask dance and the Nong-ak dance which can be seen around the year in several places in Korea.
Dongdaemun and Namdaemun are Seoul’s biggest wholesale markets where you can find lots of merchandise like clothes , shoes and bags and they are sold at reasonable prices. If you want to shop for branded goods, visit Myeongdong. For unique goods or decoration items, you can visit Insadong, which is like a Korean cultural street. There is also fun amusement parks in Seoul like Lotte World and EverLand, which you can also visit.
Busan’s international market is popular with foreigners and the Jagalchi Market is opened 24 hours. There are also several streets nearby these markets selling great food and snacks.
Jeju’s Dongmun market and HanShanXiaBu market are also very nice places to shop at, but some open air markets, like the Dongmun market, are not opened on weekdays. In Seoul, there are many major departmental stores which include Shinsegae , Lotte, Midopa, Samsung Plaza.
Conclusion:Popular shopping areas in Korea are usually Dongdaemun and Namdaemun, where you can find almost all kind of merchandise, especially clothes and fashion accessories. Food products are expensive but the fashion, cosmetics and electronic products are relatively cheap and you can even bargain with the shop owners.