ASIA

Reasons to visit and love South Korea

Hi there! My name is Irene and I spent half of my teenage years in Seoul, Korea.  
If I tell people I am from Korea, I always get these questions, 
“What are the good skin products?”  “Do you like Kpop? Do you watch Kdrama?” 
Hold on a second, there are more too than just cosmetic and K-trends. Don’t forget we have amazing food, culture, attractions, and things to do. So, why not come visit Korea and feel the vibe here? You need to visit Korea, guys! 

The main reason to visit South Korea: Is because of the amazing weather, attraction, landscapes, experiences, culture, food, nightlife, Kpop, K-drama, K-beauty, and it is clean and safe. Enjoy our tasty street foods to unique activities that are suitable for travelers who want to know about Korea and its culture. 

Here we will cover : 
- the biggest reasons to travel to South Korea 
- Great sightseeing view in Korea – cherry blossom 
- The most famous places for travelers 
- Places to go if you are a huge Kpop fan 
- Things to do if you go to Jeju Island 

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa

WORDS BY

By Irene

​Hey guys! My name is Irene and I am Korean-American. I was born in the U.S. and raised in Seoul, Korea during my teenage years. After that, I went to a university in Las Vegas, Nevada and studied Hospitality Management. Currently, I am based in New York City. I like how I lived both in Korea and the America because I can speak more than one language and understand the difference between the two cultures. So far, I've been to a lot of countries in Asia and East Europe. My ultimate goal is to travel all around the world and experience new things.

a NYC based traveler

​The big thing about South Korea is the variety of food you could have, from traditional foods to street foods
If you know Korean food, you probably heard of Korean barbecue. It comes with various side dishes, of course including Kimchi, with a variety of meat such as pork belly, short ribs, brisket, beef tongue, seasoned chicken, and so on. It is one of the most common Korean food known in the U.S. 

To have the best food is to get it from where it is originated. There are amazing restaurants that have been serving for generation over generation.  

One of the best foods to try in Korea is Ripe Kimchi stew. Ripe Kimchi is made and stored for at least six months before it is served. It totally tastes different from the original Kimchi that is served in most places. 

Another dish to try is Gukbap which is a hot soup with rice. The soup could be made with beef, pork, or chicken in different parts of the body. All restaurants have their own way of preparing and serving. This dish is great for a quick lunch or for dinner with Soju. My favorite one is Sundae Gukbap, made of pork blood, cellophane noodles, and glutinous rice made into a sausage form. 

Don’t forget to try street foods at Myeongdong Street in Seoul such as egg bread, pork belly vegetable roll, banana pancake, stir-fried noodles, and Dakgangjeong. Don’t get trap into too pricey foods, though. 

Amazing sightseeing during the spring: cherry blossom, cherry blossom, and cherry blossom! 
Even Koreans love the spring where you can be surrounded by colorful and beautiful flowers and trees. The great time to go see cherry blossoms is between end of March to mid-April. The most known place in Seoul is called Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival. It opens a festival once a year when anyone gets in for free and take colorful pictures. Go and take amazing pictures with your friends and family. 

Easily find the dates of the festival online. 
If you are going to Jeju Island, it also has cherry blossom festival called Jeju Wang Cherry Blossom Festival that opens for just a couple of days during April. Cherry blossoms in Jeju are bigger and more vibrant due to relatively warmer weather. 

​Most Popular Place to Visit – Gyeongbok Palace: Feel what it’s like living as the King of Korea
There are a lot of tours for Gyeonbok Palace for both daytime and nighttime. Honestly, I recommend going for both. Daytime tour, you get to try on Korean traditional clothes called ‘Hanbok’ and take pictures. You will wear what the Korean King and his wife used to wear and take photos in front of the palace. Walk around with our traditionally and beautifully made Hanbok with your friends or our significant other. Right? It sounds entertaining!   

The night tour is only offered during the Fall season. Trust me, the weather is just perfect for walking around the palace and feeling the breeze. Night lights on the palace give an extra magnificent vibe. There is a reason for a night tour. When I went there at night, I couldn’t love it more. It was a breathtaking moment for me. Just a quick history time, Gyeonbok palace was built in 1395, and it was the first palace in the Chosun century. Since then, our country has been repairing it from time to time to preserve it in its shape. 

For All My Kpop Fans, You Must Go Here! Visit the SM Town And Buy Your Favorite Idol’s Goods 
Go visit SM Town Wonderland located at COEX Artium. My friends from the U.S. always, always go visit here. You can watch a hologram movie feature your favorite SM idol groups like EXO, NCT, SNSD, RedVelvet, Aespa, and more.  

If you know, you know what I am talking about. Go to the underground shopping mall at the Myeongdong subway station. You can buy Kpop goods like albums, character socks, key chains, notepads, magnets, umbrellas, calendars, and more. I purchased my BIGBANG calendar there before and loved it. Most Kpop fans buy goods there or online. 

I mean, you are in Seoul, Korea, where most Kpop concerts are held, where entertainments are located, and where most known broadcast stations are at. Go online and buy a concert ticket. Some big festivals invite multiple famous artists where you could all meet at once. You can also attend a live radio cast in Seoul. Go tour the broadcast stations and who knows if you’ll bump into a celebrity. 

Have a Unique Experience in Jeju Island: A whole new place and culture to travel in Korea 
Jeju locals have a strong dialect where even I had a hard time understanding them. Since it is an isolated island away from the peninsula, Jeju has built up a strong dialect and words of definitions which is a unique place to visit. Their sightseeing is breathtaking, and the nature is beautiful. No tall building and not too many people live there. 

Teddy Bear Museum is a great place for families. I went there when I was a kid and I had so much fun being surrounded by small to big teddy bears. I remember buying a teddy bear there which became my favorite toy.  

Jeju is known for its green tea and tangerine. Go visit a green tea farm where you could walk around the enormous green tea farm and harvest them as well. Make sure to try their green tea ice cream which is my all-time favorite.  
My favorite activity in Jeju was Tangerine Picking at a Jeju farm. The tangy, citrusy, fresh, and aromatic scent surrounds you. You get to pick fresh tangerines off from the tree and keep them. There are photo zones to take nice pictures having the tangerine farm as the background. 


Experience Seoul, the busy part of Korea, and the quiet and peaceful rural areas in Korea. Be the King of Korea for a day at the Gyeonbok Palace wearing traditional clothes. Take colorful, vibrant, and unique pictures and make good memories. View breathtaking sightseeing of nature and the city that never sleeps. You will be amazed at the food and its culture. Get yourself exposed to the Asia side of the world. The only thing you will regret is not visiting earlier.