It’s been less than 24 hours, and yet I’ve fallen for Korea. Because it’s been almost 10 years since I have visited this land, I had to wonder if my affection for this land has been built on a fantasy memory; something remembered but simply not true. My memory proved itself completely accurate. Korea has, without a doubt, been the hidden gem of Asia that I recalled.
Let me share with you why:
5 Reasons Why You will Love Korea
You will Love Korea’s Architecture (Old)
The brilliant greens and contrasting reds of the ancient temples and palaces sprinkle themselves throughout the city, just waiting to be stumbled upon.
The stone statues of dragons, reptiles and tigers surround the ancient buildings, guarding them from any harm that might come their way. Be sure to check the detailing of the wood, you will love the sheer volume of detail-work each piece entails.
City Hall, with 4 stories of waving glass, juxatposes the structures around it. There are tons of aestectically pleasing buildiings throughout all of Seoul, just waiting for you to ogle.
2. You Will Love Korea’s Food
Can I just take a minute to gush about bibimbap?
Ok, good. Because I love bibimbap. PS, My AirBnB Host homemade bibimbap dinner for myself and my friends. (Double YUM!)
There are so many delicious meals that you must try while in Korea. I’m sure you already know about Korean BBQ. If not, do it. Now. However, don’t shy away from Dukbokki (spicy rice cakes) or Kimchi-Jigae (kimchi soups).
For the brave of heart, you can test your tastebuds on Sannak-ji (live octopus), as it wriggles down your throat. Be careful not to choke on this one!
3. You will love Korea’s People
People will go out of their way to help, assist, or otherwise befriend you. While I am not saying that other countries are not just as hospitable, I am willing to go out on a limb here and say Korean people are the sweetest people I have had the priveledge of encountering as of late.
From my AirBnB hosts crafting a homemade bibimbap dinner, to a stranger walking me 15 minutes to the subway station, holding my arm along the way, Korean culture is filled with niceties and a humbleness that shouldn’t be overlooked.
4. You will love Korea’s Beauty
There’s a chance you might cancel your return flights after visiting Bukhhansan, Seoul’s National Park. Don’t fall too hard for the mountains; there is more than enough to go around!
5. You will love Korea’s Shopping
Have you heard of Myong-Dong? How about Insa-dong?
If not, take a quick peek around google, and prepare yourself. Between the plethora of name-brand shops, awesome street foods, and innumerous skin-care shops, you will find a gem or two of whatever you were looking for. The Kawaii. The Weird. The Authentic. (And the Not.)
You can spend a full day just wandering the side-streets in Myong-Dong. There are hundreds of boutiques to check out, along with a fair amount of people watching to entertain yourself with.
There is so much more to South Korea- but I don’t want to ramble on. Have you found your heart in Seoul before? Share your experience below- and don’t forget to slip me your email so we can stay in touch.