SLEEPLESS IN SEOUL

SOUTH KOREA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that Seoul is the second largest metropolitan area in the world and that half of the Korean population live there?! It has a higher population than Tokyo, New York and millions more people than in London! So yes its an extremely busy city, but by no means let this put you off because that just means it has much to offer. This was my second time visiting Seoul and I doubt that it will be my last because of the following reasons…

  1. Food

Did you watch my instastories whilst i was travelling? If yes then the fact that food is at the top of this list should be no surprise to you right?! Korean BBQ is probably one of my favourite meals ever however its super expensive in my hometown London, so as soon as we touched down in Seoul we went straight out for BBQ. Our favourite place is based in the stylish business district of Gangnam where you can DIY. It was actually the first BBQ place we tried on our honeymoon a few years back and it was just as good as we remembered when we re-visited. For both of us including drinks it came to less than £20! I think i’ll be forever dreaming of that Galbi. For directions click here.

Did somebody say KFC? And no i’m not talking about the Colonel. I’m talking Korean fried chicken! It’s so deliciously good that it will have you wondering what on earth you previously considered to be good fried chicken. It’s fried twice, sometimes three times to give it more of a crunch and somehow way less greasy. There are so many varieties of fried chicken to choose from but please I urge you to try not only the original but also my favourite spicy Yangnyeom chicken, thank me later! Theres so many places to try but one chain that was pretty good was Kkanbu.

Of course there are many more Korean dishes you should try whilst here though, so make sure to do your research… bibimbap anyone?

 

 

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

You can not go to Seoul without visiting the grandest Royal Palace in the city. To say it is beautiful is a massive understatement. Don’t forget to make space on your memory card for this one because trust me, you’ll be snapping away like I did! The vivid colours and the crazy details will leave you in awe. The palace grounds are massive though so wear your walking shoes! You’ll also see many people wearing Hanbok which is traditional Korean dress. I wish I did because the dresses were so pretty and apparently the admission fee at the palace is waived if you do.

*Make sure you check the times for the changing of the royal guard ceremonies!

 

 

3. Myeongdong

If you’re a beauty junkie like me then this shopping district is a must! Korea is famous for being at the forefront of new beauty technology. BB creams, cushion foundations and of course sheet masks are all thanks to Korea! You’ll be blown away with the amount of cosmetic shops that line the streets here. Not only are the products genuinely really great quality but also the packaging is just the cutest. I also really love the fact that they gift you a ton of samples when you make a purchase. However just a head up that the shade range is a joke! If you’re my complexion or any darker you will struggle to find shades to match your skintone. Having clear and very (emphasis on the very!) light dewy skin is still a big trend in Korea. Ooh and do not be surprised if the guys look way prettier than you! Thanks to Kpop it seems acceptable for guys to wear makeup, I couldn’t convince John to try the guy liner tho!

My favourite shops to spend my pretty pennies include Too cool for school, Missha, Tony Moly, Etude house and Skinfood.

 

 

 

4. Dongdaemun

With many markets and shopping malls packed into one area, Dongdaemun is another famous shopping district. Come here hungry as there are an abundance of street food vendors to choose from in Kwangjang Market. Also don’t forget to check out Dongadaemun design plaza designed by Zaha Hadid. This sleekly curved futuristic building is so worth checking out as it is such a bold design.

5. Cheonggyecheon Stream

I’m super gutted that we didn’t get a chance to take a stroll along this stream on our visit this time round. On our first visit we got a chance to see the lantern festival. To see hundreds of lanterns encompassing Korea’s culture and history was really magical so if you’re looking to take a break this is the perfect place to take a breather

Fun facts!

  • Only a small percentage of people speak english in Seoul but we had no problems communicating, just point at the pictures of the food that look good right? But I do love the pronunciation in Korean, its so fun to say; Hello is anyoung haseyo, pronounced ahn-yong hah-say-yo and Thank you is gomapseumnida. 
  • Kpop plays everywhere which is great for everyone… right?
  • There are so many underground shopping malls which is perfect when the weather sucks. Gangnam-gu underground station is full of shops and there is also COEX mall which is the worlds largest underground shopping mall.
  • Airbnbs are really affordable and super clean here, I highly recommend staying in one, and most have a Japanese toilet and washer 🙂
  • There is a big drinking culture and with meals like BBQ and fried chicken, beer is usually brought to the table.
  • Seoul is famous also for its pet cafes, so if you’ve never been to one… it’s an experience. We chose a dog cafe when we first visited which as you can see from the pic below John really enjoyed 🙂

J
xx

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