Are you a fan of K-Pop or Koreanovelas? Well, even if you aren’t, South Korea is still a place you should include on your bucket list. It's full of beautiful natural landscapes, well-preserved palaces, and lively shopping streets that will make any fashionista go crazy. And we haven’t even begun talking about the food!
But when you visit, do more than just sightsee and try to experience Korean culture first hand. After all, Seoul is only four hours away from Manila, so why don’t you book a flight now and try these 5 things that are guaranteed to make your Korean experience a memorable one?
1. Become a Kimchi Master. In Korea, every meal has to start with Kimchi. And what better way to get acquainted than to learn how to make Korea’s national dish yourself. Take a class in Kimchi Making and learn about the different varieties of Kimchi, its history, and importance in Korean culture.
2. Pretend you’re a Korean princess from the past in a Hanbok. A Hanbok is Korea’s traditional dress, which consists of an upper blouse and a wrap-around skirt. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be royalty to wear one. There are various places in Korea’s famous tourist areas where you can rent a Hanbok, such us in Namsanggol Village in Seoul.
Now, strike your best pose in front of traditional Korean houses and get your best OOTD shot to date!
3. Experience Autumn. There are so many things we have in the Philippines but one thing we don’t (and can never have) is autumn. If you go at the right time, you can enjoy a romantic walk in Nami Island as you stroll along paths lined up with trees adorned with golden leaves.
If you’re a fan of Koreanovelas, reenact your favorite scenes from Winter Sonata with your special someone. It was this Korean drama that made Nami Island the superstar destination that it is today.
4. Take a peek into North Korea. North Korea’s history has been a tumultuous one and up to this day, so little is known about what is labeled as “The Hermit Kingdom.”
Visit the DMZ and get as close as you can get to North Korea (within legal limits, of course!) and learn more about the rift of the two Koreas. Visit other related sites such as the Odusan Observatory and Imjinjak where you can view North Korea with your own eyes.
5. Relive your childhood with The Little Prince. If you loved The Little Prince as a child (or at least have fond memories of reading it in class), take the trip down Petite France, which is a small French-inspired cultural village in Gyeonggi Province. Entering Petite France feels as though you’ve stepped into a charming European village. Enjoy a marionette performance as you listen to a man playing the accordion just a few steps away.
There are Little Prince references all around the place and you can take photos with different sculptures of characters from the book. Don’t forget to take home a Little Prince souvenir on your way out.
Photographs from Signature Korea and Sheena Sy-Gonzales
ALSO READ: In Focus: Why Many Foreign Youtubers Choose To Make The Philippines Their Second Home
About the Author: Sheena Sy-Gonzales is an illustrator and travel writer. On her 3rd and most recent trip to Korea, she joined a guided tour with Signature Korea. Sheena regularly writes about her trips around the world on her blog www.sheenalovessunsets.com. Follow her on Instagram @sheenalovessunsets.