Seoul, South Korea a country with many things to show about its past, present and future. Kpop, K-Drama, and food are most well known .”Come to Discover” more.
- Outside of Gyeongbokgung Palace Source : Agoda
King Taejo, the first king, constructed Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) Palace the first and largest royal palace to be built during the Joseon dynasty, in 1394. In the reigns after, it continued to expand. It is located in Seoul, South Korea. It was a place where kings and officials lived, worked and while relaxing with family. Several small palaces, such as the queen’s palace and prince’s palace, which were called 창덕궁(Changdeokgung Palace) and 경희궁 ( Gyeonghuigung) are located nearby. There are guided tours for tourists to see inside the palace or self-guided tours are good as well. There is also a National Palace Museum of Korea to visit. The change of the guard ceremony that happens in front of the Gwanghwamun(광화문) gate from 10am to 2pm expect on Tuesdays happens as well.
- Change of guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace Source : Trip advisor Korea
- (고유재) (Yueui Festival) Source : 동아일보-dongA.com
Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village is a traditional Korean village immersed in traditional Korean culture and architecture It is a place located between Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The village has many alleys , gift shops as well as a Hanbok shop to rent or buy Hanbok.Tourists can then wear Hanbok around the whole village and take many pictures with the modern and old together in the background.
At the gift shops traditional Korean gifts can be bought such as Traditional Korean Silk or Hanji folding fan and Hanbok dolls/teddy bears. After taking pictures and visiting the souvenir store, going to a museum will help learn more about the past of the village with a drink from the local cafe. Many locals and tourists go every year it is a great place to tour alone.
- Picture of Hanok village with detail of modern buildings being together koreaattrack.com
- Traditional Hanbok at Bukchon Hanok Village koreaattrack.com
K- pop is South Korea’s music that has both a traditional style as well as a more modern style.
There are types such as 발라드, 동요, 트로트 and many more. Since the rise of 한류 K-pop has become more well known around the world. Groups such as EXO, BTS and Black pink have made K- pop grow even bigger in popularity with songs such as Dynamite, Idol, Ko Ko Bop and How Do You Like That.
These songs have made trends worldwide with their song challenges done by fans and others which have made news worldwide. The rise of K-pop has made the groups do more concerts worldwide with fan meetings and fan events as well so they can be closer to their fans and take photos with them to make the fans happy.
Before the rise of more and more K-pop groups becoming popular there was a beginning where only certain groups made it out successful out of Korea and become popular as a group.
Those groups were Wonder Girls, TVXQ, and a soloist named BOA. These artists had to go through lots of hardships especially when K-pop was not even known well outside of Korea, so they went to countries such as USA and Japan and made huge efforts to make K-pop more well-known and through their efforts it worked and then from on more and more groups went to other countries to perform and do events and gained fans.
K-pop is still growing a lot today with even more groups and more fans joining and loving it with the Korean fans.
- BTS Wikipedia
- EXO Mashable India
Korean food is very ethic and has lots of different flavours and sauces that makes it very tasty. Korea has sauces such as 고추장, 된장, 쌈장,새우젓 etc. These sauces are really good and are big staples when it comes to cooking any Korean food.
- Bibimbap (Mixed rice with vegetables) recipe – Maangchi.com
First, A Popular traditional Korean dish Bibimbap is made with different vegetables, beef and fried runny egg on top. It is very pretty so many people take pictures. Different variations of Bibimbap can be made as well.
Second is Kimchi-jjigae which is a hardy soup that is made with kimchi that is older with tofu and meat for some. This soup is very rich and delicious and must be eaten with rice. South Korea is especially well known for its Korean fried chicken which are파 닭 and 양념치킨and many more different kinds . Korean fried chicken is very different from the Western style chicken where they have a crisper chicken because it is fried twice in the oil and more tasty sauces such as sweet and spicy.
Now for less traditional but equally good food there is 잡채 (Chap Chae) , 보쌈(Bossam), etc. These dishes are made in a family style for everyone to share easily.
Chap Chae is made with glass noodles, vegetables and meat which is stir fried on a pan. This dish can be a main dish or appetizer , which can be served hot or cold.
Bossam (Korean Pork Belly ) a savoury dish is cooked for a long time until the meat is tender. It is eaten with lettuce wraps folded with rice and meat inside with other condiments. The dish is better served hot but can be eaten cold or reheated.
The dishes are eaten at restaurants but are also cooked at home daily and on special occasions. The special occasions are when making Kimchi at home and when a guest is coming to visit.
Day or night, on the streets of South Korea there is always street food to eat. Street food is part of the popular culture in South Korea. It is known for being quick and simple. It is most popular during the afternoon and nighttime. Depending on the weather, different menus are more popular. Popular menus include Tteokbokki , Odeng (Korean fish cake soup) , Tornado Potato , Gimbap, Soondae, Bungeoppang , Roasted sweet potato ,Corn Dog, Hotteok( Korean donuts) as well.
- Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cake) FlickrIn
Tteokbokki (Spicy rice cake) is a staple in street food where it is made with rice cakes, boiled eggs, Odeng and scallions. It tastes very good and soft. It is ordered with Gimbap and other dishes as well. In some places the sauce is spicer then other places but it still tastes good. While eating through it is best to water or something to drink. it is eaten in anytime of day but is associated as an after school snack to eat simply before having dinner at home.
- Bungeoppang Joel’s Travel Tips
Bungeoppang is a winter snack that is made into a fish shape after putting a mixture of sweated red bean paste inside the fish-shaped appliance they use. It is seen being made in street stalls with lots of people lining up to buy some. The more you buy the cheaper the price is. The middle and crispy tail end part taste the best because it has the most filling and crisp. The fish shape of Bungeoppang is really popular, so many Korean supermarkets carry the fish shaped ice cream with either green tea ice cream and vanilla ice cream together as the filling. There is also the traditional tastes of red bean paste but with vanilla ice cream. Both sell out really quickly since many people like it and new flavours come out as well.
Best places to try Korean street foods
Myeongdong Street Food Alley , Gwangjang Market and, Dongdaemun Night Market etc.
Myeongdong is one of Seoul’s most popular shopping districts for Korean cosmetics, clothes and other things. It is also a go-to place for foodies looking to try the most unique , innovative but also the most well known street foods. Many tourists crowd along countless carts to gorge and eat a wide variety of sweets and treats as well. Dishes such as grilled lobster, fried milk, baked cheese skewers , tteokgalbi meatballs, strawberry mochi and fresh pomegranate juice, among other things. These food stalls do not accept credit cards, so you have to remember to bring cash.
Gwangjang Market is Seoul’s century-old market that still functions. It is a great place to soak up the nation’s traditional culture and sample its gastronomic goodies, all in one place. Of all of the goods the market is famous for, mayak kimbap is one of people’s favourite. These sushi-like, seaweed-wrapped rolls are filled with carrot, pickled daikon radish and seasoned rice with sesame oil. They are known to be very addictive, as the name says, which means narcotic rice roll. Another speciality includes bindaetteok , which is a savoury pancake made from ground mung beans, various vegetables and meat. For a drink there is makgeolli, an icy spirit made from rice.
- Gwangjang Market- culture trip
- Myeongdong Street Food Alley -Korea.net
Dongdaemun Night market
Dongdaemun is the center for fashion lovers in Seoul. Not only does the market offer clothes and accessories for an affordable price , it also has many unique items, as it is home home to many of the city’s aspiring designers. Open at just about any hour as well. Dongdaemun has more than 26 shopping malls, 3,000 speciality shops and 5,000 manufactures. It is also one of the few places in the world where you can shop till 3am and not miss buying something you wanted. Can get late night snacks such as Korean classic mandu (dumplings), sundae(blood sausage ) as well as internationally inspired fare including burgers, tater-tot corndogs. It is truly a place showing a perfect mix of fashion, fun and flavour.
- Dongdaemun Night Market -culture trip
Others places to visit near Gyeongbokgung
Geunjeongjeon hall is the throne hall where the king formally audiences to his officials, gave decelerations of national importance, and greeted foreign ambassadors during the Joseon dynasty. The Geunjeongmun is the main gate to the courtyard and the Geunjeongjeon.
The gate is divided into three separate aisles and only the king was allowed to walk through the centre. The name Geunjeongjeon also means diligent governance hall. Its construction is mainly of wood. It sits in the centre of a large rectangular courtyard on top of a two-tiered stone platform.
This two-tiered stone platform has a lot of imagery of real animals, such as dragons and phoenixes. The stone paved courtyard is lined with two rows of rank stones called pumgyeseok indicating where each official is supposed to stand at. The whole courtyard is enclosed by wooden cloisters.
Hyangwonjeong is a small two-story hexagonal pavilion built around 1873. It was constructed on an artificial island in a lake named Hyangwonji and a bridge named Chwihyanggyo. This bridge connects it to the palace grounds. The bridge was originally on the north side and was the longest bridge purely constructed of wood during the Joseon dynasty. It was destroyed during the Korean War, but has since been rebuilt. It is very pretty and nice to look at and take photos of.
- Hyangwonjeong pavilion in Gyeongbokgung Palace Easy -Tour China
South Korea is an amazing country to visit during any time year and season because there is always so much things to do, discover and learn and buy as well. For history lovers especially of the Joseon dynasty make sure to go visit not just Gyeongbokgung Palace but also the other small palaces and buildings that bring the place together in harmony.
Photos with nature imagine what it would have been like during the Joseon era. Make sure when taking a tour to look at also the details and listen carefully. Getting to see the change of guard with royal festivals is also an amazing experience to see and feel what did they do during the era before modern times came. There is also a program that can be joined to taste the royal food and see royal performances.
For shopping lovers there is a lot of different malls to visit to buy clothes, jewelry , toys, cosmetics and many other different products. For Korean cosmetics brands such as Face shop , Innnisfree, Etude House and many other brands, it can be bought to help keep the skin soft and moist.
It is also cheaper to buy in bulk since they are Korean brands. Face masks can also be bought to do at home to help keep the skin moist and refreshed. Cosmetic stores also give out free samples to try new products, and buy more later.
Korean clothing stores are also very nice to explore and buy clothes as well. They have many different styles as well as brands to choose from. In the malls, people can also just relax at a cafe and talk and just enjoy spending time. For book lovers though, make sure to check out the book store in or out of the mall, since it is also very nice to explore and just spend time, before exploring again.
Lastly, for K-pop/ K-drama lovers, make sure to visit the stores and places where many albums are sold with posters to add to the collection , as well as film locations and different companies to get specific fan goods.
Hope to see all the different tourists all around South Korea again soon.