If you talk about the top destinations for Thai people, mentioning Seoul in South Korea is inevitable. Of course this spot isn’t just popular for K-Pop fans or those who follow Korean dramas, it’s also a city of love for many tourists. Seoul boasts cultural attractions that seamlessly blend with modern technology. There are fashion and beauty finds that will satisfy any shopper, and the food is absolutely mouth watering.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Steps away from Samcheong-dong is the vibrant cultural village of Bukchon Hanok. This was the former residential area of people who worked in the palace. Today it is a national heritage site. The traditional architecture has been well preserved, including the wooden house frames, grey stones and shingled pitched roofs.
Before you start walking you should go to the village tourist information centre and get a map of the surrounding area. From there you can hit the landmarks like Bukchon Traditional Cultural Center, Seoul Museum of Chicken Art, and certain houses that have workshops in flower arranging, Korean language, and other professional skills. This is makes it an ideal place to learn about traditional Korean culture. An interesting thing to note are the floor signs that indicate good photo taking spots (no missed selfie opportunities!) but be careful and keep the volume down, as it is still a residential area.
More Info : Take the metro to Anguk Station. Take exit 2 and walk about 300 metres.
This is one of the most romantic streets in Seoul. Samcheong-dong has one main road which splits into many smaller alleys all shaded by large ginkgo trees. Gyeongbokgung Palace lies to the left while Changdeokgung Palace flanks its right side. This area is famous for the many Bukchon Hanok (traditional houses) as well as coffee shops, restaurants, clothing boutiques, and galleries. There are also skillfully painted walls. Samcheong-dong is considered one of the most pleasant streets in all of Korea.
More Info : Take the metro to Anguk Station. Take exit 1. It may seem like a long walk, but the way is lined with traditional houses and cute cafes.
Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul
Gwanghwamun Square (also known as Gwanghwamun Plaza) is commemorates two important Korean figures: King Sejong the Great, the creator of Korea’s alphabet (Hangeul), and Admiral Yi Sunshin, a naval commander known for his victories against the Japanese fleet. The statue of King Sejong shows him on a throne, before him is a rain gauge and sundial, which are instruments of fine craftsmanship invented by King Sejong himself. Yi Sunshin is portrayed carrying a weapon, with a fountain in front of him. This gives visitors a sense of his power and skill.
Take a closer look and you will notice the mountains and Gwanghwamun Gate, which is the main gate to Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you have time, it is worth it to walk towards the palace from here. It’s even better if you can time your visit to catch the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony (3 times per day at 10:00, 13:00, and 15:00 hrs).
More Info : Take the metro to Gwanghwamun Station, exit 2.
If you are looking for luxury shopping, you have to go to Sinsa-dong area near Gangnam-gu. Although the road is just 670 metres long, it is considered one of the most beautiful streets in central Seoul. Here there are shops arranged tightly with both famous brands and local brands intermixed with pop-up stores that sell limited edition items. Walk to the end of the road and you’ll see a chic restaurant called ‘Around the Corner’ which also sells clothing and jewellery. There are also many great cafes close by, like ‘Coffee Smith’ which is famous amongst celebrities, or a cafe with a softer mood like ‘A Twosome Place’ an increasingly popular coffee franchise.
More Info : Take the metro to Sinsa Station and take exit 8. Walk straight 250 meters, the road will be on your left.
Here are the 7 things in Myeong-dong you should checkout. (1) Koren Cosmetics, like Etude, Skinfood, Holika Holika, Too Cool for School. Prices are extremely cheap, you’ll also get bigger discounts and samples at large branches. (2) Ice Cream in foot-long cones. They have vanilla, chocolate and a mix of both. (3) Tornado Potato, a spiral of potato preferred by teenagers. It’s even better with cheese powder. (4) The street show on Sunday, where local teens show off their best dance moves. (5) This is for people who like K-Pop, get some music CDs of Korean artists. The cheapest place to buy them is in a shop at the Myeongdong subway station. (6) Watch a famous cooking show at Myeong-dong NANTA Theatre, and finally (7) The extremely handsome male shop owners and vendors who work on the street. Definitely worth a glance!
More Info : Take the metro to Myeong-dong Station. Take exit 7 – 8.
Wondering what to eat when visiting Seoul and the surrounding areas? Here are some suggestions.
Just thinking of this authentic dish from Korea makes our mouths water. Each venue that makes this will marinate pork ribs and and chicken in their own secret recipe. After marination, the meat is put on the grill to medium heat. It’s eaten with ssamjang, a dipping sauce made of fermented soy beans. You wrap the meat in a lettuce leaf, and add garlic chili, rice and kimchi, then eat. If you go to Chuncheon near Nami Island don’t miss Kumun restaurant that uses Chuncheon chicken for their Dakgalbi. Simply, delicious!
More Info : Gyeonggi-do, Gapyeong-gun, Gapyonup, Kansan-gil 11 (On the way to Nami Island) Tel. +82 31 581 9282
It’s said that Thai tourists seek out spicy and intensely flavoured food. The go-to dish is Bulgogi. This dish has both pork and octopus marinated in a modern Korean sauce. They are roasted barbecue style. The flavour is sweet and spicy. When it’s cooked to your liking, you can dunk it in the dipping sauce. It should be eaten with condiments of kimchi, fresh vegetables, soup and steamed rice. If you are stopping by Seoraksan island you should visit Sanmaru restaurant. It is known as having the most authentic Bulgogi. Their fried sardines are also worth stopping by for.
More Info : Kangwongo, Sokchoshi, Nohakdong 1013-38 Tel. +82 33 636 5561-2
This dish may not be familiar to Thais, but after trying it once there is no doubt you’ll want more. “Gamjatang” means potato soup. It is largely made of potatoes, vegetables and herbs. An indispensable ingredient is the wild sesame leaves (“kkaennip” in Korean or “shiso” in Japanese). Roasted and ground sesame seeds are also added into the pork bone broth. Pork neck or back bones are braised until tender. The soup is slightly spicy and eaten with warm rice. This dish is riche in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
We recommend Hongbabjung at Mapo-gu Office Station exit 5. Aside from being a comfortable place to sit, they also give ribs with plenty of meat on the bone which is quite hard to find.
More Info : 241-14, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Tel : +82 2 516 3331