4 Days in Korea

Old Dec 8, 16, 10:58 pm
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4 Days in Korea

My friend and I have 4 days in South Korea and are looking for ideas to maximize our stay. We are going the first week in January so it will be nice and cold. One day we are planning to do the JSA/DMZ tour. We are staying at the Park Hyatt Seoul in case that matters. What do you all suggest for things to do/see during that time.

Oh... and neither of us speak Korean :-)
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Old Dec 10, 16, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by Dad to GO View Post
My friend and I have 4 days in South Korea and are looking for ideas to maximize our stay. We are going the first week in January so it will be nice and cold. One day we are planning to do the JSA/DMZ tour. We are staying at the Park Hyatt Seoul in case that matters. What do you all suggest for things to do/see during that time.

Oh... and neither of us speak Korean :-)
What I suggest is that you buy a guidebook.

With just four days, you won't have time for anything except Seoul--and the DMZ tour.

Any large bookstore will have a couple of guidebooks devoted exclusively to Seoul. Since you're going in January, you have a couple of weeks to read up on the city.

Only you can decide what is interesting to you, so rather than expecting strangers on the Internet to plan your trip for free, do some research and set up a tentative plan, and then have FlyerTalkers critique the details or answer questions that the guidebook doesn't answer or make clear.
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Old Dec 10, 16, 8:00 pm
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first 3 pages of this forum contains what to do for 12 hours to 7 days.
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Old Dec 10, 16, 11:02 pm
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instead of a guidebook you can also just take a look at the official tourism websites. Lots of great info there
http://english.visitseoul.net/index

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto
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Old Dec 11, 16, 11:46 pm
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I'm more than happy to offer my advice and even itinerary. But, as the others have said, we don't know what's important for your trip. Give me some hints and I'll fill you in haha.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 12:25 am
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The Seoul City Tour Bus - hop on-hop off - would be a useful first day.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 11:24 pm
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Originally Posted by mikesaidyes View Post
I'm more than happy to offer my advice and even itinerary. But, as the others have said, we don't know what's important for your trip. Give me some hints and I'll fill you in haha.
I think we'd like to see some historic sites and try some good food. The hop on hop off bus tour sounds interesting. Where would you go to try some good authentic food (that a non korean speaking) person could handle. Are there some good markets, shopping? Any good bars/clubs that we'd enjoy? Thanks for any suggestions.

Oh... and for those suggesting a guide book, I already have one but was hoping for some insight from people who have actually been there.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 13, 16, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
What I suggest is that you buy a guidebook.

With just four days, you won't have time for anything except Seoul--and the DMZ tour.
I actually do speak Korean, but found a guidebook extremely helpful, especially the maps.
I prefer the, "Top 10," variety, simply because it can easily fit in a jacket or even back pocket.


That said, January can be extremely cold and snowy. It has been a while since I've been in Seoul in snow, but they didn't clear snow nearly like it is done in some US cities. If you're planning any time outside, I'd make sure you have appropriate clothing.

If things are really cold and you don't want to go outside much, you could always go to some department stores...or Lotte World (some parts are outside, but you can skip those).

Are you planning on using your cell phone? You can get a local SIM card for this. On my last visit I opted not to, and just poached WiFi where/when I could. Surprisingly, WiFi was widely available, much more so than in the US.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 8:51 pm
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The easiest place to eat food for tourists would be in Jongno near Jongak Youth Street (it's a giant alley with TONS of bright lights, people, bars, really good local Asia feel). Nearly all the meat restaurants and chicken places have signs outside advertising English menus. Even though they do have them, the area is not purely tourist. It's mostly local workers and people hanging out.

Myeongdong area will, naturally, have a lot of places with English menus, but it's definitely the tourist area. That being said, there are a lot of Korean chains in the area so you can eat at decent, popular restaurants. A chain restaurant here is very unlike America.. they're normal and consistent quality. It doesn't mean you are a classless diner like if you go to, say, Red Lobster haha.

As far as street food, I wouldn't bother with the stuff in Myeongdong. It's not really "traditional." Instead, go to Gwangjang Market for some sundae, japchae noodles or bin dae deok, kind of like a fried crispy pancake and drink it with some makgeolli. Koreans and many tourists alike go there, so it's definitely local.

Another unique market is Tongin Market where you can go to the Lunchbox Cafe. You pay like 6,000W and then get an empty tray and coins. You go around the market and fill your tray up paying with said coins.

One particular chain I would recommend would be Saemaul Sikdang. The Nonhyeon branch is their main shop. They are everywhere, but if you go to Nonhyeon, there are TONS of places to eat and drink. Also, this area is home to all of the company's other main stores like Hong Kong Ban Jeom (Korean Chinese), Alpha Kalmegi, Baeks Beer and Baeks Dak Galbi. As these stores have overseas locations, they all offer English menus (and they're all literally right there together). The name for the area is Baek Jong Won Intersection, named after the chef who started these restaurant brands.

As far as clubs and bars go, it depends on your scene. Itaewon and Gyeongridan will be the easiest place with the highest concentration. This neighborhood is also trendy and has a lot of lounges and bars now. Also Hongdae if you're into the younger twenty something party crowd club scene. You can just walk around and find something very easily.

The biggest clubs like Octagon and Ellui are your typical, expensive mega club. Popular, but pricey (but famous).

Finally, I would recommend a food tour. While you can technically go into restaurants and point if the language barrier makes it difficult, often the food tours go places that tourists can't go and always want to (like Jongno alleyway restaurants, street tents, etc). The one I'd recommend is Ongno Food Tour in Jongno because they go to all those places that are true Korean style.

Anyway, I could keep typing, but I'm sure I've given you a ton of info already. Let me know what else you want to know.
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