Korea is probably not one of the most common travel destination, although the rise of K-POP might have shacked the things a little bit lately. In any case, when I was visiting South Korea I was one of the few non-Asian guys especially outside of Seoul. Running into another Westerner always triggered a “yes, I know how you’re feeling” expression on our faces. Although I’m somewhat well traveled, Korea was the first country I visited to be culturally so different. It was a strange feeling but also a great experience. This is why you should visit too.
My love for Korean food is no secret. I’m always craving for some good Bibimbap. South Korea was therefore like a paradise for me. Sadly, solo travelers are not very welcome in some restaurants, because they only serve 2 or more people. Yes guys, get some kind of fell traveler and you’ll enjoy the best food ever. The service is also very helpful: if you’re overwhelmed by metallic chopsticks, long spoons and scissors (yes, they’re fundamental for Korean BBQ), let Koreans help you out.
My favorite dish was hoedeopbap, a bibimbap with sashimi, typically available on Jeju island.
Forget New York and London, Seoul is the new shit if you’re into fashion, expensive accessories, shopping, and food. In no other city I’ve seen so many people well dressed… Of course some love for Korean fashion is helpful, but it’s easy to appreciate how elegant it is even if it’s not your thing.
Koreans are obsessed with love, couples, weddings, proposals, … As I said before, solo travelers might have hard time in Korea, but for couples all doors are open. Especially if you are planning to pop up the question, you will find a great selection of places, carefully prepared to make your proposal irresistible. Kind of. I wouldn’t necessarily propose in a cave, next to a neon rainbow…
I’m going to be honest with you, Korea isn’t the prettiest country on earth. I might be spoiled because I was born and raised in Italy and because I have been in Iceland. Nevertheless, you can enjoy the most beautiful Korean landscape if you are willing to walk. All Koreans do, they are all equipped with the latest and greatest (and colorful) gear. And don’t worry if you forget your trekking shoes, a sport equipment shop will never be more than 100m away.
All my photos from South Korea and a foursquare list with all the places to visit (or avoid) are available at inhaik.us/gangnamstyle.