Going to Korea?

Let’s discuss about Korea on this page! 한국 가고싶었어?

I was inspired by @Rock The Boat when asked about tips about Korea. I have been there and found many good places to shop, sightsee, and I don’t mind sharing experiences. ^^ I’ll probably update this page with How to watch Music Shows in Korea information once I compile my information.

Also, I would like to know more about Korea too! Share your experiences in Korea here too! Like what you did there, where did you shop and got good bargains, any place where you met celebrities? What was the best food you ate when you visited Korea?

Anyhow, let’s take it away! 🙂


For me, I went to Korea last Spring, 2009. It was a pretty awesome trip cos I went backpacking with my friends. 🙂 There were cherry blossoms and all, and it’s seriously easy to go around the place. I like their subway.. because we can eat and drink inside 😀 I’ll just post some of the awesome places to visit in Korea:

★ Seoul ★

For Shopping

1) Myeongdong 명동
Fashion street yo. Lots of clothes, in their underground shopping mall to the outside area.

2) Dongdaemun 동대문
For cheaper grabs. They have like factory outlets there where you can get tons of Idol socks or Hanbok or caps/hats.

3) Lotte Shopping Mall

4) Apgujeong 압구정
It’s like the Orchard Road of Singapore. Expensive branded shops.

For Sightseeing

You can’t say that you’re been to Seoul if you didn’t visit this place. A beautiful place at night. It’s really famous, especially cos they filmed Boys Over Flowers there (When I was there I saw the Goo Junpyo and Geum Jandi’s first date writing on the cable car, like in the drama!) and lots of friends/couples go there to ‘lock’ their relationships forever. (i.e. Super Junior and SHINee left their locks there on variety shows, but I heard some fans cut them off? O_o)

2) Cheonggyecheon 청계천
The stream cutting through Seoul. Just walk along this stream to get to Dongdaemun or City Hall – it’s a nice place to hangout.


Places of Interest

SM Entertainment building

To get to SM, take Subway to Apgujeong, walk one straight road down towards the Galleria. It’s right after the that.
Galleria is this high-class shopping mall, if you are lost, ask the people how to get to Galleria (but of course just ask them where SM is straight and they’ll direct you).

I shall update more soon!


49 thoughts on “Going to Korea?

  1. I am just asking about general stuff related to cool shops and art in Korea -I have no idea what to expect as I have only been to Hong Kong and Bangkok and know Korea is supposed to be different, more like Japan but cooler?

    Posted by Rock The Boat | April 9, 2010, 8:52 PM
  2. @Rock The Boat: Ah I see.
    Firstly, the weather in Korea depends on the season, but generally, comparing spring weather, Korea is indeed a little cooler.

    If you’re going around Seoul, there’re many English signs so it’s pretty easy to get around~ If you’re going to Jeju/more rural areas, you may need to know some Korean.

    If you’re looking for art/history of Korea, you definitely have to visit Insadong, the Art central in Seoul. It’s where most of the palaces are located, and you should visit them during Spring, where there’s a lot of cherry blossoms 🙂

    Cool shops – you mean like shopping for clothes? Then you’ll have to visit Myeongdong, the fashion street 🙂 They have lots of designer shops there ^^

    If you’re looking for more exquisite outfits, you can shop at Apgujeong or generally the Kangnam area, the more expensive shopping areas.

    Posted by xliSh | April 9, 2010, 9:19 PM
  3. wah so kewlz!! i got no money go man.. got chance then i get u send me itinerary.. how much u spend like zat? u go 4 how long?

    Posted by toast | April 9, 2010, 11:26 PM
  4. there’s a lot of places you can go if you’re going to shop for cheap finds~ hmm there’s a underground shopping center at Anyang and Kangnam station. My fave Myeongdong must not be missed! I LOVEEEEE the cheap bags there! hmm~ Hongdae is a good place too and the shops near Ewha University are cool~~

    Posted by lyrynne | April 10, 2010, 2:41 AM
  5. hey, how much did you spend for your backpacking trip? (how much should i save for a trip to korea?)
    backpacking = Free and easy? lol
    and how days did you went?

    oh man, i’ve so many qns to ask, but suddenly mental block 😀

    Posted by shineestars | April 10, 2010, 11:55 AM
    • I spent abt $2500 Singapore dollars. I bought a lot of things… And flight there.. Jus get a trustworthy flight there.. I took Korean airways , cheaper! And jus dun bring too many clothes there… Jeans can wear for like 2 – 3 days if u go during winter period like me.. I went for 2 1/2 weeks. Stay motels that is jus a bed and a toilet is good enough.. It cost approx 20000-30000 won per night only… Get it at like myeongdong or insadong… This two places are very Convienient as the metro lines are near the motels:)

      Posted by Jermain | November 16, 2011, 2:37 PM
  6. @shineestars: I went for 11 days.. I spent about, $1000+. That’s because I got a discounted flight rate at that time haha ^^ You should save about $1500 for good spending.

    For cheaper stay, I highly recommend backpackers hostel or guest-houses instead of hotels. Guest-houses charge about 20,000won~40,000won max per night, a lot cheaper than hotels. And the hosts are usually friendly & will recommend you places to go ^^

    haha yeah backpacking is free and easy. But you need to plan your own itinerary well! If not it’s not good if you don’t know where to go.. lol, yeah.

    Posted by xliSh | April 11, 2010, 2:01 AM
  7. haha I was about to ask $1500 sing dollars or Korean dollars, till I realised it’s won.. xP

    How’re the people there like? The people can speak English one mah?

    The last time I went Hong Kong and I had problems talking to the people there.. So many English signs but no one seem to speak it! :/

    Posted by mazel | April 15, 2010, 7:11 PM
  8. @ mazel The people there are really friendly ^^
    Most of my friends who visited Korea for holiday agrees with me, but of course there will be rude people everywhere in the world, so it depends.

    But personally, I was helped a lot. On my first night there, we couldn’t find our lodging so we asked this 10 businessmen where it was.. Immediately they took out all their phones and started calling people! It was really a surprise. And one of them in the end accompanied us to the place. Really nice (:

    But for English-speaking wise, be prepared for some.. problems. Yes there are English signs but communicating with locals do take a bit of Korean. Know the basics like “Annyong haseyo” = Hello, or “Juisonghamnida” = Excuse me or I’m sorry.

    Observe Korean mannerisms too. Especially on transport or at the dining table.

    On transport, they have this special area set for the needy to seat, the side of each train compartment. This seats are seriously for the needy/old men/etc. I was severely scolded by this ahjussi on my first day there T_T

    At the dinning table, don’t hold up your bowl while eating, and use only one utensil at a time. Holding up your bowl while eating is an icon for beggars. ^^;;

    Posted by xliSh | April 17, 2010, 4:56 AM
    • hi there.

      would like to clarify something about the lodging!
      cause i would plan a trip there also(end of this year?)
      together wif my friends of course. where would u recommend us to stay in if we are on backpacks and nearer to Myeongdong???

      Posted by Vincent | June 14, 2010, 4:12 PM
  9. Woah.. You’re not Korean right? If you dk Korean language then how do you talk to the owner of the shop? I mean like I know you at least know the basics. ㅋㅋ

    Posted by Kellyn | May 2, 2010, 9:43 AM
    • Haha no I’m not Korean ^^
      Yeah that’s why it’ll be good if you know the basics so you can at least communicate your basic needs (aka shopping, eating, sight-seeing and haggling prices xD)
      Bring along a mini Korean phrasebook, haha that time I took some time to find certain phrases but it was good.

      At least you have to know how to ask “Ol-mal-ye-yo?” 얼마예요? (How much is it? in Korean)
      I still don’t know how to haggle for prices but that time I told the shopkeeper “Jo-geum-man..” *hand gesture, low low* hahaha it was so funny xD

      Posted by xliSh | May 3, 2010, 12:18 AM
  10. hello!
    firstly, love your site. It keeps me update with the Korean world.
    Urm, I am planning to go korea say, end of this year or next year. Backpacking is my option. You mentioned you went for 11 days? does the $1500 includes expenses, accommodation and air tickets?
    How much would you recommend me to bring and stuff? let’s say I want to go for about 10 days?
    Sorry for asking so much question. Hope you can help out .
    Thanks so much in advance!

    Posted by feeee (: | June 8, 2010, 1:40 PM
    • Yup my $1500 included that, but of course that was when the airticket was really cheap, now should be more expensive~

      Including $$ for accomdation and transport, bring about $1000? I always go to a country with a concept “I won’t be coming back for a long while” so I suggest to bring more so you can buy more. It’s not really worth it to change money/withdraw money there.. To withdraw money from your local bank acc you need to pay an admin fee of $5 😡

      Discuss and plan with your friends on what you plan to do in Korea first, then gauge how much you need by researching on how much it costs to go to/do the place/thing.

      Posted by xliSh | June 14, 2010, 4:27 PM
  11. hi there.

    would like to clarify something about the lodging!
    cause i would plan a trip there also(end of this year?)
    together wif my friends of course. where would u recommend us to stay in if we are on backpacks and nearer to Myeongdong???
    and how much is the total expenses for ur trip so that i can estimate how much to bring over end of this year!!!

    Posted by Vincent | June 14, 2010, 4:16 PM
    • Hmmm I would say, go research for backpack lodging around Myeongdong online. I was staying at Insadong so I’m not exactly sure about Myeongdong area. But well the subway is really convenient so you don’t have to worry about distance xD
      try googling or Korean tourist sites, like KTO.

      I spent $1000+~ as I mentioned on my above post, plan with your friends on what you plan to do in Korea first, then gauge how much you need by researching on how much it costs to go to/do the place/thing. It’s a much better gauge cos my itnerary will be different from yours~

      Posted by xliSh | June 14, 2010, 4:36 PM
  12. Hah, Dongdaemun is a nice place to shop. Went there 2 years back ^^

    Posted by Emiko | June 24, 2010, 12:09 AM
  13. oh so cool ! i really want to go to Korea but then because i’m a malay…., i think it would be harder to find halal food.. )= have you seen any halal restaurants there ?

    Posted by eqaa | August 6, 2010, 10:03 PM
    • I think you can try to ask the shopowner if they sell pork. Koreans like it pretty much though. One way is I guess you can avoid shops that sell 돼지 (dwae ji – means pork) or dishes like Sam Gyopsal. You also can say “저는 돼지고기를 먹지 수 없습니다.” – Cho-neun dawe-ji-ko-ji-reul mok-ji su ob-seub-ni-da. (I don’t eat pork.)

      Posted by xliSh | October 12, 2010, 3:33 AM
      • I think you translated it wrongly ^^;;; It’s suppose to be, “저는 돼지고기를 먹을 수 없습니다.” Cho-neun dawe-ji-ko-gi-reul mokeul-su-ob-seum-ni-da. (I cannot eat pork.) ^^

        Posted by Anon | March 31, 2011, 9:27 PM
    • hi.. i had been there for 8 days..
      i’m muslim n malay.
      there’s a town there in Seoul called Itaewon where a lot of halal restaurants presented.
      there’s a mosque there too.. 🙂

      Posted by lanail | February 17, 2011, 12:47 PM
    • halal food is everywhere in Itaewon station. just alight at that station and go to exit 3 and it’s all there even have a halal bakery and stuff . hehe that’s how i survived my 1 week in korea. have fun!

      Posted by Nur | June 20, 2011, 11:26 PM
  14. i think Shin-chon(spelling?) is a nice place to shop too!so many cute little shops for you to discover slowly~! haha

    Posted by Melissa | October 12, 2010, 12:09 AM
  15. Mmm…I’m a Malay. I have been there to watch SS501 Seoul Encore Concert last Feb2010. In this group tour, we went to Namsan Tower early in the morning from airport after we placed our luggage at the hotel, then 2nd and 3rd day we went to duty free shop as usual before heading for the concert. The tour guide drop us at one place like a central of seoul for a while. I entered one cafe, sitting there to have a hot coffee and custard pie. It was awesome. The waitress was very nice and friendly people. At the same time, I have known a korean friend from internet with same interest. We met in the afternoon and she brought me around seoul…Myeondong..museum,,,shopping area…also the long stream (ahh i cant remember) very nice. That was my first day in seoul and spend my time with her and her mom. Both of them have given me a pleasant and wonderful tour which very hard for me to leave them. Now I miss them so much.

    As for food, actually I brought Maggi Noodles and some rice cake and the chilli paste (properly sealed). I ate fruits. I am a person who don’t eat much when going for holiday..enough with bread and cheese, hot tea, ramen (halal from spore) and biscuit. I can lost some weight at the same time hehehe. The most important thing for me is to enjoy the surrounding, the shopping and the people there. I dont think there’s so much problem communicate with Korean. They do know english little little…but they are willing to help you. Even the young ones also very helpful. Seoul will be again my next destination in the coming holiday as I have not finish cover some other parts of the country like jeju island. I miss Seoul so much.

    Posted by alphabeta | November 16, 2010, 12:17 AM
  16. thanks for information I’m going to go to Seoul next month.

    Posted by นิตติ้ง | January 23, 2011, 5:50 PM
  17. hi,

    can i ask whether is there any budget airlines flying to incheon airport from singapore?

    such as jetstar asia, tiger airways? n i searched that airasia offer the flight from sin to incheon, but with transfer in KL…

    any idea or advice for the lowest price for airfare from sin to incheon

    thks in advance!!!

    Posted by k21 | April 6, 2011, 1:30 AM

    Posted by kim | April 25, 2011, 4:40 PM
  19. if you all plan to korea again, can i join u all? If SS501 open concert @ korea, maybe we can organize tour to watch concert there. But i don’t think so. Really hope this will happen!

    Posted by shirley | May 4, 2011, 11:53 PM
  20. Do you think it’s safe/okay for us, unable to speak korean & going Korea for the first time, to go Korea alone?

    Posted by Sunny | July 10, 2011, 7:45 PM
    • It depends on which part of Korea you’ll be going to. For Seoul, there are pretty much English translated road signs and subway station information so there won’t be much of a problem – there are quite a few hotels/guesthouses with staff that speaks English too.

      But if you’re going to towns or non-city areas like Jeju, I suggest you bring a Korean dictionary, if not get someone who knows Korean to help. Non-city areas often do not have English help so if you’re planning to go, you have to do detailed homework first. 🙂

      Posted by xliSh | July 11, 2011, 11:05 AM
  21. hi, just wanna ask how to watch music show there?

    Posted by lan | July 12, 2011, 9:07 PM
  22. Hi,
    By any chance is there any halal eatery/restaurants at Myeongdong area? We are going there in a 2 mths. Thanks.

    Posted by Ann | December 8, 2011, 10:36 PM
  23. Hello Everybody!
    I will visit Seoul this summer, can´t wait hihihihi…and want to ask for recommendations for HAIR SALONS!!!
    I have long, brown died hair and want to have a new latest cool haircut xDDD

    Posted by Lindsay | March 22, 2012, 10:10 AM
  24. wow i am going to seoul this coming june wait wait XD ! hope to see some stars there HAHA!

    Posted by seahyi | April 29, 2012, 12:54 AM
  25. How much do i need to save up for the whole trip, roughly? maybe for 2 weeks trip, plus flight and hotel and food and of cos buying stuffs…..hehehe…. planning to go on dec, for their countdown concert(as a lot of idols will be performing) or will there be other concert also….???

    Posted by ETCT | June 1, 2012, 5:46 PM
  26. Hey everyone !!

    Finally found that is still alive !!
    Anyway , currently in Singapore and will be traveling to korea next year end of march and beginning of April for 3 weeks … ALONE !! Any pointer ??? Seriously I become a insanely hyper little girl if I go shopping on vacation especially alone !! So how much should I bring on pocket money alone ??

    Will be on some tours and all … And have anyone been to the DMZ tour yet ?? Is it worth going ??
    And seriously other than hello good bye and sorry I know nuts bout Korean language !! I won’t suffer that much right ??

    And and omg sorry for asking so many questions just talking bout it makes a all hyped up … Owh one more thing …. U think there are any chance in meeting stars ?? Hehe I’m ELF !! Hehe …^.^…

    Thks peeps !!

    Posted by Desiree | June 14, 2012, 2:31 AM
    • mmm i’d suggest going with a 3/4 empty suitcase. just go with what is necessary for the first 4 days! you will be doing ALOT(i emphasize, ALOT) of shopping. i spent about +/- $1k on my shopping alone. i spent one month in korea. also, the DMZ tour is quite…… okay la boring. If you have to pay then i would suggest not going, unless you’re with seeing army camps, the subway station to NK, and the third tunnel. think you can google on it! 🙂 also, some shopping places that i’ll suggest is ewha’s women’s university, express bus terminal, gangnam, myeongdong, hongdae. dongdaemun could be a rip-off if you cant speak korean.

      make sure you know some basic korean before going there. haha it helps.

      as for meeting stars… my friends camped at SM for 2 hours and saw quite a number of people. i saw b2st and btob during my visit to CUBE cafe 🙂 and wooyoung at JYP.

      yeeeapp thats about it!

      Posted by 용미쉘 (@yongmixue) | August 14, 2012, 4:45 PM
      • wow, I am planning to fly there early next year for around 1 mth too!!! izzit ok if i were to ask for your itinerary as i will be flyin there alone and am not sure if my itinerary is on the ‘right’ track! >.<

        Posted by rubbishbong | September 27, 2012, 12:53 AM
  27. Hey!!

    Will be going in April …. Have not planned the full itin yet but staying in Seoul for first week then off to busan and jeju 5 days each then another back in Seoul again …;)…

    Will update soon for my full one much research needs flying from Singapore btw …;)….

    Posted by Desiree | September 27, 2012, 2:14 AM
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