Travel Planning for Seoul

Here in Chicago it seems like the weather cannot make up its mind between mild spring weather and frigid death cold.  It’s been bipolarly bouncing back and forth for the past couple weeks making planning what I’m going to wear the next couple of days quite difficult.

Luckily though I think we’re approaching the beginning of Spring sometime soon and that means I can start to think about where we’re going next: Seoul!

It seems like South Korea is the place to be right now.  Ashley and I know two people who are teaching English there through different programs which s ounds awesome.  So while we won’t be there as long as them, I still want to make sure we have a good experience and soak in as much of the area as we can.  This means starting to put together a list of things to do in Seoul and places we want to go.

Where to Stay

Conrad Seoul
Conrad Seoul

We’ve pretty much narrowed this down.  I made a reservation with Hilton for the Conrad Seoul because of a good rate I got as an employee so that just makes sense.  It’s on the south side of the Han River in the Mapo district which makes it pretty centrally located.  It’s also home of the Hongdae district which hosts many clubs and indie rock venues which is an area I imagine we’ll be checking out.

What to Do

Gangnam at Night (Source)

To be honest, I am initially at a loss when it comes to a solid list of things to do in Seoul other than eat and check out temples.   So after some surface research I’ve decided on exploring these things.  Most are in Seoul but some require a trip.

  • Insadong Market – a traditional marketplace with a lot of antiques and artwork.
  • Gangnam – a posh neighborhood with a lot of shopping.
  • Bongeunsa Temple – a small temple witha  large Buddha in Gangnam
  • DMZ – the historic zone marking the border between North and South Korea

Where to Eat

Oh wow.  Researching this is overwhelming.  Right now I’m basically going to use this as a guide so if any of you happen to read this and have recommendations for food in Seoul I would love to have them.  We need recommendations for the best vegetarian food in Seoul as well as where has the best fried chicken.  I had some outstanding Korean Fried Chicken at Jin-Juu in London; an amazing modern Korean restaurant run by famous chef, Judy Joo, and I need more in my life.

Recommendations

As you can see I have a lot still to research and look forward to.  I need to make sure that we  get a solid list of must-do’s so I’d love to hear any recommendations on what to do and where to go!  This will be our first trip into Asia so I’ll be bringing Google Translate with me. At least in Europe I can somewhat make out signs.  By the way, did you know that in Google Translate you can now take pictures of signs and menus in Korean and it will translate them into English??  It’s amazing!  I’ve been using it on all of the products I buy from the Asian grocery stores.

 

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