Through our travels, South Korea was one country we knew the least about. It is safe to say it left us thinking it was a truly awesome country to visit.
Our first destination was to Seoul, a vibrant city full of young workers looking to make a name for themselves. Firstly we arrived from the airport and amazingly got a train direct to the center of Seoul. After a few changes on the tube we headed to Myeong-dong where we stayed in a cute little hotel offering all you could need for a very good price. The first thing we noticed was there are a lot of coffee shops, and cafes offering a range of options. One aspect of this was their love of the sweet stuff, yogurts and ice creams being the most readily available. The coffee is very good and you can get a range of brands and local cafes offering different prices and offers.
Korea was tricky to find vegetarian dishes, so you may have to get creative, often noodle bars will sell tofu and soups and you may have to ask the question to see if meat is added. Kimchi was a staple of many dishes and given on the side, it is a fermented cabbage which is spicy and gives a real kick to the dish. We often went to Paris Baguette which sells many sandwiches and breads to make your own lunches if you are on a tight budget.
The national park and Seoul Tower must be visited and both are free! The views at the top of the tower are spectacular and give a real insight into the way Seoul has grown with the cover of the mountains around it.
We then go a short flight to the island of Jeju, this is a tourist haven for Koreans as it is a tax free island, so duty free items are aplenty. The island boasts both of natural beauty and sweeping views to the seas. We stayed in both the city of Jeju and of Seogwipo, which can be traveled to by a bus. Much like London you can get a travel card that you load money on and use on any public transport, not having to worry about giving money to the drivers.
Heading to the mountains and national parks is a must, and allows you to see stunning views no mater where you may be, Go on walks and explore the nature, with the island being famous for his orange production and natural skin products. One food dish we did enjoy in Seogwipo was called Bibimbap a collection of noodles, eggs and soy sauce, to which you stir and mix yourself to create a blend of flavors. This was washed down with Kiwi extract a digestion boosting drink.
Not much English is spoken in Korea but everyone we spoke to were very friendly and super interested in why we were visiting the country. You may have to work hard at times to explain what food you would like but if in doubt on the content you can always have a cup of noodles which they self in all the local shops.
We really enjoyed the natural beauty in Korea and loved our time there, really has to be talked about more as a travel destination.