With COVID-19 taking over the world, we just can't wait till it's safe for us to go on our next trip
. One of the destinations that we hold dear to our hearts is Korea! We love that there's just plenty of awesome things to do in Korea and Seoul. While we can't travel now, it's always a nice feeling to look back on our travel memories ? We asked you guys on Traveler Thursday
(our weekly segment on Instagram stories
) what you miss about Korea the most and here are 8 things that you guys mentioned!
1. Yummy halal Korean food
An overwhelming number of you said that you missed the food in Korea and we couldn't agree more! The aromatic smell that instantly greets you when stepping into a Korean restaurant is unforgettable ? From the tantalising Korean fried chicken
to mouth-watering Korean BBQ
, you have to visit Korea for its food alone! Some of you even told us that you miss the raw octopus - a Korean delicacy.
We're also missing the bustling street food
scene that's filled with treats like odeng
(sweet pancakes with brown sugar) and gyeranbbang (egg bread). These will instantly warm you
up on a cold winter's day!
Not to mention the Muslim-friendly snacks that you can get from their awesome convenience stores! Samgak kimbap
(rice balls) or Binggrae banana milk
Reliving your food adventures in Korea or dreaming of your future foodie trip? Check out these halal food articles on Korea
2. Shopping galore!
With its variety of shopping options and spots for every budget
, retail therapy is one thing that we have to do whenever we're in Korea ? Since the pandemic has made us shop online more, we definitely miss browsing through the unique gems that we'd find in Seoul's shopping streets, underground malls or department stores!
Any shopaholic would love the fact that there's something for everyone in Seoul ? Looking for trendy fashion accessories? Hongdae
. Buying clothes in bulk? Dongdaemun
. Traditional souvenirs? Insa-dong
. Affordable skincare and cosmetics? Myeongdong
! The list is neverending! So, why not save these shopping guides
for your future trip?
3. Magnificent scenery and IG-worthy spots
Korea's scenic spots are a sight for sore eyes, so we can definitely understand why you guys miss it so much ? The rustic tree-lined streets of Nami Island
and the breathtaking Mt Seorak
are just some of the places that leave us in awe. Not forgetting Jeju's stunning beaches
and the majestic Seongsan Sunrise Peak
It's not just the natural scenery, but Seoul's cityscape that's amazing too. After every trip, we'd surely fill our camera roll with IG-worthy pictures! From Namsan Park
's skyline view and the charming streets of Ikseon-dong to the iconic Starfield Library
and the super-futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza
P.S. Check out this article for more IG-worthy spots:
4. Fascinating Korean culture
Though we've been to Korea a few times, its culture never fails to amaze us. That's what makes Korea so special! Its palaces are teeming with history and interesting stories of past royals. We simply love how Gyeongbokgung - the largest and most beautiful palace -
is set against the backdrop of a modern city. Not to mention the beautifully restored traditional buildings in Bukchon Hanok Village
A memorable activity is definitely trying on the hanbok
; it's an experience unlike any other! Not only is it a great way of immersing yourself in Korean culture, it's also a chance to feel like you're in a Korean period drama ?
I've also personally had the chance to visit several Korean folk villages
and I really enjoyed learning about the Korean way of life back in the day. There are several folk villages in Jeju and if you're looking for the nearest one to Seoul, you can find it in Yongin
P.S. Check out this 6D5N Muslim-friendly itinerary to Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do
5. Amazing weather
With the hot and humid weather in our part of the world, Korea's weather is much more bearable and something we really miss!
Credit: Gadjo Dilo on Flickr
The seasons we love the most are spring and autumn ? In spring, the temperature is really comfortable (around 7-18 deg celsius) which gives bloom to cherry blossoms and other gorgeous flowers like canola and plum blossoms. Save the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival
and Yeouido Spring Flower Festival
for your future trips! In autumn, the foliage turns Korea into a sea of red and yellow. It's an especially magnificent sight at Nami Island
and Seoraksan National Park
Some of you also told us that you miss winter in Korea! Though winter there can be very harsh (around -10 to 5 deg celsius) it's not always that you get to experience that. And when snow falls, it's the most magical thing ever ?
P.S. Don't forget to read our seasonal guides to Korea:
Cafe culture is serious business in Korea and cafe-hopping is probably one of the things that we do the most when in Korea. Every few hundred metres you walk, you're bound to find a cool cafe to hang out at. Not to mention that when sightseeing, it can get tiring and cafes provide a great refuge especially when it's super cold outside. Whether it's popular cafe chains like TOM N TOMS and dal.komm COFFEE or indie cafes, you can easily get your caffeine fix. We also love the creative drinks that these cafes come up with -
from sweet potato latte to cinnamon choco and cotton candy coffee! Disclaimer: Do note that none of the cafes in Korea are halal-certified. We recommend only the drinks. We strongly advise that you do your necessary checks and dine at your own discretion.
7. Vibe and atmosphere
A lot of you mentioned that you miss the vibe and atmosphere of walking around in the different neighbourhoods in Seoul. If there's one thing the pandemic taught us, it's that being able to walk outside along the streets is something to be grateful for.
Hongdae is one neighbourhood
we want to return to again! Walking around this university district, you'll be greeted with trendy fashion accessories that'll make you feel super young again ? Soaking in the atmosphere of the live music and watching wannabe K-pop stars perform is also an experience!
For any K-pop fan, being in Korea is like a dream come true. Every corner you turn in the popular shopping districts like Myeongdong, you'll hear the latest Korean hits being played. It's very common to see posters of popular boybands like BTS too!
8. Efficient public transport Interestingly, Korea's efficient public transport also came up a lot in our poll. As avid travellers to Korea, we are in awe of its subway systems and the KTX (Korea Train eXpress). Like how it takes only 2.5 hours to get from Seoul to Busan! We also appreciate that it's so easy to get around as there are English signs everywhere ? I personally love the train announcements in the Seoul subway trains and I can even remember some of them by heart ? Though if you're looking to navigate in Korea, you'll need to download the local apps like Naver Maps, Kakao Maps
and Subway Korea as Google Maps don't work well! We also found it intriguing how some of you miss getting lost in Korea ? But we totally feel you! Getting lost while on vacation is exciting because you'll get to uncover new places. It also helps that you are more carefree and don't have any commitments or deadlines.
Until we get to travel to Korea again, these are the 8 things that we'll be missing about the Land of Morning Calm ? Here's hoping that the time to travel will come soon, so we can savour that juicy piece of bulgogi or walk along the bustling streets of Seoul. What do YOU miss about
Korea? Let us know in the comments section!