South Korea is an authentic Asian country, that can surprise tourists with its contrasts. Mountains and extinct volcanoes, the sea, ancient temples and palaces, skyscrapers and neon signs, the serenity of Buddhism and crazy nightlife – all this is about South Korea.
During your trip to South Korea, you can try everything: living in a Buddhist temple surrounded with mountains, relaxing near the sea and enjoying Korean pop music (K-pop) at parties in Seoul.
You can travel for free around the country up to 60 days.
The language barrier
The official language in South Korea is Korean. But do not be afraid to get lost or be misunderstood: young people and people working in the service sector speak English very well.
In 2018, the Winter Olympic Games were held in South Korea, so the country is prepared for foreign tourists coming: all signs in transport and signs on the streets are duplicated in English. But do not forget to download online translator on you phone and take a phrase book with you.
The climate in South Korea is temperate and differs from season to season: relatively cold and dry winters, hot humid summers and mild autumns and springs. Therefore, depending on the season, your vacations can vary. In winter, you can go skiing, in summer you can relax on the sea, and in spring and autumn you can admire the sakura or red-headed maples blooming, explore the sights and walk around the natural parks.
Street food is well developed in Seoul. Everywhere you can find a decent meal and a tasty snack. The main dishes are rice, noodles, various types of meat and seafood. Popular among tourists are places where meat is cooked right in front of the guests. Almost everywhere you can order kimbap (long roll with rice and various fillings), skewers with roasted meat and vegetables, or tokpokki (rice flour balls).
Koreans have shocking culinary preferences for Europeans. For example, they eat boiled silkworm larvae or octopus, that is served while it is still alive. But without this, Asia would not be Asia. There is no need to eat this; besides, there are many dishes in Korea that are suitable for Europeans. Remember that almost all food in South Korea is spicy. If you want less pepper, just say when ordering a dish “Please, not spicy!”
Where to go
It is the main palace of the royal family. Watch how the changing of guards takes place and stroll through the royal garden.
Traditional Korean houses, hanoks, narrow streets and curved roofs — high-ranking officials lived here 500 years ago.
A quarter with brands of novice designers and young artists is located around Hongde University. There are expensive boutiques in the Apkujong area, bars and European restaurants in the Ithaewon area. Myeongdong Quarter is Seoul’s central shopping street, where you can buy everything you need.
When paying with a JCB card, up to 15% discounts are available at Korean cosmetics stores LABIOTTE and Myeongdong BIG MART.
Here is the Seoul TV Tower, and from the top of the hill you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
Amusement Park Lotte World
It is the largest indoor amusement park, that got to the Guinness Book of Records.
Visit the park with a 20% discount. The promotion is valid when paying for tickets with a JCB card.
Seoul Forest Park
It is a quiet place to feed and pet deer.
Busan, Jeju and Yongpyeong
Besides Seoul, there are a lot of other cities to visit here. For example, Busan, the country’s largest port with comfortable beaches and a colorful fish market, Jeju, an island in the south of Korea with beautiful nature and the sleeping volcano Hallasan, and Yongpyeong, the ski resort where the Winter Olympics were held in 2018, deserve your attention.
Among the unusual excursions are a tour to the village of Phanmunjom, located on the border of North and South Korea, and a tour to the demilitarized zone. When paying with a JCB card, a 10% discount is valid.
How to save on a trip
Buy a single travel ticket T-Money. It is sold at the entrance to the subway and at the grocery stores. Each trip will cost 10% cheaper.
From Incheon Airport to Seoul you can travel by high speed train AREX Airport Express. With the JCB card, the fare will be cheaper: 7,500 won (6,87$) instead of 9,000 won.
In South Korea, it is not customary to leave a tip. And in the restaurants Wangbijib, Hanubang and Seokparang in Seoul you can get a discount of 5 to 10%, if you pay with a JCB card.
Inexpensive snacks can be found in the local supermarkets. They sell ready meals (kimbap, instant noodles) and have a microwave to warm the dishes up.
It is allowed to get to Gyeongbokgun for free, if you come here wearing a traditional costume hanbok. You can rent it at the entrance, and there is a 10% discount with the JCB card.
Hope your trip around South Korea will be full of positive vibes!
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