South Korea is becoming one of the most popular destinations in Asia for two reasons: K-pop and K-drama. As more people continue to binge watch K-dramas such as the famous “Crash Landing on You” or “Descendants of the Sun” and many more, the city has gained a lot of interest in the eyes of foreigners all around the world. On the other hand, if you are not a fan of K-dramas then, it is without doubt that you would have heard of the famous BTS or BLACKPINK – two of the well-known k-pop bands.
With that being said, the city of Seoul has gained a lot of popularity around the world for its beautiful scenery that often gets featured on TV shows or maybe it is because of the famous singers that they want to visit their hometown – the city of Seoul manages to capture our hearts from TV screens to real life.
With the help of Profil Holidays, my tour operator, I was able to spend my birthday in one of the most famous destinations in South East Asia! The tour flowed ever so flawlessly without having any disturbances or problems.
DAY 01 MANILA/SEOUL - DMZ - NAMI ISLAND - SEOUL
If you are into History (more specifically, North and South Korea history) or simply an enthusiast of the unknown lifestyle of North Korea, then you should definitely not miss out on the famous Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
It is the 4km wide buffer zone that divides North and South Korea. It is located approximately 60 km up north from Seoul and can only be visited with a guided tour.
Truthfully, this may have been one of the most interesting days of my South Korea trip. I was able to learn more about North Korea and even managed to get a glimpse of the unknown land of North Korea. Although, I was only able to take a short look through the Dora Observatory.
K-Drama Reference: If you’ve watched the famous “Crash Landing on You”, then maybe this famous site will spark an interest in you as you visit the site.
Known as Nami Island, this beautiful isle will offer a serene paradise view that will surely capture your heart. The best part of this island – every season, you will be greeted by a different ambiance and sight; making every experience a unique one that is worth remembering. It is without doubt, an island that will bring you to awe with its beauty at any season.
The isle is also known for its tree-lined avenues – making this site a picture-perfect spot for every couple, individual and group travelers!
K-Drama Reference: Known for the famous K-drama series that was a hit all over Asia, the “Winter Sonata” has brought many locals and foreigners alike to visit the island.
Historical Reference: the isle is also known for the final resting place of General Nami, a controversial historical figure in the Joseon Dynasty.
DAY02 SEOUL - BUKCHON HANOK VILLAGE - GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE - EVERLAND - N SEOUL TOWER
Today, upon looking at my itinerary, I knew that it was a long day that will require me to walk a lot. Thus, I made sure that I wore comfortable clothing, most especially comfortable footwear that will enable me to properly walk comfortably as well as to keep me warm during the cold winter breeze.
Bukchon Hanok Village
The Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional Korean houses which are called hanoks. Currently, it remains a residential neighborhood. Some hanoks now operates as a guesthouse, a cultural center, a restaurant and tea houses.
Located at the top of a hill between the Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongyo Royal Shrine, visitors may have the opportunity to visit the famous house wherein the relatives of the royal family resided during their time.
My experience as I walked through the alleys, I was able to understand the local culture through the styles of the houses. The entirety of the streets truly brought out a learning experience (or at least on my end). In addition, it is also known to be a famous K-drama filming location.
Don’t forget to be a responsible traveler by being mindful, quiet and respectful as you walk through the alleys of the neighborhood.
K-Drama Reference: the streets of Bukchon Hanok Village have been featured in many K-drama series. One of the famous classic K-drama series wherein one of the streets were showed was in the show “The Heirs”.
As we all know, when a country is ruled by the royals, there is a specific home wherein they reside. France has the Versaille Palace, in Germany there is the famous Neushwanstein Castle, and in South Korea there is the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Built in 1395, during the Joseon Dynastry, the palace was used as the residential area of the royals during the Joseon Dynasty; which means that the Kings, the Queens and the concubines were the ones living within the walls of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The famous palace has been featured in various dramas but did not meet the high level of attention in terms of K-drama location sites. Instead, it is known for its historical and cultural aspect.
K-Drama Reference: if you were able to watch the recent famous K-drama “Goblin”, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Considered to be the Disneyland or Universal Studios of South Korea, Everland will definitely bring out the fun during your trip!
Enjoy various activities ranging from relaxing, entertaining, educational and even adrenaline-seeking activities, you will be amazed with every aspect of the famous destination site in South Korea.
Find yourself screaming at the top of your lungs as you ride a roller coaster, but if you are more on the relaxing side, then you can easily enjoy a scenic view of South Korea as you embard the Ferris Wheel. If you are looking for some educational sights, enjoy a walkthrough of the zoo!
K-Drama Reference: if you have watched the famous “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” then you will definitely recognize the famous scene of the show! (don’t worry I won’t spoil the show for you!)
N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower, also known as the Namsan Tower, is the Eiffel Tower of South Korea. If you get the chance to reach the top of the Observatory Tower, you will be amazed with the scenic view of the city.
There are many things to do in the N Seoul Tower – for lovers, you can put a chain of lock as you make a wish (this is similar to the famous bridge filled with locks in Paris, France), if you are a food lover then you will definitely enjoy the fancy dining, enjoy a showcase room and other activities that awaits you on top of the tower.
K-Drama Reference: the classic K-drama “Boys Over Flowers” features the N Seoul Tower in a memorable scene of the series.
DAY 03 SEOUL - HANBOK COSTUME - TRICK EYE MUSEUM - INCHEON AIRPORT/MANILA
The word “hanbok” translates to “Korean clothing” in the English language. It is a type of traditional South Korean clothing worn during the Joseon period. Currently, visitors may opt to rent a hanbok to allow individuals to understand and immerse themselves into the South Korean culture – locals will not be offended by this, in fact they will find it quite amusing and respectful that others are willing to learn more of their culture. This type of clothing can be worn for both women and men.
My experience of renting a hanbok costume was truly an experience that I will remember.
Upon entering the establishment where I could rent one, the lady at the country immediately took me to a closet filled with different type of hanbok designs. She made sure that we wore a piece of clothing that would fit is perfectly, weight and height alike. The fitting room takes place in a separate room and a shopkeeper will be helping you as you try to fit it!
Let it be known that the long skirt is actually tied to the chest so the length should not be measured from the waist but from the individual’s underarm.
Trick Eye Museum
Located in Hongdae, Seoul, the famous and unique attraction of the city welcomes its visitors with a one of a kind experience wherein guests can freely touch, take photos and interact with 3D artworks. There are three different museums that will ensure that you have a worthwhile experience – the Trick Eye Museum, the Love Museum and the Ice Museum.
The Trick Eye Museum
Getting tricked is probably the last thing you want to happen to you while traveling. The Trick Eye Museum, as the name suggest, will be deceiving your eyes as you find yourself admiring funny, creative and realistic 3D paintings. In addition, you will also be seeing 2D artworks that will look like it is 3D – thus, creating an optical illusion upon eyeing it.
Need a perfect yet funny picture for your Instagram? Well, the Trick Eye Museum will allow you to freely enter a 3D artwork that will make it seem like you are part of the painting – or even, that the painting came to life just for you!
This museum is dedicated only to adults as it offers various 3D artworks that are quite explicit for children!
The museum offers the same type of paintworks as the other museums but this time – for adult contents, only.
Considering that there is a museum for adults, we can’t leave out the children! The Ice Museum offers the same type of artwork, except it is meant solely for children to enjoy their time.
As the name describes, it is a perfect ice museum that offers a variety of artwork and activities that will surely help your kids escape the heat during the summer!