At Young Pioneer Tours we have been pioneering travel to North Korea for over ten years, but despite this we have regularly run trips to Seoul as part of our All Koreas Tour. In celebration of One Korea, and because we just really like the place, here’s our top ten reasons why you should visit Seoul at least once before you die…
China is nice enough, Japan maybe a bit too weird if you don’t know where you are going, but Seoul? Seoul has it all without being too expensive or poncey. Nights out progress in round – or stations – starting with a restaurant (with soju), followed by a bar (with soju), followed by clubs and/or karaoke bars with, well soju. Then you get to see a kimchi flower in the morning…
Visiting the DMZ from the South
Visiting the DMZ from Seoul is a very surreal experience if you have spent a lot of time in North Korea. It is a lot more uptight, but still extremely interesting to get the ‘other side’ of the story. Dress smart and remember: no smiling at the enemy!
Technological wonderland of Seoul
Seoul is famous for being technically advanced, and it is not a myth. No doors seem to have keys, and the toilets in Seoul? They look like the bridge of the Enterprise. Great at shooting bursts of hot water up your bum; not so straightforward to flush, however.
It’s actually quite cheap
OK: Seoul is not China cheap, but it is cheap compared to North America. If you are happy enough to get down and dirty with street food, stay in hostels and use public transport, Seoul is a fun place to visit.
Enjoy Korean Food
Korean food is a big deal right now, and Seoul has the best food in South Korea. To be truly Korean do Korean BBQ, followed by chicken and beer (sort of a rule that you always have to be eating when drinking in South Korea. It’s a wonder more of them aren’t fat).
Enjoy the history of Seoul
From ancient temples to city walls, tunnels and the War Museum (that is really similar to the one in Pyongyang), Seoul has a rich and interesting history that is enough to keep one entertained.
People-watching in Seoul
Seoulites have money, they like fashion, and the women like plastic surgery. Simply watching these people – most of whom have big Samsung phones – going about their business in this super futuristic city is interesting in itself, particularly when the businessmen start drinking.
And if you’ve been to North Korea, simply seeing the Koreans being Koreans makes it worth visiting in itself. They might be one people, but right now they are two very different places to visit.
You can check out One Korea by joining one of our trips to Seoul in 2020.