Seoul is the capital of South-Korea, and it’s a very large city with a population of over 10 million and it’s the economic, cultural and political centre. As you can imagine there are a lot of schools over there, it’s also an option to go to Seoul with the TEFL Job Placement Service.
There are so many things that you can do in South Korea, so to make your life easier I’ve made you a top 10 hit list!! I couldn’t have done it without the help of Fiona McCullagh, who is teaching in South Korea at the moment and Sehoon Lim, a friend of mine who is living in Seoul right now.
Kicking off our top 10 in no particular order is…
1. Boryeong Mud Festival
This is a festival in the summer in Boryeong at the beach, it’s every year and it’s so much fun! It’s only 200 km south from Seoul. It’s a two-week festival, but the last weekend is the most popular, normally it happens in the second weekend of July. It started as an event for promoting cosmetics made from the mud in Boryeong in 1996. Now there are mud slides, a mud pool, mud prison and mud skiing competitions!!! There is also colored mud for body painting; there is a stage with live music, competitions and other visual attractions. And the festival closes with a beautiful fireworks display!!
2. Jeju Island
It’s the largest volcanic Island in South-Korea. Many Korean people go over there on their holidays, because it’s such a pretty island! Jeju has around 1000 local legends, so it has its own fascinating culture. Popular places to visit over there are the waterfalls, Mount Halla, Hyeobje cave, and Hyeongje Island. If you want to do something sporty you can play golf, horse riding, hunting, fishing or mountain climbing. There are also many festivals during the entire year such as: a penguin swimming contest in the winter, cherry blossom festival in spring, the midsummer night beach festival in summer and Jeju horse festival in autumn, just to name a few. So if you want to get out of the big cities and relax a bit, you should definitely visit Jeju Island!
3. Busan Sand Castle Festival!
Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with a population over 4 million people. It’s a festival that runs for almost 3 months a year at the Haeundae Beach in Busan. It is also a very popular vacation spot in the summer, so it can be a bit crowded. There are different events down at the beach; like hot sand baths, for visitors who want to get buried in the sand, beach volleyball, marathons and of course Sandcastle sculpture exhibition. At night there are concerts and firework displays, so it’s amazing and fun!!!
4. World DJ Festival
It’s an annual event which started on the Han River in Seoul. Now it’s such a big event it’s been moved to Yangpyeong, which is one hour away from Seoul so the festival can be bigger and louder than previous years. There are guest DJ’s from overseas and there is a great atmosphere. It’s a festival with electric dance music, house music, electro and dubstep. There is also camping, so you can party the entire weekend!!!
5. Karaoke a.k.a. Noreabang!!
Karaoke is very popular in South Korea! Here is it called ‘Noreabang’, which literally means singing room. It’s everywhere in Korea, when you enter you need to take off your shoes and wear little flip flops. Then you enter a room with a big flat screen and disco ball and also disco lights! There are 2 microphones and the party can start!! You can do it with only a couple of friends, so you’re not making a fool of yourself in a bar! It’s a definitely must do when you’re in South Korea!!
6. Spend St. Patrick’s Day with a Korean U2 Tribute band festival
Yes you can even celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day in South Korea!! It moves every year to a different place. In 2011 it was in Insadong in Seoul with a Korean U2 Tribute Band! There were a lot of people from other countries, there was a great atmosphere, Guinness tasting and even some Irish dancing!! So if you’re away on St. Patrick’s Day you can celebrate it in South Korea!!!
7. Shopping, shopping, and shopping!!!
Who doesn’t like shopping?? I like it a lot, especially the local markets. There are so many places where you can go shopping, so I decided to pick the most interesting. There is a day-and-night market ‘Namdaemun market’ there are over hundred stalls, so a lot to see! They have everything, clothes, accessories, food, flowers and much more. A day won’t be enough to see everything! And that’s only one of the many markets - they have fish markets, markets full of clothes and shoes, antiques, electronics and so on. They also have department stores if you’re fed up with the markets! Shinsegae Department Store is one of the biggest; Lotte and Hyundai are the other ones. So as you can imagine, you can do loads of shopping over there!!
8. Skiing in South Korea?! Yes you can!!
There are even some ski resorts in South Korea! I thought there weren’t any…There are 13 skiing resorts, and all are very close to the capital city. The biggest one is Yongpyong Ski Resort and it’s only 200 km from Seoul. It is cheaper to ski over there then in Europe. So if you enjoy skiing, and you are near Seoul, why not give it a try??
Gyeongju is a coastal city in the far south eastern corner of South Korea. It has a fantastic nature, so it’s ideal to take a walk and enjoy all the beautiful things. It’s popular with tourists and also the local people. There is also a national museum and a National Park. There is a Silla Festival in October to celebrate the rich culture and honour the dynasties history; it’s one of the biggest festivals over there.
This is a village between North and South Korea. This is the place where the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War was signed in 1953. The building where the armistice was signed still stands there. So it’s a place with a history and still many people visit it.
When you visit South Korea or decide to teach over there, you should just enjoy your time there! It’s a beautiful country with a great history, kind people, fabulous attractions, don’t forget about the nice cuisine and the fantastic nightlife!
If you’re interested, why not take a look in our guide to teaching English in South Korea?