5 Things I Love About South Korea

by - Wednesday, November 22, 2017

If you follow me on Instagram ( @nathalie__ale ) you would have seen that I was recently in South Korea for 4 days. It was a very short escapade but definitely a very memorable one that left me wanting to go back again in the future. There are numerous reasons why I've fallen in love with South Korea but in this post I will be sharing my 5 most favorite things I love about this country. 

If you are a fan of Korean dramas, like myself, then you would know that South Koreans breath and live fashion. Whilst there, I noticed how fashion forward they were! Some look like they came out of a K-pop group whilst others were very classic and chic in their demure. 

If you are someone who love style as much as I do then you will die seeing all the unique pieces they curate in their stores. A must when in Seoul is to go to Dongdaemun, a shopping area basically open 24 hours. Some stores open from 10 am to 5 am in the morning so you definitely can shop there until you drop. There are a variety of shopping malls around Dongdaemun. Some are duty free while others are very basic looking but in those you can bargain your heart away. For your information not every Korean speaks english so be aware that you need to be patient with them whilst communicating.

A trip to Seoul would not be a success if you did not stroll around Myeongdong - #FOMO. Known as one of Seoul's primary shopping district it's filled with many Korean beauty brands. From Etude House, Innisfree, The Face Shop, Klavuu, It's Skin, Mamonde and other hype Korean beauty brands, it's an area for you beauty addicts to not miss out! 

The perks of shopping Korean beauty products are the generosity of free gifts, product samples as well as in house deals. Korean beauty products are also created with the latest technology and honestly speaking perform very well for sensitive skin type - #LoyalKBeautyFan. I love the philosophy behind each Korean brand that I've used so far and they definitely pay a lot of attention to the ingredients they put into each product. If you have never tried Korean beauty products before and in need of a good source of information about them, then I would suggest you to go and check out The Klog or Soko Glam

Being a foodie I obviously needed to dedicate one section to Korean food. I may not be a fan of spicy food in general but when it comes to Gochujang - the Holy Grail spicy red sauce of Korean cuisine - I just can't seem to have enough of it in my Bibimbap. For somebody who loves anything sour and tangy like pickles, Kimchi for me is like music to my ears.  Korean food is seriously blessed with so many types of pickles that when I was there I can't seem to find one that I did not hate.  Kimchi is packed with so many good vitamins that it is considered one of the healthiest foods on earth!

Apart from classic Korean dishes to try out such as beef bulgogi or kimbap, Korean street food is also something that one must eat. They definitely have an array of street food that is different from other Asian street food I've tried before. Korean hot dog, which resembles like an American corn dog and Korean egg bread were some of my faves!

As I went to South Korea during autumn / winter season, I was welcomed with the most beautiful gradient colorful red and yellow leaves. When you live in a hot and humid country like Indonesia, you definitely appreciate the beauty of Autumn immensely.  

Strolling around Namiseom Island - the oh so famous island where the drama Winter Sonata was shot - was seriously so dreamy. There were a couple of spots that were filled with people so if you are thinking of getting that perfect instashot then do go on the outskirt of the island. It's way more relaxing to take a picture when there is not a thousand people photo-bombing your photos. 

Another great place to appreciate the beauty of Korea is to go and visit Mount Sorak National Park. You can go up the mountain via a cable car and once there you can hike for around 20 to 30 minutes to reach the top and admire the splendid views of the surrounding mountains. It's honestly an easy hike as there were stairs to guide you through the passage.  

I've always had a fascination with traditional  attire from all over the world. They are an introduction to the country itself and hold so many stories to be told. If you are a fan of dressing up and love taking pictures with heritage buildings then definitely hire a hanbok and stroll around the city in style. You won't be the only one doing such a thing so have fun and embrace the culture.

Hiring a hanbok is fairly easy. If you happen to be around the Gyeongbokgung Palace there are a few hanbok rentals in the area. The one we went to was on the second floor of Dodo Coffee and Dessert located in Samcheong-Dong. You can rent a hanbok for an hour or for the whole entire day. There are literally hundreds of tops, dresses, bags and hair accessories to choose from. The ladies at the rental are also very helpful and would suggest which combination of prints and colors suits best. In each hanbok rental there will be a locker in which you can put your bag and other belongings. So all you need to do is bring your coat and your camera, and you are ready to shoot.

Voilà, that was my 5 things I love about South Korea and I really hope that I can go back soon and experience South Korea in a different season, maybe like spring when the cherry flowers are blossoming. I mean who knows right? 

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