Seoul Journals

Visit to Motherland-S. Korea

A December 2005 trip to Seoul by annylee80

Quote: My first visit to the Motherland! I've been born and raised in California (U.S.) as a Korean-American. It was interesting to see the sights as an American but having the image as a Korean.

Korean Bath House (Jjim Jil Bang, Jjimjilbang)

Attraction | "Korean Bath House (Jjim Jil Bang)"

Quote:
Jjim Jil Bang was fun. There were three rooms: an 80-degree C room with salt rocks, a 50-degree C room with clay balls, and a FREEZER room. Crazy! There were even little caves throughout the place if you wanted to sleep alone. Oh! There's also a bun bed room for ladies if they want to sleep over for the night, BUT the spa was craziest. It looked like those Asian paintings where the ladies are at a bath house ddeh meeluh (scrubbing dead skin). BOY, DO I FEEL CLEAN!!! But I really can't stand walking around naked. EEK!! I can't stand other people walking around naked. I used my towel to cover up most of the time. My cousin laughed at me. I think the other Korean ladies were laughing at me too b...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Korean Bath House (Jjim Jil Bang, Jjimjilbang)
Various Locations
Seoul, Korea

Olympic Stadium

Attraction | "GOD Concert (Korean Boy Band)"

Quote:
My cousin and I went to the God concert--it was mostly teens there, but I like them! It was their farewell concert, so it was LONG and expensive (3 1/2 hours and $77). Teens were singing along to everything (mostly girls). Everyone was bobbing these blue light sticks! They screamed "I love you" and "I'll miss you" and "You'll always be with me." Crazy! Best part: My cousin and I snuck to the back of the arena where we ended up backstage. We could see the band literally like 50 feet. Then we found a staircase that led to the bottom floor. We went down and found out it was the staff access and VIP area! We walked around like we were staff. One of the guys even asked us if we were staff and I s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Olympic Stadium
10 Chamsil-dong
Seoul, South Korea 138-220
+82 (2) 417 8807

Bar and Clubs

Attraction | "Itaewon Bar/Clubs"

Quote:
We explored and went to a place called the Lucky Strike. Lemon soju is not in a kettle. It's like an American drink (Mike's hard lemonade). We played pool (even with a broken leg). We also checked out UN club, Oasis, Interface. Actually, all of them. I didn't like any of them. They looked dirty or run down. I would say to check out some other places. But if you don't look Korean, right now is not a good time to check out any of the other places other than Itaewon. Korea is going through a time of rebellion against the Americans. They want us out. If you go to any place other than Itaewon, they might tell you to leave.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Bar and Clubs
Itaewon
Seoul, South Korea

Itaewon Market

Attraction | "Itaewon"

Quote:
We got to look around the stores. I didn't buy too much because I can't bargain yet, BUT one seller let me buy four hats for $30. Was that good???? He ran after us because he changed his mind. (He first offered them for $40). We also ate ddukbokgee (rice cakes in spicy sauce), oh deng (fish cakes), and goh goomah (sweet potato) on the streets!!! So fun! There were a lot of Americans, Europeans, and Nigerians around, so most people visiting won't feel out of place at all. They have Outbacks, Burger Kings, Dunkin' Donuts... you name it, they've got it all over Seoul. I definitely wouldn't recommend buying things in Itaewon. They're too expensive. Check out other places (see my...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Itaewon Market
Itaewon Market
Seoul, South Korea

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
If you ever can go, you have to. We got to go into the underground tunnels that the North Koreans made to try to sneak into South Korea. I don't recommend this tunnel tour if you you're weak because it was over a mile long and you had to hike down and back up the tunnel! It inclines down at a very steep angle and you have to walk back up this steep incline. Everybody was panting and sweating up a storm! We also went over to the North Korean side, inside that famous UN building where they have the military meetings. You can't even point, gesture, or talk to them. It was scary! We even signed a waiver that said we would be in a hostile area and that death or injury may occur. We saw the 38 Deg...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour

Seoul, South Korea

Coex Mall

Attraction

Quote:
It is HUGE!! It's just not like any mall (see below for an added info). My feet hurt after walking around that place. It's an underground mall that stretches a mile down each strip. There's over eight strips (from what I counted). You can get lost, so make sure you landmark where you started. We also went ICE SKATING at the mall! It's only $1! That includes the skates and however long you want to skate for. CHEAP! It's an interesting mall. If you flew Asiana or Korean Air, you can check in at this mall. You can go through customs, check bags, get your plane ticket, and everything! You just need to ride a bus to Incheon Airport or Gippoh Airport. The cost of bus is about $13 and leaves every 10 to...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Coex Mall
GangNam
Seoul, South Korea
+82 6002-5312.

Namdaemun Market

Attraction | "Dongdaemun & Namdaemun Market"

Quote:
Fake stuff GALORE! There's every name brand you can think of (including Abercrombie). We walked about 3 miles and there's still more!!! We're going back next week to see everything later. Did you know they bring out the fake stuff late at night so that they don't get caught by the police? But all the fake stuff lines the streets, too! And if people know this, why don't the police come by at night?Nandehmun is another major swapmeet area (with lots of fake stuff). I got to shop around again and found a GREAT place--the ACCESSORIES WHOLESALE FLOOR!!!! All the accessories were REALLY cheap, BUT you have to say you're going to sell it at a store. Otherwise, they jack up the prices. They don't kn...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Namdaemun Market
Namdaemun The Great South Gate
Seoul, South Korea 100-060
+82 (0)2 753 2805

War Memorial of Korea

Attraction | "Korean War Memorial"

Quote:
I headed out to the Korean War Museum (only $3 to get in) and saw the history of the "Forgotten War." It has statues that look like real people! They scared the crap out of me. I didn't stand close to them when taking pictures. It was packed with causes/effects, artifacts, models, scene setups, everything! It was good to see how far Korea has come from a war that just happened only a few years ago (1950s).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

War Memorial of Korea
8 Yeongsan-dong 1-ga
Seoul, South Korea 140-021
+82 (2) 709 3114

Bar Hopping

Attraction

Quote:
New Year's was spent in the Hongik University area. We went to a hip-hop nightclub called NB. Admission and drink prices are the same as Kali. The girls CAN'T DANCE! They look like they were having a temper tantrums! Oh, and they were all wearing jackets! It was FREAKIN' HOT inside! IT was not diverse. Too bad they're all young. Hongdeh is a great place to visit for young Korean folks! It's all college students. There were more places to visit, such as jazz bars. It's known as "Picasso Alley." There are a lot of those in this area. But, like I mentioned in "Itaewon" journal, if you don't look Korean, don't visit this place. It's off-limits for US military, and that i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Bar Hopping
Hongdae
Seoul, South Korea

Korean Folk Village

Attraction | "Korean Folk Village (Minsokchon)"

Quote:
Minsokchon (an old Korean folk village) was soooooooooooooo cool! It's about an hour outside of town and costs $11 to get in, but it was well worth the knowledge of how our family used to live. You get to see the old commoner's village, the governor's village, the rich people's village, and some of the town meeting areas. We also got to skate on a pond! SCARY, but so awesome! Well, we didn't skate with ice skates per se, but with our shoes. You can also visit the kiddie amusement park if you have kids. There are people in the old Korean costumes walking around. There would've been shows/performances but those things don't happen from late December through February. It sucks, but the res...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Korean Folk Village
107 Bora-dong
Yongin, Gyeonggi 449-900
031 288-0000

Myung-dong Street

Attraction | "Myongdong"

Quote:
We headed out to Myongdong because that's where the big crowds are. It was so much fun because there are so many people to see here and lots of shopping here too! Everything is a knockoff. It seems like it's the trend in Korea. But if you see the way the girls and boys dress, it looks good. It's a version of how the Japanese dress. Anyways, Myongdong is fun to shop, people-watch, eat, everything! It's just a little pricey, but if I had a place to go back to in Korea, IT WOULD BE HERE! Lotte Plaza was here also.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Myung-dong Street
Myoung-dong
Seoul, South Korea 100-020
+82 (0 )2 757 0088

Apgujeong-dong

Hotel | "Apgujongdong"

Quote:
This is the most expensive shop (other than Gangnam). It's got everything American there. It has the Galleria mall, which is all Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior, etc.. It's the Rodeo Drive of Korea, BUT IT'S TWICE THE COST OF WHAT YOU'D PAY IN THE US!!!! We went to a cute coffee shop called Choc House. We had choco fondue with fruits and cookies. And we visited Coffee Bean and Starbucks--no venti here, only short, tall, and grandes. We also visited F.A.S. (Fruit Alcohol Store). THE BEST FRUIT SOJU EVER!!!! It's a nice restaurant! The flavored soju comes in that FRUIT. Pineapple soju comes in a pineapple. Apple soju... they give you an apple that's cut out so you can pour soju in it and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Apgujeong-dong
Gangnam-gu District
Seoul, Korea