Guest post by Rachelle Pierce, a Foster senior studying Marketing. She studied abroad on exchange at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.
My time in South Korea felt like it passed way too quickly. Four months flew by and there was so much I wanted to see and do before I went back home to Seattle. So here is a guide of the top places to go and things to try if you ever have a chance to visit:
One of the favorite places I had the opportunity to go to was Jeju-do. Jeju is an island off the south coast of Korea and takes about an hour to fly to from Seoul. When I went, there was a typhoon approaching so the beaches and hiking spots were closed. However, there was plenty for us to do inland. A group of us rented a private taxi to take us around the island at a discounted rate. Our driver knew all the places to go and took us to see waterfalls, a green tea farm, and the parts of the coast that didn’t close. We also went to the famous Love Land which was strangely full of elder people that were enjoying themselves. The fresh air on the island was amazing and I would recommend visiting Jeju if you get the chance.
Seoul also has a range of animal cafes that are great to visit. While I was there I went to a meerkat café where we got to pet not only meerkats but wallabies, artic foxes, and raccoons. Each café costs around $7-8 and includes a drink and admission. I also went to 3 dog cafes (I really love doggos). Seoul is a bit strange as owning a pet dog is not as popular as it is in the US and if they own a dog it is usually very small. Street vendors also sell clothes for your pet which are really cute.
I would also recommend to check out a jjimjilbang, which is a Korean style spa. They usually have a variety of saunas and baths. It is also common to stay there overnight and they even have food you can purchase.
For food, my all-time favorite dish I tried was jjimdak. It has steamed chicken, rice noodles, rice cake, and sometimes cheese! Dessert cafes like Sulbing that has patbingsu (red bean and snow) are also really popular as well as bakeries. I also enjoyed the spicy rice cake, cold noodles, and stews Korean cuisine is known for.
Some other place I enjoyed visiting were the traditional places and villages around Seoul; Namsan Tower where you can leave a love lock is another popular attraction, and Myeongdong is a street popular for the cosmetics stores too. Overall, Korea has a lot to offer for anyone who visits!