I have been to Seoul South Korea twice already and I still want to go back… Thinking of reasons why, I listed down 15 reasons why me and other people love going to Seoul, South Korea.
1. Amazing Coffee Everywhere!
(Caffe Bene Coffee + Honey Bread with Cheese and Garlic)
If you are a coffee lover like me then you’ll love Seoul. Just like their cosmetic stores, coffee shops are everywhere. I mean everywhere! There is one every 10 meters or so! And the best part is, most if not all of them serve amazing coffee. The downside, they only have 2 sizes (Small and Large). Forget Starbucks! Caffé Bene and Angel-In-Us Coffee Serve Amazing Brews 24/7! If you see people in Seoul with stirrers locked in their lips, don’t be bothered, it is not oral fixation. They are actually Stirrer-Straws. Which in my opinion, makes you enjoy the flavor of the coffee. There are also specialty coffee shops like Hello Kitty Café and CNN Café.
2. Gotta' Love the Public Transportation System (Subway, Bus, Taxi)
Seoul has one of the most extensive and efficient subway and bus system in the world. Close to 600 Stations and Interchanges running along ~1,000 Km of tracks which in my opinion is a very enjoyable experience (Prepare to walk). Each station has multiple exits, make sure that you get out on the right one because it will be a hassle if you find yourself on the far side of your destination. Fares start at around 1,000 won per ride.
The most convenient way to get around and pay for the Train, Bus, and Taxi is by using the T-Money Card. You just have to Buy one, reload, and then you can tap and go inside the train stations, bus, taxis, and convenience stores.
Can’t read Korean? No Problem! Train and Bus stations have English translations. But the taxi is a totally different story, even if you ride the black (deluxe) cabs which supposed to come with an English speaking driver, English directions can still be a challenge. Taxi Flag down Rates in Seoul is 2,400 Korean won (+100 won every few meters) and 4,500 for the Deluxe Taxi. T-Cards, Cash, and Credit Cards are accepted in the cabs.
3. Blazing Internet Speeds
A 20mbps connection is a regular thing. Based from my experience, this is the slowest that it can get. I was able to download a 25GB file in under an hour! Free Wi-Fi is a bit hard to come by though. Most Koreans are in a data plan which allows them to surf using their smart phones via LTE or Wi-Fi Connections so they don’t really need free Wi-Fi connections from coffee shops and restaurants. They are connected 24/7 even 5 basements underground. There is Wi-Fi inside the Trains.
4. Terrific Phone Service
Did I just Mention LTE? Yes, they are one of those few countries where your non-3G phone will not work. Their minimum signal and phone reception is set to 3G so don’t expect those old model phones to work. Signal strength is unparalleled, like I said there is phone signal even if you are 5 basements underground inside a moving train. On the downside, prepaid SIM cards are not readily available.
5. Very Nice People
(3 Students trying to help me find a place using their phones)
For a country that is currently in war, it is nice to see that Koreans are still vibrant, generally very cheerful and happy people. They will try to help you as much as they can. If you found yourselves lost in translation, they will be apologetic for not speaking English which I think is unnecessary yet very polite. I am a foreigner, I should be adjusting to them right? I have been to other non-English speaking countries before wherein if you don’t speak their language they will be mad and be rude at you. It is NOT the case in Seoul.
6. Culture, Culture, and More Culture
Whether old or new, everything is in Seoul. Palaces, Folk Villages, Hanbok Shops, Museums, Artsy Coffee Shops, Traditional Parchments and Paintbrush! They are still incorporated in this ultra-modern metropolis. It is definitely a place where old meets new.
7. Super Near Manila – 3 hour Flight!
Just like Singapore where most Filipinos Go, Seoul, South Korea is just 3.5 Hours away from Manila. Currently, the numbers of flights are picking up so there is no reason for you not to go! :)
8. Free Visa
Wait, Visa is Free but it is not a Visa-Free Country like the ASEAN Countries. You can apply for a visa free of charge for visits of less than 59 days. Processing time is between 3-5 working days and once granted, the visa validity is 90 days.
9. Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall
Get to experience all 4-seasons, hot summer, Icy Winter, Cherry Blossom Spring, and Chilly Autumns. It is truly a nice escape from the usual tropical climate and a perfect reason to wear those winter and fall collections.
10. Great Food!
Whether you like street foods or Fancy Beef BBQ’s Seoul has everything that you want. Not to mention, Authentic Kimchi and Bulgogi.
11. Tons of Activities to do and Places to see! Most of which are connected via the subway.
Theme parks, Markets, Hotels, Observation Decks, Ski Resorts, Picturesque Nature, Beautiful Bridges, Teddy Bear Museums, and even the Border of North Korea! Yes, DMZ!
12. Great Night Life especially near the University Areas. Street dancing, endless parties, Karaoke!
13. Shopping Galore! From High to Low ends… Everything is at a discount!
14. If you love KPOP and KDRAMA then this place is heaven for you! They are everywhere!
15. It is almost like Japan but way, way less expensive. Need I say More?!
I have been to Seoul Twice this year. One in Spring and One in Winter. Next year, I will try Autumn. :) And 2018 will be Winter Olympics! :)
16. Seoul is super safe. You can walk around late at night without worrying about your safety. This city is so safe that security guards are obsolete and people use their bags or Mobile Phones to save a table in a restaurant.
17. The Water. Yes, whether purified or bottled, the drinking water in Korea is one of the most refreshing drinking water I ever had. I am not sure why their water is so refreshing. Maybe it is because it came from the spring or the mountain near the city. But you have got to taste the difference!
Hanggang sa Muli! Paalam!
Originally Posted On: www.DENCIO.com