South Korea

(14 Posts)
flowerpowergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 00:38:06

Hi do any if you expats in Asia (or anywhere else for that matter) have any advice on holidaying in South Korea? We have 10 days and plan on going end march/beg April. Too early for cherry blossom? Thought 3-4 days in Seoul, rest somewhere else.... Thx

Oscarandelliesmum Tue 04-Mar-14 00:49:47

thw

Oscarandelliesmum Tue 04-Mar-14 00:51:57

smile oops!
the island of jeju do is fab

ShanghaiDiva Tue 04-Mar-14 08:06:32

I have been to Korea in early april and there was some cherry blossom out, so you may be lucky. Another vote for jeju island - geologically really interesting.
Seoul is great with an easy to use metro system, good galleries and museums and masses of shops selling cosmetics to the Chinese.

Jingjangro Fri 07-Mar-14 02:10:22

Gyeongju is a place to consider visiting. It was the ancient capital of Korea during the Shilla dynasty. You can visit temples - Bulguksa (or Gerimsa if you don't like crowds). There is the Gyeonju National Museum which has lots of great Shilla artifacts and treasures, is free, and has a area for little ones to do craft things, make pagodas out of building blocks etc. There is a tourist area nearby at Lake Bomun - where there is lots of cherry blossom around the lake in spring.

I would not advise hiring a car as driving standards are bad, but there is lots of cheap public transport, especially local, intercity and express buses. The bullet train KTX is fast, and you can book train tickets on the Korail website (also info here about the Happy Pass for discounted train travel). If you take internal flights be aware that most fly from Gimpo airport in Seoul not Incheon. Taxi travel is cheaper than the UK. Many taxi drivers don't understand much English and you may need your destination written down in Korean to show them. Also, you may have to hunt around in the back of the taxi for the seat-belts. A useful korean phrase is chunn-chunny - slow down!

You should try Korean food such as bulgogi (grilled meat), Ori-gogi (bbq duck), dak galbi (chicken bin-lid) and bibimbap (rice dish) - go easy on the garlic and chilli if you're not used to it. There are many other delicacies, some not for the faint-hearted.

flowerpowergirl Wed 12-Mar-14 13:37:54

Thanks. Jinjangro - do you by any chance live in S Korea?! You seem v knowledgeable grin. We have decided 3 days in Seoul inc DMZ, 3 in Busan and some time in Jeju-do. And we'll have to do another trip another time to try the rest.. Thanks all.

bubblegoose Thu 13-Mar-14 01:58:27

I second Gyongju, it's beautiful and the historical sites are so striking, temples on mountainsides etc. If you can stop off on your way to Busan for a night - Busan is nice but three days is a long time to spend there, unless you were planning on doing day trips from there. Haven't been to Jeju. The DMZ tour is a very long day, if you have small kids I wouldn't recommend it.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Thu 13-Mar-14 03:26:48

I want to know more about chicken bin-lid. Presumably that's how it's cooked??

bubblegoose Thu 13-Mar-14 03:37:40

It's the frying pan the dish is cooked in, approximately the same size and shape. At least, that's a guess! I only knew it as dak galbi (chicken grill).

Jingjangro Fri 14-Mar-14 02:29:07

Yes flowerpot, trailing expat spouse here.

Dak galbi is cooked at your table on a huge wok-type pan, - marinated bits of chicken, green onion leaves, lots of red pepper paste, seaweed and then rice all mixed together - yum! Fancy going out for a bin-lid tonight smile

flowerpowergirl Sun 16-Mar-14 09:57:26

Thanks Jing and others. I am expat trailing spouse in Beijing. We eat Korean here occasionally. Do you know what oils they tend to use there in restaurants? DD has nut allergy so we don't eat out Chinese here with her as they use groundnut oil. Is it same there do you know? Cheers.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Mon 17-Mar-14 01:25:55

Hi there. Am in HK and obsessive about korean food grin
One thing for sure, pretty much everything will be contaminated by sesame oil.... Not sure wether that's an issue?

Jingjangro Tue 18-Mar-14 01:56:58

I agree with Master that a lot of sesame is used in dishes, and if you go to a "western" restaurant and order a salad, chances are it will have walnuts sprinkled on it.

I don't know about groundnut oil use.

flowerpowergirl Wed 19-Mar-14 14:46:35

Sesame is ok but not walnuts! Good to be pre-warned. Thx. Getting excited now. Only 10 days til our trip!

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