I’ve been reading up on Korea since before I knew I would be working there. I’ve read many many blogs start to finish, I follow a number of Korean culture and travel (ok, and FOOD) blogs…I’m feeling at least a bit prepared for my move. In preparing, there are a number of things I have come across that really piqued my attention. I’m sure I will add to this list once I’m actually IN Korea, but, for now, this is my “to-do” list for Korea (in no particular order).
63 Building in Seoul– a skyscraper with great views and lots to do.
Sannakji– eating live octopus (probably when my parents come to visit)
Jagalchi fish market– the largest in Korea
Jjimjilbang- Probably Spa Land in Busan, but I imagine others. I just need to get over my fear of public nudity…
Shinsegae Centum City– If I’m going to Spa Land, I might as well check out the world’s largest department store, right?
Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain– This seems so pretty!
Boryeong Mud Festival– Health benefits and mud? Count me in!
Hwanseon Cave– Largest limestone cave in Korea, one of the largest in Asia
Seorakasan National Park– one of Korea’s 21 national parks, and a UNESCO site. This looks amazing.
Dongdaemun Fabric and Craft Market (Seoul)– to feed my love of all things crafty…Although Daegu also has some great craft markets, so that might do it for me. We’ll see!
Gyeongju– in the south eastern part of Korea, I really want to visit Mt. Namsan, but the whole region looks amazing.
Baengnyeong Do (Pangyeong Island)– this island looks great for a short vacation, as well as all the FOOD!
Shabu Shabu- Yes, this is a Japanese dish, but there is a strong tradition of variations of this meal in Korean culture. I WANT IT!
Seomyeon (in Busan)– for when I want to shop shop shop…
Duck in Pumpkin (호박오리, hobak ori)- A traditional Korean dish, especially in the fall. YUM!
Samcheok and Haesindang Park– WARNING, THIS IS NSFW!!! The legends that surround this park are interesting, to say the least, but mostly I want to go for the kitsch factor 🙂
Jindo Sea parting festival– The real name is the “Jindo Miracle Sea Festival.” The miracle is that the sea parts enough to let people walk across land to another island. HOW COOL IS THAT?
Hwacheon Ice Fishing festival- Fish! Frozen stuff! Hokey festivals! I LOVE IT.
Makgeolli House- makgeolli is a fermented rice drink that has a hint of sweetness. I tried some recently and I think it is a bit of an acquired taste (I was the only one in the group who liked it). This drink is native to Korea and traditionally was a farmer’s drink. It’s typically served with pancakes (pajeon) and I can’t wait to try it in a specialty shop! (Done! Read about it here)
Nami Island– a small island created by the damming of the river, this place looks picturesque as can be.
Boccaccio Brau in Daegu– This is a local brewery in Daegu. Maybe not as exciting as some of the other things on this list, but I think it’ll be neat!
Tripitaka Koreana at the Haeinsa Temple– a temple library housing the most complete collection of Buddhist texts from the 13th century CE. The true nerd comes out 🙂
Baseball game- I love live sports, especially baseball. Asia, and Korea in particular has really taken to baseball, and I’m excited to see a live game there.
StarCraft live match– Yeah…this is more about the cultural experience than any actual interest in StarCraft (yes, I’ve played, but only a few times). Apparently watching this happen (I’m hesitant to use the word “sport” here) is a national event in Korea. It should be very interesting.
And that’s my list! If you have any suggestions on things I MUST do while in Korea, I’d love to hear them!
Also, I just want to point out that the Korean Tourism Organization’s website is INCREDIBLE. Many of the links above direct to there; it’s a really really great resource.