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Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

How to Experience South Korea Like a Local

ByDave Stopher

Jun 8, 2021

South Korea is a breathtaking place. From ancient palaces to picturesque landscapes and incredible cuisine, this country has it all. So it is no wonder that South Korea attracts millions of tourists every year. It is a modern country, with outstanding infrastructure and you can get around with no trouble. However, you will notice that their culture is very different from what you are used to. But don’t worry because westerners do adapt quickly.

Of course, you have to think about internet safety while traveling. After all, you will be using public Wi-Fi networks in busses, hotels, cafes, etc. Therefore, remember to install a VPN for Chrome (크롬 VPN) and other browsers. This app will make sure your personal and financial information can’t be stolen by a random cybercriminal. It doesn’t matter if you are going to South Korea for a couple of days or plan on staying longer. Here is how to experience this country like a local!

Use the Train

Locals love to explore South Korea by train. It is no wonder because this country has fast trains. Korea Train Express has built an extensive network of railroads that connect all the major cities. Don’t be surprised to see people commuting from one city to another.

Besides being super-fast, trains in South Korea are also comfortable. So if you are up for an adventure, consider taking a couple of days off and exploring the surrounding cities. Each place in South Korea has its own story, and there is no better way to enjoy the landscape of this country than by train.

Stay in a Hanok

Those of you who love history should consider a hanok as a possible accommodation option. It is a way to learn about South Korea. You can find these traditional guesthouses all over the country. The price will vary, but there are a lot of budget-friendly options.

Hanoks have wooden sliding doors with elaborate decorations, as well as a small courtyard. The interior is usually modest, with just the necessary furniture. Of course, you will be sleeping on a mattress on the floor. But don’t worry because the majority of hanoks have floor heating.

Visit the Night Markets

There are plenty of traditional markets all over South Korea, but if you want to experience this country, night markets are a way to go. While you can find pretty much anything at a night market, we recommend that you focus on the food. Korean cuisine is super unique. Westerners might be shocked by how spicy it is at first but will learn to love it quickly.

Korean food is an explosion of flavors, and night markets offer so many options for you to try. The atmosphere there is simply magnificent. There are street vendors on every corner, inviting you to try their dishes. Most night markets start at 10:00 PM and stay open until early morning hours. So make sure you time your visit well!

Spend a Day at Jimjiibang

Jimjiibang is a community spa. It is well-liked among Koreans, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try. The spa is separated by gender. Bathing suits are frowned upon in a jimjiibang since they are considered to be dirty. So leave your bikini in a hotel room.

Before you reach the pools, you have to bathe yourself with a bar of soap and shampoo. It ensures that the water remains clean. There are usually three types of pools in a jimjiibang – cold, warm, and super hot. This type of spa is known for full-body scrubs. So if you want to have smooth and even skin, don’t miss out on it!

Drink Tea in a Teahouse

South Koreans love their tea, and you will see teahouses everywhere. So instead of going to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, drop by a traditional teahouse and enjoy delicious South Korean tea. Most of these places offer homemade blends that are tasty. Plus, you will get your drinks in an old-fashioned teacup.

If you want something more modern, you can always sit down at a cat cafe. Here you can drink tea, and spend some time playing with these lovely animals. Cats can help out if you feel anxious or stressed, which is excellent. Of course, remember to stay safe if you plan on using public Wi-Fi in these places. Make sure you have a VPN for Chrome (크롬 VPN) installed on your phone or laptop.