Lost in Korea: 5 Things I Love About Korea

Dispatches from the Road, Solo Travel, south korea, Working Abroad — By on December 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm

by Kissairis Munoz

Now that I’ve been here for six months (wow, time is flying!), I thought I’d share some of my favorite — and inexpensive! — things about living in Korea.

1. Cheap transportation

Getting around in Korea is incredibly wallet friendly. The subway reaches every part of Seoul, is easy to use, and extremely clean. Visiting other cities is a breeze with frequent buses stopping in even the smallest towns. And if you need to get somewhere quickly, the KTX, Korea’s high-speed rail, stops in major cities.

Still-wriggling live octopus snack

2. Street food

Some of the best dishes I’ve tried in Korea haven’t been from a restaurant but from street vendors. From barbecue chicken skewers to waffles to live octopus to dumplings, Korea offers some of the most eclectic street food I’ve come across.

3. Noraebang

Koreans take their karaoke very seriously. Noraebangs are private singing rooms that you rent by the hour with friends.

Live out your singing fantasies at noraebang

Some places allow you to bring food and alcohol in while others require you to purchase on site. Noraebang provides a cheap and entertaining way to live out your American Idol dreams while your friends sing backup.

4. Shopping

It’s a national pastime here and boy, are Koreans good at it. Korea’s got all the major international labels and clothing chains but also a huge amount of Korean-made clothing — at discount prices. Some of the best shopping is found at underground subway station stops. Individual vendors set up stalls jam-packed with as many clothes as you’d find at the mall. While the clothing quality isn’t always the best, the low prices mean that you can stock up on the season’s trendy styles without putting a huge dent in your bank account. Bonus: you can often bargain for a lower price by paying in cash instead of plastic.

5. Outdoor Space

Saying that Korean cities are crowded is an understatement. There are 10 million people living in just Seoul. Luckily, Korea really values outdoor space. Most cities — and even small towns — have tons of parks scattered about. In the Seoul suburb where I live, our

Autumn at the park

local park even has a manmade lake! Whether you want to escape the massive amounts of people or just take a quiet stroll, there’s bound to be some well-kept green space nearby.



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    1 Comment

  • mike says:

    I like street food. I wish it was like that everyplace. I leave my singing to others that can sing better than me 🙂