When I left South Korea in 2012, I was pretty happy to be out of there. Mostly because I was about to embark on the trip of a lifetime, but after 2.5 years (with a year break)when I had to go back to work, it would be time to head somewhere new. Somewhere like Japan, Vietnam, Turkey, or a country in South America mayhaps.
Flash forward almost 2 years exactly and now I have an undeniable hankering for Korea. It’s hard to explain why exactly, but here are nine reasons why I’m looking forward to going back.
1. The Students
Work isn’t always fun, but with goofy kids learning English with surprising speed, it’s usually great to see them.
2. The Subway
Yes it’s ridiculously cheap and runs oh-so frequently, but the stations themselves are minor malls with clothing stores, mini-marts, food carts; you can buy thousands of things here.
3. Hiking and Climbing the Mountains
This list isn’t in order, but if it was this would easily be number one. The mountains–all of them –are beautiful all seasons and it’s a great place to share a smile or a snack with Korean hikers.
4. The Han River and Biking Along it
You can bike for days and days along this beautiful river (on free bikes naturally) or walk along from Jamsil to Itaewon or further.
5. Olympic Park (Especially in Autumn)
Spring, Summer, Winter-it’s all really nice here, but Autumn takes the cake. There’s room to walk, bike, explore, or play games–this park is one of my favorite in the world.
This cool little mountain is pretty much in the center of Seoul and it’s super great for little urban wanders. It’s quick and easy to get to the top and the views from up here can be super pretty.
7. Neon Jungle
Row after row of bars, hofs, pubs, noraebongs, restaurants, and who else knows what else….this is Seoul incarnate.
Another kind of place with a lot seasonal variance, the palaces in Seoul (though rebuilt in the last 50 years) are great little oases of calm in the big city. There is quite a lot of history here too, if you read the little signs.
9. The Random Factor
Whether it’s a lovely stream connecting two great areas of the city, a LARPfest at the park, or any of a near infinite amount of possibilities, you can never really predict what you’re going to find.