“It is my home away from home. My solace and hope. A place that always put a smile on my face. A place where I can stop and refocus.”
It was in 2014 when I decided to travel solo, to refocus and think. And the best place that came to mind was South Korea. I was and am still very fascinated about the place, it makes me calm, refocus and start over. I came to know its beauty when I moved to Singapore and watched a lot of K dramas to overcome mundane weekend. It was then that I became so curious to see the place, I became excited to visit the scenery and locations that those drama were shot, I got fascinated about their history and culture as briefly mentioned in some period dramas I have watched. These were my initial reasons to travel there.
I applied for my vacation leave and visa then booked my ticket and planned my itinerary!
My original plan was to go to the drama locations from the K dramas I’ve watched, but my plans changed when I finally stepped out of Incheon Airport and saw the city awaiting to be explored.
During my first visit, I cannot get enough of the sights that I was discovering and I cannot wait to check on every place written on the travel brochure I was holding. My 10 days (inclusive of plane travel) gone by so fast that I was not able to finish discovering the country. Indeed it has a lot to offer.
Right there and then, I decided to visit South Korea every year! I started my first ever travel to South Korea in 2014 end of Spring season so no more cherry blossoms. Followed by 2015 in Autumn, I hiked 2 mountains for the Autumn Foliage and glad I did. I am now looking forward for my next trip around 2016 or 2017!
The artistry, history and culture are showcased in every corner. Wherever you look, there are so many things to see and appreciate.
A dose of morning caffeine, anyone?
I always love to walk around as much as I love my caffeine in the morning. I was so surprised that there are a lot of cafes having different themes and exuding with creativity and style in Korea.
Although Korea is not a coffee haven, I find their coffee a little bit diluted and not strong, however you will be amazed on how creative and imaginative the owner of these cafes are.
You can find the list of themed cafes here: Cafes in Korea
Of course, I will never miss one location (Korean Drama- Coffee Prince Location):
Anything else apart from shopping, cafes, theme parks, temples, museum and palaces?
If you are a sucker for mountains and hiking like I do, Korea is a hiker’s haven.
Here is the list of top mountains in South Korea according to CNN Travel. I hiked Ulsan Bawi peak in Seoraksan twice and will do it again. I plan to climb Jirisan on my next visit.
Locals really love hiking and even if you hike alone, you will never ever get lost as local hikers will be roaming around for sure. You will never miss them.
Tip: Never hike on weekends!
As a newbie hiker back then (although still a newbie until now), I hiked the unending stairs of Seoul Fortress Wall of Bugaksan and Seoraksan (Sokcho, Gangwon Province) alone.
When I visited Autumn last year, I hiked Dobongsan for the Autumn Foliage.
If you want to know more about South Korea, don’t forget to ask your questions on the comment field!