Anyone familiar with traveling in Seoul in January?
Will it be too cold to get out of the room? Any great international hostles to recommend? Heard that the city itself is pretty commercial, wonder if any great natural/cultural attractions in/out of the city.
Thanks a lot!
It's been a long time since I was back there in January -- but you can relate the weather closely to that of NY. Koreans are VERY big into nature despite all the commercialism that you see around you (it's very contradictory, I know). Check out a lot of the buddist temples, Sorak San (San means mountain and that is one of the bigger ones). There is a lot of history there if you check out many other types of temples, hot springs (out of the city) and folk centers (a bit out of the city) -- most of the places, you an pretty much find some sort of public transportation to get you to there.
I don't know of any hostels -- but if you do need a cheap place to stay, look for "motel" places called Yuh Gwan, they are by far the cheapest and the accommodations are basic, clean, and pretty affordable.
If you need more help, feel free to contact me.
I have just spent the last month travelling in South Korea and Vietnam. The weather at the moment in Korea was quite warm for autumn weather as I know it in cold climates. However, I was assured that the cold would come.
There were some great things to see such as Soraksan and surrounding areas. We weren't unfortunately able to go right to the North Korean border but we did get as close as we could and it was incredible. There was a real feel to the place.
I did however find Korea very expensive compared to travelling in the majority of asian countries. Not a place that a poor backpacker can afford to spend a great deal of time...
Thank you Gysierose and Ms Pinky! Will keep your advices in mind...doing the research now and getting a warm big coat made
Seoul at this time of year can get pretty chilly on certain days. I'm wearing a winter coat myself. Expect the temperature to be in the 5 to -20 degrees Celcius range in January.
If you're in the Seoul area, check out Gyeongbokgung (the royal palace), the "great wall of Korea" on Namhansanseong. For nightlife, head to Hongdae, Gangnam, or Itaewon. Although, I don't recommend Itaewon that much (It's far too Americanized because of the military base near there). Also of interest would be the Korean Folk Village in Yong-In.
If you're outside of Seoul, Sarak-san is a good place, like the others mentioned. Also an interesting place is Songni-san. Songni-san has a Buddhist temple called Beopju-sa, the site of an ancient set of temples and HUGE Buddha statue. To get to a lot of the outlying areas outside of Seoul, you can take a Bus from the Express Bus Terminal (the subway stop is called Express Bus Terminal).
For an interesting cultural experience, you could always go to a jimjil-bang (a public bathhouse where you soak in hottubs naked)... and then put on clothes to go into a communal gender area where you can use a number of saunas.
As far as food is concerned, if you're ok with spicy food, you'll be fine. If you like spicy food, try Chay-yook Dop-Bap (spicy pork on rice), ramyeon, ddokk-bokki, bi-bim-bap (or tulseot bibimbop), bok-eum-bap, and just about everything else. If you're not so into the hot stuff, try Mandu (dumplings), Mandu-gook (dumpling soup), Don-kass (pork cutlet), kim-bop, naeng-myeon (cold noodles), bulgogi, or ddok-gook. Many varieties of food also have a fishy taste, which some people don't like. If you don't mind seafood, you'll like the food. Dwin-jang-jigae is a boiling spicy zucchinni, tofu, and shellfish stew, served with rice.
Any other questions?
P.S. Thanks for the questions in the travel help section. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was kind of busy with work here.
I'm Korean and if you want a help,
feel free to contact me.
I'm living Seoul, and I can introduce you real Korea.
Hv a good day~!
Will it be too cold to get out of the room?
- Actually Jan. is the coldest month in Korea(sometimes -10 dgree or more) but travelling will be no problem.- prepare warm cloths.
Any great international hostles to recommend?
- check these sites,