Hear about places to visit in Seoul, South Korea as the Amateur Traveler talks to Spencer Zentzch the CEO of Hacker Paradise about a city where he has lived for 3 years over 6 different trips.
Spencer says, “I think Seoul is one of the best cities in the world, to be honest. One of the reasons it is is because it is not on people’s radar. We took a group of people over the summer to Japan for 6 weeks and we took them to Seoul for 6 weeks. To be honest, everybody was so excited about Japan and didn’t really care about Seoul before we went. When they went to Seoul it became their new favorite city to visit and they were planning vacations to go back to it.”
Spencer first lived in Seoul on his Mormon mission and later returned to get his masters in the Korean language in Seoul. He then returned to Seoul to work for Samsung. More recently he has brought groups to Seoul twice for 6 weeks at a time.
He advises people to eat their way through the entire country of South Korea because the food and the cuisine is “so different”. The big thing about Korean cuisine is its strong and pungent flavors and smells.
We do also talk about places to visit in Seoul but the first place Spencer sends us is out of the city to the DMZ. The joint security area where you can step into North Korea is one of the most popular Seoul tourist attractions. The DMZ is only an hour by bus from Seoul. You have to visit with a tour.
Most of the tourist sites are the old palaces (5) within the old city walls. He recommends you only need to visit one, Gyeongbok Palace which is right in front of the Blue House where the president lives.
In the last 15 years, there was a major urban renewal project to turn the Cheonggyecheon from a downtown highway to a beautiful park-like area along a stream in the middle of the city. Grab an ice cream (try the honeydew melon flavor) and enjoy a stroll.
Spencer also recommends the view from Namsan Tower if the city is clear.
Around the world cat and dog cafes have become a thing. In Seoul, there is a sheep cafe, a raccoon cafe, a merchant cafe, a parrot cafe, and a “poop” cafe. Spencer also explains how the restaurant culture works.
For history buffs, we talk about the 3 UNESCO sites in the area: Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. There is also a cool Korean War museum.
Spencer suggests a couple of great hikes, from easy to challenging. He also encourages us to attend a K-pop concert. Korean dramas, hip-hop groups, and K-pop has taken Asia by storm. We also learn about Korean sauna, nightlife, and shopping.
Learn why Spencer and the people he keeps taking to Seoul are falling in love with the city.
pex – take a photo, text the photo, get the photo. That’s pex.
Korean Demilitarized Zone
Joint Security Area
N Seoul Tower
Seoul Ice Cream
Seoul Pet Cafés
Seoul’s Most Insane Cafes
BBQ in Seoul
Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
War Memorial of Korea
Korean Body Scrubs
Lotte Hotel World
Hotels in Hongdae
Hotels in Shinchon
Yongsan Electronics Market
Southern South Korea
Please take our listener survey