The Amateur Traveler talks to Rachel about Seoul, South Korea. Rachel is a college student from Hong Kong who studied in Seoul for the Summer. She talks about historic palaces, museums, customs, and shopping in this city that she describes as a “kaleidoscope.”
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After I was done with the editing Rachel also sent these tips:
Dongdaemun at Night – This is an area of night markets and tiny stall front malls where locals shop until 3-4 am on Sundays and at least 2 am on most nights. They have everything from trendiest clothing and accessories, bags, traditional tailors, mountaineering gear, food stalls, and outrageous counterfeit items.
The national drink Soju, a rice wine, is worth a mention. Korea has a huge drinking/party culture, rather like the Japanese but more extreme. For instance, it’s not surprising to smell whiffs of alcohol on the Subway as early as 8 pm. But quite surprisingly, Korean boozers are quite peaceful and it never feels dangerous. Also, it’s compulsory to have food (actually cooked dishes like Tapas, but food sized to be shared amongst the group), which all the local bars serve. The whole idea is to stop people from drinking on an open stomach. I’ve actually found the bars to serve better food than many restaurants, and it’s not surprising for bar owners (Mom and Pop places) to send over ‘service’ i.e. free dishes.
At most Mom & Pop places the rice, kimchi and other side dishes can be refilled for free if you ask.
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