Travel to Seoul, South Korea – Episode 157

categories: asia travel

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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Show Notes


click here to download (mp3)
click here to download (iTunes enhanced)

Seoul, South Korea
Changdeokgung palace
Gyeongbokgung palace
Deoksugung palace
Insadong neighborhood (and art market)
National Museum of Korea
National Museum of Korea
Myeongdong – shopping area
Korea Bloggers

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 3-4am on Sundays and at least 2am 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 8pm. But quite surprisingly, Korean boozers are quite peaceful and it never feels dangerous. Also it’s compulsory to have food (actual 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 its not surprising for bar owners (Mom &apm; 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.

Internet Resources – print on demand guidebooks


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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

2 Responses to “Travel to Seoul, South Korea – Episode 157”



Thanks for including my link to the US dollar outlook. This post/podcast was an interesting one as well.



Just for the record, it is quite normal for restaurants to refill the little side dishes free of charge. But usually you have to pay for the rice (maybe about 1000 or a dollar). Some restaurants may give it for free but you shouldn’t expect that it will be.

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