Hello travel friends!!!! As some of you might know I went to Korea over New Year's! It was me and my family's first time going and it was so great!!!! I've been wanting to visit Korea for many years now (especially during my kdrama phase) and I'm so glad we finally went!!!! Here's some highlights of how our trip went! Stay tuned for my food post from our trip!!
We left DFW on Tuesday morning and arrived 14 hours later to Seoul, Korea where it was Wednesday evening (they're 15 hours ahead). We stayed at the Hilton Millennium Hotel which was super nice and really close to a lot of food, so it was a great location! We were all pretty tired so we just grabbed dinner at a place close to us and then knocked out!
On our second day we visited Seoul Tower! We could see the tower from our hotel room view and it's the tallest point in Seoul! We took a tram ride up to the the building and saw got an amazing vantage point of the whole city!! Once we got to the building, there were tons of love locks! And when I say tons I mean TONS. Like there had to be a million, they were everywhere. They even made cute trees with all the locks!! It was super pretty. There were a lot of restaurants and shops in that area and we didn't even go up the tower, just being by the tower was high enough!
That night we went to the Gwangjang market which is one of the largest night markets in Seoul. Korea is known for their night markets which are a couple blocks bursting with food carts, restaurants, and stores. They stay open until the wee hours and although our tired butts didn't make it till that late, it was so much fun walking around and seeing/eating all of the food!
This was the only day we took an actual tour, we took a bus for an hour to the DMZ (demilitarized zone) between South and North Korea!! Honestly I didn't even know this was a thing until we came to Seoul. We learned so much history about North and South Korea and it was really eye opening!! I hate learning about history so much, but this has to be the least boring history lesson I've ever had! If you want a quick history lesson about the history between North and South Korea I'll leave one here. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was pretty intense there. To go into the DMZ a guard had to come onto our tour bus and check all of our passports. Once we got to the museum area, we got to walk through an underground tunnel which North Korea actually built to try and invade Seoul before South Korea discovered it. It's so crazy how current these events are, and that the tension between these two countries is still very present. After visiting the tunnel, we went up to an observatory where we could physically SEE North Korea. How insane is that. We even heard some propaganda that they were playing from their side of the DMZ. While we were driving up and down in the DMZ, we even saw the post to enter into North Korea (which was obviously barricaded). It was such a cool experience! Something I'll never forget.
On our fourth day we just explored around Korea on our own. We went to see a few palaces (which are huge btw), and a Buddhist temple which was so elaborate and really beautiful. We got there while they during a ceremony and even though I'm not Buddhist, I got shivers seeing all of them walking in line, praying. It was a really empowering atmosphere.
That night was New Year's Eve, but honestly we're so boring and were in bed before midnight, lol.
We went to the fish market in Seoul!! It was in this huge warehouse and well there was a ton of seafood. I always get a little squeamish seeing fish getting chopped up or killed, but, it was a really cool experience. I saw so many types of seafood that I didn't even recognize. We got a plate of salmon sashimi which was super fresh and delicious. We always got a two jumbo shrimp (yeah, can you believe those are shrimp, I totally thought they were lobsters). Then my dad wanted a fish head, so we bought a fish head. Yup, just the head. Then went upstairs to a restaurant where they prepared the shrimp and made a soup out of the fish head. It was really delicious and a super cool experience!
That afternoon I went with my Mom to Myeongdong, another market, which was my favorite market by far. There were SO many beauty stores. Like two or three of the same store in the same block!! How crazy. Korea really is the place for any beauty obsessed person. I didn't shop as much beauty products as I wanted, but we did get a BUNCH of face masks!!!! They are SO much cheaper in Korea!! We went in to Zara and shopped some really great deals there! I totally would've shopped more if I had suitcase room, lol. There were also so many food carts selling so many different kinds of food. I was in heaven. I can't wait for y'all to see my food post, it was so delicious!!!!!
This was our last day!!!! :( Our plane wasn't until 6pm so we went out to Namdaemun, which was the closest market to our hotel. We walked around and ate a bunch of street food for lunch before we went to the airport!!
This was such a great vacation and I would definitely love to come back to Korea!! I hope you enjoyed this trip in review and I can't wait to travel more to share my experiences!!