Activities in Seoul Your Soul Wants, That Your Sole Wouldn’t

The large city of Seoul boasts countless memorable activities, but I will talk about the ones I’ve experienced and would recommend to anyone visiting! However, before I begin, I want to introduce SNU Buddy. SNU Buddy is a program that matches 2-3 exchange students to Korean students in the Buddy Program. The organization has around 300 members, split into 10 groups of around 30 students, and these 10 groups are composed of direct buddy groups of 3-4 people. The goal of SNU Buddy is to help exchange students meet Korean buddies and experience fun things in Korea, which I will start talking about in the next paragraph. If you are going to be part of the SNU Exchange program, I would highly recommend joining SNU Buddy!

 One thing you must do when visiting Korea is to take a stroll at the Han River, here you will find many people having picnics and enjoying each other’s company! The view is absolutely worth it and along many different places of the Han River, there are different spectacular views. Ranging from the Ban-po Rainbow Water Show to Yeouido Hanggang Park, you will be able to see many diverse scenes of the same massive river!

Another destination in Seoul I really enjoyed was Gyeongbokgung. This area of Seoul is well known for its cultural heritage and preservation. Dressing up in hanboks is very popular and encouraged by the Koreans. Entry to Gyeongbokgung Palace is free if you are wearing hanbok! Of course, as the title implies, most of the experiences I will be talking about in this blog will be quite taxing on your legs if you aren’t used to walking 15,000 – 20,000 steps a day, Gyeongbokgung is no exception to this tax, contrary to the fact that Korea usually has no hidden taxes! (Tax is always included in prices of goods sold). Here are some photos I took there, for more architecture, make sure to go check it out!

An extremely memorable experience I had while in SNU buddy was being part of the SNU Buddy Food Festival. As someone who loves cooking and also had experience in working in the culinary industry, this buddy event was the perfect opportunity for me to exercise the things I really enjoyed. The SNU Buddy Food Festival involved working with a team to create, test, and serve 100 servings of food from a specific place you wanted to represent. I quickly formed a group with my house mates and a couple of friends and decided that we wanted to serve Hawaiian cuisine as it wasn’t too difficult and had a lot of potential for success. The dishes we provided also had a vegan option for those who were vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, or had any other dietary restrictions. We also had a friend, Alyssa, who attends University of Hawaii at Manoa to fact check us and make sure that we were serving authentic food! But what did we serve??

Our prize dish was Loco Moco, a local dish to Hawaii and also quite easy to make! Loco Moco is comprised of a rice base, with a beef patty laid on top, covered in gravy, and topped off with an egg dressed with various aromatics and (Add word about onions). Our secondary dish was Spam Musubi, as serving this would be considerably easy and low cost. To top it all off, we served a Hawaiian Blue Lemonade with each dish. The results deemed us quite successful as our team sold 100 servings out the fastest and even had a few extra servings to spare! Working with this team was ultimately productive as our teamwork grew, and I was able to meet so many people through this experience.

One last thing that I would definitely recommend doing in Seoul is checking out the largest amusement parks offered in Seoul, also owned by one of the largest companies in Korea. It’s common to wear a high school uniform and enjoy the rides at Lotte World. One recommendation I would have when going here is to either have a large group of friends you can play games with while waiting in line for rides, or to get the fast pass! I came to Lotte World with Group 7 (The group I am in with SNU buddy). I call us the “Chill” group as everyone in the group is extremely fun to be around and “Chill” sounds like 칠, which translates to 7 in Korean. One of my favorite memories here was playing finger games with my group while waiting in line for my favorite ride, Atlantis.

Group 7 Right Before getting onto Atlantis!

Walking around Seoul is extremely fun as there are things to do everywhere you go, however as the city is one of the largest cities in Asia, you will most definitely need comfortable shoes for your sole.

Bonus! Korean words of the week: (Parenthesis is how I spell out the pronunciation and is subjective.)

혹시 (Hok ssi) = Perhaps

있어요 ( ee saw yo) = There is

있어요 behind any noun would mean there is noun. For example, 물(water)있어요 would mean, there is water. If you end 있어요 with a “?” it would turn the statement into a question. i.g. “Is there water?”

혹시 can turn a request for a service into offering a service, but also can be used to ask questions … in a timid way? Saying, ” 사진원해요” would mean, “I want a picture” as I included in my blog previously about traveling across Korea, but if you were to add 혹시 right before it, and say “혹시사진원해요?” It turns “I want a picture” into “Do you want a picture?”

Here is when things get interesting. If you were to add 혹시 before a 있어요 sentence, instead of saying there is Noun, you would be asking whether there is Noun. So, if you were to say 혹물있어요? to me, you would be asking me if I had water!

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