10 day Korea travel plan (the Seoul half only)

My sister and her husband arrive in Korea on Sunday July 4th. I’m not going to be naming all the restaurants because I haven’t figured it out yet. My sister is a vegetarian and I haven’t been in a few years. We have a 92-year-ols restaurant called Ma Bang Jib and a local barley rice vegetable restaurant in mind. Indian and Thai food are always options but we’d like to do more Korean food…

And this plan is tentative. My sister hasn’t seen it yet although we did discuss a few things.

Sunday July 4th

Their flight arrives at 6:10 PM so I figure we’ll be back at our house around 9:00. We could go out to eat, or have some food ready in the house but we won’t be doing much tonight.

Monday July 5th

I figure we might start off with a tour of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies campus because that’s where I teach. Then we might walk over to the neighboring KyungHee University campus because it’s real pretty. There are a lot of choices for lunch around the two universities from cheap Korean food to moderately priced Indian and Thai to expensive Korean food (primarily meat though).

In the afternoon we’ll head Changdeok Palace for the 1:30 or 3:30 English tour. On all days besides Thursday you must take a tour so we might as well do the English one. I did take the Korean tour once and had some fun guessing what the guide was saying for a while. Then I got bored and left the tour, which was probably against the rules.

We’ll do dinner in Insadong since Changdeok Palace is within walking distance. They have a few vegetarian options, including a restaurant owned by a former monk that supposedly serves Korean Buddhist monk food. There are a few coffee shops and tea houses around Insadong (I’m thinking the one with the birds flying around is pretty unique but all the bird poop does make the place feel kind of dirty) plus the street itself which has some shops worth seeing.

Tuesday July 6th

We could do the DMZ any day we’re in Seoul but why not today? The tour could start early or later in the morning. If we do the early one I’ll want a nap when we get back but either way there will be some rest before dinner and a night out. I’m thinking Hongdae for some interesting bars and Su norebang.

Wednesday July 7th

We’ll probably sleep in a bit and then do something cultural. The National Museum of Korea is one of the biggest and newest and best so that’s probably the first museum we hit.

Then I think we want to go to Cheongdam. The Corso Como department store is good for a laugh whenever you look at a price tag and there are some other fancy stores around. Near Cheongdam is Shinsadong where you can eat outside and the shops are interesting and more reasonable.

Tonight we’ll drive down to Jinju where my in-laws live.

Thursday July 8th to Monday July 12th

We’ll spend this time in Jinju, Busan, Koje Island, and Maisan (where they have an awesome Buddhist temple: Tapsa. The details still need some more planning time…

Monday night we head back to Seoul.

Tuesday July 13th

This is our last full day in Seoul and there’s a lot we haven’t done. I’m a big fan of Bongeunsa, a real nice temple. That is next to Coex, a shopping mall that I’m not a huge fan of but it is a part of Korean culture worth seeing. We haven’t done the Korean War Memorial (and museum), which has a pretty extensive collection of vehicles and artillery outside.

Soedaemun Prison is an interesting sight while Han Ok Gol Village, Namsan and Seoul Tower are the more usual tourist attractions.

We would probably want to end the day in the very busy shopping distrinct Myeong-dong.

Wednesday July 14th

Their flight leaves at 10:00 AM so all we can do is get them to the airport on time.

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  1. Julie says:

    Looks great Jim, thanks! We’re really looking forward to the trip, though I wish we could stay longer. Wasn’t there a veggie buffet in Seoul we went to with mom and dad? I don’t have to go there again, but maybe if it is near any of the stuff we are doing. And I want to go to that pancake restaurant in Jinju! Well, I’m going to go register for beginner’s Korean! Thanks again!

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