- DMZ tour – We booked this tour through our hostel (G Guesthouse). The tour is a bus ride to the train tracks that used to carry the POW’s across the border during high risk times, a Northern Korean lookout and it then took us to the 3rd Infiltration tunnel dug by the North Koreans intending to get into Seoul from below. This tour cost us 52,850KRW/ $60AUD.
If we were to do it again we would do the DMZ/JSA double tour or simply the JSA by itself. But make sure you book this early in your trip, it requires at least three days processing time and pre approval of entrance from the UN.
For more information on different types of tours, the link below gives you a few different ideas and options: http://www.dmztours.com/seoul_dmz_tours.htm
- N Seoul Tower is 236.7 meters tall and sits atop Namsan Mountain. Seoul Tower offers panoramic views of Seoul and the surrounding areas which can be enjoyed both during the day and at night. At night time the tower is lit up in an array of different coloured lights. You are able to go up to the Observatory (9,000KRW/ $10AUD) to get a view of the Seoul skyline, we opted not to, we were told the view is just as good at the base of the tower (top of the mountain). Be sure to bring along a lock so you can attach it to the fence!!
For more information of how to get there and tickets prices, visit the website http://www.nseoultower.co.kr/eng/
- There are quite a few UNESCO Heritage sights that we visited including:
- The Gyeonbokgung Palace
- Seonjeongneung (Tomb)
- Jeongneung (Royal Tomb)
- Jongmyo Shrine
- Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty
- Taereung and Gangreung (Royal Tombs)
Keep in mind that all of these sights are replications as they were all torn down (in 1592) during the Japanese occupation of South Korea in an attempt to erase the South Korean history. Most were rebuilt in the 1990’s, and fail to capture the authenticity of the original structures. The Gyeonbokgung Palace was the most interesting, especially the changing of the guards performance which happens 6 times a day, every hour from 10am – 3pm.
For more information, visit the website www.visitseoul.net
If it is markets you are looking for, make sure you check out:
- Namdaemun market – great for cheap clothes and local food stores
- Dongdaemun Market – fashion focused with a wide range of materials and textiles.
- Gyeongdong Market – loaded with food vendors selling fruits and vegetable and local delicacies.
- Insa-dong Art District: The arts is a focal point of Korean traditional folk culture and crafts and there are five main art districts in Seoul. We visited Insa-dong which has traditional type art galleries as well as street art and installations. The district is also full art schools. street stalls, antique shops, pottery and folk crafts, musicians, food stalls and much more. A great place to wander the streets and take in Korean culture.