You might’ve noticed already, but I am quite fascinated with Korea. Many people assume it’s because of catchy K-Pop tunes and the wish to absorb myself in its culture, or the desire of a struggling language student who wishes to improve his skills. Well quite frankly it’s neither of that. I’m just madly in love with Korean food and drinks and the lifestyle of having fun while eating and drinking together.
Of course, being in a relationship with a Korean might also be part of the reason that explains my interest for the country. But even if you don’t know anything about K-Pop, the language, the food, the drinks or have any other motives to be associated with the country in any way, you should still totally visit Korea at least once in your lifetime. And here’s why:
The food is AMAZING
Seriously, there’s nothing quite comparable. I’m a big guy, who loves great food and Korean food is exactly that. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold bowl of 냉면 (Naengmyeon) during a hot summer day, or a comforting portion of delicious 김치찌개(Kimchi-jjigae) on a rainy weekend. Sure there might be Korean restaurants in your area and maybe they’re not even half-bad, but trust me when I say that all of that is nothing compared to the culinary experience you’ll get while eating the best food you had all year in a shabby looking tent on the side of a busy road. On top of that almost every city has its specialties and comfort foods, so it really pays out to take a round trip through Korea.
One piece of advice I can give you: Don’t think too much about what you’re eating. Many things in Korean cuisine aren’t exactly things you’d eat at home; hence lots of people don’t want to try them. If you’re strictly eating things you know you’ll like you’ll miss out on some amazing dishes!
The drinks are FANTASTIC
The two national drinks of Korea, 소주 (Soju) and 막걸리 (Makgeolli) are on par with Korean food when it comes to reasons to visit Korea. There’s so many different kinds and variations of either of those two that I guarantee you’ll find a flavor you’ll like. Don’t overestimate yourself though, Koreans drink a lot and you most likely won’t survive a night of drinking without some serious consequences the next day. Korean drinking culture is something you need to experience though. The amount of incredibly fast paced and fun drinking games, all the little comfort foods and convenience stores that are open basically 24/7 make for some really fun nights.
The scenery is BEAUTIFUL
Taking an express bus through Korea shows you how beautiful the country really is. You’ll see picturesque mountains with temples built on top of them, steep cliffs that lead straight down into a deep blue ocean and beautiful island hideaways that make you feel like being far away from civilization. I really can’t stress this enough, but I do recommend getting yourself a Rail-ro ticket to see as much as possible of South Korea.
Transportation is EASY PEASY
As a German guy, I’m used to awful, smelly and unpunctual transportation and we’re supposed to be a country with a good infrastructure. Compared to Korea we’re pretty low on the list though. Everything in Korea runs on schedule. The metro, city busses, trains and express busses are almost never late and very inexpensive. Getting around in Korea is as easy as getting out of bed. Ticket machines and tickets sold over the counter can be bought using English and even communicating with old countryside bus drivers isn’t as difficult as it sounds. As long as you know where want to go you’re set! Get out of your hotel and experience Korea on your own.
I’ll be back soon with more stuff about my travels. Thanks for reading and stay tuned 🙂