Summer in South Korea

Summer in South Korea

I was recently invited to experience the Summer festivals in South Korea from the 26th of July 2017 to the 31st of July 2017 by the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO). Below are some of the highlights of my trip & personal recommendations.

Weather in Summer

Summers in South Korea are generally warm & humid but often see monsoon rains from July to August. By June the average temperature is 22°C with July and August experiencing the highest rainfall of the year. Days were pretty cloudy and occasionally breezy throughout the trip.

Seoul

Myeong-dong

Myeong-dong is one of the primary shopping districts in Seoul. The two main streets meet in the center of the block with one beginning from Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4) and the other from Lotte Department Store at Euljiro. Many brand name shops and department stores line the streets and alleys. Common products for sale include clothes, shoes, and accessories. Unlike Namdaemun or Dongdaemun, many designer brands are sold in Myeong-dong. In addition, several major department stores have branches here, including Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Myeong-dong Migliore, Noon Square and M Plaza. The department stores carry many premium labels and other fashionable goods at reasonable prices. Myeong-dong also has family restaurants, fast food, plus Korean, Western and Japanese dining options. Other businesses in the area include hair salons, banks and theaters. A shopping haven for fashion, beauty & lifestyle products. An abundant amount of Korean cosmetic brands and boutiques line the streets of Myeongdong. Shops open around 9am/ 10am and close at 10pm/ 11pm.

Hotel picks: Ibis Myeong-dong & Lotte Hotel Myeong-dong

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village reflects 600 years of Seoul’s history. The village is situated between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, and its streets are lined with traditional hanok. Unlike other hanok villages (such as Namsangol Hanok Village), Bukchon was not created for tourists and it is a residential village inhabited by Seoulites. The best place within Bukchon to experience the old hanok atmosphere may be Gaehoe-dong. Here, hundreds of hanok sit shoulder to shoulder.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Until it was restored in 2005, Cheonggyecheon Stream existed only as a neglected waterway hidden by an overpass. Today, it has been transformed into a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life. Narae Bridge, representing a butterfly in flight, and Gwanggyo Bridge, symbolizing the harmony of the past and future, are just two of the more than twenty beautiful bridges that cross the stream. The Rhythmic Wall Stream, lined with fine marble and sculptures, and Palseokdam adorn Cheonggyecheon Stream. Cheonggyecheon Stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisure stroll along the stream.

K-Style Hub

K-Style Hub has the information to meet all tourists’ needs, from a tourist information center to a Hallyu experince, Hansik exhibition and experience hall, medical tourism information and more. Expounding upon the center of just providing information, K-Style Hub also aims to provide various chances to learn about Korean culture and food, as well as easily participate in traditional experiences.

Did you know: Tourists can dial ‘1330’ and get connected to the Korea Travel Hotline for any enquiries/ questions/ emergencies! Available 24/7, 24 hours a day. Languages spoken: Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese.

Exhibition Hall Information 
Tourist Information Center (TIC)
– Location: K-Style Hub 2F
– Language assistance: Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese
– Main facilities: Information desk, medical tourism marketing zone, muslim prayer room, Virtual Reality experience zone, Hallyu experience facility (K-STAR ZONE), etc.

Korean Food Exhibition Hall
– Location: K-Style Hub 3F
– Exhibition information: Seasonal Divisions & Customs / Science of Fermentation & Storage / Wisdom of Korean Foods

Korean Food Experience Hall
– Location: K-Style Hub 4F
– Language assistance: Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese
– Main facilities: Festive Corner, Learning Place (Cooking class, cultural convergence class, Korean food culture DIY class)

Cultural Product Hall
– Location: K-Style Hub 5F
– Composition: Premium cultural product exhibition zone, venture company exhibition zone, tourism venture PR zone, tourism souvenir promotion zone, Hanbok experience zone, experience event zone.

LOTUS at Jeongdong Theatre

Be entertained by Lotus, a 1.5-hour Korean performance at the Jeongdong Theater in Seoul. A new spin on traditional Korean folk tale, Lotus tells the story of Seo-ryeon, the best dancer in the court, and her fight against the King and Queen’s corruption, incorporating impressive dance and choreography.

Tongin Market

Tongin Market dates back to June 1941, as a public market set up for Japanese residents near the Hyoja-dong neighborhood when Korea was still under Japanese rule. After the Korean War the nation experienced a swift rise in population, which led to a natural increase in consumption and demand. As a result the area’s street vendors and stores used the former Tongin Market area as their marketplace. Now, Tongin Market consists of 75 stores, most of which are restaurants and grocery stores. There are also some shops selling manufactured goods like underwear and shoes.

Summer Festivals

Boryeong Mud Festival

Of the numerous festivals in Korea, Boryeong Mud Festival attracts the largest number of international visitors. During the festival period, tourists flock to the area to experience the benefits of Boryeong’s mud while having a blast. Fully immersed in both the mud and the festival’s great atmosphere, visitors enjoy mud wrestling, mud sliding and even swimming in the giant mud bath. Visitors feeling particularly energetic can try the marine mud-training course, whilst those looking for something more relaxing can chill in the mud massage zone. In the evening, music and fireworks continue to have the party going at the beach.

Experience Events
– Mud Game
– Mud Obstacle Marathon
– Mud Experience Center (Mud bath & mud massage)
– Mud Slide
– Mud Kid’s Land

Nighttime Events
– Opening Ceremony & Closing Ceremony
– Mud Mob Scene
– World Mud Beauty Festival
– Boryeong-si Local Music Concert
– Hip-hop Rave Party
– EDM Festival, etc.

Other Events
– Mud-time Character Performance
– Fountain Square Open Concert
– Korea’s Tune, Pungmul (folk music) Experience
– Black Eagles Air Force Air Show, etc.

Special Exhibitions
– Boryeong Mud Festival Photo Exhibition
– Boryeong Local Products & Handcrafted Items Sale Exhibition

Hotel picks: Mudrin Hotel (beachfront)

Gangjin Celadon Festival

Gangjin is thought to be a must-visit place for exploring the southern provinces as it houses varied historical cultural assets. Gangjin Celadon Festival offers diverse firsthand experience related to Gangjin area. Gangjin County operates an exhibition and sales hall of celadon and holds a giveaway event to promote the excellence of Goryeo celadon and activate the sale of celadon. The festival was chosen as one of the best festivals in Korea by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Jeongnamjin Jangheung Water Festival

Jangheung is a small county in Jeollanam-do that is located near the sea of Boseongman Bay, and by the big lake created by Jangheung Dam and Tamjingang River.

The Janheung Jeongnamjin Water Festival (also called the Jeongnamjin Aqua Festival) is held each year around the end of July. Unlike conventional festivals with exhibits, performances and shows, the Jeongnamjin Water Festival aims to offer something different by having summer and water-themed events where visitors can enjoy a multitude of fun and exciting summer games and activities. Programs- Opening Events (Release of minnows, opening remarks, laser & fireworks show)
– Main Events (‘The biggest water fight,’ natural medicinal herb healing pool, hand fishing)
– Exhibitions, Hands-On Programs, Contests
– Participation Programs for Local Residents and Tourists
– Participation Programs for Foreign Residents and Tourists (Friendship exchange for city residents and tourists, professional group performances)
– Related Programs (H2O Water Science Camp, Mom Mom Mom Festival)

Preparing Gimbap

Gimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients that are rolled in gim—dried sheets of laver seaweed—and served in bite-size slices.

Staying Connected

Thank you WIYO for this pocket-friendly WIFI device that allowed me to stay connected throughout my entire trip! It only costed RM20 a day to have unlimited WIFI in Korea!

  • Avoid surprises on expensive roaming bills from your mobile operator. We charge one flat daily rate up to 64% cheaper and 10 times more data allowance (even unlimited for selected countries) when compared to the normal Roaming DayPass of mobile operators.
  • Internet access virtually anywhere on the best mobile networks with ultimate speed and coverage. If the area is weak in 4G signals, our Pocket WiFi jumps automatically to 3G to keep you connected
  • Forget about fixed location access and save money for everybody. Surf wirelessly and share your internet connection (up to 10 devices) with family and friends.
  • Available in KLIA 2, KLIA (direct hand-over) & Penang airport.

Last but not least..

Food Pictures (just because)

A special thanks to the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) for planning this Summer trip to South Korea from the 26th of July 2017 to the 31st of July 2017.

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