The last two days of our vacation was free and easy before our tour guide picked us up and sent us to the airport. Seoul is very easy to get around using the subway. The signs and station names are in English as well as Korean, it’s very foreigner-friendly and easy to understand.
We visited a few places in Seoul, and did most of our shopping on the last two days. Today, I’ll share with you three places that we’ve visited.
The War Memorial of Korea
Korea has been invaded many times, and The War Memorial of Korea is the best place to learn about its troubled history. Although it’s called a war memorial, it’s also a huge military history museum with tanks, planes and weapon systems on display.
If you ask me what is the place that you shouldn’t miss if you were to visit Korea, my answer would be Lotte World. Unless you’re travelling with your old folks, otherwise you must visit Lotte World.
Located in the heart of the Seoul, Lotte World is the perfect spot for entertainment and sightseeing. It’s a theme park filled with thrilling rides, an ice rink and different kinds of parades, as well as a folk museum, a lake, and so much more.
Lotte World is divided into an indoor Adventure theme, and an outdoor Magic Island, next to Seokchonhosu Lake. The moment we stepped in, we felt like we’ve entered a world full of fantasy and magic. It was simply breathtaking!
We started our adventure with the indoor area, which is known as the largest indoor amusement / theme park in the world (a Guinness World Record). Apart from being huge, each of its four floors has a new story to tell and new excitements to explore.
Another unique part of the indoor park is its structure that makes use of the natural sunlight from the glass dome. It makes the atmosphere seem as if it is outdoor.
Lotte World Ice Rink is known as the finest ice rink in Korea. Located in the basement, the rink is open throughout the year. The rink’s facilities include a restaurant, a ticket booth, a snack bar, a sports shop, a skate rental service, and a changing room.
By the time I wrote this post, I felt like I’ve spent an entire year in Korea! (my wishful thinking) There was never a dull moment for us when we were holidaying in Korea. It was all fun, fun and fun!
On the 6th day of our trip, we visited the beautiful Nami Island in the morning. In the afternoon, it was all about shopping. But before that, this was our lunch – Gamjatang (spicy Korean pork bone soup). It’s the Korean version of our Bak Kut Teh. Served with kimchi, pickled onions, pickled potato and rice, the soup was extremely delicious.
The pork ribs are huge, seriously
Our first shopping destination was Korean Ginseng Museum. The museum is more like a ginseng specialty store for tourists, they sell high-quality ginseng products at above average prices. We were ushered into an exhibition hall with our tour mates, facilitated by their staffs who are all fluent in Chinese. The tour allows us to delve into the history of Korean ginseng, and learn about its efficacy, function and intake method.
Next, we went to a seaweed specialty store and experienced hands-on Kimbap DIY. It was quite fun. This followed by our Korean traditional costume (hanbok) photo-taking.
The boy looks too cute in hanbok
Nami Island, also known as Namiseom, is a tiny half-moon shaped island located in Chuncheon, 63km away from Seoul. The island is famous for its beautiful tree lined roads and stunning scenery. There are so much to talk about Namiseom, so I’ve decided to dedicate this post entirely for it. =)
As some of you might be aware, Nami Island was made famous by Korean drama Winter Sonata, and is now a very popular tourist spot. In fact, being a huge K-drama fan, I’ve also seen many other dramas filmed in this beautiful island. One of them that I could still remember is High School King of Savvy (2014), and this part of the drama was filmed here.
Nami Island is beautiful in all seasons, especially winter when it’s covered in pristine snow. My pictures may not justify the beauty of this island, so I made a collage with some pictures I found on the internet that depict the four seasons of the island. Our visit was in early summer, so it was slightly warm.
We left our previous accommodation at Seorak after breakfast. The bus journey took about an hour and we reached Gapyeong Wharf at 11am. From the wharf, visitors can enter the island via ferry or Zip-Wire. Even though it was a weekday, the ferry was quite crowded – mostly with foreign tourists.
Our tour guide gave us a short briefing before we took the ferry
We reached Nami Island in just 5 mins via ferry!
Here I am, continuing with my Korea vacation post after a month break. Well, we visited the breathtaking Mount Sorak National Park in the afternoon and had lots of fun at the Hanwha Waterpia Hotspring Resort.
We were given 1.5 hours to explore Mount Sorak National Park on our own. The weather was getting a little warmer here, but in general, it was still windy and comfortable to walk. And we saw many local hikers going there with their backpacks.
The park has beautiful sceneries with granite peaks, lush green valleys and dense forest. On the other hand, it’s also cultural and full of history.
These are some of the pictures that we took at the park while we admire the beauty of its nature. I heard that there’s a cable car that brings visitors to the peak of the mountain, but due to time constraint, we didn’t have a chance to experience it.
We left Mount Sorak National Park at 3pm and headed to Hanwha Waterpia Hotspring Resort. I must say that this is the most exciting place in the entire trip!
Hanwha Waterpia Hotspring is one of Korea’s largest theme parks offering a wide variety of outdoor leisure activities and hot spring facilities. It has indoor and outdoor water theme parks, children’s pool, lazy river ride, wave pool, indoor, as well as outdoor hot spring facilities. The waterpark is really HUGE and AMAZING! I will go crazy if we have such waterpark in Singapore.