I absolutely loved visiting Seoul in the Spring time. My past few trips were during Winter of last year and it was unbearably cold for this California girl. Weather aside, I loved that during this time of year there's just so many more people out and about which made for some good people watching. One of my favorite activities on this last visit was walking around and hanging out by the Han river with some beers and snacks surrounded by tons of Seoul-ites enjoying the beautiful weather.
One aspect of Seoul/Korean culture that seems quite unmissable to me is the concept of couple-dom. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by lots and lots of couples holding hands, and living out their favorite kdrama! Never have I visited a place and had random strangers, taxi drivers, or business partners try to set me up on a blind date more so than Seoul. Getting married and being in a relationship is thee rule of the land. It kind of makes you understand how all these heart-wrenching, addicting korean drama series and movies come about. I'm always wondering how happy these couples truly are later once the pressure and idea of being in a relationship later fades away.
Couple envy and relationship talk aside, another one of my favorite past times in Seoul is shopping. Lots of shopping. For a petite Asian girl like myself, shopping here is a dream and a curse (my bank account hates me). There seems to be just one size for everything and everything fits me just right! Most items that catch my eye are also perfectly suited to my tastes; if I had designed it myself I would have made it in the exact same fabrics, colors, shapes, and details. When I'm shopping during my travels I love to find unique, yet reasonably priced clothing/accessories, that are by local designers or companies. I'm not really one to head to all your big brands you could just source back at home. Seoul definitely has no shortage of luxury, big name brand shopping, but for me the highlight is definitely the many local shops.
The best areas for shopping in my opinion are Myeongdong and Garosugil. Shopping here is plentiful, open late, has plenty of great food/bars/cafes when you need to refuel, and both are fun spots for twenty-somethings. Scroll down for some suggestions of my favorite stores/boutiques.
- 9owls Vintage - Awesome vintage store, with lots of Chanel bags shipped from the U.S.
- KM Play (K-Design Market Play)
- SSFW / SSFW Accessory
- Aland - Hipster heaven