No one questions the charm of South Korea. Often dubbed as the hip cultural compass in today’s age (thanks to K-Pop and K-Beauty), the country has a whole lot more to offer than fun and thrills. We followed Hesty Anggreani, a student on her cultural exchange trip to the dazzling land.
Hi, tell us about yourself?
My name is Hesty, I studied chemistry at Universitas Airlangga. I love to read, write, and draw during my spare time!
Why did you go to South Korea?
I applied for an exchange study in South Korea. I picked the country since I want to know more about their culture. I mean, who’s not interested in their skin products, and uber sense of style?
In your opinion, when’s the best time to visit South Korea?
Definitely during Spring or Fall. In summer, it will be a little bit too hot and too humid, meanwhile in Winter, it can be colder than Europe!
What do you learn fashion-wise from Koreans?
Most of the people there really like to dress up well, so I think you don’t have to worry about being overdressed.
Tell us about the places you visited!
Well, thanks to its many exciting spots and awesome transportation system, you will feel you never ran out of places to visit.
Hongdae: A young hippie-vibe spot.
Itaewon: The place where other culture blends with the surrounding.
Sinsadong: Plenty of café and shops that are worth your visit.
Myeondong: Well-known among tourists. Personally not my favorite, but if you’re a skincare/cosmetics hunter, then this is the right place to go to.
What’s the best kept secret spots?
In Seoul, there’s a lot of beautiful parks you can go to! Yeouido Hangang Park is a must when the flowers are blooming or even chilling near Hangang River is a very pleasant experience. If you feel like spending money, the attraction at Lotte World in Jamsildong is super fun. But if you want some peace of mind, go walk around Seokchon Lake, you can even hear soothing classical music from their speakers.
Which other cities should we go to other than Seoul?
If you need to get away from the bustling Seoul, try going to Chuncheon. There, you can visit The Garden of Morning Calm to walk around in a garden full of flowers, or you could go to Petite France for a European vibe. You can also go visit Nami Island which is located around that area.
What do you miss most from South Korea?
The way their local stores love to give you some extra freebies! I also miss walking to cosmetic stores that I could find on every block and trying some of the products before actually spending money because I am such a compulsive buyer.
Any tips for future travellers?
– Buy a subway card, and don’t forget to download the subway app!
– Wifi is pretty much everywhere, but you can purchase your own Wifi provider or local Korean SIM for more convenience.
– Most public transportation stop operating at 11 pm, so you have to take a taxi. For a safer experience use Kakao taxi.