Welcome to the 6th edition of Travel Chats!
Travel Chats is a monthly interview series where I invite fellow female travelers and bloggers to share their latest adventures.
The goal is to inspire you to discover new destinations and get to know our contributors through their stories. The best part? They share their practical tips & advice (the good stuff you won’t find in a guidebook) to help you plan your trip.
In this interview, Aurelia shares her first trip to South Korea, where she visited Seoul and Busan. A trip to South Korea always requires prior preparation so hopefully her tips and advice will help you plan your own trip to this colorful and fascinating country!
Travel Chats: A First Timer’s Guide to South Korea
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi. My name is Aurelia and I love Sudoku, colors and cakes. I used to work in advertising but I left everything behind to travel the world with my boyfriend, Dan. We’ve been traveling continuously for over a year now and we’ve seen some incredible places so far. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us! I love sharing my feelings and experiences on my blog and Instagram and I’m the happiest when I help others to travel better and smarter.
How would you describe your travel style?
I’m definitely a budget traveler. I like to travel comfortably but on a budget. I make tons of research in order to find the cheapest buses, planes and accommodation. I don’t usually stay in hostels but I am experienced enough to find good hotels for the same prices as hostels.
I like to take my time and visit thoroughly each country. I usually spend at least a few weeks in every destination I visit. Connecting with the locals, learning the local customs and exploring off the beaten path places are just some of the things that I crave for in this journey.
Tell us about your trip to South Korea and why you wanted to visit
When I’ve started traveling around Asia the plan was to mainly visit Southeast Asia but as I’m always looking for the cheapest plane tickets, I’ve found some really affordable tickets from Laos to South Korea. I like being spontaneous so I’ve made the booking and one week later, there I was, traveling around beautiful South Korea.
I’ve started my journey in Seoul where I was fascinated by live K-pop performances, the fun Hongdae neighbourhood and the incredible views from the N Seoul Tower. I also had the chance to take a once in a lifetime trip to the border with North Korea where I actually saw a North Korean city.
I loved both cities and even though they are different, they have a lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions.
What was the most memorable moment of your trip?
Renting a traditional Korean hanbok was the highlight of my trip! You can rent a hanbok in both Seoul and Busan for about 17,000 won per 3 hours. Wearing this beautiful dress with colorful details made me feel like a princess!
What resources proved most helpful when planning this trip?
My best friend when traveling will always be Google Maps. It always helps me to get from point A to point B in no time. Another really helpful app in South Korea is Naver Maps. It is similar to Google Maps but a bit more accurate and you can also see the prices for each mode of public transport.
I read so many blog posts before arriving in South Korea but one blog that I truly recommend is I Am Aileen.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of visiting South Korea?
South Korea is an expensive country so if you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to choose another country. I didn’t expect a small Coca Cola to cost $2!
Get out of your comfort zone and explore some other places outside of Seoul such as Busan or Jeju Island. South Korea has a lot to offer to those who are willing to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Also, make sure to try the local food. It might seem a bit weird at first, but it’s an experience you must have!
What’s your next adventure?
I’m currently getting ready for my trip to the Philippines. I’ll be exploring this incredible country for one month. I’ve heard so many good things about the Philippines and I’m really excited to discover its secrets!
Follow along on Aurelia’s adventures
Special thanks to Aurelia for sharing her experience!
Read more articles from the Travel Chats Series
- Diving and Wildlife Adventure in Borneo (#1)
- Traveling to Colombia on a Student Budget (#2)
- Beautiful Places to Visit outside Taipei (#3)
- The Perfect Slow Travel Itinerary to Portugal (#4)
- Conquering the Everest Three Passes Trek in Nepal (#5)
Traveling to Asia? Check out these travel guides to help you plan your trip!
- A Local’s Guide to the Best Cafes in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong’s Hipster Neighbourhood: Tai Hang
- Things to do in Quarry Bay (+ some Insta-worthy spots you don’t want to miss!)
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