Travel Tips to Seoul Korea

San Francisco to Seoul
Gejang Crab in Korean Cuisine

Gejang Crab in Korean Cuisine

Seoul Korea

We were in Seoul Korea last month.  This was our first visit to Seoul, which did not give us a great impression of the city because most of the people cannot communicate well in English and some of them are very rough.

We had a bad experience on the last day.  We would like to go to a new Duty Free mall, which was recommended on the hotel map.  We went through 3 taxis by ourselves and the taxi drivers do not know where to go, even though we have the Korean address and the map to show them the location.  After 20 minutes of struggling, we decided to go into the hotel and asked for help.  The receptionist was very nice and went with us to the taxi stop and communicated with the drivers.  Even though a local with fluent Korean, she spoke to 5 taxi drivers before we could find a taxi driver that know where to go.  That took us 30 minutes in addition to the 20 minutes that we already spent.  The taxi ride was only 10 minutes.  Now you can feel our frustration.

You might have a puzzle like us.  The taxi driver has a GPS, and how come he cannot input the address and let it guide to the destination.

First Tip to Seoul Korea – Know where to go

Make sure you have all the addresses in both Korea and English, photos and maps of where you want to go.

Second Tip to Seoul Korea – Traffic

Please take subway if possible.  Traffic is very bad in Seoul.  For example, our hotel to Seoul Station is less than half a miles, only 10 minutes walk or 2 minutes drive.  It took us 35 minutes by taxi.

Third Tip to Seoul Korea – Duty FREE

Korea is famous in beauty products and you can find many beauty chain stores everywhere.  Each brand usually has some signature products that you must try.  Please do your homework in advance, otherwise, you will feel that all the stores are the same.  I recommend to purchase all your beauty products in Duty Free malls.  This way you can do one stop shopping for everything on your list with a saving on tax immediately.  Please make sure you bring your passport and be able to show the sales representative your e-ticket because the sales representative is required to input the information on the system so that you can save the tax and time in the airport.

Some stores they will provide you with a duty free receipt for purchase of 20,000 won or more, so you can claim your tax refund in the airport.  In front of the tax refund envelope it tells you exactly what you should do in the airport for tax refund and some receipts require a stamp to qualify for refund.  Please make sure you follow the instructions because you can only get the stamp on your receipts before the security checkpoint.

There are multiple tax refund counters inside the airport after you go through the security checkpoint.  They are very efficient and the line goes very fast.  You can choose the tax refund in the format of credit card credit, or cash in different currencies.

All the major beauty chain stores are available in the airport.  If you prefer to spend more time in sightseeing, you can do all your shopping at last.

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Global Tax Free in Korea

Two Places that I like the most in Our Trip

N Seoul Tower

The N Seoul Tower, officially the YTN Seoul Tower and commonly known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower, is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. At 236m, it marks the highest point in Seoul.
Located at 05 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Direction to N Seoul Tower: 
Take subway line to Myeong-Dong Station (424) exit 3 and keep left after exit, follow the uphill road for about 15 minutes and take cable car up to Seoul Tower.  Or take a 15 minutes bus ride from Myeong-Dong to Seoul Tower.

Noryangjin Fish Market

The Noryangjin Fish Market is a seafood center and wholesale market.  The market is open 24 hour a day.  As usual, it is always good to visit fish market in the early morning because that is the time for seafood auctions and you can find all kind of fresh and amazing seafood.

The market was opened back in 1927 and located in downtown Seoul near Seoul Station.  In 91971, it was relocated to the 63 Building.   It is the largest and oldest seafood market in Korea with a floor space of about 65,000 square feet.

How it works in Noryangjin Fish Market for visitors?

The joy is wandering around stalls discovering all sorts of seafood.  I will say 80% of the vendors offer the same kind of fresh seafood, like fish, octopus, lobster, clams, crab, clams, salmon, tuna, shrimp, etc.  You pick the seafood that you like from your vendor in the fish market.

If you prefer to eat over there, they have 2 locations for restaurants that can cook your seafood with a reasonable price.  One location is at the side of the building, look more local without good remodeling, but it is clean.  Second location is on the second floor of the building, which is air conditional and with a modern look, of course this location is a bit more expensive than the first location.  The restaurant will have a representative comes down and take the seafood to their restaurant and cook the way that you request.

Direction to Noryangjin Fish Market:  

Take subway line 1 to Noryangjin Station and exit 1.  After exiting the station, walk across the bridge over the tracks towards the direction of the 63 building.  The fish market building is located at the end of the bridge.

 

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