things to do in seoul

Seoul, Korea Calendar of Events, February 2015

There's plenty going on this month in Seoul and around the peninsula. Below are the events and exhibits that seem particularly interesting. Check them out!

Art

Linda McCartney Retrospective

Venue: Daelim Museum, 21, Jahamun-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10AM - 6PM / Saturday 10AM-8PM / Closed Mondays - Ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing
Admission: Adults W5,000 / Sudents W3,000 / Children under 7 W2,000

Wash Away the Winter Blues at Seoul's SK-II Boutique Spa

If the recent drop in temperatures and merciless wind are any indication of what's to come this winter, we're in for a long, cold season. And if you're like me, this weather is anything but enjoyable. Between the incessant time spent inside and the pain endured in the frigid outdoors while in transit, coming down with a case of the winter blues is almost always inevitable.

Contrary to popular belief, however, there is a cure which does not require a prescription. All one simply needs to do is to head down to SK-II Boutique Spa for a truly healing experience.



My First Korean Tarot Card Reading

"Oh God," I wince as the card I have just drawn from a well-worn deck is turned over to reveal an ominous image that instantly reminds me of the woman from The Ring. "That can't be good," I note as my eyes take in the oriental ink sketching that surely, in my mind, is indicative of looming death. The man across the table freezes and his eyes meet mine for the briefest of moments. His weathered skin and honest, understanding glance indicate that he's the real deal.



Top 10 Things to Do in Seoul

I've been writing Seoul Searching for just over five years now and although I've mentioned a lot of great places to visit, it recently came to my attention that I have yet to put together a list of the best things to do in the city. Of course, "best" is a highly subjective word, and while everyone has their own ideas of what a visitor should experience during his or her stay, I have my own personal favorites. So, without further ado, here are the top ten things you should do on your stay in Seoul:

10. Tap into your artsy side

Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe: A Place of History, Culture and Family

When I first moved to Korea, I spent every minute of my free time getting lost in the neighborhoods of Seoul. Wandering the unknown became a hobby and through it, I was able to learn a lot about my new home and discover many a hidden gem, whether it be a cafe, an interesting sculpture or a peaceful green space to sit and rest for a while.

As time went on and I grew accustomed to my new city, the neighborhoods lost a bit of their magic and I became slightly jaded. Over the past few weeks, however, I began to miss those afternoons spent in solitude and discovery and decided to get back to exploring the streets of the city. The historic district of Seochon-dong was first on my list. I had no expectations, which is probably why I was so delighted to have stumbled upon Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe.

Blogger Beauty Night at Piccasso Studio

It has occurred to me that many of my recent posts have pertained to Korean beauty. I should make it clear that Seoul Searching is not converting into a beauty blog- I'm far too unqualified for that to even be an option. The reason for the increase in K-beauty posts is because Korean cosmetics and beauty trends are becoming so in demand at the moment that I have had a number of opportunities recently to learn more about these trends and products and want to spread the word on to you guys.

The most recent opportunity to crop up was an invitation to a makeup class specifically for bloggers given by Yoohwai Top to Toe at the Piccasso Studio in Apgujeong in celebration of the launch of the new global store, PiccassoBeauty.net.

Superhero Spotting: Where and When to See the Avengers in Seoul

If you haven't heard yet, Ironman, Captain America and The Hulk are headed to Seoul, South Korea. Contrary to what you might think, their visit has less to do with battling trigger-happy Kim Jeong-un and more to do with their filming "Avengers: Age of Ultron," the sequel to the 2012 Hollywood blockbuster.  It's rumored that the city will be featured for about fifteen minutes in the film and was chosen for its futuristic architecture and beautiful cityscapes.

Behind the Scenes of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines iFly TV: Secrets of Seoul

In January, I had the pleasure of hosting a film crew from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' iFly Magazine as they filmed a travel documentary on Seoul. When they first contacted me, they requested that I compile a number of destinations that I felt best represented various aspects of the city including great views, interesting local hangouts and landmarks that showcase the contrasts between old and new.

After much deliberation, I came up with a list of places that I felt captured the very best of my Seoul... a Seoul that may or may not be the same city that other expats and locals here experience.  But it was the one I wanted people to see.

A Whole Lot of Han at the Korea House

Han.  A simple word that has had many meanings over the years in the Land of the Morning Calm.

There's the Han River.  The family surname.  The shortened form of hana, one.  Even Korea's name in Korean is Hanguk.  And that famous Korean concept of powerful sadness, which has no literal translation in English and is a concept I won't even begin to try to explain, mostly because I have yet to understand myself.

Recently, when the Korean Wave phenomenon started to take off throughout Asia, the word han began to represent anything related to Korea.  These days, when tourists travel to Korea, they often try to seek out as many han related activities as possible.

Reasons to Love Layovers at Incheon International Airport

Just the mention of the word delay, cancellation, or layover is enough to make even the most laid back passenger cringe.  Such occasions usually equate to extended hours spent in oft-hated, geographically-indistinguishable airports, facilities that rarely provide the amenities to entertain or comfort the weary traveler.  Fortunately for those connecting in or traveling to Seoul, Incheon International Airport is an exception.

For multiple years, Incheon Airport has been ranked the best airport in the world for its impeccable service, staff, and infrastructure developments, and while I agree that the airport deserves high marks in each of these categories- seriously, the efficiency and service is unmatched- I feel that what really makes it stand out from the others is that passengers are able to get the sense that they're really in Korea without ever leaving the airport.  Also, the sheer amount of facilities available make the airport an attraction in itself.  It's impossible to get bored at Incheon International and on my most recent visit, I decided to do some research to prove it.


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