cheap things to do in Seoul

Night Views and City Lights on the Han River Fireworks Cruise

Few places in Seoul are as soothing as the Han River, also known as the Hangang. Stretching 319 miles (514 km) through the city and beyond, the river has played an important role in the Korean capital's history. Although still utilized for economic and industrial purposes, the average Seoulite views the Han River as a source of recreation and entertainment.

Tracing the entirety of the river are a variety of parks, bicycle paths, basketball courts and riverside cafes. It's my favorite place to hang out on a pretty day- perfect for picnicking, soaking up some sun or just going for a walk to enjoy the spectacular skyline of the city I've called home for the past five years.

Top 10 Attractions at Everland Theme Park

Everland is, without a doubt, Korea's best amusement park. Modeled after Disney World- albeit on a much smaller scale- the theme park consists of plenty of fun attractions that draw in more than 7 million visitors a year. With those attendance numbers, one can only imagine what the weekend crowds are like, particularly at peak times, such as summer vacation.

Which is why I was happy to learn on on my most recent visit with my blogger buddy Ken that the park is actually delightful during the week. In fact, we weren't even bothered by the scorching summer temps, as there were practically no lines for the rides. This allowed us to see a lot of the park comfortably and at our own pace. Additionally, the shuttle bus we booked with Funko made getting there easy as pie.

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.

Getting Into the Halloween Spirit, Seoul Style

Halloween isn't a traditional holiday here in Korea but over the past decade or so, it has begun to slowly seep into the nation's culture.  In Seoul, decorations can occasionally be spotted in store fronts and costumes can be purchased at super-centers like E-Mart and Home Plus.  Kindergartners go trick-or-treating at their English hagwons and bars offer cash prizes to the best-dressed vampire, cartoon character, or sexy bunny.

There are a number of events going on in Seoul around the 31st (including a Halloween booze cruise and a Freak or Treat Marathon) but if you're like me, you just can't wait until the end of the month to start celebrating.  Check my suggestions below on how to get into the Halloween spirit, Seoul style.

An Impromptu Hike on Dobongsan

"Serendipity.  Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." - Lawrence Block

Earlier this week, I felt the need to get out my apartment and take advantage of the beautiful weather.  A friend had told me about a place called Herb Garden in Gyeonggi Province and without doing much research, I made it my destination for the day.

Tong-in Market Dosirak Cafe: The Ultimate Korean Lunch Box

When I was in elementary school, I refused to anything that the school cafeteria spit out.  I was an extremely picky eater and because of this, my mom had no choice but to prepare a lunch box for me everyday.  I would get so excited to see what she had packed at lunch time: a crust-less turkey sandwich, string cheese, a bunch of grapes, pasta salad.  On a really good day, I'd find a Lunchable waiting for me, along with a note wishing me luck on whatever test I'd be taking that day.  My lunchbox meals were not just food... they were special moments in my day, provided courtesy of my thoughtful mother.

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