9 days in Korea - 4 in Jeju, 5 in Seoul.
Korea was insanely h o t. I spent 9 days in Korean summer heat and came back tanner than when I first went there (coming from Singapore you'd think i'd be used to the heat, alas, I got burned).
9 days of awesome food, 9 days of cultural, scenic and shopping experiences, 9 days of extreme fun & SO MUCH EXPLORING!
I spent 2 of these days shopping, and I am now broke due to the crazy amount of skincare products I bought. When the money ran out, and the trip came to an end, I made my way back to Singapore with such a heavy heart.
I have so much to share - pictures and a ton of videos, but here's starting with a fun light hearted post featuring 5 interesting things I discovered during my time in Korea. Some of this you might already know, some you might not.
1 || Girls don't show their shouldersI know Korea is conservative, but I expected less conservativeness in Seoul, after all it is so cosmopolitan, and you know... look at what Kpop idols are wearing recently.Walking around in the day time I see guys in T shirt and jeans, none in singlets, and girls with a T-shirt under their vest tops. You do see a lot of girls in shorts though, which got me wondering if covering their shoulders was a way to prevent sunburns (I got burned on both shoulders lol!)
Considering the crazy heat, I was surprised at their ability to dress in sweaters and jeans. I felt awkward wearing my spaghetti strap tops to be honest - despite still perspiring profusely even with that ventilation.
I guess koreans just have this crazy ability to withstand the summer heat!
2 || Free attractions are a plentyI remember doing research and realising that a lot of the museums and attractions required some sort of admission fee. To my surprise, I think most of the places we visited in Seoul were free. Or rather, there was sufficient "free areas" to explore that we did not feel the need to pay extra to see more.
Note: The last Wednesday of every month is designated as Culture Day and that means FREE entry to cultural placesBecause of Cultural Day, we got ourselves a free pass into the Gyeongbokgung Palace!
3 || Mandarin is like a 2nd languageKorea gets most of its tourism from Mainland Chinese and so almost all the shopkeepers and storeowners have the ability to speak fluent mandarin. The signs in shops, toilets, train stations and along the streets / markets too have Chinese characters written on them beside the Korean characters. It's pretty insane.
One of the guides in Jeju could speak english, mandarin and Korean. He was guiding a tour in 3 different languages. Talk about multi-lingual.
Sadly, english isn't as widely spoken in Korea, despite being in the Capital, Seoul.
There is definitely a huge benefit if you understand chinese or can read chinese characters.
4 || Cicadas are EVERYWHEREThe sound of cicadas are pretty deafening. THEY ARE SO SO LOUD. For real. I've never heard such loud sounds coming from trees and plants, but in both Jeju and Seoul, the sound of cicadas were so distinct! And oddly they don't just sing at night, but in the day too!
We don't get to see any of them cicadas, but you definitely hear them. All 100000000000000000000 of them. At least it sounded like there were that many.
5 || Korean Girls ACTUALLY have that fair porcelain complexionYou know they say only the Kpop idols and actresses look that good because of the work done to them. Or maybe the country just puts their best faces forward. I think it might be the latter. Anyway, in terms of certain facial features or the way people look generally - they don't look moderately similar to the idols, but if you think about it, 99% of the US does not look like Beyoncé neither do the english in the UK look like Cheryl Cole, so I think it's just the way entertainment works.
Wait, I digressed. The point is, they really are super fair. And skin care is HUGE. I'd say 80% of the regular koreans I passed have really clear good skin. They are either naturally fair or they use a bunch of whitening products and BB Cushions that are 2 shades lighter to get that fair look.
I'm not much of a whitening products girl, but I definitely got sucked into their whole skincare situation.
Stay tuned for more posts on the places I visited in Korea (all the free things you can do), where to visit in Jeju and Seoul, the AWESOME FOOD, a few outfit posts, and also, how my bank account now hates me because of the multitude of skin care products I got!
To see more of my pictures during this trip, check out my Instagram!
Click Here for more 5 fun facts posts of other places I've visited around the world.