I’ve been to South Korea twice since I quit my job to travel the world. But every time I fly there, I seem to spend tons of time in Seoul eating, shopping, and catching up with friends. I mean how can we not. Just look at the things we got to eat!
Thanks to Arirang TV, I got a chance to explore some places outside Seoul this time! The best part though, was that I got to travel around with foodie Nat from RubbishEatRubbishGrow, and got hosted by the incredibly talented Fabien Yoon!
Really lucky to be hosted by @frenchmonster7 (Running Man, Fashion King) for our short tour around Korea with #Arirang TV. #FabienYoo was so nice and humble, constantly looking out for us while making us feel at home. Big thanks to the super crew who showed us what Korean hospitality was too! More updates to come! #TheTravelIntern #Seoul #Korea #Kpop A photo posted by Hendric Tay (@pohtecktoes) on
Here are two of my favourites that are only a couple of hours away from Seoul.
Visit a traditional folk village
While there are traditional folk villages within Seoul, nothing beats heading out into the countryside. Sometimes we just need a quick respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
We visited Oeam Folk Village in Asan, which was about 2 hrs away from Seoul. Former home of a famous Lee family (not the one in Singapore), coming here is like taking a step back in time. For the Korean drama fans, it’s as if you walked into an olden days movie set.
The snow also made everything look even more beautiful!
While no one lives here anymore, the village is like a living-museum and is very well maintained. The main ‘Yeongam Gunsu’ House has beautiful gardens with water features and signs to explain everything. The wax figurines may seem a little tacky, they do provide a better insight into their lives and make good photo opportunities!
To experience what life used to be in the past, you can even try your hand at making traditional Korean snacks and handicrafts. It takes about 2hrs to visit the place!
I heard that there are Hanoks (Korean traditional house) available for stays too.
Oeam Folk Village (아산 외암민속마을)
Oeam-ri, Songak-myeon, Asan, Chungcheongnam-do 336-921, South Korea
Adults: Individual: 2,000 won / Group: 1,600 won
Youths & Children: Individual: 1,000 won / Group: 800 won
0900 – 1700hrs though I recommend reaching a little earlier for a picturesque sunrise
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Asan Intercity Bus Terminal.
* Bus schedule: 06:00-22:00, 30-40min intervals / Estimated travel time: 2 hrs
[Train] From Seoul Station or Yongsan Station, take a train to Onnyang Oncheon Station.
* Train schedule: 06:39-22:28, 30-60min intervals / Estimated travel time: 1hr 30mins
From Asan Bus Terminal or Onyang Oncheon Station,
Take Bus 120 bound for Gangdanggol (강당골) and get off at Oeam Folk Village.
* Bus schedule: 08:10-19:30, runs 8 times a day / Travel time: 40mins
Take Bus 100 or 130 and get off at Songnam Elementary School (송남초등학교). Walk 5-10mins to Oeam Folk Village.
Finally fulfilled my farmer dreams plucking strawberries! While I always enjoyed buying strawberries from street vendors in Seoul, nothing could prepare me for this. I swear it was pure joy picking strawberries directly and stuffing them into your mouth. I can’t even describe how fresh, juicy, and sweet they were. Korea is famous for their strawberries, but eating them directly was another thing altogether.
While we weren’t exactly there at harvest season, there were still plenty of perfect looking and tasting strawberries for picking. Fabien, Nat and I had a mini contest to pick the biggest strawberry, but I ended up eating the best before we ended. :P
We were at Sumi Village in Yangpyeong, which hosts an annual Strawberry Festival around Feb-May. You’ll be able to pick your own strawberries while participating in a variety of related activities. We made traditional cookies using the strawberries!
You can also visit on an adhoc basis from around Dec-Jun, picking strawberries and only paying for the ones you bring home.
This little guy was following us all around Tractor rides to bring couples around the village. So cheesy right! Snack making with strawberry jam
Sumi Village is famous for having festivals all year round, but it’s more popularly known amongst Korean couples for dating! While we were 3 guys at this romantic village, we still had a lot of fun in the countryside flying kites and appreciating the countryside.
Yangpyeong Strawberry Farm, Sumi Village
Please let the farmers know what option you want.
(1) : picking 1kg – KRW 15,000
(2) : picking 600g – KRW 10,000
(3) : picking 400g – KRW 8,000
* Only cash. Prices are indicative only.
1000 – 1600hrs
Take the subway to Yangsu Station (Jungang Line). Then take a short taxi ride (10mins, ~W5000) based on the directions below.
Image credit: FuntasticKorea
Maybe it’s time to plan a trip to Korea during one of the upcoming long weekends in 2016?
Got a suggestion on things to do outside Seoul? Drop them in the comments section below too!