***Finally I'm going to Seoul in April 2016***

Hey everyone :wink:

[I wasn’t sure in which category this falls into (couldn’t find a Travel one) so I post it in General since it may be useful to others.]

So after all these years I’m finally able to make this trip to South Korea and I’m super exited lol.
I’ll be staying around 10 days and plan on visiting Seoul plus (if time and ressources allows it Jeju) at the end of April.

This will be my first time in South Korea and I’m very excited to discover the city and the culture first hand.

I’m not sure yet what my housing conditions will be (Hostels, Couch
or Hotel) but the most important thing for me is get the most authentic feel of the city.

Fellow Vikiers, please give me all your tips, good addresses for food, housing, sight seeing shopping… any kpop hallyu experience worth having while in Seoul.

And of course if you think you will be around at the same time and want to meet up, I’m totally up for it <3

P.S: If anyone is wondering, have a basic level of Korean language understanding (tbh it’s below
basic at the moment lol) but I’m looking forward to improve a lot. I am
fluent in both English and French so I hope that will be enough to get me through this little holiday lol. If anyone know a website or app to learn a lot of vocabulary Fast or that help with korean grammar in prticular please share it.


Here’s a link to the first lesson of a course available on YouTube. It’s an excellent series that starts from the beginner level (where else?). If you can’t read hangul yet, he’s got some videos to get you going with that as well. If you do a search on YouTube, you’ll find many other helpful teachers and contributors too. I think the clarity of this instructor’s presentation makes it one of the most useful series for me.

By the way, he mentions a textbook and a course website in the first video, but you don’t need them to follow his lessons. Good luck! I know you’ll have a great time in Korea.



I am sorry to be negative but this video you posted - it is just horrible. He is a horrible teacher. I am sure you meant well but come on… he doesn’t know how to teach.

No need to apologize. There are a lot of people, though, who would disagree with your assessment of his lessons. That doesn’t mean that they’re right and you’re wrong, but people have different learning styles and preferences. Each should go with what they find works best, and as I mentioned, there are other very helpful instructors that I’ve benefited from listening to as well. Other helpful classes available on YouTube are offered through seemile.com, taught by Jenny, or for a more casual presentation, Christine. Of course, I’m sure there are other useful classes available, and if you have any to suggest, I’m sure that asuka_v would appreciate that too.

I mentioned the busyatomdotcom series as asuka_v mentioned she was interested in grammar. Also, I do like how this instructor covers the optional verb forms. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter which classes you or I like - it will be up to asuka_v to go with what works for her. Anyway, I’m sure that we both agree that we wish asuka_v a fantastic trip in April!

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Great for you, this is still in my to do list don’t know when it will happen but I have hope :persevere:
Make sure you make the most of your trip. Enjoy :smiley:

I am a language teacher myself so trust me, I know. It’s not about different learning styles and preferences, it is about what actually works and how to learn Korean in the most efficient way.

Thank you for being polite and not taking my negativity the wrong way.

There are no helpful Youtube courses in Korean, as far as I know, but there are some good Korean teachers in Korea. Unfortunately, they don’t have Youtube accounts.

I do wish asuka_v a fantastic trip in April. Hope she has fun.

I keep an eye on this topic. I plan to go to Seoul for at least 2 weeks in the later half of 2016 (preferably august-october) but I still need to find a travelbuddy and save money for my stay there… for me suggestions for good low budget hotels and guesthouses where you don’t have to share a room and bathroom/toilet with strangers are welcome.

Thank you for the information about your background as a language teacher. Not to take this discussion too far off topic, but let me say this about that.

  1. I salute you for being a teacher. I hold teachers in high regard, as I know that teaching is as much an art as it is a science. Not everybody can do it, regardless of the depth of their knowledge.
  2. I readily acknowledge that in language learning, there is no substitute for an interactive experience with a live teacher (whether onsite or remote).

Having said that, I just want to clarify that I made reference to the YouTube videos as the original poster mentioned learning through a website for some quick vocabulary and grammar. As she is leaving for a visit to Korea in a few months, she doesn’t seem to be in a position to take advantage of a live class. There may be some tutors who she can establish online sessions with, though, most likely on a fee basis.

And no need to thank me for being polite either - we’re all here to share and learn from each other, which we can’t do if we’re unwilling to listen to other viewpoints. And I appreciate your sharing yours.


Hey dudie, I can’t help you much with information about budget hotels and guesthouses, but from my limited experience you’re picking a good time of year to go. September month-end to early October should be a great time in Seoul weatherwise.

Yeah that’s why I’m planning to go at that time. I don’t like the cold and the summer heat is not good when you plan to do a lot on holiday. And I wanna go before or after the rain season. I have enough rain here. Although I won’t mind if I see Rain (the person) hahahahha.

I really like Talk to me in Korean for learning. They have YouTube videos, books and audio files available. They also have e books with slang words and phrases that you can’t find in dictionaries. Their Hangeul Master book shows multiple handwritten types of Hangeul so you can learn to read stylized signs. I am going for the first time in April as well but I will only be there for 3 days the second week of April. Good Luck!

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Thank you very much for your answer! Although the maker of those video has a pretty unconventional way to teach, I find it really helpful and straight to the point. I’ve been watching the first 11 lessons already and my grammar level improved so much this is exaclty what I needed.

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  • I will be staying in a Hostel in Hongdae (Hongik University neighbourhood), any suggestions on the “must see/do” in the area?
  • Still looking for a Travel companion or anyone who would like to meet in Seoul while I’ll be there :blush:

this still stands:

"Fellow Vikiers, please give me all your tips, good addresses
for food, housing, sight seeing shopping… any kpop hallyu experience
worth having while in Seoul.

And of course if you think you will be around at the same time and want to meet up, I’m totally up for it <3"

I’m happy to hear it’s been working for you. You’re going to have a great time in April!

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I think the things to consider are:
. Must have data connection on your cellphone
. Must have a translation app on your cellphone
. Must have exchange rate converter
. Must have some kind of map look up, I use Bing

With the translation app you can quickly get the right word or close enough so you can show to the person even if you can’t say it.

Yeouido Park is a must visit when you are in Soul for the cherry blossoms between late April and May

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Salut a tout(e) avec une amie on se prépare a faire un voyage pour Séoul nous avons donc crée un forum pour toute les personne qui serais intéresse de nous suivre dans cette aventure ou des les personne qui on déjà était en coréé pour nous donner quelque conseil pouvoir se faire quelque amie je vous laisse donc l’adresse du forum

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It’s been so long since I’ve been to Korea and Korea has changed so much so I’ll be just like any other clueless tourists if I go there again so I don’t have any personal recommendations for you. But I saw a useful clips on best apps to download in Korea, such as the subway and bus schedule app. Good luck and have fun!



Hi an American, here!
I speak Korean well enough for people to think I live there @.@.
I also went this Summer and have a lot to say cuz… well foreigners and non-foreigners are different. A lot friends and relatives they had NO IDEA cuz they’re nationals.

Check your embassy to see if they have things they require of you. If the tourism bureau fails you, you can prolly use your country’s embassy for help. BTW. If you commit a crime or end up in anything that warrants a police station visit, be prepared for them to make you go to your country’s embassy.

You need to download:
Smarter subway- yes the app is in Korean, but it tells you how to go anywhere via the public transit system and how much it costs.

Don’t exchange your money at the airport.
Go to the Chosun Bank in Seoul Station. Try to get a Korean to do it for you cuz… I’m not sure if they’ll want to rip you off (common theme in Korea). I know they have the best exchange rates for foreign currency.

Cell phones. You can’t buy a sim card in Korea. But just incase do unlock your phone.
Korea like Turkey uses a white-list system. Which means phone numbers have to be given permission to be active. To fill up a sim card, one needs to be a Korean citizen (where a Korean friend could be handy).
That’s the cheapest way. The only alternative if you don’t have a Korean friend is for you to rent a phone at the airport. It could cost you an arm and a leg.

Don’t get your cellphone service activated at the airport though because they can’t give you complementary wifi from KT. you need to go to a KT store and ASK for the wifi. wait till you get to Seoul from Incheon.

You need to buy a transit card, called “T-money.” You can buy them if you ask where.

Do not use your Korean to ask for directions! I asked where’s the main road and they stared at me like I had three heads with the look of why don’t you know?! cuz I don’t live here that’s why! Use English to ask for directions.

Hospitals. If you have a condition, check out which hospitals can treat you. Carry a card with the instructions emergency personnel need to help you. if you can’t find them ask your super specialist. Check your insurance policy. For example there’s only three adult congenital heart disease centers in Korea and I happened to go when there were MERS (didn’t go to Kangnam cuz MERS was the rage). So I could only go to one hospital in Seoul. The other one was in Sejong City. Look into this. It’s important.
Do install Blue Ribbon, again unfortunately it’s in Korean, but any Korean can tell you what it says.
It’s basically yelp. Naver and google unfortunately are useless in the restaurant dept (unless you’re looking at non-Korean reviews) because the restaurants pay off bloggers to rave about their places.

If you go to the tourism website there’s a toll free number that you can call if you’re stuck. The speaker on the telephone works for the gov’t bureau for tourism and can translate/get you what you need. In general if you need help just ask these people. They’re paid to help you.

Don’t! Order strange things in Myungdong unless the restaurant specializes in it. There’s been articles about how they make a killing scalping tourists (e.g. only eat pork dishes in the restaurant specializing in pork. don’t order your kimbob there. It will taste terrible and is overpriced on purpose just for tourists).

Do go to Jayeon Byulgok. It is a traditional Korean-style buffet directly managed by CJ group (yes the same parent corporation as CJ Ent.). Go on weekdays cuz it’s cheaper. It was like 9,900 won per person. The food is so good!!! I think it’s 17,000 won per person on weekends.

Ask your Korean-French friends about Korea as much as possible. I guess it would be ideal if I was Korean-French, but I’m Korean-American sorry :frowning:
They’ll be your best bet because their comparisons and expectations ratings etc. would be similar to yours and will def give you more relatable advice.

Free wifi in Korea is a lie because only Olleh (KT) customers can use it. @.@ You can use free wifi if it’s complementary to customers or if it’s starbucks your hotel etc. But the free wifi you always see? NOPE for Olleh customers only same for trains. Olleh wifi in trains.

Seoul Metro and buses don’t run past 10:30 pm. Plan accordingly.
In addition, taxis have a high likelihood of scamming you so check out an app to check the rates.

Do go to the Duty-Free Lotte Store at the Shinsegae Mall in Myungdong.
Myungdong also has a lot of cute cat cafe’s etc. Myungdong will be crowded always. but even more so on weekends. Avoid!!

Idk about French customs, but US customs don’t check for anything.
Look into that if you’re interested in taking things that aren’t exactly legal.


oh yeah some dude mentioned maps. GOOGLE is terrible. Use naver maps when in Korea.
Google.co.kr. is not the same as google.com


I’ve been wanting to go there for a long time… Hopefully next year that will happen…Have a safe and fun trip!!!