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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: trip

Into Seoul and Beyond: See, Do and Experience it Beyond the Touristy Stuff 

Josh okungbaiye

 

The vibrant city of Seoul in South Korea is a metropolis that’s brimming with action. There is so much to do and see there that you’ll never be able to see it all. Unless you pack up and move there, which isn’t a bad idea either.

seoul

You’ll definitely want to visit popular tourist destinations like Insadong, where you can check out art galleries, eat temple food while watching a traditional performance, and scoop up amazing souvenirs to take back home with you. You’ll also want to take the subway to Lotte World for a Korean version of Disney World. Plus, there are museums that will help round out your experience. And the palaces! You can’t miss those either. The most famous of them all, Gyeongbokgung Palace, has two museums on-site too.

The DMZ tour is also another popular thing for tourists, and honestly if you’ve got the time to do it, you shouldn’t skip the chance to visit. You’ll need to take a long bus ride for it, but most hotels can set you up for a tour if you ask the concierge.

While these touristy things are incredible and you should make time for them, if you stick to just those things, you’ll miss out on a whole other side of Seoul that you’ve simply got to see. Here are some other things you should make time to do and see while you’re in Seoul.

travel solo in south korea

1. Go for norebang

Korean karaoke rooms, called norebang, are amazingly fun. You get your own private and comfortably outfitted room with a state-of-the-art sound system. This singing room allows you and your crew to sing songs, order plenty of Hite or Cass (Korea’s domestic beers), and have an absolute blast. They have them everywhere so just pick a place that looks good and go. 

karaoke in seoul

2. Take line 2 for a view

The line 2 subway will give you the most impressive view of the Han River. You can also get out at Dangsan and walk out exit 3 to walk across the walkway and take selfies to your heart’s content.

train in seoul

3. Seoul Children’s Park

Most people that visit Seoul for a trip don’t know about this awesome place. You could spend the entire day here and still not do it all. It’s free to get in too. You’ll find a zoo and a stunning botanical garden. There’s also an amusement park. You only have to pay for rides or any food purchases that you make, making this a fantastic way to stay entertained even if you’re low on funds.

south korea architecture

4. Food, drinks, and nightlife

Go out like the Koreans do. Start at one place, like a Korean barbecue where you can grill your meats right in the center of your own table. Make sure you wash it down with plenty of soju, an alcoholic beverage akin to vodka. Then, amble on to the next place. Often, fried chicken joints are an inevitable stop where you and your friends will get spicy crispy fried chicken and a pitcher of beer. Want to dance or do the bar scene? Itaewon practically caters to foreigners, while Hongdae gives you more of that college set. Either place is great for a fun night out with plenty of restaurants, bars, and clubs to fill your night!

nightlife in seoul korea

5. Go shopping

Seoul is one of the fashion capitals of the world. Look at the way the women here style themselves and in a few months, you’ll see the trend take hold in the states. It’s an excellent place to shop. You’ll see plenty of malls filled with sparkly stores that will tempt you to spend. But one place you have to look is underground. Take the subway to the Gangnam Terminal where you’ll find the Goto Mall. Or head to Yeungdeungpo or Jamsil for more underground shopping madness. There are gobs of trendy clothes, shoes, jewelry and more, and the prices are outstanding. Hopefully, you’ve brought an expandable suitcase to take all your goodies home with you. If not, you can find one in one of these underground malls for super cheap.

If you do these things and get in some time at the many other touristy stops you can make, you’ll get the best taste of Seoul. It’s impossible to do it all so plan wisely and you’re experience in this majestic city will be truly unforgettable.

TOP 5 SAFETY TRAVEL APPS

Josh okungbaiye

Travelling to another part of the World is exciting. However, it is always important to stay safe and keep in mind your personal security while you are having fun. While you are travelling, situations may arise unexpectedly that may be out of your control and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared just in case. As we all know, summer is fast approaching and we know that a lot of you guys will be travelling this summer. To help you get prepared, we wanted to give you some useful tools to help you stay safe so we listed our top 5 safety travel apps to help you on your journey.  See below. Enjoy! :-)

(1)    ICE

While on vacation a medical situation may arise. They can be unexpected and it is best to be prepared as much as you can. The ICE app is a very useful tool if such situations arise. The app keeps details about your medical conditions, your insurance information and your doctor's direct contact details. It can also be accessed even if your phone is locked. Everyone should have this app all the time. The app also comes in a number of different languages.

travelling

(2)   Tripit

This app enables you to track your itinerary. You can also share your itinerary with your family and friends so they are also aware of your plans and be reassured of your safety. This is useful for just in case you forget or can’t pronounce the name of your destination. 

worldwide

(3)   iTranslate

This is a dictionary and translation app. It can easily translate texts in over 90 languages. It can also translate your voice phrases. Absolutely genius! Not being able to speak the local language can make you very vulnerable so this app is a powerful tool in empowering you as a tourist and gives you a lot more confidence in navigating the country that you are visiting. Also, if you are in a risky situation and cannot speak the local language the app will help a lot in assisting you in the situation.

(4)   Companion

This app acts like a guardian angel. The app lets your friends and family know that you are on your journey. All you have to do is enter your destination and select your contacts to be your Companions. They don’t even have to have the app installed.  These companions anywhere in the World will see a live map of your progress. It alerts your friends and family and lets them know if something happens to you so they can take action. It’s a great app that puts you at ease and also puts your friends and family at ease wherever you are in the World.

travel together

(5) Safeture

The app provides real-time status on warnings, alerts and security. The app automatically filters warnings and information to you based on your location or your travel destination. The Safeture app has for a number of years provided international businesses and Government organisations with travel security. The app also provides you with emergency information and updates quickly on events that may affect your travel plans and well-being.

TOP 5 HOTEL HACKS

Josh okungbaiye

Here are our top 5 hotel hacks to help you guys get free upgrades, discounted rates and additional perks during your hotel stays abroad. Enjoy! :-)

1.    Twenty Dollar Trick

As far as we know, this only works in selected Hotels in Las Vegas. If you happen to be travelling to Las Vegas definitely try it and see what happens. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. This is what you do:-

When you arrive at check-in, you provide your debit/credit card and ID and put a $20 bill in between the cards very discreetly and give it to the check-in staff. As you do this, ask if there are any upgrades available. If they find you an upgrade they keep the $20 bill, if not, they will simply decline and give it back to you. If successful, you could get a king size room with an amazing view and indoor Jacuzzi. It’s definitely worth a try.

view

2. Offer to write a review

It helps to mention that you are on TripAdvisor as you check-in. You can also offer to write a review of your experience. In response, you may get extra special treatment or even an upgrade from the hotel.

3.    Use the Do Not Disturb sign for security

If you are staying in a cheap hotel or hostel and unsure about the safety of your belongings, leave the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door when you go out; this will deter intruding thieves by giving them an indication that you may be in your room (even though you might not). This sign is effective in helping to keep your stuff in your hotel room safe from intruders and will give you some peace of mind while you are out and about exploring the city.

new york

3.     Call the hotel to speak to Hotel Manager or the Front Desk before you arrive

If you have stayed at the hotel before mention it. As an effort to ensure you come back the Hotel Manager may give you a special offer or special perks as a reward for being a regular customer.  If it is your first time staying at a particular hotel do not hesitate to ask for additional perks.  If it is a special occasion, anniversary or a birthday, mention it. If you don’t ask you don’t get. People underestimate how much power hotel staff have, they have the power to upgrade for free or for a good rate to make your stay even more enjoyable..

4.    Be Nice

Being nice and friendly can go a long way in getting extra perks during your stay.

singapore