Getting to Know Korea
A Korean Trip for All Five Senses

Travel trends are shifting from trips that are a delight our eyes and palates to trips that highlight hands-on experiences gained from fully engaging the local culture. Here are some of the special destinations for tourists who want to delve deep into Korea’s charm by experiencing the country’s age-old traditions and unique living culture.

Museum Kimchikan: Make Your Own Kimchi and Have a Taste!

Korea has been home to a unique traditional culture for several millennia, and kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine, has now become a familiar dish among foreigners. Located in Insa-dong, Seoul, Museum Kimchikan
					is Korea’s first dedicated kimchi museum . The museum also boasts inclusion by CNN into 11 of the world’s top food museums. Here, visitors can learn about the diverse aspects of kimchi, including its history and nutritional value. In particular, experience programs, where participants can make whole cabbage kimchi or white kimchi are very popular among foreign tourists. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the museum runs permanent experience programs for foreigners, so why not make a reservation via their website or by phone and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience by making your own tasty kimchi! 
					

Bukchon Hanok Village: Korea’s Iconic Beauty in Hanok-lined Alleys

Korea has many hanok (traditional Korean houses) accommodations available for tourists, and the most well-known area is Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul. Some residents offer spare rooms as tourist lodgings in a traditional village setting that coexists in an actual residential area. Currently, there are some 20 hanok stay programs in this district, and each hanok features unique formations and garden arrangements that offer a wide range of interesting options to visitors. Further information on the village and other hanok stay programs in Seoul can be found on the official website (http://hanok.seoul.go.kr). 

Korea Furniture Museum: Feel the Quaint Appeal of Korean Traditional Furniture

Located in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul, the Korea Furniture Museum has become a new hot spot that features guided tours dedicated to foreign visitors. The museum offers ten alluring hanok houses, including one restored house from Changgyeonggung Palace, one of the royal palaces from the Joseon Dynasty. The quaint aesthetic of traditional furniture arranged within these time-honored hanok creates an elegant and graceful ambience. Celebrities from around the globe have paid a visit, elevating the museum’s reputation even higher, including Xi Jinping (General Secretary of the Communist Party of China), Martha Stewart (world-famous female entrepreneur), and Brad Pitt (Hollywood actor and global household name). In fact, it is said that Brat Pitt was so enamored with the museum’s age-old pieces of furniture that he ended up spending three hours instead of the originally scheduled one hour. Pitt was reportedly astonished that centuries old furniture pieces could look so modern. So, why not come on down and share the allure of Korean traditional aesthetics in the same manner as these celebrities?

Jjimjilbang: An Exotic Playground for All

If you want to sample Korea’s unique living culture, jjimjilbang (Korean-style sauna/spa) is one experience you must try.  Jjimjil, the act of submerging your body in hot water or sweating heavily in a high temperature room to rid yourself of contaminants, has long been a popular traditional health treatment. That’s one reason why Korea has developed public baths over the ages. A newly added invention from the 1990s, jjimjilbang is an upgrade from a traditional public bath and features public bath venues as well as multiple saunas under a variety of treatment themes such as a restaurant, a skin care room, a gym facility, and a video arcade, making it more of a leisure complex. Not only in Seoul, but also all around the country, you will easily find large-scale jjimjilbangs that are open around the clock. So, why not venture into one of them and create one-of-a-kind memories to carry with you?

PLAY KPOP: Create Fresh Memories with K-Wave Stars

If you are a K-pop fan, why don't you make special memories with your favorite idol stars at PLAY KPOP? Korea’s largest K-pop museum, this experience-based theme park features holographic images of your favorite stars such as the K-wave star Psy, G-Dragon from Big Bang, the unique and distinguished girl group 2NE1, and AOA, allowing K-pop fans to share fresh memories with them. Here, your dreams will all come true: you can sit next to your favorite star and go for a drive, or you can lie back on a bench and take a romantic photo with them. What’s more, the museum lets you become a star yourself. For example, you can create your own album featuring a K-pop star at the Star Recording Studio, or create your own music video.

Hallyu Star Makeup Class: Learn How to Do Makeup Like Korean Stars!

For many visitors to Korea, cosmetics are probably the one must-have item on their shopping lists. K-beauty has become all the rage among Asian women as well as women around the world. In particular, many fans are curious about the makeup secrets of K-wave stars, how their faces look so natural yet lovely. Luckily, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is holding the Hallyu Star Makeup Class throughout 2017, drawing huge attention from Korean Wave fans. It’s a program provided to foreign tourists who have made a prior reservation through the city’s tourism website (www.visitseoul.net). Each month, new classes start under new themes. The instructions are free and offered in English. Plus, under partnership with Jenny House, Korea’s leading beauty salon, Seoul City also runs the Hallyu Star Styling Class. So, if you are into K-beauty, why not check out the links and apply for these programs?
* This page was last updated on January 31, 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here!
                            
                        

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