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Where to buy T Money card? How to use Seoul public transport? What are the Seoul Subway operating hours? Where to find a Seoul subway map in English? Is there a Seoul Subway pass for tourist?

Seoul is a huge mega city which is stretched over 605.2 km², not a surprise if you know there are over 10 million people living in Korea’s capital. With so many inhabitants, it is no wonder that the Seoul public transport system is excellent. Not only is the whole city well connected, using public transportation in Seoul is affordable, fast and convenient to use for foreign visitors. Read on to learn more about getting around Seoul.

What To Know About Seoul Public Transport
  • Data: To navigate on the transportation in Seoul you’ll need a WiFi connection. Get data or a WiFi egg upon arrival at the airport and never get lost again. More info here.
  • Water: Compared to other countries in Asia, tap water in Korea is some of the safest water. In many subway stations, you’ll fund water fountains, so don’t be afraid to use them.
Seoul Public Transport: Tickets

Even though you can buy individual tickets for the Seoul subway, it is recommended to buy a Seoul transportation card. These cards can be used on the bus, subway and taxi in Seoul and the rest of the country. The benefits of using a T Money or other transport cards are listed below.

  • Each ticket for the bus and subway is 100 won cheaper than when buying individual tickets
  • Saves time. Once in a while you need to top up your card instead of buying a ticket for each ride.
  • No additional fare when transferring between bus and subway (up to 5 free transfers). Without a transportation card you will end up paying two fares. This free transfer only counts if you get onto another bus or metro within 30 minutes after leaving the previous one. Between 9 PM and 7 AM, it is within 1 hour.

There are different types of transportation cards available to buy, but for most travelers getting a simple T Money Card will be good enough.

1. T Money Card

A T Money Card is a rechargeable card used to pay transportation fees and it can be used on all public transportation in Korea including buses, subways and taxis. A T Money Card can be purchase online and be picked up at Incheon Airport upon arrival, delivered to your home or bought at any convenience store (cash only) and tourist information centers . The price of the card is between 2500 and 4000 krw. The price depends on the design which is on the card. The fare for the subway using the T Money card on the subway is as follows:

AgeT Money SubwayTicket Subway
Regular (19 years and over)1250 krw1350 krw
Youth (13 – 18 years old)720 krw1350 krw
Child (6 – 12 years old)450 krw450 krw

Note: when buying a T Money card for children under 19, make sure to mention this to the sales person.

An additional fee is charged for the Airport Railroad Line and the Sinbundang Line. After 10 kilometers, an additional fee of 100 won is charged for every additional 5 kilometers.

1.1 Buy T Money Card Online

Listed below are different T Money Cards that can be purchased online. Check what package suits your needs and where the pick up point is located.

  • T Money Card – 3500 krw – Incheon Airport Pick Up – Buy here
  • T Money Card – 3500 krw – Taoyuan or KL Airport Pick Up – Buy here
  • T Money Card – 3000 krw – Malaysia Home Delivery – Buy here
  • T Money Card – 2400 krw – Incheon Airport Pick Up – Buy here
  • 4G Sim Card + T Money Card – 23 000 krw – Incheon Airport Pick Up – Buy here
1.2 Korea Tour Card T Money

If you are planning on doing a lot of shopping while in Seoul, it might be worth buying the special Korea Tour Card from T Money. This card is exclusive for foreign travelers and it offers additional discounts at department stores and touristic attractions. This card costs 4000 krw and can be purchased at convenience store in major tourist areas, Incheon Airport Railway Travel Center and Seoul Metro vending machines. The card works just like a regular T Money card. More info here.

1.3 T Money Refund

If you have money left on your T Money card and want to get a refund you can go to any convenience store and ask for a remaining balance refund. This is only possible if the balance is between 500 krw or 20 000 krw. If you balance is over 20 000 krw you need to go to the Smart Card Office ( address: 10th Floor, Seoul City Tower #581, Namdaemunro 5ga, Jong-gu, Seou, 100-741). 500 krw is charged when asking for a refund.

2. M Pass card

An M Pass is a Seoul subway pass for tourist traveling multiple days (also valid in Jeju). The pass offers 20 rides a day from the moment the pass is activated. Normally tourist won’t take 20 rides a day but if you need to be all over the city, this pass might be worth it. The pass can be bought in Incheon Airport, Seoul Station and Myeongdong Tourist Information Center. More info here.

DaysPrice Price after 5 PM
1 day pass15 000 krw12 000 krw
2 day pass23 000 krw 20 000 krw
3 day pass30 500 krw 27 500 krw
5 day pass47 500 krw 44 500 krw
7 day pass64 500 krw 61 500 krw
3. Discover Seoul Pass

The Discover Seoul Pass is a special pass for tourist coming to Seoul. The pass is a T Money card and gives instant free access to over 35 attractions. Additionally, the card offers discounts for certain big department stores and performances in Seoul. If you are planning visiting major sites and attractions, this pass is really worth it. The DSP can be purchase online for Incheon airport pick up or in major tourist information centers in Seoul. The passes bought online are 5% cheaper then on location purchases. More info here.

TimePrice
24 hours39 000 krw
48 hours55 000 krw
72 hours 70 000 krw

Note: the special BTS limited edition Discover Seoul Pass does not have the T Money function.

To use the DSP as a T Money card it first has to be topped up. The card can be topped up in the subway and convenience stores. Initially there is no credit on the card. When the 24/48/72 hours of the card run out, you can continue to use the card as a transportation card.

4. Pay By Cash

Instead of buying a transportation card, it is also possible to purchase individual tickets on the Seoul public transport like bus or subway. This can only be done using cash and it has a couple of disadvantages. Namely, each ride is 100 won more expensive than when using a card and when transferring from bus to subway an additional ticket has to be purchased.

4.1 Pay By Cash In Subway

Single journey tickets can be bought at the vending machines located in each subway station. The instructions on the machine are in English and are very straightforward. Namely: pick the English menu, select ‘Single Journey Ticket’, pick your destination, select the amount of passengers, insert cash into the machine.

When purchasing a single journey ticket a 500 krw deposit is required. You can get back the deposit upon arrival at the destination when returning the card.

4.2 Pay By Cash In Bus

Upon entering the bus, next to the driver there will be a money box which you can put your cash money in. Try to pay the exact amount in coins or bills and avoid paying with bills over 10 000 krw as you will receive your change in 100 krw coins.

5. Korean Bank Card

If you are permanently living in Korea and have a Korean bank account, you can go to your bank and get a bank card which is both a debit card and T money card. This means you won’t need to recharge your transportation card and you get charged once a month. The money gets taken automatically from your bank account. This card can be used on all public transportation methods in the whole country including on the bus, subway and taxi. The transportation fare using a bank card is the same as when using a T Money Card.

Seoul Public Transport

Listed below is everything you need to know about using the Seoul public transport system. It includes how to use the metro, buses, city tour buses, taxis and city bike.

1. Seoul Subway

The metro or subway is a convenient type of Seoul public transport as its easy to use and fast. You can get from one side of the city to the other in less than an hour. The total distance of all the subway lines in Seoul is 287 km, with 70% of this running underground. On the Seoul subway network there are over 22 subway lines, 291 subway stations and it connects Seoul, Incheon, the Gyeonggi and Chungnam province. The subway is by far the most convenient way for getting around Seoul. An English Seoul subway map can be found here.

Each subway line has its own colour and name in both Korean and English. In all subway stations and inside the Seoul metro all maps, signs and announcements will be both in English and Korean. On popular lines these will also be in Chinese and Japanese.

Note: bikes can be brought on the subway (except for the Sinbundang line) but only in the last carriages and on weekends. Small pets are allowed on the subway, only if they can be carried in a bag or stroller.

1.1 Seoul Subway Operating Hours

The Seoul subway operation hours are from 5:30 to 24:00, but this differs from line to line. The estimated travel time between two stations in central Seoul is 2-3 minutes and the time it takes to transfer in between 2 lines is usually around 3 minutes. Most trains come every 5 minutes, but again, this differs from line to line.

1.1 Seoul Subway Fare

The starting price for a regular subway ticket using a T Money card is 1250 krw for the first 10 kilometers. For every 5 kilometers and additional charge of 100 krw will be added. After 50 kilometers an additional charge of 100 krw will be charged per 8 kilometers.

AgeT Money SubwayTicket Subway
Regular (19 years and over)1250 krw1350 krw
Youth (13 – 18 years old)720 krw1350 krw
Child (6 – 12 years old)450 krw450 krw

The Incheon airport railroad line and Sinbundang line are the only lines that are more expensive than the other lines.

2. Seoul Bus

Using the Seoul bus is very convenient, but for first timers to Seoul, taking the bus is more difficult than taking the subway. Most main bus routes have signs in both English and Korea but there are quite a few buses and bus stops that don’t. Many bus drivers in Seoul speak no or little English.

There are 8 types of buses running in Seoul and each one has a different colour. Namely the blue, green, yellow, red, long distance, town, airport and midnight bus. Each bus has a different fare and operation frequency.

1.1 Seoul Bus Fare

The most common type of bus, the blue and green one have a starting fee of 1200 krw for an adult. After the first 10 kilometers you will be charged an additional 100 krw per 5 kilometers. Children under the age of 6 ride the bus for free if they are accompanied by a guardian (maximum 3 children).

Type of bus T Money BusTicket Bus
Blue Bus/Green Bus 1200 krw 1300 krw
Red Bus2300 krw 2400 krw
Yellow Bus 1100 krw1200 krw
Late-Night Bus2150 krw2250 krw
Shuttle (Town) Bus900 krw1000 krw
3. Seoul Taxi

If you want to get somewhere fast and you don’t mind paying a bit extra, than getting a taxi is another good option, especially when traveling in group. Taxis in Seoul are rather inexpensive compared to other countries in the world and they are easy to find. Just a 5 minutes wait at the side of the pavement and you’ll get a taxi. Standard taxis can fit up to 4 people. Tip: if you are planning on using taxis regularly, install Kakao Taxi App. On the app you can request a taxi and see the ratings of the driver.

Note: during peak hours it is not recommended to take a taxi, getting there by subway will be way faster as you can be stuck for hours.

3.1 Types Of Seoul Taxis

There are 5 different types of taxis, each with a different colour. The standard taxis are the orange, white, grey and sky blue taxis. These are mid-sized sedans and are the cheapest ones to take. The sky blue taxi is an electronic taxi which was only introduced earlier this year. Deluxe taxis are black and more comfortable than regular taxis, they are also more expensive. The black jumbo taxis can accommodate up to 10 passengers, these are more expensive, but usually due to the size of the group it works out cheaper per person. International taxis are orange but have a sign on the top of their taxi saying ‘international taxi’. The drivers of these taxis can speak a foreign language like English or Japanese. These taxis are more expensive than regular taxis.

If you are going to or coming from the airport it is recommended to book a taxi online, you can leave the time and pick up address when booking. This is more convenient than waiting at the side of the street and certain taxis won’t be willing to take you to the airport as then they have to drive all the way back. Book a taxi here.

3.2 Seoul Taxi Fare

The fare depends on the distance and the type of taxi you’ll be taking. Listed below are the fees for the regular and deluxe taxi. Each taxi has a meter and the taxi driver should turn on the meter when starting to drive.

FareRegularDeluxe/Jumbo
Base fare3800 krw / 2 km6500 krw / 3 km
Distance charge100 krw / 132 m200 krw / 151 m
Idle charge100 krw / 31 s200 krw / 36 s
Late-night surcharge20% from 12 AM ~4 AMNone
3.3 Paying In A Taxi

There are 3 ways of paying in a taxi, by card, cash or using the T Money Card. Make sure to ask for a receipt when leaving the taxi, just in case you would forget your wallet or phone, you can call the number on the receipt.

It is acceptable to tip taxi drivers in Korea. Normally tipping in South Korea is not done, but when paying with cash in a taxi you can tell the driver to keep the change.

4. Seoul City Tour Bus

There are Seoul City Tour Buses driving around the major attractions in Seoul to make visiting the highlights easier for foreign tourists. For only 18 000 krw (13 000 krw for the Gangnam Tour) you can use the city tour bus all day and get off or on at any stop you want. There are 4 different courses to pick from, namely the Downtown Palace Namsan Course, Panorama Course, Night Course and the Around Gangnam Course. Tickets have to be purchased in advance online or at one of the ticket selling points in Seoul. Buy tickets for here.

5. Seoul City Bike

The last option is the Seoul City Bikes which can be rented at multiple points around Seoul. Renting one of these bikes is especially worth it when spending time at the Han River. A map of all the Seoul city bike points can be found here.

If you have a Discover Seoul Pass, you can rent a..

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Clean drinking water is vital to our life and that is not different when on holiday in Seoul or the rest of the country. Korea is known for being an advanced and clean country when it comes to bathrooms, hotels, touristic sights, stores and more. This article provides basic information about drinking water in Korea.

Things To Know About Visiting Korea
  • Tipping: Korea is generally a no tipping country. Except for taxi drivers and tour guides, tipping is not done. In traditional or older restaurants, this might even offend the owners.
  • Travel Adapters: For visitors from US, UK, South East Asia and Japan, bringing a travel adapter is vital. The Korean power outlet is the same as the mainland European one.
  • Itineraries: Use these sample Korea itineraries to plan the perfect trip to South Korea.
  • Travel Insurance: Getting the right travel insurance is major when going on holiday to South Korea. Don’t let accidents ruin your holiday. Check more info here.
Water In Korea

When traveling in South Korea, there are 2 options when it comes to drinking water. First is tap water and secondly bottled water. Listed below is all the info you need to know about drinking water in Korea.

1. Tap Water In Korea

Can you drink the water in South Korea? YES. The tap water in South Korea is drinkable. The water infrastructure across the country is reliable and purification processes are well maintained. The tap water in South Korea is of good quality and won’t upset the stomach.

The government has been making it their priority to replace old pipeline across Seoul and the rest of Korea. In Seoul, 95% of all old water pipes have been replaced and the remaining 5% will be replaced by 2020. In 2003, Korea ranked 8th United Nations world wide water quality report and the quality of the water has only been improving since then. Consider bringing a reusable bottle when coming to South Korea.

Note: if you are staying in an accommodation that is rather old, it is possible when opening the tap, slightly brown coloured water comes out the first 5 seconds. This is due to the old pipes in the accommodation, if this is the case, it is recommended to drink bottled water. Modern and new hotels should not have this issue.

1.1 Tap Water In Seoul

In Seoul, the Office of Waterworks, also known as Arisu (recognized by the UN), monitors the quality of the water 24 hours a day. During the day it conducts regular water quality inspections in relation to 147 indicators at 5 water intake points. If you are interested to learn more about the purification process, Arisu has its own Waterworks Museum, where visitors can learn more about the history and development of clean water in Korea. More info here.

2. Bottled Water In Korea

Koreans swear by bottled water or have a purified water system in their homes. There is a general belief that bottled or additionally purified water is healthier than tap water. Multiple public campaigns have been held to promote drinking tap water, but to no avail. The bottled water industry is huge and is looking to make about 1 trillion won by 2020.

In any super market, you’ll see more than 20 different water brands which can range from 500 won to 2000 won a bottle. The most popular brand is Jeju Samdasoo, this is the only volcanic bedrock water in South Korea.

The cheapest brands are Bongpyeong Spring Water and Blue from E-mart. These bottles go for about 470 won per 2 liter. Many different water brands get water from the same source, and sell the ‘same’ water under different prices and labels.

Note: consider bringing a reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water. As with bottled water comes a lot of plastic waste. If you don’t want to drink tap water, you can refill your reusable bottle at a water purifier machine which can be found at any museum, restaurant and public building.

[$0.30 vs $4.40] Koreans Try The Bottled Water Taste Test - YouTube
3. Purified Water

Most Korean families have a purifying machine at home which purifies the tap water. In most public buildings like museums, restaurants, government building you’ll find a machine like this. If you see one of these, feel free to fill up your bottle.

Note: in many restaurants getting water is self service. If you see a filtered water machine with cups next to it, it’s very likely that you have to get your own water.

Best Travel Water Bottles

When visiting South Korea, consider bringing a reusable travel water bottle. These can be filled at the tap or at any purifier machine which can be found in any public space. Listed below are the best travel bottles to bring.

1. Stainless Steel Bottles

Opting for a stainless steel bottle is a great choice, not only is it healthier, it also keeps your water cold. These bottles are pretty lightweight and indestructible.

2. Collapsible Water Bottles

Want to safe space in your bag? Consider getting a collapsible bottle. Most of the bottles are made out of plastic, but are extremely lightweight and the perfect option when packing light when coming to Korea.

3. Water Purifier Bottles

Still not sure about the quality of the water in Korea? Consider getting a water purifier bottle. Most of these bottles come with a filter that needs to be replaced once in a while. This is the more expensive water bottle, but you’ll be sure the water you’re drinking is safe. For South Korea, a water bottle like this might be a bit overkill, but if you are on an Asia trip and visiting neighbouring countries, this might be worth it.

Note: when going camping or hiking in Korea, it might be worth bringing a purifier bottle. In the mountains you’ll often come across a spring and you’ll see many local people drinking from the spring. If you want to drink from the spring, make sure to use your purifier bottle.

Water In Korean

The word for water in Korean is 물 (mul). The pronounciation of the ending of the word is the same as in the English word ‘full’. If you want to ask for water in a restaurant you have to say 물 주세요 (mul juseyo).

Do you have any questions about drinking water in Korea? Have you tried the different bottled water? Are there any things to add to this article? Let me know in the comment section below.

The post Drinking Water In Korea & Seoul appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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To the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace lies the ‘retro’ village, Seochon. A village which is home to the famous Tongin Market, many restaurants and picturesque cafes. Read on more to find out all there is to do in Seochon Village Seoul.

What To Know When Seochon Korea
  • Walking Tour: want to learn more about the history of the village from a local expert? Take a 3 hour walking tour of the area which will bring you to all the hot spots. More info here.
  • What to wear: check what to pack and wear in South Korea here.
  • Foreigner discounts: sites like Klook and Trazy offer lots of special discounted entrance tickets, only for foreigners.
  • Public transport pass: buy a T-money card to get around Seoul, this can be used on the subway, bus and in taxis. More info here.
  • Itineraries: make sure to include Seochon Hanok Village in your Seoul itinerary.
  • Other Areas: other great areas to visit in Seoul include Bukchon and Myeongdong.
About Seochon Village

Seochon literally translates to West Village as it is located in the west of the historic center of Seoul, which was called Hanyang during the Joseon Dynasty. It lies just to the left of Gyeongbokgung Palace and is a popular area to experience a traditional Korean hanok stay.

In contrast with Bukchon village which lies on the right of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seochon was home to the less powerful court officials and scholars. They lived in smaller traditional Korean hanok houses, but were still withing walking distance of the major palaces. The most famous Korean historic figure that was born in Seochon is King Sejong. He is the most known Korean Joseon king as he created the Korean alphabet and made other major improvements to the foreign policies, Korean military and much more.

Towards the end of the Joseon Dynasty and during the Japanese occupation, Seochon village became an attractive area for foreigners to settle. In 1898, the American missionary Josephine Eaton Peel Campbell founded Baewha Women’s University in the area.

When walking around Seochon village, it feels like going back in time. Many of the buildings are still the same as back in 1970. This is because President Park Chung-hee created a law to prevent new constructions and renovations around the Blue House as a safety measure against assassinations on the Korean presidents. This law was only lifted towards the end of the 20th century

Now Seochon hanok village is home to many small galleries, coffee shops and boutiques which give the area a ‘retro’ vibe. Hanok stays tend to be cheaper in this area than in Bukchon village.

Things To Do In Seochon Village

Seochon Seoul which lies on subway 3 (Gyeongbokgung Station) has lots to offer, from major galleries and museums, to tiny restaurants and cafes. Listed below are all the best things to do in Seochon Village.

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace is a must visit when in Seoul. It is the first and main palace of the Joseon Dynasty and is famous for its beautiful architecture. The palace was built in 1395 and has currently 2 major national museums located on the grounds. The National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum which are both free to enter. When visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace, make sure to catch the 10 AM or 2 PM changing of the guards ceremony.

2. Tongin Market

Tongin Market was established in 1941 and is famous among foreigners because of its lunch box cafe. In 2011, the market started using a special coin paying system which allows visitors to try different types of Korean dishes at a very low price. Most of the food at the market cost 1-2 coins (each coin is 500 krw), so for only 5000 krw you can have a full lunch box. On the second floor of the market there is the Tongin Market lunch box cafe, where visitors can sit down, get water and eat their yummy lunch. If you are interested in Korean food and want to learn to make your own, consider taking a market tour and cooking class. More info here.

3. National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum lies on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace and is dedicated to the life of royals during the Joseon Dynasty. Over 20 000 royal relics from the five different palaces are on display in the museum and information signs are both in English and Korean. There are 10 different rooms which each focus on a different aspect of royal life.

4. Daeo Bookstore

Daeo is the oldest bookstore in Seoul and was founded back in 1951. The interior and exterior of the traditional hasn’t changed since the bookstore opened and it was declared as municipal heritage by Seoul city in 2014. Recently a small cafe was added to the bookstore to help with the cost of the upkeep and restoration of the bookstore.

5. Boan Yeogwan

This 80 year old building used to be home to many artists in Seoul during the 20th century. Boan Yeongwan used to be an inn where many aspiring poets and writers stayed. In 2007 the space was turned into a gallery but the facade of the building was kept the same. The building renamed as Boan 1942 now has an exhibition space, cafe, book store and a couple of rooms with a view of the palace.

6. Cheongwadae Sarangchae

This exhibition hall is focused towards Korean culture and the history of the previous Korean presidents as it is located just in front of the Blue House. The signs are both in Korean and English. The first floor of the museum has constantly changing temporary exhibitions while the permanent exhibition on the history of the Korean presidents is located in the Cheongwadae hall.

Korea Today - The Village of 500 Years, Seochon 서촌 - YouTube
Where To Stay In Seochon Village
  • Hanok 24 Guesthouse – This stunning hanok guesthouse lies in the heart of Seochon and is one of most top rated hanok stays in Seoul. The hanok has traditional style bedrooms with modern bathrooms and kitchen, perfect for those looking to have a traditional experience with comfort.
  • Supia Guesthouse – Another modern hanok stay with a superb breakfast. The host, Daisy, is absolutely wonderful and very welcoming to all guests.
  • NagNe Boutique – This charming guesthouse is a must stay as it is very comfortable and affordable. Staying in a hanok can be quite pricey, but this place is cheaper than most other accommodations.
  • Hide & Seek Guesthouse – Not a hanok but a nice guesthouse with brunch cafe. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Great place to stay for couples of families.
  • Hanok Guesthouse Nuha – One of the highest rated hanok stays in Seoul. The owners of the hanok prepare a traditional style Korean breakfast each morning for all guests.
What To Eat In Seochon, Korea?

Tongin market is not the only place to have amazing food in Seochon. The area is filled with restaurants and coffee shops. Below is a selection of our favourite places to eat.

1. Tosokchon Samgyetang

This is by far one of the most authentic and best restaurants in the area. The huge hanok is home to one of the best samgyetang in Seoul. This is a type of chicken ginseng soup which is served with a selection of side dishes and a shot of ginseng liquor.

2. Tongin Sweet

Who doesn’t love egg tarts? At Tongin Sweet they only sell egg tarts and drinks. There is a small sitting area inside and outside. The cafe has been featured on multiple tv shows.

Are you planning on visiting Seochon hanok village Seoul? Have you been to Seochon? Are there any things missing on what to do in Seochon Korea? Let me know in the comment section below.

The post Seochon Village Seoul | Hanok Village | Where To Go, Eat & Stay appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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Seoul might not be known as a food capital, but it should, as Seoul is filled with amazing restaurants. These restaurants are not only serving local Korean food but as the city is rapidly gaining an international population, Seoul has been embracing the wonderful cuisine that comes from different countries. Mexican food is one of these types of food that is quite popular among the foreign expats, tourists and even Koreans. Of all the Mexican restaurants, Kim’s Taco in the Gangnam area, is a must try taco restaurant.

Kim’s Taco Background

The most famous Mexican restaurants in Seoul are located in the Itaewon area which is nearby the Yongsan US army base. As this area was designated as the special tourist zone in 1997. Because of this, when having Mexican food in Seoul, and especially in Itaewon, it might feel as being quite expensive compared with the size of the meal. The same thing is happening in the Gangnam area, where Kim’s Taco is located. However the food served at Kim’s Taco has a very reasonable price compared with the size of the meal.

The owner of Kim’s Taco is Korean American from LA and he wants to introduce the authentic LA Mexican cuisine (LA Mexican style is lighter than Tex-Mex style, but with more spices and flavours). Before opening his own Mexican restaurant, the chef used to work for the famous Korean food delivery company, 배달의 민족. After which he decided to follow his dream and opened his own restaurant.

The Menu

The mains are tacos, burritos and rice bowls. There are four different types of tacos to choose from. Namely chicken, pork, beef and fish. For pescetarians, this is the must go restaurant to try Mexican food.

Normally when you go to other Mexican restaurants in Seoul, they often serve carnitas, which is similar with pulled pork (simmered a long time until the meat is tender). Most Mexican restaurants in Korea follow this style. However at Kim’s Taco a different style of pork tacos is served (al pastor). Instead of slow cooking the meat, they marinate it with chilies and then grill it. It is crispier and smokier than carnitas.

If you want something different than carnitas, then Kim’s Taco is definitely worth a try! Everyday they prepare handmade tortillas which are made of Masa corn dough. Another interesting point is when you order burritos, is made in a Californian Style. Which means you can choose either rice or french fries with guacamole to have inside the Burritos. There are three different burritos to choose from, including chicken, pork and beef.

Our Personal Review

We decided to order one al pastor taco which is a type of pork taco (6000 krw for 2 pieces), steak rice bowl (13000 krw) and nachos (8000 krw). Usually when you go to Mexican restaurants in Seoul, they put spicy sauce in their dishes. If you can’t handle spices that well, like us, you need to ask to leave the sauces off. However at Kim’s Taco, they give you two different spicy sauces(Red and Green) on the side. When you get your taco dish, there will be 2 tacos.

Normally al pastor is drier than carnitas, but as they use fresh chopped onions, the taco isn’t dry at all. The first impression of their steak rice bowl was “WOW’. It was really a pleasant surprise to get their steak rice bowl. First of all the rice bowl is made of fried tortilla. You can eat the whole tortilla bowl! It is perfect dish for you food instagram feed and on top of that the taste was excellent. It is not only a photogenic dish but also super tasty. Their Tex-Mex nacho was fantastic too. The chips were loaded up with colorful red and white chopped onions and tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole!

If you are quite hungry, only getting the tacos and rice bowl won’t be enough, however with their nachos it will be the feast! Even we could not finish everything we ordered! There is a Kim’s Taco’s special drink, the Jarritos Cocktail. Sadly when we were there, it was already sold-out, but we are looking forward to go back and try this cocktail.

We are always looking for the fine Mexican restaurants in the Gangnam area. So this place is by far the best Mexican restaurant we have tried so far in Gangnam. We usually go to have tacos at El Pino 323 (located in Itaewon), but from now on we’ll mix it up and drop by Kim’s Taco once in a while to try the yummy rice bowls.

How To Get To Kim’s Taco

It is located in the residential area in between Gangnam station and Yeoksam station, which is located on the subway line 2 (green line). Upon arrival at Yeoksam station, leave at exit 3. From there it takes about 10 minutes on foot. Once you are in the street of Kim’s Taco, you can easily spot the giant neon sign. It is also the only Mexican restaurant in the area, which makes it extremely easy to find. When you get into the restaurant, the atmosphere makes you feel like being in America. The music and paintings on the wall are quite different than the interior design of Korean restaurants. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor tables.


The post Kim’S Taco In Yeoksam, Seoul | Amazing Tortilla Rice Bowls And Tacos appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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Combination skin is perhaps one of the most common skin types. Since combination skin is a tricky type, coming up with the right skincare can be frustrating. After all, you have to care for two opposite skin types at once. Oily or dry skin can be a challenge to deal with even on their own. Read on to find out more about the best Korean moisturizer for combination skin on this Korean beauty blog.

When it comes to skincare there are 3 basic steps and keeping your skin well hydrated is one of them. But finding the right moisturizer for combination skin can require a bit of a search. Here we have gathered some information on the best Korean moisturizers for combination skin! If you are living outside Korea, then these products can be bought online. If in Korea, head to Myeongdong shopping street.

Best Ingredients in Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Not every moisturizer is made equal and each skin type requires different skincare ingredients to optimize its effects. If you have combination skin the ideal skin care products should not intensify the oiliness of the T-zone but at the same time manage to keep the dry parts well-hydrated.

That doesn’t mean all hope is lost. When looking for the best Korean moisturizer for combination skin keep your eyes open for products that contain a mix of ingredients that help mattify your skin and oil-free hydrators.

Mattifying ingredients are important because they help control the oil on your skin. Including:

  • Salicylic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). It’s an oil-soluble ingredient that gets absorbed into the skin pores and breaks down the oil. Its bonus effect is that it helps well with keeping the oily parts of the combination skin acne free.
  • Silica is a natural ingredient very commonly found on earth. It can absorb excess oil from the skin and help keep a matt look. On top of that, it acts as an anti-caking agent.
  • Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, reduces sebum. It can also help reduce skin inflammation.
Oil-Free Hydrators

Oil-free hydrators will keep the dry parts of your skin moisturized. Including:

  • Glycerin is a commonly used ingredient in skincare products. It can attract moisture from the air and trap it so to keep the skin hydrated. It spreads even and smoothes over the skin. But since it absorbs moisture you might want to try to avoid using products with high levels of glycerin if you live in a very dry area.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient which holds onto water very well and makes the skin look firm. It is a magic ingredient naturally found in our skin. It is what gives the skin a plump look.
  • Aloe is a natural plant-based humectant. It has been historically used for skincare. It can also help soothe the irritated skin.
What Is Combination Skin?

If parts of your face are dry and parts are oily you probably have combination skin type. Usually, the T-zone which contains forehead, nose, and chin tends to be oily. It is a very common skin type between the ages of 20-30.

If you have combination skin you probably dread having acne break outs while other parts of your skin look dry. To add insult to the injury anti-acne products tend to further dry the skin which worsens the problem. But since dry skin itself can aggravate acne keeping the skin well moisturized becomes even more important. Caring for combination skin can be difficult since you need to tend to two types of skin. But finding the best Korean moisturizer for combination skin can be a great relief.

Best Korean Moisturizer for Combination Skin

If you’re interested in finding the best Korean moisturizer for combination skin, we have compiled a list to help you find the product that is right for you:

1. Innisfree Balancing Cream With Green Tea

Our first choice is a hydrating cream that contains Jeju green tea extract. It absorbs well and will help keep your skin’s moisture balance. Hailing from Jeju Island, Innisfree is a brand that is known for its natural products. Their green tea line is one of their most popular lines. You might want to check out their Green Tea serum as well. Find more info here.

2. The Face Shop Chia Seed No Shine Hydrating Cream

The next cream we want to introduce is a non-greasy moisturizer. The Faceshop has summoned the power of the superfood Chia seeds for this product. This cream is a good way of hydrating both the drier and the oilier parts of your skin and it helps keep the T-zone stay shine free for longer. Since it absorbs sebum it can help control acne at the same time. Find more info here.

3. Belif The True Cream — Aqua Bomb

This magic cream is said to be suitable for normal, oily, and combination skin types. It’s lightweight and oil-free and helps keep the skin feel fresh on even the hottest summer days. The Aqua Bomb gives your skin what it needs to stay soft and well-hydrated. More info here.

4. Mamonde Rose Water Gel Cream

If you are a fan of Mamonde’s Rose Water products or just enjoy floral fragrances you might want to try this cream. The Rose Water Gel is a lightweight non-oily gel cream. Mamonde claims this fragrant cream can help soothe and hydrate all skin types. Check out the rest of their Rose Water line as well! Find more info here.

5. Nature Republic Aqua Super Aqua Max – Combination Watery

Next, we have a product that is exclusively made for the combination skin type. Nature Republic has released Super Aqua Max creams in 3 variations for different skin types and this one is tailored for combination skin. Combination Watery cream is filled with natural ingredients, including seawater and a variety of sea plants, that work well to hydrate the skin and lock in moisture. Find more info here.

6. It’s Skin Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Cream

As we mentioned earlier Hyaluronic Acid is a natural magic ingredient that does wonders in keeping skin moisturized and firm. It is a great ingredient to look for in moisturizers for combination skin type and important for keeping the dry parts of your skin hydrated. Since it’s an oil-free product you can stay assured all the areas of your skin are being well taken care of.

The Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Cream will absorb easily into your skin and feels light. If you find it too light, use it with the other products from the same line. Find more info here.

Final Verdict Best Korean Moisturizer for Combination Skin

While every combination skin has a mix of dry and oily skin, you would still want to find a product that suits you best. When purchasing a Korean Moisturizer for Combination Skin keep in mind that it should suit your skin and the climate of where you live.

If you live in a hot humid region it’s better to choose a lighter cream like the It’s Skin Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Cream. If you live in a cold or dry location you have more freedom of choice.

How to Use Korean Moisturizers for Combination Skin

Here are some tips on how to use your Korean moisturizer for..

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Alpaca World, heaven on earth for Alpaca lovers. More than 20 fluffy alpacas reside in Alpaca World and it is one of the largest forest experience farms in Korea. The park is located in the countryside of Gangwon-do where visitors can have a happy and interactive experience with the alpacas. Read on to find out more about Alpaca World Korea.

Things To Know Before Going To Alpaca World
  • What To Wear – picking what to wear in Korea really comes do comes down to the season you will be visiting Korea in. In summer wear light clothes that protect your skin against the sun and in winter layer up and be prepared for temperatures under 0°C.
  • Travel Insurance – Don’t let an accident or illness ruin your holiday. Make sure to get a travel insurance when visiting Korea. Most basic insurance cover illness, travel delays, theft and more.
  • Tips – tipping in Korea is usually not a custom and many local restaurants won’t accept any kind of tip. Restaurants in Seoul, tour guides and taxi drivers are more open to receiving tips.
  • Itinerary – visiting the Alpaca World Korea is a must when looking to escape the bustling Seoul. Check the best 4 day5 day and 7 day itineraries for South Korea here.
  • Day Trip – Going to Alpaca World is a very easy day trip from Seoul. Using public transport, it is a bit harder to reach, but with an organized bus tour it is very convenient. Companies like Trazy offer excellent one day bus trips to the Alpaca World in Korea. More info here.
Alpaca World Korea

The Alpaca World Korea is located in Gangwon-do between Chuncheon (famous for dakgalbi) and Hongcheon which is a well known ski destination as this is where Vivaldi Ski Resort is located. It is an experience forest farm where animal are surround by the beautiful Gangwon-do scenery. The farm stretches over 110,000 square feet of land and not only has Alpacas which are imported from Australia, but also lots of birds, deer, sheep, goat, bunnies and camels.

Entrance fee: 15 000 krw
Opening times: January – March 10 AM to 5 PM, April – December 10 AM – 6 PM.
Practical: At the entrance of the park there is a coffee shop and in the park there is one restaurant and one snack bar.

1. Feeding The Alpacas

One of the highlights of a visit to the Alpaca farm is feeding the alpacas. Upon entering the park, the feeding meadow is the first thing you will come across. Every day a couple of alpacas are put in this meadow and for 1000 krw you can get a cup of alpaca food. Make sure to bring enough cash as the vending machine doesn’t accept card. This a great experience for both kids and adults.

2. Alpaca Safari

Up next is the alpaca safari, and believe me when I say, it is so much more fun than you can image. For 3000 won (payment by card only) you can sit on a little train which goes through a through which has around 10 alpacas in it. You’ll get a handful of food to feed the alpacas. Just by hearing the sound of the train, the alpacas will come running.

3. Alpaca Healing Walk

The last alpaca activity is the healing walk. For 10 000 krw (card only) you can take a 15 minute walk with one of the alpacas. This is the perfect time to take pictures with the fluffy animals. Again, you’ll receive two little food sachets which is to feed the alpaca. The animals are really well cared for and get enough rest time before being lend out for the alpaca healing walk.

4. Bird Feeding At The Alpaca Farm

The farm is not only about alpacas, but other animals reside on the farm. Many of the animals are free roaming, like the ducks and the goats. There is staff to keep an eye on them, but they just go around as they wish. Another highlight is the bird feeding. One of the cages is filled with the most colourful parakeets. At the vending machine you can buy a cup of bird seed for 1000 krw (cash only) and have a great time feeding the birds. Once you put the food in your hand, the birds will come flocking on you.

Getting To Alpaca World Korea

Getting to the alpaca world using just public transport is quite hard and takes a long time. It is highly recommended to book a tour leaving from Seoul.

1. Bus Tour Leaving From Seoul

On Wednesday and Friday there are bus tours leaving for a one day trip from Seoul. Buses leaves from Hongdae, Myeongdong or Dongdaemun and arrive at the Alpaca Farm around 10:30 and you’ll get free time till around 1 PM. This is more than enough to enjoy all the different experiences and even have lunch at the restaurant on site. After the tour continues and goes to the Gubongsan cafe street, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning view looking down on Chucheon city. Next the tour continues to the stunning Jade Garden. Which is a stunning European style garden. Here you’ll get around 1h30 free time which is more than enough to explore the vast garden.

The tour costs 64 000 krw and includes the bus, tour guide, entrance fees and a free drink at the coffee street. I have joined this tour with Trazy on a Wednesday in May and most places were almost deserted, which is great to have a relaxing day in the country side. Book the Trazy tour here.

2. Using Public Transport

Make your way from Seoul to the Namchuncheon Station which lies on the Gyeongchun line. Getting to this station is similar as getting to Nami island subway station.

From Namchuncheon station there is a bus (bus #3) going to the Alpaca World, but the bus only runs 3 times a day. At 8:50 / 12:20 / 16:10, which is quite inconvenient as 8:50 is quite early and 12:20 is too late. The bus stop is in from of the Namchuncheon station exit and takes around 1h30. The bus fee is 1000 krw and the bus will stop at the Alpaca Farm parking lot. From there take the free shuttle bus to Alpaca World.

When going back, from the Alpaca World Korea, the bus to Namchuncheon station runs at ​9:55 / 14:05 / 17:20.

Alpaca World in South Korea - YouTube
Like this post about the Alpaca World in Korea? Why not ?
Are you planning on visiting Alpaca World in Korea? Do you have any questions about the Alpaca Farm? Have any suggestions on things to add to this guide to the Alpaca Farm in Chuncheon? Let me know in the comment section below.

The post Alpaca World KoreaAn Easy Day Trip To The Alpaca Farm, Gangwon-do appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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When moving to a new country for work, selecting the right international school in Seoul or the rest of Korea is a major decision. There is a wide range of international or foreign schools in Seoul, most of those offer a multicultural environment, with students from all over the world. Read on to learn more about foreign and international schools in Seoul and the rest of Korea.

Visiting the different schools is most often the best way to make the final decision, based on the needs of your children and seeing the other kids in the school environment.

International Schools In Seoul

Like every international school in the world, international schools come with a big price tag. The tuition can go up to $20 000 – $35 000 per year, excluding trips and other activities, but foreign and international schools have many benefits to them. The children get exposed to different cultures, gain more career opportunities and can be involved in all sorts of extracurricular activities like orchestra, debate teams, math leagues, robotics and much more. Below are listed (in no particular order) some of the most popular and best international schools in Seoul. This is not a complete list and should just be used as a guideline to picking a school.

  • Difference between international and foreign schools in Korea: international schools have no limit when it comes to having ethnically Korean students. Foreign schools need to keep the amount of Korean students to a minimum. The interpretation of this depends from school to school in Korea.
  • Admission: each school has different admission criteria but will mostly ask for passport, transcripts, birth certificate, test scores and an application fee.
1. Korea International School

Korea International School opened its doors back in 2000 and has been one of the leading international schools in Seoul. It is one of the top Seoul international schools. The school hosts Pre-K to Grade 12 students and has been following the North American curriculum. The school has 2 campuses, in Seoul and in Pangyo, which lies just outside Seoul. The school aims to have their students attend the best and most selective universities in Korea and the rest of the world.

Facilities of the school include an indoor gym, outdoor sport fields, workshops and labs, computer rooms, a library, music room and performance space, swimming pool. Tuition fees are similar to the other schools and lie between $25 000 – $35 000. Korea International School also has a sister school on Jeju Island.

2. Dulwich College Seoul

Dulwich College is a British International School in Seoul. The school was established back in the year 2000 and is for kids between the age of 3 and 18. The school is built based on the history of Dulwich College London, which is a major and prestigious school in England, built in 1619. Other Dulwich International Schools are located in China, Singapore and Yangon.

Sport facilities at Dulwich British International School include outdoor playgrounds, a futsal court, indoor gym, indoor swimming pool. Other facilities include a performance area, auditorium, music rooms, library, science labs, food technology room, art & design workshop and kiln room.

During the year, kids have the opportunity to join different trips around the country and to other Asian countries such as ski trips, camps and more. These trips give kids the opportunity to experience different cultures outside the classroom.

3. Dwight School Seoul

Dwight School is another international foreign school in Seoul. The school is located in Digital Media City and was founded in New York in 1872. The school offers an International Baccalaureate curriculum and hosts kids from 3 years old to 18 years old. Tuition fees range between $20 000 – $30 000 a year, depending on the child’s age.

Dwight is the only school in Seoul that was selected by the Seoul Municipal Government to open an IB World School. The school has an active Parent’s Association which has a impact on the school live and the community. Excellent facilities at Dwight include a maker space, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, music rooms, performance space, a library and much more.

3.1 Review By Parent: Wendy Flor

My sons have been going to Dwight School Seoul (DSS) since my Firstborn started First Grade. He is on 6th Grade now. When my second son turned First Grade, he too got into Dwight. It’s a total of 6 years for my family here in Dwight.

My husband and I decided to enroll our son back in 2013 after visiting other international schools as we felt the school was a warm place for our son. Second, we got to know the International Baccalaureate Program and Dwight had been offering full continuum IB Program. I learned that the other school we visited was also offering the IB Program but when I checked it carefully, it was just then offering the Diploma Program, not the full IB continuum. As I got into Dwight, I got to know that some of the IB practitioners at school were invited to train the other teachers in another international school.

My family is glad with the way our sons are enjoying school, learning with equal balance of challenge and fun. Both boys have identified their leadership qualities as the school provides avenues where they can develop their leadership and social skills. They are actively joining sports activities and are doing well in their academics.

We would have loved it even more if the school has a swimming pool, but space is a limitation to have one. Other than that, the school is continuously adding and improving its facilities and I can see that. I am satisfied. My sons especially like its Makerspace where they can design and create things. Makerspace is a haven for the creative and the innovative.

I am part of the Executive Board of the Parents Association and have been volunteering on different capacities since 6 years ago. We have been encouraging the involvement of more parents. Hopefully more will in the coming years. Read full review here.

4. Yongsan International School Of Seoul

The Yongsan International School of Seoul located in Itaewon, accredited by WASC and ACSI houses kids from 3 to 18 years old. The school follows the U.S. educational model. Kids who graduated from YISS have been accepted to universities like MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Cornell, University College London and much more. The tuition fee of YISS lies a bit lower than Dulwich and Dwight.

After school activities offered at YISS include art journals club, baking club, basketball, Chinese club, MMA, ping pong, sketching, debate club, water polo and much more. The excellent facilities at YISS include indoor and outdoor sport fields, aqua centers, music rooms, performance hall, multiple labs and libraries.

5. British Education Korea

The British Education Korea has 4 sites in Seoul and houses kids from 18 months up to the age of 14 years old. The British international school in Korea isregistered as hagwons and is a British, co-educational Pre-Prep education. The school follows a curriculum based on the National Curriculum in England. The school opened in 2013 and has kids from diverse cultural backgrounds.

6. Seoul Foreign School

Seoul Foreign School was established in 1913 during the Japanese Occupation by Christian missionaries in Korea. The school houses pre-kindergarten to grade 12 students. SFS offers 2 different British style curricula, the International Baccalaureate Continuum of Programmes and the English National Curriculum.

This Korean foreign school has top facilities like the library, indoor and outdoor sports facilities, performance hall and music rooms, bouldering climbing wall, art class rooms and workshops.

7. French School of Seoul

Lycee Francais is a French international school in Seoul in the Seorae Village. The Lycee houses kindergarten to high school students. It was founded in 1974 and this school is a bit cheaper that the other international schools in Seoul.

8. Other International Schools In Seoul

Apart from all the schools listed above, there are more international and foreign schools in Seoul.

  • Asia Pacific International School
  • The British International Kindergarten
  • ECLC Kindergarten Seoul
  • Global Christian Foreign School
  • Korea Foreign School
  • Korea Kent Foreign School
International Schools In Korea

Seoul is not the only city with international schools, there are an abundance of schools on the rest of the peninsula. Like in Jeju, Busan, Incheon and other major cities. Listed below are some of the most popular schools in the rest of Korea.

1. Seoul International School (Gyeonggi-Do)

Seoul International School first opened its doors in 1973 and is the first international school in Korea to be fully licenced and recognized by the ROK Ministry of Education. SIS has a great reputation for producing graduates which woll then continue to attend some of the most prestigious universities and colleges in North America. The school houses pre-kindergarten to grade 12 students and follows the American curriculum.

As the school is a member of the Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference it competes in the international AISA games. Therefor the school offers volleyball, tennis, cross-country, cheer leading, swimming, basketball and soccer practices.

The facilities at the school include indoor and outdoor sports facilities, science labs, music rooms, performance space, art room, library and more. The tuition fees for the school lie around $20 000 – 30 000$, depending on the age group. The school is located just outside Seoul in the Gyeonggi-do province.

2. Branksome Hall Asia

Branksome Hall Asia is located in Seogwipo, on the beautiful Jeju Island and is a sister campus of the Canadian school Branksome Hall. It opened in 2012 and is a girls school only. It is a state of the art boarding school with facilities like a library, swimming pool, indoor and outdoor sport fields (dance studio, golf court, futsal court, gym and more), music rooms, performance space, film studio and much more. The fees of the school are quite similar to those of other international school, but there is an additional fee for the boarding school.

The post Best Foreign And International Schools In Seoul & Korea appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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Whether you have a long layover, have an early flight or just an overnight sleepover, the Incheon hotel airport guide is a great place to start planning your visit. Read on to find out about the best hotels near Incheon Airport.

Staying overnight around or Incheon Airport is very convenient. Many hotels are located in the area and shuttle buses will bring guests to the right hotel. There are free shuttle buses running between the different terminals and major hotels. The free shuttles starts running around 5:30 am until 00:30 am. Check the route here.

What To Know About Incheon Airport
  • Terminals: Incheon airport is divided into 2 terminals (1 and 2), your experience will depend on which terminal you will be arriving or departing from. Terminal 2 is the newest terminal and has only been in use since early 2018.
  • Locations: Incheon International Airport is located outside the capital, Seoul, and it takes minimum 45 minutes to reach Seoul station using the AREX train. Check how to get to Incheon Airport from Myeongdong here.
  • Subway & Transfer: The subway between Incheon Airport and Seoul station starts running around 5:30 till approximately 24:00. Booking a night transfer is available.
  • Luggage Storage: Booking a luggage storage is available at both Incheon terminal 1 & 2.
Incheon Airport Transit Hotel

Most of the hotels and accommodations are located outside the airport, but there are a couple of hotel and rest areas located in the airport itself. One is located in the transit area, which is perfect for those waiting for a connecting flight. The other is just outside the immigration area. If you have a long layover in Seoul, check out this one day itinerary in Seoul.

1. Incheon Airport Transit Hotel

This hotel is located in the departure area of the airport and is only for people who have a stopover during an international flight. When landing in Incheon, head straight for the hotel and DO NOT go through immigration. Find more info on the transit hotel in terminal 1 and terminal 2 here.

2. Incheon Airport Capsule Hotel

Darakhyu is the capsule hotel Incheon by Walkershill, only located in the B1 basement of Incheon terminal 2. Apart from having rooms the hotel also offers other facilities to guests and non-guests, like the hotel loby and showers facilities. If you have an early flight leaving Incheon or are arriving in Incheon late at night then this is a great place to stay. It is comfortable and very convenient.

Best Hotels Near Incheon Airport

Incheon Airport is located on an island, connected to mainland Korea by a huge bridge. It is recommended to find a hotel on the Incheon Airport island as this is where the free shuttle bus runs between the hotels and airport. You can also easily get a taxi from the airport to the hotels on the island and back. Below are listed some of the best hotels near Incheon Airport to stay at.

1. Incheon Airport Oceanside Hotel

A cozy hotel with daily breakfast and optional dinner. A direct shuttle leaves from terminal 1 to the hotel. This great value hotel lies at the beautiful Incheon Island coastline. Enjoy a late night walk along the ocean before embarking on a long haul flight the next day. The hotel has great double, twin and family rooms Find more info here.

2. Incheon Airport Hotel Queen

The 3 star Incheon Airport Hotel Queen has some of the highest ratings on Booking.com. Genius Members receive an additional 10% discount at this mid-rage hotel. Option breakfast is served daily and the staff is extremely friendly and accommodation to all guests. Find more info here.

3. Hotel Hu Incheon Airport

Hotel Hu lies just behind Incheon Airport and in the street of an E-Mart and CU convenience store. The modern rooms have their own little kitchenette and optional breakfast is served daily. Having dinner at the Jet-legged Lizard pizza restaurant just next to the Incheon transit hotel is highly recommended. Find more info here.

4. Incheon Airport Hotel June

Each room of the Incheon Airport Hotel June comes with a huge TV, high speed internet and the hotel organized personalized tours of Seoul and Incheon for their guest. The on-site restaurant of Hotel June serves Korean and Western cuisines. Optional breakfast is available. Find more info here.

5. Nest Hotel Incheon Airport

A luxury 4 star hotel with high ratings on Booking. The interior design and architecture of the building is absolutely amazing. The hotel lies at the coastline which is a great location for an evening stroll or even to make a small trip to the Muuido Island. A free shuttle bus runs between the hotel and the airport. Booking.com Genius members receive an additional 10% discount when booking this hotel. Find more info here.

6. Best Western Premier Incheon Airport Hotel

This Incheon International Airport hotel sells out quite fast, so if you really want to stay at the best Western Premier Incheon Airport Hotel make sure to book in time. Genius members of Booking.com receive an additional 10% discount when booking the Premier Western. The shuttle that comes by every 30 minutes stops just in front of the hotel. The hotel offers free access to the gym and business center for all guests. Other facilities available are an indoor golf and massage room. Find more info here.

7. Incheon Airstay Hotel

This high rated budget hotel is one of the more cheap hotels near Incheon Airport. Room rates are starting at 47 000 krw for 2 people, which is much cheaper that most hotels in the Incheon Airport neighbourhood. This great Incheon Airport transit hotel is accessible through the free airport shuttle or by taxi. Find more info here.

Things To Do At Incheon Airport

Have a layover in Korea and don’t want to be stuck in your hotel near Incheon Airport all day. Check out the activities listed below to spice up your day.

  • CGV Incheon Mission Race – In Incheon Airport you’ll find a CGV, so you could just go and watch a movie or take part in the Incheon Mission Race. Be the hero of your own movie and try to break out of the dungeon.
  • Incheon Airport Layover Private Tour – Want to explore the country a little more? Take this private tour that will take you different spots in the area. You’ll be able to put together your own tour based on some options presented.
  • Coastline Rail Bike – On the Incheon Airport Island lies a coastline rail bike track. Rail bikes are extremely popular in South Korea and are fun for people of all ages.
Have any questions about staying in a hotel near or in Incheon Airport? Do you have recommendations on which airport hotel Incheon to add to this blog post? Have you stayed in a hotel inside Incheon Airport? Let us know in the comment section below.

The post Hotels Near Incheon Airport & Best Transit Hotel appeared first on Be Marie Korea.

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South Korea is famous for being a shopping destination for foreign tourists. Seoul, as a unique big city, is the best place for shopping, especially in the vibrant Myeongdong, the ultimate shopping district. Read on to find out more about shopping at Myeongdong in this Myeongdong shopping guide.

You may be a serial shopper or just someone looking for the best souvenirs of your trip for your friends and family, Myeongdong is the place to go. It is better to go at the end of your trip, so you know how much empty space you have left in your suitcase and you’ll be able to bring back home as many goodies as possible.

Things To Know About Shopping In Myeongdong
  • Tax Returns – When shopping in Myeongdong, make sure to bring your passport along. Most major shops offer tax free purchases to foreigners for any purchase over 30 000 krw.
  • Getting To Myeongdong – Myeongdong is well connected to the rest of Seoul and has 2 subway stations, Myeongdong station and Euljiro 1(il)-ga station.
  • Incheon Airport To Myeongdong – From Incheon Airport there are 4 different ways of reaching Myeongdong, by subway, train, bus and taxi.
  • Things To Do In Myeongdong – Apart from shopping in Myeongdong, there are loads of other things to do.
  • Street Food In Myeongdong – Myeongdong is a must go area to try street food. The night market has everything from Korean street food to western or other Asian snacks.
  • Best Restaurants In Myeongdong – Not a fan of street food? Not to worry, the area has loads of great restaurants, both Korean and foreign.
  • Myeongdong Shopping Hours – Myeongdong is a district and can be accessed any time of the day. Most shops open around 9-10 am and close around 9-10 pm. The night market stays open till 11pm.
Myeongdong Shopping Street Map
Overview Of Myeongdong Shopping Street

Myeongdong shopping street is wide and colorful. It is quite photogenic and is typical of a modern big city. You can be easily astonished and overwhelmed by the amount of signs and lights. Don’t forget to look also up, as the shops are not only on the ground floor but may be located on 1st or 2nd floor.

Myeongdong is also not only a shopping street but also a district, don’t hesitate to venture in quieter streets to find what you are looking for or just to breath away from the crowd on the main street, turn right, left, you’ll never get lost.

Souvenir Shopping At Myeongdong

If you are looking to buy some great souvenirs for you or the friends and family then Myeongdong street is a great place to start. Below is a list of the best places in Myeongdong shopping district to buy souvenirs. Other great areas in Seoul to get some souvenirs are Insadong, Bukcheon and around Gyeongbokgung Palace. If you don’t know what to buy in Myeongdong, then check out the shops listed below.

1. Night Market Stalls

Every night in Myeongdong shopping district, you’ll find a colorful and shiny night market. Most of the stalls are about food, but some of them are for goodies like socks, k-pop merchandise, Seoul souvenirs and more. There are some unique food products that you can find only at the night markets in Seoul and are great to take back home. ‘Kkul-tarae’ (honey strings).

A video of kkul-tarae created a buzz on social media and many people would like to visit Korea just to try these amazing sweets. These sweets can be found in Myeongdong or Insadong. They are freshly made from a kind of honey stone. They used to be Korean court cakes. You deserve a royal sweet! These honey silky threads are stuffed with candied nuts, chocolate. There are different flavours to pick from and the sweets can be kept for up to 1 month outside the fridge, or 3 months in the fridge.

How Kkultarae (Honey String Candy) is made - YouTube
2. Daiso Myeongdong

This should be one of the first shopping places you check out. Daiso sells the cutest stuff, from souvenirs to stationary, snacks and much more. Make sure to get a big reusable bag from Daiso, you will avoid accumulating lots of plastic or paper bags during your shopping. It will also be much more convenient to have only one big bag with all your purchases than 10 different bags.

Daiso is one of the cheapest shops you can find in Korea (or in the world !?) with an amazing quality/price rate. That’s also why it is better to go to Daiso first. You might save a lot of money if you find the things you want to buy in Daiso instead of other random shops. This is a great place to go if you don’t know what to buy in Myeongdong and want to stick to your budget.

3. Artbox Myeongdong

Artbox is like the more upscale version of Daiso. The 3 floor Artbox in Myeongdong street is huge and is sells everything from cute notebooks and stationary to figurines, phone accessories, home decoration, character merchandise and much more. It is a bit more expensive than Daiso, but is definitely worth the visit, even if it’s just for browsing.

If you buy only one item in Artbox, it must be a notebook. These are the cutest and cost only 1000 krw (less than 1$).

4. Line Store Myeongdong

While browsing online to look for Myeongdong, you probably have come across a store with this giant stuffed bear. It is “Brown”, one of the main characters of the “Line app”. Be ready to queue to take a selfie with Brown! The shop is full of cute mugs, bags, socks, and everything you can imagine with the Line characters.

5. Kakao Store Myeongdong

Kakao Friends Store is the main competitor of the Line Friends Flagship Store. Maybe you’re not a Line person but a Kakao person. Kakaotalk is the Korean Whats App or Viber, and everybody use it in South Korea. First, there was only Kakaotalk, now there is Kakaotaxi (a good app to book a taxi from anywhere in Korea), Kakaomap (a great app to find your way in South Korea), Kakaobank (more for locals)…  The app uses very special and cute characters.

6. Starbucks Myeongdong

Like in every major city in the world, Starbucks has special shops in Seoul. If you’re a Starbucks aficionado, you can improve your Starbucks cup collection in South Korea. If you come in spring, you’ll be able to purchase cherry blossoms mug or if you come in autumn, check out the red and yellow foliage mugs.

7. O’sulloc

If you are looking for Korean tea, O’Sulloc is a good place to start, the company is from Jeju island and sells all kinds of Jeju green tea. These are great teas, a little expensive due to the stunning packaging, but this makes tea of O’Sulloc the perfect gift for your teaholic friends or yourself. O’Sulloc tea is grown in Jeju Island where you can also visit their shop and tea fields.

O’Sulloc shop has also a cool cafe… Perfect to do a break and warm yourself up in Winter with a hot tea and a cake, and cool yourself down in Summer with an ice tea and an ice cream. This is by far one of the best shops in Myeongdong when it comes to buying high quality presents or souvenirs.

Cosmetic Shopping At Myeongdong

Korean cosmetics have a very good reputation as they are some of the best in the world. Myeongdong shopping street will be a heaven for anyone who loves Korean beauty products. In the Myeongdong shopping street, salesmen and saleswomen will offer you free samples (usually face masks) if you accept to come into the shop. If you buy anything, they will fill up your bag with additional free samples and small gifts.

Many of the cosmetic brands listed below have multiple stores in Myeongdong. Read on to learn more about shopping at Myeongdong for skin care and cosmetic products.

1. Olive Young Myeongdong

Olive Young is a major health and beauty company from South Korea, the first store opened back in 1999 and has been popular ever since. When shopping at Olive Young, make sure to try the acne patches, sheet masks and ryo shampoo. It is open from 10 am to 10.30 pm.

2. Laneige Myeongdong

Laneige is another brand owned by Amore Pacific, just like Innisfree and O’Sulloc. ‘Laneige’ means “The snow” in French. The brand specializes in Water Science technology to tackle skin problems.

Give a try to the ‘Water Sleeping Bank‘. Put it on in the evening, leave it during the night and wake up with a soft skin. It is one of the most popular products among all Korean cosmetics.

3. Etude House Myeongdong

Etude House has a pretty pink shop that you can’t miss in the Myeongdong shopping street. The shops looks eventually like a cute little house. They sell hair and skin care for a fair price and have often have offers like 2+1.

4. Skinfood Myeongdong

Are your lips easily getting dry? Try the Skinfood tomato seed oil lipstick “Tomato Jelly Tint Lip”. The slogan of Skinfood is ‘You are what you eat. Healthy skin starts with food.’ and this is highly represented in their brand and products.

5. Nature Republic Myeongdong

This Korean brand was created in 2009 and is now one of the most popular cosmetics brands in Korea. The Nature Republic store in Myeongdong is absolutely stunning, the whole facade is covered with plants. Even if you are not planning on buying anything, this shop is worth visiting.

6. Missha Myeongdong

Missha is another great Korean cosmetics brand. Famous for the ‘First treatment Essence’. This is a deep treatment for your skin. Morning and evening, you can apply this essence on your face to make your skin brighter.

7. Innisfree

This brand owned by Amore Pacific, just like O’sulloc uses natural ingredients found on Jeju Island. A must try product is the Innisfree Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam and enjoy all the benefits from the volcanic soil of Jeju.

8. Too Cool For School

One of the coolest K-beauty brands. The Korean brand has a big focus on contemporary culture and creative experimentation. This clearly reflects in the shops interior design and the product’s packaging design. They have a range of products using egg white, like the Egg Mousse Pack, Egg Cream Mask Hydration and

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