Spending 5 days in South Korea entailed hiking in Jeonju’s Maisan (Horse Ear Mountain), shopping in Seoul and gorging as much local BBQ as humanly possible. From gorgeous landscapes to indulge-worthy amusements, it’s safe to say that I saw South Korea at its best! It was a trip that I wasn’t looking forward to at first (cultures vastly different from what I already know are personal favorites, ie: Middle Eastern or African countries,) but South Korea has set up its cities so adaptive for travelers that it was hard to not have a good time once I was there.
If only more countries can roll out their cities with these three things that South Korea has mastered, then more people would make #instajetset an actual reality.
1. Free Wi-Fi EVERYWHERE
How essential is this? And how often is it not readily available when you’re in a foreign country? Out of 20 places I visited, there were merely two places that didn’t offer free Wi-Fi. Most of the time, several free Wi-Fi hotspots showed up on my smartphone and BAM…it was an instant connection to the world of social media and a glory of interweb fabulousness.
NOTE: “Instant” deserves an underline because that’s how fast the connection was every.single.time.
2. Stink-free public bathrooms
Really, avid travelers know…this one is crucial. It’s not uncommon when visiting Asian countries, you’re expecting to encounter some interesting (ahem!) odor in public bathrooms. From India to China, I’m usually prepped to head into a stall with my shades on (so I see less) and kleenex covered over my nose (so I smell less.)
None of this prep work is necessary in South Korea. Want an actual toilet without having to squat? A stall with plenty of toilet paper? Public bathrooms that smell like chemical florals? South Korea’s got it down to a fragrant science!
3. USD? You know me!
#TravelWoe: What happens when you didn’t exchange enough money at the airport? Instead of being on the constant lookout for ATMs or money exchange bureaus, South Korean stores and restaurants are willing to take US Dollars! Unheard of, right? In moments of snagging a quick sale or scrambling for change in South Korean won (₩), the fact that USD work like magic will feel like a gift from above.
If you’re like me, unenthusiastic about traveling to a country, just remember that great things will come to surprise you. Now, I can’t wait for another shopping getaway in Seoul!