Like a lotus flower emerging from muddy waters, Seoul had been back on track with a beautiful recovery following the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) scare in 2015. A bustling city filled with activities for every season, the tail end of summer came with a list of new and exciting activities that is easily accessible via public transport like buses, trains and cabs. But for that added twist, you can experience it via a few slightly less conventional mode of transportation around Seoul!
Let’s get the gears moving…
Mode of Transport 1: WHEELS
1. Bicycle around in a Pedicab
A truly relaxing way to cover the pretty Samcheongdong Street would be to be ferried around in Seoul’s very own ARTEE Rickshaw ride. These pedicabs bring you around the little streets very efficiently, while the friendly guides are constantly full of stories about the rich culture and history behind each building.
Take a lovely stroll through Bukchon Hanok Village while taking in the delicate architecture of traditional Korean houses. The light brown wooden doors complement the grey brick walls and delicate green plants so very well. This well preserved traditional village is made up of multiple alleys and ‘hanok’, known as Korean traditional house, to create a quaint 600-years old cultural feel.
45 minutes on board the Artee would cost approximately KRW45,000 (S$55). Find out how to book your very own http://rideartee.comartee mode of transportation.
Mode of Transport 2: BOAT
1. Cruise along the Han River with Pang Pang Performance and Bread Making Experience
Fancy a nice relaxing cruise down the famous Han River, with the cold wind blowing through your hair? Sign up for a Pang Pang Cruise to enjoy the entertaining local Korean’s comedy dance and act brought to you by a group of talented young local artists. You can also bring home a piece of your own homemade red bean bun specially made on board the cruise ship just before the show. The Pang Show and bread-baking experience is inspired by the 2010 Korean Drama Hit called King of Baking, where the sudden craze for bread baking in Korea started.
Enjoy the full experience of the baking, cruising and performance at approximately KRW48,000 (S$58).
We were completely amused and entertained throughout the show, and the even invited us up on stage to take some photos at the end with the cast!
2. Tubster boat ride at Some Sevit
Get away from the crowded shopping streets and escape to the waterfront of Seoul’s new Some Sevit. A series of three floating platforms forms an astonishingly beautiful spectacle at night when they are lit up all at once.
The tubster ride is a popular mode of transport to end off the night after a heavy dinner at the cluster of restaurants at Some Sevit. You can enjoy a lavish buffet dinner at Chavit Cuisine situated on the 2nd floor, which has a tantalizing spread of fresh seafood, Western, Indian and local Korean delights. It will definitely have something for every palette.
After the meal, proceed down to the river front where the little boats are docked. Each boat come with little self-operated engine that brings you and your friends around for a leisurely tour of the compound. Each boat which can hold up to 4-6 people costs KRW30,000 (S$36) per hour. For more information, visit http://www.somesevit.com
Mode of Transport 3: FOOT
1. Hiking up Namsan Park to N Seoul Tower
Put on your walking shoes and get moving. A trek around Namsan Park – one of the most treasured nature parks in Seoul, can be completed comfortably between 40 – 50 minutes for all ages. Do not be surprised though, to see an ‘ajumma (a Korean word for middle age woman) overtaking you with her little dog. Once you reached the top, be rewarded by the beautiful view of N Seoul tower, amidst fences of love locks. Highly recommended to visit the park during the autumn season, where the trees will be flushed with hues of red, orange and yellow, or in winter, where the entire place is coated in white blanket of snow.
The weather was incredible and breezy when we visited in August though it is too early for the autumn leaves foliage. I would strongly recommend you to squeeze in a little hike to this viewpoint between the shopping and feastings in Seoul. Spend some time capturing some of the instagram spots at the top at N Tower. Come near sunset would be the best golden hour!
2. Moonlight Walking Tour at Changdeokgung Palace
An evening walk you should not miss would be the Moonlight Walk of the spectacular Changdeokgung Palace. This exclusive access into the grounds at night is only available during the full moon season, with tickets on a first-come, first served basis. We were really excited to embark on it and there was apprehension in the air as we awaited our turn to explore. Expect a visually impressive display as lights bounce off each tile and carving, bringing to life the fine intricate architectural details within the palace. Bookings can be made from http://ticket.interpark.com and tickets costs KRW30,000 (S$36) each.
The structures we witness were so beautiful against the moonlight, and I couldn’t help clicking away at the camera. Had to keep close to the group if not the signal of the commentary of our guide will be broken.
So the next time you come to Seoul, do opt for these fun modes of transportation (foot, boat, and bicycle) to experience the beauty of this Seoul city in a less conventional mode. Whether it is in spring, summer, autum or winter, this destination has something to offer you.
ALERT: If you are a foodie and like korean food as much as I do, you can read about the delicious Local Korean Food in Korea.