Thursday, 11 September 2008

What to do for Chusok?

As we all know, it's either impossible, or hella frustrating to travel during Chusok.

If you're stuck in Seoul, and all your Korean friends are out of town, I feel for ya.

Here is my list of things to do:

Wander around the abandoned (or nearly abandoned) downtown areas. It's absolutely eerie.

Don't go to Lotte World or Everland: families go there, in lieu of leaving town and getting stuck in traffic. You'll never see it so crowded.
photo from here. Yes, I KNOW this one's actually Tokyo, but you get the point about crowding, yah?

Go to the palaces: almost every palace has something going on at Chusok, events, demonstrations, cultural whatchamacallits.
And, Roboseyo Recommends: Namsangol Folk Village, by Chungmuro Station always puts on a show at Chusok, with tons of traditional performances to see on the main stage.
More to do here.
Or, Roboseyo REALLY recommends:
Because everybody's out of town, and it's September, Chusok is the best time to get out and hit the mountains around Seoul. Here are directions to a few (I like Inwang Mountain myself), but personally, I recommend heading to the north end of the light blue subway line, getting out at Sanggye Station, looking around, and heading for high ground. (Bukhansan is popular, too.)More on mountains in Seoul from Galbijim.

and who knows: maybe I'll see you up on the hills.

Yeh.  The mountains.


Brian said...

Have you ever been to Namhansanseong in Seongnam? Not really a mountain, but a nice hike around an old fortress. Pretty scenic, too, with lots of temples, shrines, and gates. I spent a few hours there and only made it a quarter of the way around. I'd like to do that again the next time I'm up near Bundang. The only problem is . . . um, well, sweaty clothes + close-quarters subway = not a popular foreigner.

Roboseyo said...

Have been there. Liked it well enough, though the part I walked wasn't much of a challenge to climb (then, I didn't go too far up). I've always preferred the hiking north of the river, not for any good reason except that the friend who goes hiking with me lived there, so he likes it best, too, and it's closer to where I live.

Yes. I too have been the sweaty foreigner on the subway. I think of it as payback for the times I take the subway at 9pm on a friday and entire cars smell like soju breath and bulgogi farts.

Baby Leigh said...

I've managed to procrastinate for so long that I now find myself alone for chusok and NOT in Seoul... hmmm what to do??? Have any ideas for places like Kangwon-Do? I would venture in to Seoul if I didn't think it would take me the whole holiday to get there and back. I've only been in Korea for 3 weeks so any suggestion is a good one :)
Oh and Happy Chusok...

Eujin said...

I went up Gwanaksan on Chuseok Sunday. Thought I would try a partially new route. It took longer than I thought it would and it ended up getting dark while I was up there. Have wondered what it would look like in the dark - the view as you can imagine is great. I was actually surprised to see quite a lot of people up there in the dark. As we were coming down some guys were heading up towards Yeonjudae with what looked like heavy camping gear.

Now I've been thinking about organising some (single-day) hiking trips for English speakers, especially for people who are new in Korea. No cost or anything, just meet up at a subway station somewhere and go up the hill, do the makkolli-kimbab thing and then come down again. Going to a restaurant afterwards optional.

Would anyone be interested?