Wednesday, October 3, 2012

South Korea Bucket List

Well, with my documents heading to my recruiter at this very moment, and my feet itching to leave, I think it's time I started a South Korea bucket list. Here we go!

This list is adapted from the list made by Chris Backe of "Chris in South Korea" (whose personal blog has since disappeared - if you know of a new link to it, please let me know). 83-85 were suggested by Alannah Boland. 88 suggested by Silvy Alvarez-Martinez.

  1. Spend the night in a jimjilbang (day spa / sauna). Bonus points for spending the night in the jjimjilbang at Incheon Airport.
  2. Stay out in Hongdae or Itaewon all night and catch the ‘subway of shame’ home the next morning. 
  3. Bargain for clothes at Seomun Market
  4. Go to Lotte World on a rainy / snowy day. 
  5. Take in a drag show on Homo Hill, and smile at the ladies of Hooker Hill.
  6. Visit the Loveland sex museum on Jeju island. 
  7. Try the collagen face masks from Face Shop.
  8. Watch the largest waterfall bridge performance at Banpo Han River Park.
  9. Get off at a random subway stop and explore the local area.
  10. Find a small town and enjoy being the only foreigner around. 
  11. Drink Korean beer in a convenience store cafe
  12. Raise funds and/or volunteer for a Korean charity 
  13. Dress up as something crazy for Halloween in Hongdae.
  14. Eat dried squid, fried chicken and drink soju at a baseball game. Bonus points for figuring out how to cheer along.
  15. Go skiing at one of the dozen ski resorts around the country.
  16. Get muddy at the Boryeong Mud Festival! 
  17. DVD bang. Private movie screening. Like a drive-in theater without the car. ‘Nuff said. 
  18. Play with the fancy technology around Yongsan Electronics Market or one of the Techno Marts.
  19. Mix yogurt and soju. See what happens.
  20. Eat some beondegi (silkworm pupae)!
  21. Meander around the phallic statues in Penis Park (warning: NSFW) (Gangwon-do)
  22. Watch the mayor of Daegu ring the big bell on New Year’s Day.
  23. Drink makgeolli (rice wine) and eat pajeon (green onion pancake) on a rainy day. 
  24. Push yourself across the ice on a sseolmae (wooden sled).
  25. Take a bike ride along the Han river. 
  26. Use your connections to get on one of the American military bases. 
  27. Enjoy a Westernized Korean wedding. 
  28. Say saranghae (I love you) to a special someone, whether they’re Korean or not.
  29. Appreciate the air-conditioning on the subway in the middle of July. 
  30. See NANTA or another non-verbal, high-energy performance. 
  31. People-watch at Garosu-gil over a cup of coffee. Alas, they've broken it all down and turned it into cosmetics mecca. Bleh.
  32. Get up to a moktok (a wooden instrument used in Buddhist temples) at 3:30am for a Korean Buddhist templestay.
  33. Have a cocktail in a bag
  34. Munch on some some live octopus, Oldboy-style.
  35. Appreciate the spiciness of a good kimchi jjigae.
  36. Try your best to converse with a Korean taxi driver.
  37. Get the evil eye from an ajumma
  38. Try the Korean version of ‘forest therapy’ in either Damyang or Anmyeon-do.
  39. Swim in the East Sea and the West Sea.
  40. Go puddle-jumping in a monsoon
  41. Eat cold noodles with watermelon
  42. Survive 'fan death' in summer
  43. Spend a platonic night with a friend at a 'Love Motel'
  44. Greet a car greeter
  45. Spot a fake town in North Korea
  46. Shape a hard boiled egg into something too cute to eat
  47. Brush your teeth at work
  48. Learn a KPOP dance
  49. Cook a South African meal for some Koreans
  50. Watch a Korean movie at a cinema
  51. Go geo-caching in Daegu
  52. Work out on public exercise equipment in the park
  53. Go to the Daegu body-painting festival
  54. Hug a giant teddy bear
  55. Take ridiculous photos and have them turned into more ridiculous stickers
  56. Stuff your face with meat at a Korean barbecue
  57. Watch competitive Star Craft
  58. Learn to play Star Craft/League of Legends/Sudden Attack
  59. Play Korean Dance Dance Revolution at an arcade
  60. Eat sweet potato bread
  61. Learn the Korean synchronised stretching regime
  62. Go to Everland
  63. Wear BB cream and be flawless (maybe she's born with it? Maybe it's BB cream)
  64. Get a haircut in a Korean salon
  65. Try Korean oriental medicine
  66. Visit a Korean fortune teller
  67. Check out Daegu's pink light district
  68. Bump around to trance music at G2
  69. Check out the LGBT scene in Daegu's gay district
  70. Bang all night (PC Bang, Noraebang, DVD Bang, Wii Bang, Jjimjilbang...)
  71. Ride some rollercoasters in Daegu
  72. Go swing-dancing
  73. Ride a disco pang-pang
  74. Check out some cherry blossoms
  75. Take part in a traditional tea ceremony
  76. Visit the Toilet Exhibition Hall
  77. Cringe at the Plastic Surgery Museum
  78. Teleport to a German village
  79. Go on a tour of the DMZ
  80. Play baduk 
  81. See a K-Pop concert
  82. Catch the Busan film festival
  83. See what the fuss is all about at Jeju island
  84. Get lost in a garden maze
  85. Drink coffee from a can
  86. Enjoy coffee and cuddles at a Pet Cafe 
  87. Have a conversation completely in Korean
  88. Hike Seoraksan mountains in autumn
  89. Climb the highest mountain in Korea
  90. Order a mystery meal to be delivered to my apartment
  91. Soak in a natural hot spring
  92. Be cute at the Hello Kitty cafe
  93. Go to Korean classes and learn the lingo
  94. Do the Itaewon Freedom dance in front of Namsan Tower
  95. Work out in the park
  96. Learn to cook a Korean meal
  97. Take a traditional pottery class
  98. Win a game at a boardgame coffee shop
  99. Oppa Gangnam Style in Gangnam
  100. English Teachers' choreographed dance in a dance club.  (The night we did the macarena, gangnam style and YMCA covers that, I think).
  101. Drink in public, in inappropriate places.
  102. Have your feet nibbled by fish at Dr Fish.
  103. Be gatvol (spot someone wearing a gat). 
  104. Sleep on a yo.
  105. Sign up for a class at a Hagwon, in Korean.  Yoga completely in Korean totally counts.
  106. Sit a TOPIK exam.
  107. Have a normal dinner in a Korean's home
  108. Time-travel to the past
  109. Climb inside a painting. 
  110. Learn to salsa/swing dance
  111. Go to the Rape Festival
  112. Get armloads of freebies from cosmetics shops just for going inside
  113. Do Noraebang on a long bus ride to pass the time
  114. Hike the entire East Coast
  115. Ulleongdo scavenger hunt: find the absence of 3 things (thieves, snakes and pollution) and the presence of 5 things (many aromatic trees, wind, beautiful women, water and rocks)
  116. Catch waves in a waterpark.
  117. Hug trees at the Daegu arboretum.
  118. Drink persimmon wine underground.
  119. Birdwatch in Eulsukdo
  120. Go whale-watching or ocean-staring
  121. Find Nemo at the aquarium
  122. Eat barbecue that's cooked with a blow torch
  123. Have chicken or duck cooked in pumpkin
  124. Go to the Bus Bar and/or the airplane cafe.
  125. Eat cheesy jjimdalk


  1. This is quite an EPIK bucket list! Thanks for doing all the work cause I want to steal a few ideas from here, and cross a few off now that I have been here for 2 months. Just be warned that it takes a really brave/shameless person to do some of these things here! I get too worried about the language barrier and funny/judgemental looks I get from people! haha!

    I still get emails from Chris Backe but I don't know where the blog went either...

    1. Thanks! I've spent hours on it and it just keeps growing. Some things are going to be quite tricky, and I may save them for a city that is deserted during Chuseok, or something... :P

  2. Nice list. What's the prize getting all of them done?

    1. Thanks! Prize? Er... Serious bragging rights? A ton of stories? A sponsored lifetime supply of kimbap and BB cream? :D One can dream.