choa's Korea Guide 🇰🇷
From Seoul to Jeju, we put together a list of our must-visit spots in Korea. Scroll below to check out the wide range of food, nature, and cultural spots that will make for a memorable trip around the country.
📍 운경고택 House of Woonkyung @ Jongno, Seoul
Mirae: This hanok has 400 years of history, sitting on the site of Dojeong Palace, where the father of King Seonjo of Joseon lived. It only opened to the public in 2019 as a gallery, often large-scale art installations around the inside the hanok. I was lucky to catch their second exhibition featuring colorful pop art installations by renowned artist Choi Jeong-hwa.
Photos by Mirae
📍 서울역사박물관 Seoul Museum of History @ Jongno, Seoul
Harriet: Seoul is an incredibly rich cultural hub but this museum stays in my memory after visiting it with my parents and hearing some of their stories of growing up in Seoul. If you visit, be sure to check out the exhibit room dedicated to a model of the city (scaled to 1/1500).
📍 전통주전문점 백곰막걸리 White Bear Makgeolli Bar @ Gangnam, Seoul
Leslie: Traditional Korean liquors and alcoholic beverages have been having a renaissance of sorts among younger Koreans these days. A perfect example of that is this bustling, yet welcoming and accessible, bar near Apgujeong in the Gangnam area. Nearly 200 varieties of makgeolli and other traditional liquors from breweries—big and small—across the country decorate the walls of this establishment. The anju on the menu is also delicious and comes with beverage pairing recommendations.
Photos from @baekgom_mak & by Leslie
📍 조양방직 Joyang Textile @ Ganghwa, Incheon
Mirae: A textile factory-turned cafe. Outside is filled with old phone booths, carousel horses 🎠, and tractor-turned sculptures while the inside is filled with vintage knick knacks from retro barbershop chairs to 70s Korean school materials. It’s like grandma’s house but 20 times the size with 20 times the objects (or more?). Aside from a variety of numerous things to see and enjoy, the cafe is also known for their delicious bread made with local ingredients. It’s the best of both worlds.
Photos by Mirae
📍 팜일레븐 Farm 11 Cafe @ Gangwon-do, Yangyang
Ki-Sang: Sitting on top of a small mountain, this cafe serves homemade bread and excellent coffee ☕️. The farm is also home to a small lodging and a community space. Highly recommend going in the fall and winter when you’ll have a view of the snow-capped mountains around you.
Photos from @farm11_yangyang & by Ki-Sang
📍 하조대 Hajodae @ Gangwon-do
Ki-Sang: Hajodae used to be a sleepy beach town, hidden from the masses by the surrounding mountains and temples. Now, it’s home to one of the most popular beach bars/surf shops 🏄🏻 on the peninsula (where I shared the dance floor with U-Know Yunho), but it’s still the most beautiful when near-empty, at sunrise and in the colder months.
Photos by Ki-Sang
📍 설악산 Seorak mountain @ Gangwon-do, Sokcho
Harriet: Seorak mountain is the third highest peak in the country and designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve 🏔. The Towangseong trail in particular was my favourite. My family visited Sokcho, a beautiful coastal city, for just a few days, and I'm convinced it has magical healing properties (shoutout to my sister for planning this trip). It was difficult to pick just one location in this area. If you visit, I hope you’ll spend some time exploring everything that this city has to offer.
Photos by Harriet
📍 공세리성당 Gongseri church @ Chungcheongnam-do, Asan
Harriet: This historical site was once used as a warehouse for collecting and storing grains that were paid as tax between 1478 and 1762. It is designated as a cultural heritage site with numerous protected trees that are more than 350 years old. The church located on this land was founded in 1890 and its location was important when the movement of Catholicism in Korea began. OG K-drama fans might recognize this location from "가을동화 Autumn in My Heart)".
Photo from 공세리 성당 공식 웹사이트
📍 순천만습지 Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve @ Jeollanam-do, Suncheon
Ki-Sang: There’s something mystical about how reed fields sway in the slightest breeze 🌾… If you look over the bridge at certain parts, you may see a crab or two peeking up from the mud below.
Photo by Ki-Sang
📍 제주해녀박물관 Jeju Haenyeo Museum @ Jeju Island
Leslie: This small but excellently curated museum delves into the history, traditions, and stories of Jeju Island’s famous haenyeo—women who dive underwater for minutes at a time to catch fish, abalone, and other seafood that are central to Jeju’s culinary traditions. In a patriarchal society, haenyeo were and still are the primary breadwinners for their families and communities. Sadly, the numbers of haenyeo today are dwindling as industrial and economic trends change and younger women seek alternative career paths. Yet this museum serves as a testament to the strength, power, and beauty of these incredible women.
Photos by Leslie