7 must-do activities in Seoul from Klook, KKday and Trazy
7 must-do activities in Seoul from Klook, KKday and Trazy
Services like Klook have been real lifesavers for people like me, especially when I was in Seoul. I’m not exactly an obsessive planner but I’m definitely more of the type who likes to prepare in advance compared to the kind that does everything spontaneously. Being able to get tickets and book tours before I step into my destination is definitely a godsend.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Klook. I may get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links but they are at no cost to you.
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Why book your Seoul tours and activities from Klook, KKday and Trazy etc. in advance?
I relied heavily on Klook and KKday for the 5 days I spent in Seoul, mainly because of the language barrier and I didn’t want to end up getting incorrect tickets. Backstory: There was once I bought the wrong entrance tickets and it was ridiculously laughable. Even though I have a basic command of Japanese and can decipher most Kanji because of the similarity to Mandarin, somehow I still managed to screw up. 😂
I wanted to get tickets to the garden in Tenryu-ji, a beautiful temple in Kyoto, Japan so I went inside this hall with a ticket booth, got my tickets and realised that I had to walk an entire round inside the hall to get out since they had a one-way direction set up. Since I had my companions waiting, I was eager to get out, which I did in about 30 seconds. And this was when the revelation hit…could the tickets I just bought, be for the entry to this hall?! Wish the revelation hit earlier then maybe I could have saved USD15. 🤦♀️
Other than helping to avoid such situations, entering attractions and places with pre-bought tickets also makes me feel like this:
N Seoul Tower
The easiest way to get to the cable car on foot is by the free elevator (Namsan Oreumi), about 15 to 20 minutes from Myeongdong station. Here’s a map provided by preparetravelplans.com.
Originally built as a broadcast tower, the N Seoul Tower attained landmark status with its gorgeous 360-degree view of Seoul city.
We visited in the evening. The weather wasn’t great so we missed the sunset but thankfully, the night views were great.
To get to N Seoul Tower, you can either take a bus, cable car or go by car. Buses start from KRW15,000 (~SGD17) but would have given you access to other places of interest. We opted for the cable car which was KRW9,500 (~SGD11) for a return trip. Unfortunately, the cable car tickets were not included in any of the packages we found online so we paid for them separately.
There wasn’t much else to do apart from the city views so we only stayed for about an hour or two. The tickets are only $6.55 via Klook so we weren’t expecting more either.
Day tour: Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island, Ganchon Rail Park, Petit France
This is one of those intensive day tours that cramps every must-do activity into a grueling 12-hour itinerary. Perfect for us since we were pretty time-strapped in Seoul. The downside is the limited amount of time you get at each stop.
We booked this day tour from Seoul on Klook for about SGD100+ per person. The tour has a couple of options which allows you to choose the places you want to go. We went for the option with all four destinations.
After the experience, I’ll recommend to skip Petit France and go for the option with Garden of Morning Calm, Nami Island and Ganchon Rail Park. Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of Petit France and would rather get more time at the other stops.
Meetup at Myeongdong
At about 8AM, we showed up at the Myeongdong meeting point, which was a convenient 10-minute walk from our hotel. We were met by a knowledgeable guide and were picked up by a comfortable tour bus. Note that the mode of transport may vary depending on the number of participants.
Garden of Morning Calm
a 30,000-square metre private garden conceptualised and built by Professor Han Sang-kyung to share the beauty of Korea with the world.
Our day started at the Garden of Morning Calm, and it was absolutely breathtaking. There were more than 5000 species of flowers and plants and the entire compound was impeccably maintained. Pity we only had an hour to explore the grounds.
I saw a couple of locals doing their morning walks in the garden too. The entrance fee, which was included in the tour, is KRW9,500 (~SGD13) so I wonder how that works out for the wallet though.
Some key spots to visit:
One of the most popular day trips from Seoul, Nami island rosed in popularity when it was featured in the 2002 hit Korean drama series “Winter Sonata”.
The most popular sites on the island are the rows of pine trees which were featured prominently in the drama. The pine trees are the most accessible but there are also gingko, metasequoia and cherry tree lanes further into the island.
Honestly, the island is not my favourite as there isn’t much to do beyond the tree lanes. Most of the tours will include Nami island because it’s so iconic and overall, the tour packages are still a more economical option then arranging your own transport to the other locations.
Ganchon Rail Park
Built from a discontinued train line, the Gangchon Rail Park is the largest bike course in Korea which brings you around the bucolic countryside.
I’ve always wanted to visit the rail park after seeing it on one of the Running Man episodes. They made it look like so much fun that I wanted to try it out myself. The tour brought us to the starting point of the railway and our guide informed us that it would take about 30 minutes to complete the entire track.
After getting off the bike, we took a short 5-minute train to the exit where they would pick us up again. The romantic train, as it was named, apparently only comes once every hour (or so) and our tour guide had to emphasize that if we missed the train, we would not be able to visit Petit France since it would be closed by the time we got there. That was how tight the schedule was.
Gangchon Rail Park
You get really nice views along the way!
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Despite the warnings, the rail ride is really manageable and relaxed. We had a lot of time to spare before we caught the romantic train, which was hardly romantic at all; it was super crowded and we just wanted to get off the train as quickly as possible.
You couldn’t really speed up on the tracks even if you wanted to since you couldn’t overtake the bikes before you. We just did the entire track in a leisurely pace and went through farms and hills and unused tunnels which were repurposed with lights, bubbles and music to make the ride more exciting. It was pretty fun.
So apparently, this was built by a rich man with a love for France.
We had just a little more than 30 minutes at the park. Maybe it was a lack of time or we were just too tired after the 3 locations, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the park. The park captured iconic, recognisable elements of Europe which made for a good location for photos. Beyond that, there was little else.
Rose festival in Everland
A month-long extravagant festival starting from mid-May, celebrating different species of the gorgeous flower
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- N Seoul Tower (Klook)
- Day tour to Nami island, Garden of Morning Calm, Ganchon Rail Park & Petit France (Klook)
- Everland (Klook)
- Hanbok experience near Gyeongbukgung (KKday)
- Lotte World
- Day trip to demilitarized zone (DMZ)
- Seoraksan National Park
Seoul’s largest theme park spanning 99 hectares of land, which is more than 8 times the size of Lotte World (Seoul’s other theme park) and twice the size of Tokyo Disneyland!
I absolutely enjoyed Everland! It was so huge they even have cable cars in the park. We purchased the tickets via Klook which meant we were able to skip the queues at the ticket booth and enter the park immediately.
We waited no more than 40 minutes for the popular rides, which I think it’s pretty decent since queues for popular rides in Universal Studios and Disneylands routinely went over 60 minutes. Some rides I’d recommend:
- T-Express: a huge wooden rollercoaster which was absolutely adrenaline-pumping
- Double Rock Spin which brings you through like five 360-degree spins at one go
- X-Scissors with its crazy rotating action.
They also have a Safari World where you travel in the bus and catch animals like big brown bears, flamingoes, alpacas, and hyenas.
I think the staff also helped to make the entire experience more enjoyable – just look at this staff rap to the music from the ride!
Hanbok experience near Gyeongbukgung Palace
There are several options for the hanbok experience on Klook, KKday and Trazy but we ultimately went for the package at Seohwa Hanbok on KKday because:
- Location – super near Gyeongbukgung Palace. We could have done this in Nami island, Gamcheon village in Busan or even Insadong (a neighbourhood known for its traditional wares and cozy cafes). After doing some research, we felt that the Gyeongbukgung Palace was the most appropriate for hanboks. We would have felt really out-of-place in more modern settings. From Seohwa Hanbok, the palace is only a 5-minute walk away so we wouldn’t have to take the public transport in the hanboks. This is great because hanboks are not really the most comfortable clothing to walk in.
- Reviews – They have a rating of 4.5, which is pretty amazing considering that they did almost 32k purchases raking more than 5k reviews.
- Price and value – Seohwa Hanbok’s packages are really value-for-money. Unlike some other hanbok shops, they do not differentiate between premium hanboks and normal hanboks. Additionally, they do not charge extra for ‘addons’. We paid only slightly more than $20 per person for a 6-hour rental period (more than enough), loan of hair accessories and purse and storage of our bags.
The selection of hanboks was decent. Seohwa Hanbok also allows their customers to have a change of mind once; if you try on a hanbok and you don’t like it, you get another chance to pick out and try on another hanbok. Bear in mind that it takes a staff 5 to 10 minutes to help dress you up so they do have to control the number of fittings. But of course, if the size doesn’t fit, you can keep trying until you find the right size.
They have sizes up to UK18 but the selection does get smaller as the sizes go up. The staff is really friendly and will help you as much as they can.
Tips for picking out your hanboks in Seoul
They do have quite a fair bit of clients so you don’t really get the luxury of picking out your hanbok in comfort. To make sure you pick something you’re satisfied with, here are some tips:
- Research and decide on the colour scheme beforehand so you can just zoom in on those colours when picking out the hanbok.
- Make sure to have a good look at how your hanbok looks to make sure it fits well on you. Don’t end up like me with a top that’s too short. They have full-length mirrors around the shop.
- I’m not too sure if coming early helps, but I’ll definitely suggest to skip the first hour of opening if you’re not planning to queue up before the shop opens. The customers before you would have picked out the nicer hanboks and no one would return the hanboks within the first hour, which means you will have less of a selection.
We had a blast taking photos at the palace in our hanboks! I think we snapped more than 200 photos there. 😛
Among our other sightseeing, shopping and eating, we could only fit in 4 pre-planned activities from Klook and KKday in Seoul but here are 3 others I would have gone for if I had the time:
This is the other theme park in Seoul. We only had time for one theme park so we picked Everand over Lotte. I visited once nearly 10 years ago and I remembered the rides to be pretty cool. It is also a lot more convenient than Everland since it’s closer to city center.
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Day trip to Demilitarised Zone
Visit the truce village between North and South Korea and also the third tunnel of aggression, a tunnel burrowed by the North to infiltrate South Korea. The North Korean operation was intercepted before the tunnel could be completed. The tunnel is now opened to visitors with the end covered in concrete to prevent North Korean soldiers from crossing. This day tour has been rated 4.6 by 500+ reviews and visitors have lauded it for the knowledgeable guides.
Seoraksan National Park (Autumn)
Take in the magnificent autumn foliage at Seoraksan National Park. The journey to-and-fro is almost 6 hours so it’s best to book a tour. You can rest on the way there and visit the park fully recharged.
Klook has a really economical package for less than SGD70 per pax but there were a couple of reviews lamenting that the tour only allocated about 2.5 to 3 hours of time in the park. An alternative would be this package on Trazy; it’s about 30% more expensive but at least no one complained about the lack of time in the park.
I would have totally done this if I visited Seoul in the autumn, but alas.