11 Sep Internship in Korea: Unveiling Hidden Gems and Navigating Tourist Traps
Embarking on an internship in South Korea presents an exciting opportunity to not only gain professional experience but also to explore a completely new culture and country with a fascinating history. To make the most of your time here, it’s essential to strike a balance between exploring hidden gems and avoiding any tourist traps that won’t be worth the time and energy. This guide offers insights into uncovering authentic Korean experiences while steering clear of overhyped destinations, making sure you leave with a unique experience all your own during your internship in Korea.
What Even *Are* The Tourist Traps?:
In recent years, South Korea has become a major travel destination out of the west, for people looking to explore K-pop, sprawling urban city centers, and incredible culinary experiences. With all this growth, it’s easy to not know quite what is and isn’t a tourist trap. To make life easier, here are 3 of the most popular tourist traps that we think might be worth a skip. Myeongdong Shopping Street is an extremely popular shopping district in the heart of Seol. While popular, Myeongdong can be crowded and overpriced. Seek shopping alternatives in local markets like Dongdaemun or Insadong for unique items and souvenirs. Namsan Tower is a must, though it does tend to attract a ton of tourists. Instead of taking the cable car, a common way up to see the tower, embark on a scenic hike up Namsan Mountain. You’ll still be able to reach the tower, and you’ll avoid the traffic that comes from the overcrowded cable cars. Finally, Insadong is a wonderful cultural street filled with shops and interesting architecture. Feel free to visit this place in order to experience it, but make sure to genuinely look for real galleries and artisans studios. There are tons of tourist oriented shops here, and they should be avoided at all costs during your internship in Korea. By avoiding the above experiences, you are sure to have more pleasurable and deep cultural experiences in South Korea.
Now you know where to avoid, but what about the gems you should see during your internship in Korea? Here are several of our favorite “off the beaten path” destinations you won’t see in most travel guides. Check out Bukchon Hanok Village, a beautiful traditional village that has well-preserved it’s original Hanok houses. These homes were made centuries ago in Korea, inspired by the nature around them and intended to blend in harmoniously. Bukchon Hanok Village displays Korea’s architectural style extremely well and should not be missed! Another must see, hidden destination is Gamcheon Culture Village. Nestled away in Busan, this village has colorful houses and art installations, making it a popular destination for artists and those who enjoy a quirky atmosphere. If you’re a fan of art, you’ll love the way this village uses space to make every corner feel like an open air art gallery. Finally, if you’re intrigued by dance and want to watch a traditional mask dance, try heading to Andong. Andong has lots of Confuctian influence, historic sites, and even a village called the Hahoe Folk Village. If you’re looking to step into the past and really feel connected to Korea’s rich history during your Korean internship, here is the place to do it.
Culinary Adventures Are Still Adventures
While out exploring all of the hidden gems of South Korea, you are sure to work up quite the appetite. Don’t let your rumbling stomach stop you from exploring during your internship in Korea! There’s lots of different foods to try and experience in Korea, and here are a few of our favorites. Street food markets are the easiest way to try lots of local flavors, quickly. Try markets like Myeongdong and Gwangjang to test out some spicy rice cakes aka tteokbokki or even bindaetteok, or mung bean pancakes. Another great spot to try out is Jeonju. This city is famous for their bibimbap, which looks similar to sushi, but is typically filled with egg, or spam. There are tons of vendors here to cater to whatever your palate is craving! Finally, you must try Korea’s traditional rice wine at a Makgeolli tasting. Makgeolli is a traditional drink that tastes milky, slightly sweet, and slightly fizzy. This alcoholic beverage can be found at authentic “houses” where there is a rowdy and welcoming atmosphere. If you are legally allowed to drink during your internship in Korea (the age is 19 in South Korea) then you can experience this wonderful and delicious beverage.
Ask For Help
There is no shame in asking a colleague or neighbor who is local to South Korea for their ideas of places to go and things to see. Not only will asking for their advice strengthen your relationship with them, but it will also unlock a more local experience for you during your internship in Korea. No one around to ask? Check out social media groups of those dedicated to exploring Korea, or engage in volunteer work to meet more locals. This gives you a chance to practice your language skills while also learning more about Korean culture. The most important thing is to allow yourself the freedom to ask questions, make mistakes, and follow your curiosities without allowing fear of failure to stop you. Don’t be shy! Ask your colleagues for opinions, as they are truly the best source of non-touristy activities and practices, as they live in South Korea day in and day out!
An internship in South Korea offers so much more than just work experience. Here is a chance for you to delve deeper into a culture that merges tradition and modernity. By prioritizing a unique experience and avoiding tourist traps, you are engaging in a cultural immersion that will enrich your adventure. You are choosing a genuine route that will undoubtedly create memories that will be cherished for years to come, as you navigate both professional and personal growth. We cannot wait to see you there and start growing with you!