In recent years, the world seems to be reeling under the influence of Korean culture. Everything from K-pop to Korean beauty brands seem to have made their way into our lives. But for all the popularity, South Korea is still a relatively offbeat destination for travellers. And while kimchi and Korean bbq might be the first few words that come to mind when someone mentions South Korea, this country of 51 million people offers a plethora of activities that you might not find anywhere else in the world! We're talking about some of the funkiest experiences you will ever come across.
If you're planning a trip to the Land of the Morning Calm, we give you a list of quirky experiences that you absolutely shouldn't miss:
Have a spa session like no other at a Korean bath house
Bath houses are an extremely important part of the Korean culture, with the locals keeping aside whole days for going to the spa. Jjimjjilbang or Korean bathhouses are gender-segregated, with only some common areas. They have aroma pools and open areas like coffee-baths, red-wine baths etc. Once done showering in the aroma pools, visitors can enjoy the saunas or relax in the common area. Most Korean spas are open 24/7, and visitors can also spend the night here.
Go on Korean food tour in Seoul
Koreans are extremely proud of their unique and varied cuisine, and rightly so. And if you're a first-time visitor, the rich selection of food can make you overwhelmed pretty quickly. A great way to avoid confusion and get an overview of popular Korean dishes is to join a food tour. Local tour guides and restaurants, especially in Seoul (South Korea's capital) will take you through homemade delicacies and food served in restaurants in detail. You will get to try the more well-known items like Korean BBQ and kimchi to the lesser known ones like Bingsu ice-cream and Kimbap rolls.
Go for a date at one of the many themed cafes
Themed cafes have become the norm at several places, but the ones in South Korea take the quirkiness to a whole new level! From anime and princess-themed cafes to the ones made after animals and even poop, you will be spoilt for choice in this East Asian country. Most of these are concentrated in Seoul and you can easily make a day of cafe-hopping.
Try unusual snacks and finger foods
Just like mainstream Korean cuisine, their snacks and finger food are also unlike anything you'll have tried in other parts of the world. One of their most popular dishes is Beondegi or dried silkworm carcasses. It is a typical Korean bar snack, which is popularly had with the Korean rice whiskey, Soju. The local treat is available at almost every convenience store in South Korea and is served widely across bars. If you want them freshly stewed, you can also head to street-food vendors who make it in front of you and then serve.
Besides Beondegi, you can try your hand at items like crab chips, shrimp snacks, rice crackers and more.