When you travel outside your country, don’t you have to take care of so many things? From small details like currency to important matters such as housing and flight, there are so many factors making you want to throw away your travel plan even before you start packing. In that sense, we can say that Seoul is your perfect vacation place because Seoul is fairly convenient to travel. Make sure you know the 6 reasons why Seoul will make your trip easier, giving you more time to concentrate on the quality of travel.
1. Keep the tip in your pocket!
What a pleasant news for you! In Seoul (and other cities in Korea), you don’t have to pay a tip in most of the restaurants even if you receive nice service. Moreover, the staff do not complain or feel unpleasant when you don’t give them the tip. If you stay at a hotel in Seoul, then you also do not need to give tips to the staff at the hotel as the tip is already included in your room price.
Now since you can save your money for tips, why don’t you go shopping? Of course, you can give the tip if you are satisfied with the service and in fact, it’s advisable to pay tip at fancy restaurants in luxurious hotels.
2. Don’t need to be a math genius to calculate tax!
When you buy something in Seoul, you don’t need to calculate value added tax (VAT) or sales tax on every product. The VAT across the country is the same (about 10%) and it is already included in the final price. In some countries, you have to prepare more money than the price stated on the bill or tag, but you don’t need to do that here in Seoul! Throw away your smartphone calculator and forget all the math work!
3. Numerous free side dishes will enrapture you!
Most of the restaurants in Korea serving Korean dishes give free side dishes for you even when you order only one main dish. Especially when you visit Korean traditional restaurants, you will be shocked by the number of side dishes offered for free. Having many side dishes is a unique part of the Korean culture that dates back to the times of Korean royal court cuisine in Joseon dynasty. At that time, the king was served with 12 side dishes and main dishes. This became a Korean tradition and now there are usually 2 to 12 side dishes along with main dishes served in Korean restaurants. Most of the times, you can ask for more without paying extra money.
Unfortunately, many Western cuisine restaurants in Korea do not offer free side dishes. By the way, water is free in every restaurant, so don’t let yourself dehydrated.
4. You are not Cinderella, so stay up all night!
If you are a night owl, then Seoul is a perfect city for you to enjoy. Most of stores and restaurants open until 10 PM. Also downtown areas in Seoul such as Hongdae, Gangnam and Itaewon are filled with places open until the first subway train in the morning starts to run next day.
You may think that all you can do at night in Seoul is clubbing but that is not true. You can watch movies even around 3 AM or visit Dongdaemun’s night market which is even livelier than the day time. If you need anything, run to a convenience store. 24 hour open convenience stores are so easy to find in Seoul.
5. The Internet flies like an arrow!
Koreans like to do something fast. So is Internet in Korea. In 2015, a research done by an international cloud platform company showed that Korea ranks the first in the world in average Internet access with 22.2Mbps. (Hong Kong ranks the second with 16.8Mbps.) You can access to this high speed Wi-Fi in most of the restaurants or cafes in Seoul.
6. Seoul’s subway will be your magic carpet!
With 1,300 won (about one dollar) you can go anywhere in Seoul! There are 9 basic lines with 9 additional lines in Seoul. The basic lines (lines 1~9) go through every major places in Seoul city while other 9 lines reach out the vicinity areas of Seoul such as Yongin, Chuncheon and Gimpo (Gyeonggi-do province). Especially, Incheon airport railroad express goes through from Seoul station and Gimpo International airport to Incheon International airport. Unlike buses or taxis, there is no traffic jam that drives you crazy when you take a subway.