Did you plan a trip to Seoul, but you are not able to travel due to COVID19. Or just stuck home in Seoul and cannot enjoy to the fullest the spring in the city? Here are my tips how to do a virtual tour of Seoul from the comfort of your home.
2020 started with a bang and in a very unexpected way. COVID19 threatened our livelihood and changed everything. My great travel plans for the new year are all gone. South Korea was hit first, and from mid-February, we had to practice social distancing to keep the virus from spreading and spare the lives of the elderly and some vulnerable people with underlying health conditions. International travel is on hold, and for most of March and April, domestic travel was not an option either.
Staying home under quarantine to make sure you are far from the virus might be super challenging for somebody who loves to travel. My first thoughts were the pandemic will pass in no time, and I should use the time home to finally kick off some long-postponed projects related to my travel exploration.
So if you are still lockdown home due to COVID19, here are some excellent ideas on how to “explore” beautiful city of Seoul without leaving the comfort of your home:
1. Healthy breakfast and coffee at home
Seoul is famous for its fantastic coffee shops. Obviously, it’s out of the question to visit one now. Plus, most of the coffee shops in Seoul open quite late, starting from 11 AM. So, make a delicious fruit shake and grind some fresh coffee to kickstart your day! Use. your favorite Seoul themed mug or at lest put a Seoul themed screensaver on your computer. When coffee is ready, get to point 2.
2. Virtual walking tour of Seoul
Thank God there’s so much content about Seoul on YouTube. Even if you do this every day for a month, there will be another video to watch. Grab your coffee and immerse yourself in the fantastic views of the streets of Seoul. For 4K virtual tours of Seoul, I recommend Seoul Walker. If you feel nostalgic about using Seoul Metro, watch this video with Seoul Metro Sounds.
3. Check the latest news in Seoul
Sorry, it’s still about COVID19, but there’s so much to learn how the Seoul Metropolitan Government is dealing with the situation. There’s a dedicated page on the Seoul Website in English with the latest information. You will be impressed with the swift measures to disinfect and make public places safe for these with essential jobs who had to go provide services and keep the city up and running.
4. Keep your exploration spirit, put a map of the world at home
I’m lucky we have a big one on the wall. Any map will do, just put it somewhere in your sight to remind you that a big, big world is waiting for you, and sooner or later, you will be traveling again.
5. Cook your favorite Korean meal for lunch
Staying home might be challenging to eat proper food, but take the time to learn a new skill. I’m learning fast, but my meals are still fundamental, but I think they are quite healthy. If you have a favorite Korean food, try to fix it with the ingredients at home. It might not be as good as if you visit a popular restaurant in Seoul, but a bit of soy sauce and kimchi powder can make miracles.
“Cheonggyecheon Stream Night View”
6. Dust out the books for learning Korean
You need to go beyond 안녕하세요 next time you come to visit Seoul! An hour a day can do miracles. There are so many resources online to get you started on Korean. One of the best Korean lessons online can be found on the YouTube channel Talk To Me In Korean.
7. Zoom with your friends in Seoul
Missing your Korean friends? It’s easy to schedule a Zoom or Facebook call and talk to your friends. We even celebrated a birthday on Zoom and it was fun. Well, not exactly as when you can get together but it’s something.
8. Virtual museum tour
9. Korean Culture Hour
There are so many Korean movies and music online. A good start will be to search for Korean dramas on Netflix. Unfortunately, not all titles have subtitles in English. If you are based in the USA or have a VPN, The Korean Culture Center in NY has selected 10 Korean movies to watch for a limited time online. There’s a massive list of classic Korean movies uploaded on YouTube by the Korean Film Archive. Another must-visit channels if you like Korean traditional music are National Gugak Center on YouTube and Gugak TV on YouTube, they upload new content almost daily. If you prefer to read, here’s a list of Korean books translated in English, or you can browse the digital collection of The National Library of Korea.
10. Start a new project
I did start my travel blog, Chris Travels the World at the beginning of the pandemic, and I am so happy I was able to do so much on it. You can also spend some time and organize your Instagram bookmarks by type – I created Places in Seoul, Beautiful Korea, Coffee Shops, and Restaurants to be able to find the places I’m planning to visit when it’s safe to travel.