Chances are that if you are coming to Korea in summer, you are already aware of the humidity. Well, as an expat who has been living here for close to 3 years I can testify, that they are DEFINITELY true. Nothing can prepare you for a monsoon. Most tourist activities will be off the table, but here are 4 things that you can still do doing a monsoon.
During the summer, much of the Korean peninsula is affected by typhoons. However, due to global warming, Korea now experiences a monsoon season rather than just a few typhoons.
Over the past several years, the average summer temperature in Seoul ranges from 27 °C to 30 °C. Although many places do experience higher temperatures in summer according to the thermostat, it feels unbearably hot. It rains nearly every day and the moisture just hangs in the air. Think of a hot steamy shower, but as weather that you cannot get away from. There are expats here from desert climates such as Arizona and Saudi Arabia who all agree that Korean summer is unbearably hot.
But, if you did not heed the warnings and have already decided to visit South Korea in the summer, I present plan B. If you get here only to find that the rumors are true, here are 4 activities that can help you can make the most out of your trip.
Korea has a wide range of bathhouses and spas. There are cheaper more traditional ones, that will only cost around 10,000 Won for the entire day. Or, there are more modern, premium ones.
Premium bathhouses are equipped with different outdoor pools and even slides as well. Korean spas are definitely very helpful to escape this heat. There is so much to choose from that you will probably be able to stay the whole day, hopping around the place.
There are very known spas like Dragon Spa, a two-minute walk from Yongsan-gu station (용산역). Another I recommend is one of the most well-known spas this past year, and a little bit on the pricier side. But, it is totally worth it. Paradise City Cimer is only a 15 minutes ride from the airport (you can take a free shuttle bus from the arrivals area) which I had the pleasure to visit a couple of times and it does not disappoint!
During the summer, Bingsu is one of the most popular desserts in South Korea. In its traditional presentation, it’s granulated ice with a kind of red bean jam, rice cakes, and dried soybean powder.
Over time, however, it has changed. Currently, you can eat rich (과일빙수) gwail-bingsu, adrift dessert of patbingsu, but instead of jam and soybean powder, it has pieces of fruits such as kiwi, strawberry, mango, etc. in addition to different grains to give it a crispy texture.
And what better way to enjoy Bingsu than with the amazing views of the sunset in Han River, which during July and August offers a gorgeous water show from its bridges. Definitely worth visiting.
Starfield COEX is one of the largest underground shopping malls in the world, where you will find a wide variety of clothing stores. However, its great attraction is Byeol Madang Library, which has thousands of books and is an amazing Instagram photo zone.
At Starfield COEX you will find luxury brands and affordable options as well. Plus, there are a variety of restaurants that offer everything from street food to luxury dinners.
In addition, the Kimchi Museum, COEX Aquarium, ASEM Plaza, and Event Patio are located here. There are always special events happening there.
Starfield COEX Mall (코엑스) Address: 513, Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Korean Address: 서울 강남구 영동대로 513 Opening Hours: 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
If you are a fish out of water, then Caribbean Bay is the place to go. It is equipped with a dozen different rides for all ages.
The place has a gorgeous man-made beach with waves that are programmed every 30 minutes. In general, it is a very cool place to stay for a day. The only downside is that it can become very crowded in summer – especially on weekdays. So, If you plan to visit, expect to somehow wait in long queues to go on rides. But all I can say is that they are worth the wait and you also might be able to make some friends on the way.
Caribbean Bay (캐리비안베이) Address: 199, Everland-ro, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Korean Address: 경기 용인시 처인구 포곡읍 에버랜드로 199 Opening Hours:09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
If you’re planning on being in Korean during the summer, you are definitely going to need to stay prepared. Click Here for a monsoon survival guide!