Summer in South Korea usually rhythms with the rainy season or Jangma (장마) in Korean. During this time of the year, it can be hard to find fun activities to do and, consequently you might end up spending your free time locked in your house instead of enjoying the long-awaited summer season. In this article, I will share with you how Korean usually spend the rainy season and how you can also make the best out of it.
Food and Makgeolli
Jangma or the rainy season in South Korea is when Korean enjoy many kinds of foods and different flavors of the fermented Korean rice alcohol. Some of the foods that are consumed during the Jangma season are Jeon; a Korean-style pancake, Kalguksu, Sujebi Guk, and Odeng Guk.
Jangma and Jeon
Jeon is by far the ultimate food that Korean enjoy during the rainy season. The sizzling sound of making Jeon remind them of the rain sound. In fact, there is a lot of different kinds of Jeon. The most popular ones are Kimchi-Jeon, Pa-jeon, Gamja-Jeon, and Seafood-Jeon. Personally, my all-time favorite Jeon is Kimchi-Jeon and Gamja-Jeon, especially when I dip them in soy sauce.
Kalguksu, Sujebi and Odeng Guk
Hot soups are also commonly consumed during the rainy season in South Korea. The most common hot soups are Kalguksu, Sujebi Guk, or Odeng. The taste of these soups is quite savory and refreshing, hence it is perfect for a rainy day.
Korean wine Makgeolli
Makgeolli is a fermented traditional Korean rice alcohol. This drink is usually served in a large yellow metal bowl and it is Jeon’s best buddy. During the rainy days, places selling Jeon and Makgeolli are full of people and some people might even have to wait in line to get in.
In the last few years, Makgeolli gained a lot of popularity among foreigners, and due to the sour and strong taste, the flavored Makgeolli is now commonly sold to upgrade the cultural experience . Among the flavored Makgeolli, banana and sweet potato are on the top list.
Activities to do
As I explained before, food and Makgeolli can be a great cultural experience to enjoy the rainy season. However, if you need more than food to fight the boredom of Jangma, don’t worry I got you covered.
It is recommended to stay indoors during the rainy season, for this reason, shopping malls are a good place to visit. In South Korea, shopping malls are everywhere, and during the rainy days, they are flooded with people because you can do a lot of things there. You can eat, have coffee, do eye shopping, watch a movie and spend many hours without realizing it.
Arcade and Noreabang
If shopping malls are not your thing, how about having extra fun in an arcade or noreabang. You can find arcades easily especially if you live nearby a university area. Arcades usually have fun games to try so it is the perfect place to release your stress. Also if you like to sing or you cannot sing too, you can visit a noreabang ( Korean Karaokes).
Finally , I couldn’t end this article without remind you about some essentials that you should consider having during the rainy season.
During the Jangma season , umbrella is your best friend so always keep one inside your bag. If you forgot to do so, don’t worry. Korean convenience stores are in each bloc so you can easily purchace one from there.
Rain boots are also a good item to invest in during this time of the year. Or you can buy some nice waterproof sandals and use them as well. I have to say it was my everyday walking shoes last year when I had to commute during rainy days so I highly recommend them.