Be Prepared to Walk... a Lot!

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Arts + Sciences

Authored By:

Grace S.

There are many aspects of life in South Korea that are well-known in online travel circles: the country's notoriously hard water, honorifics when speaking to others, cafe culture, and much more! It is easy to learn about South Korea and living here from the internet. But, what no online post told me before getting here was just how much I'd be walking! 

As opposed to other countries, like the United States (where I'm from), Korean cities are designed to be walkable. Not many people, especially not the younger non-employed people, use cars to get around. A twenty-or-more minute walk is completely normal! When you're from somewhere where cars are the only viable form of transportation, this is a big shock. Even with the extremely advanced, clean, and reliable public transportation system in South Korea, it's necessary to walk quite a bit to the bus stops or subway stations. Now, this isn't a problem at all... unless you're like me, and neglected to bring a good pair of sneakers (not flat-soled shoes like Converse, Vans, Doc Martens, etc.)! On only my third day out of quarantine, I found myself in shops searching for a cute and comfortable pair of sneakers to wear because my feet were so extremely sore! So definitely do what I didn't and bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes. 

Next, Korea is a very hilly country. I cannot stress this enough. The region is extremely mountainous, so be prepared to be worn out, sore, and out of breath from the county's hills! Even in the cities, the terrain is very hilly and uneven. When you're not used to it, it's definitely a killer on the hamstrings and feet! (in the pictures I've attached it may not look very steep, but once you're on those hills you'll feel it)

Now that you know what to expect from everyday travel in Korea, specifically Seoul, I hope you're prepared to walk these hills with your comfortable shoes!