From the K-pop and K-dramas to the fashion and beauty rituals of South Korean celebrity, MC visits Seoul with the distinct purpose of checking out all there is to do with a Hallyu (Korean wave) twist!
What is Hallyu?
If you’ve ever found yourself being sucked into the vortex of Korean dramas or found yourself bopping to Gangnam Style or any of the sugar-coated hits of Girl’s Generation, then it’s likely you’ve been touched by the Hallyu or the Korean Wave. This is the term coined for the influx of music, television and dance culture that has spawned from South Korea in the last decade or so.
For those of us who are familiar with the sights and sounds of Korea through the influx of Hallyu, then Orient Escape travel have tailored a tour that is definitely for you. This proves to be only tour of its kind and takes you on a comprehensive tour of all the best sights that Seoul has to offer; from K-pop artist studios and performances to drama shooting locations with a taster of all the best in music, television and dance that you will find in the capital of South Korea.
The K-pop fan would love…
The first stop for the K-pop fan should definitely be the COEX Artrium or the Klive Hologram Concert experience on the 9th floor of the Lotte FITIN mall. First up though, we must explain that Korean pop culture is divided into a few distinct entertainment companies which are; YG Entertainment (whose most famous artists are PSY, BigBang and 2NE1), SM Entertainment (whose artists are Super Junior, Girl’s Generation and EXO), JYP Entertainment (whose artists are 2PM, Wonder Girls and Got7) and Cube Entertainment (Beast and 4minute).
We mention this because the selected entertainment outlets cater to certain companies, for instance the COEX Artrium are for the SM Entertainment fans as the entire building is dedicated to its SMTOWN artists. You can choose from watching a hologram concert, or taking a selfie with a projected image of your idol to even making your own mini 3D print out of your favourite star! There’s something for everyone from the serious fan who would want limited edition merchandise to the casual observer looking to buy cute souvenirs or presents. We recommend a visit to the cafe which offers a great selection of coffees as well as a selection of cute cupcakes made in the shape of SM artists’ favourite fashion items!
The current Klive Hologram Concert is dedicated to YG Entertainment artists so you’ll get to see PSY perform his famous dance or Big Bang blow kisses at you from the stage. If you’re stumped and wondering what a hologram concert is, it’s a virtual reality concert where you are treated to a ‘live’ performance complete with interactive games in which the projected images will then ‘play’ with the audience.
If witnessing a holographic projection of your favourite K-pop artist isn’t enough to satisfy your entertainment needs, then we recommend attending the WAPOP concert. This is located in the Children’s Grand Park and features a two and a half hour long concert which will include an appearance from an actual K-pop band as well as songs from all your favourite Korean dramas such as My Love From The Stars and Secret Garden, performed by up and coming singers. If you’re lucky you may just catch the next big Hallyu star on their way to stardom!
Cooler cats can also choose to club the night away in one of Seoul’s super clubs such as Club Octagon or Ellui where many K-pop stars have been spotted. If you’re a party animal, clubbing in Korea goes on till 6am on weekends and feature huge (and always crowded) spaces with local and international DJs.
If Korean drama is your thing…
Seen the cherry-blossomed covered lanes where lovers walk in a typical Korean drama or watched an episode of Running Man that’s set near the River Han? Chances are these are sights that will appeal to you. Better yet, for fans of TV variety shows and game shows, get yourself a pass to tour the TV stations where you’ll be able to visit the real life sets of some of the most popular TV variety shows or catch a glimpse of a passing screen celebrity! Both national TV stations such as SBS and KBS offer tours of their buildings and CJ Entertainment offer free passes to tapings of music shows where you can catch a live recording of the weekly pop chart! Be warned, fans queue for these passes as early as 6am so it’s only for the gung-ho. Also be sure not to miss a walk about the area where these buildings are located, in the Digital Media City as the architecture and surroundings are photo-ready.
To truly experience Seoul, a cruise along the Han River is a must. Here you will be able to see the full skyline of the city and experience a pleasant afternoon sailing down the river. For the romantic in us, another not-to-bemissed spot in Seoul is the Namsan Tower.
Located right in the heart of the city and standing 237 metres tall, the short walk up to the base of the tower will take you to the famous love padlocks that line the entrance. Here, you can bring your own padlock or buy one and ‘seal’ your love while taking in the romantic view of the city. Go up to the top of the tower or dine at its restaurant for more romantic vistas. As the tower is open late, this is a great place to re-enact your favourite romantic scenes day or night!
To find out more about travelling to Korea, please visit the Korea Tourism Organisation website:
To make your bookings with Orient Escape Travel, please contact:
ORIENT ESCAPE TRAVEL SDN BHD.
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By: Shakila Rajendra