I am currently on exchange at Sogang University, South Korea.
Travelling is only as good as what you make of it. Whether you enjoy exploring the beautiful scenery, fishing, hiking, drinking or eating, South Korea has it all. There are many areas in South Korea you should visit.
However, I would highly recommend Tongyeong City, located on South Korea’s southern coast.
Tongyeong is a must-go tourist destination. It is a 4 hour bus ride from Seoul and only an hour from Busan, Korea’s second-largest city.
The concept of fresh seafood takes a new meaning when you go to Tongyeong.
It is very cheap and the seafood you eat there is quite often caught and bought that day, and also killed only moments after you ordered your meal. Sometimes it’s so fresh, it is still alive…
Tongyeong has a lot of beautiful mountain scenery, coupled with silence and serenity. It is a small town but has much to offer. I went hiking in Jeongryang-dong at ‘Maeilbong’ mountain and later bought a bunch of scallops and oysters at the Jungang-dong fish market. I bought 10,000 Won worth and couldn’t even eat it all.
Also went to see the turtle boat used by the famous general, Yi Sun Shin. (It is next to the fish market). This turtle boat also known as the Geobukseon was a large warship used in the Joseon Dynasty 16th Century against the Japanese invasion.
You can also take a ferry to different islands from Tongyeong. These places are more secluded, agricultural and traditional.
Somaemuldo Island is a great place for mountain hiking. Somaemuldo is connected to Deungdaeseom, where the lighthouse is located. At low tide, one can walk from one island to the other. The naturally bizarre rock formations, beautiful ocean view and old villages make this place an interesting tourist spot.
I also went to Ddagseom (Seom means Island in Korean). My friend and I paid a person to let us fish off his off-land, on-sea house. What seemed to be a large floating wooden platform on the ocean with a house attached to it. You should oraganize a drop-off and pick-up time with them.
Sogang University organizes group tours around Seoul almost every week. They also organize trips outside of Seoul to Tongyeong City and Jinju, etc. You will have every chance in the world to experience all different parts of South Korea through the university.
Making friends at Sogang University is incredibly easy. A lot of people are nervous and eager to make friends. It also helps that Sogang University has a buddy system (pair you up with a Korean student) to help you with any issues you may have.
Korean night life is absolutely insane, you will often hear words like ‘Sam-Cha” or ‘Sa-Cha’ which means third round and fourth round, respectively. Each round is a different restaurant, bar or club and you will sometimes end up at ‘Sa-Cha’ at around 4-5 am.
It is part of Korean culture to eat and drink at the same time. Quite often, you have to order ‘Anju’ (This is a broad term that refers to any food/snack consumed WHILE consuming alcohol). Perhaps this is why the Koreans can drink forever.
Good luck to all future exchange students.
At Tongyeong, cooking up some scallops
Tongyeong, near Jungang-Dong (Those big brown boats are the turtle boats)
Somaemuldo Island, (You can also see Deungdaeseom at the furthest island where the lighthouse is)
Maeilbong mountain at Tongyeong (Those pink flowers on the road are the Camellia flowers)
Ddagseom, fishing day 1
Ddagseom, fishing day 2
Bachelor of Business
Sogang University, Korea