For countries where I don’t speak their language and have minimal understanding, I create words cards like this.
When I was younger, I travelled without much planning. But with kids now, it’s a totally complete different story. These simple word cards I created have been proven to be useful in Seoul. Locals understand me. I got to my destination and my requests fulfilled!
In South Korea, my family and I take the taxi everywhere because of our young children and the bitter winter air. It is affordable and saves the hassle of going up and down the escalators, figuring out the exits. We tried taking the train once overseas but the transfers and dealing with 2 cranky kids wore us out.
- Check the address on different websites. A location can have different addresses.
- Copy that address (the one you most commonly find) on Google Map to check. It’s good to have an idea of the distance from your accommodation, or what’s around the place.
- When you are heading to a country like South Korea where they are amazingly tech savvy, you have to download NAVER. It’s available in English, which is great for tourists! Naver is much more accurate than Google Maps for Seoul because the addresses, images are more frequently updated.
- Make use of your T-money cards. Top it up frequently so you can just tap and go when you alight. No more fumbling with loose notes or coins.
(Right click to save!)
These are grill restaurants in Seoul with fantastic reviews online.
I’ll just do a quick review of the place since I didn’t plan on writing a full food review. I only managed to head to Maple Tree House and the meat was excellent. Location’s a little hard to find because the road is narrow. Actually I wouldn’t even call it a road, it’s more like a lane. What I found out is that the entrance to the restaurant is on this narrow lane. It’s located on the second or third floor of a building. When you get to the first floor, you actually find yourself in the lobby of Hamilton Hotel, facing the main road! So maybe you can just cab to the hotel and walk up?
Saw this place featured on a vlogger’s channel and thought of trying it out. But couldn’t fit into our itinerary.
This is one place I’m definitely going to try when I visit Seoul again. I made the terrible mistake of not making a reservation. It had long snaking queues. This outlet on the card is their main store and looks the most authentic, rustic. Other outlets had more modern interiors. There are other outlets around Seoul so I should have opted for them instead of this main branch.
Mangwon market is very local. There are few English signs there so you’re pretty much on your own! One thing great about this is that it’s not very crowded and the street food is delicious. I has my first Isaac toast there. The owner was sweet to offer us seats inside his tiny cafe because it was getting so tough to feed two young kids sandwiches in the wintery cold.
(Say Namdaemun chul go 5 – chul go refers to 出口)
I didn’t go to Namdaemun in the end because it was too cold to be outdoors for a long time. If you plan to head to the complexes within Namdaemun, it’s probably still fine. But because we merely wanted to get new spectacles and have local street food, we headed to Mangwon market instead. Mangwon is a better market to explore because it is partially covered and has lesser tourists. However do take note its scale is much smaller than Namdaemun market.
(Say Hongdae chul go 9. Pronounced choooo goool. Chul go refers to 出口)
Again this refers to Hongdae exit 9 which is the start of the more exciting shopping belt. To be super precise, you should be saying Hongik station instead of Hongdae, but the drivers all understand Hongdae.
These word cards would help getting meals easier.
This is very important. Because hubby loves to get supper after the boys go to bed. If budget allows, we will always get a room with a separate seating area where we can enjoy some snacks after the kids knock out.
To my boys, a meal is not complete without a bowl of rice, or noodles.
You know how some restaurants will help to fry rice after dak galbi or grill? Here’s what you should tell them if they aren’t responding to you
Hope these word cards would be useful for you in navigating around Seoul and make travelling with your family a little easier.