A whole new season is upon us, and despite the sometimes unbearable heat and humidity, there are some great things about Korea that you can only experience in the summer time. My favourite things, in no particular order, are as follows. If you’re lucky enough to visit Korea in the summer, I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
Koreans do many things well, but this has to be near the top. Koreans use their public outdoor spaces so efficiently. During the warm seasons you’ll always find people in pagodas or simply in parks sitting on mats, portable grill fired up and ready to go. Backyard barbecues are not a thing here, maybe since most people live in apartments. So perhaps this is why it is so popular! Whatever the reason, it’s so nice to see people taking advantage of public spaces, spending time outdoors with the people they love. Or maybe because they often will invite us to join them or give us food….Korean hospitality is like no other!
Pro-tip: kimbap is the easiest option (if you don’t feel like cooking) and you’ll blend right in along with the Koreans.
Despite being still very confused about Korea’s camping rules (sometimes allowed to camp on the beach, sometimes getting kicked off), it is still one of my favourite past times during the summer. Nothing like getting away from the city for the weekend and enjoying nature with great friends!
Pro-tip: The more isolated and less public the beach, the better your chances. Or be a normal human and opt for an actual campsite.
This has only recently become a past time of mine, with many friends and I all acquiring hammocks. Simply hang it up wherever you can, sit back and enjoy!
Pro-tip: Add in #1 and #2 on this list to make hammocking even more enjoyable.
Ok, this one takes the cake (…or should I say ice cream?), because you can literally only buy this during summer time. Bingsu is a super popular summer dessert mainly consisting of shaved ice or shaved milk (better than it sounds I promise) topped with ice cream and various toppings. Bingsu season is never long enough, and the cravings come all winter long. Definitely taking advantage of it as long as I possibly can!
Pro-tip: Shaved milk > shaved ice.
5. Cafe Patios
The only thing better than bingsu is enjoying it on an outdoor patio. Thank you summertime! (Pictured: not bingsu, but an equally delicious smoothie on a cute backyard cafe patio.)
Pro-tip: Look up. Most cafe patios will be on the second floor of buildings.
5. Baseball games
I have never experienced a baseball game back home, but I’m pretty sure Korea does them better. (I also have multiple sources that have attended games in their home country that can confirm this). The best part? Unlike most sporting events at home that jack up the prices of food and drinks, Korea does not. You can go to any convenience store in the stadium and buy some beer and fried chicken for just a couple bucks. This, along with the buzzing energy, wild and cheerful fans in the stands, is reason enough to check out a game.
Pro-tip: Climb to the top of the stadium for a sweet sunset view and private seating (if you’re like me and don’t actually care that much about baseball).
6. Drinking in public
Ok, I don’t mean to sound like I have a drinking problem (cause I don’t), but it is seriously so awesome. First- the fact that this is legal. Meaning if you’re having a picnic and feel like a beer it’s totally OK (and encouraged). You will never see a Korean picnic in the absence of soju bottles and some jugs of Korean beer. Second- since you buy alcohol at corner stores here, and they all usually have some plastic patio furniture outside of them, you can literally sit outside of them and just drink. Talk about saving money and an all around good time! (Why go to the bar when you can go to a 7/11….?)
Pro-tip: keep your eye out for outdoor cocktail bars, served right out of a car and cocktails in bags!
And there you have it. My favourite things about Korea in the summertime! Going to enjoy these to the fullest while my last few months in Korea come to a close.
Yes, the worst decision maker ever has finally made a decision. Stay tuned for what’s next!