It’s no secret that I have gotten some opportunities to travel to South Korea. I would like to thank my friends at Aving.net for the opportunity. I have spent a good amount of time in Seoul, and surrounding provinces. We even took a boat down the Han river, learned to cook with Jiny, and visited the Coex mall’s Starfield Library – amongst many other things.
South Korea is home to Samsung, and LG – two of the biggest electronic manufacturers. South Korea welcomes business travelers to do business through their country. So not only can you go visit some of their iconic temples, you can get your electronic fix as well.
I put together a list of 5 things to do tech-wise. Granted, the list was different when I started. The K-Pop experience was closed, and the Robot museum will not be open until 2022 – but will be built by robots starting in 2020. So I had to make changes to the list.
Missing is the LG Electronics park, which I didn’t have a chance to get to. But I did find many other things you can do to stay occupied.
Also, we are sticking close to Seoul in this list. If you want to hop a train, you can visit the DJI arena, Robot land in Changwon, and more.
5. Gangnam Style – Samsung, VR, Apple Store
Gangnam is a great place to start, not only because they have a stage where you can re-create the Youtube sensation “Gangnam Style’ by Psy, but also because this is a young part of Seoul. Lots of shopping is here, including the Coex center I mentioned earlier.
Samsung D’Light is a great place to start. It’s one of Samsung’s corporate offices, but the bottom two levels contain shopping, food (including just opened Johnny Rocket’s), and the Samsung D’Light store – 3 levels of products, concepts, and things to explore. I highlighted it back in September when I was there learning about the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
There are many PC cafes, and VR zones in Seoul. It is a great place to escape, and the prices are very competitive.
Finally, Gangnam is home to the first Apple store in Korea. I found it by following all the knitted tree cozies.
4. T.UM at SKT
South Korean Telecom (SKT) is one of Korea’s companies that supplies phone and Internet services. They host T.UM, which is a concept room that shows us how we might be living life in 30 years. From self-driving cars, robots, hyper-loops, and more.
To visit this attraction, you must register. English tours are available, but not as much as Korean tours. So you might want to schedule this trip first, as days are limited.
3. Need Camera gear? Go to Seoul Plaza
Just down from Seoul Plaza, you have two attractions – Deoksugung, and the Sungnyemun gate (of the Fortress Wall). Across from the gate is a camera lover’s dream. This area is home to multiple camera vendors with gear old and new.
If you need a new lens for your DSLR, looking for some vintage gear, a new tripod, or anything else for your photo or video camera, you will find it here.
I picked up a new monopod, and a couple other camera pieces for great prices. And they were willing to haggle with me (so don’t be afraid to do that).
When I was done, I simply walked over a couple blocks and visited the night markets. Many vendors down the back alley ways selling clothes, food, bags, and other gear.
2. DJI Flagship in Mapu-go
This episode is sponsored by DJI, as the video was shot on a DJI Osmo Pocket. Get your Osmo Pocket here!
Although DJI is a Chinese company, they have a pretty good flagship store in the Mapu-go part of Seoul. Here, you can check out all the products, test fly a drone or two, and learn more about the company.
It’s also near the college, so there is a great evening presence to test out your new devices. The mall area features performers of K-Pop, magic, and more, lots of night-time shopping, and some very interesting sugar-craft strawberries.
1. Yunseong Electronics and Geek Heaven
If you need ANY electronic item, this is where you go to get it. Computers, networking equipment, P.A. equipment, Karaoke machines, and much more.
This area is more than one store. Inside each building is a maze of shops and vendors, selling whatever you need. It reminds me of those touring computer flea markets in the 90’s and 00’s for people looking to build their first computer.
Cross the street, and you are at “Korea’s Largest Game Distributor”. Of course, it’s more than games – there are many geek needs that get filled in this area. Comics, figurines, collectables, and much more.
And if you need a used phone or tablet, walk down the other corridor to many vendors with great prices on a mobile device.
Going to Korea? What You Need to Know
First of all, Google Maps is pretty much useless. Download Naver Map. This will give you english versions when possible, and better directions around the city.
Korean Won is about 100-1. Therefore, you can feel like a rich person carrying 100,000 won with you at any given time.
We took “Line 2” for most of this trip. Trains are easy to use once you get the idea. Average train ride is $1.25 (as of 2019).
There is no Uber, Lyft, or any other ride-share. Cabs are 3 colors: orange is a cab company, silver is independent, and black cabs cater to Americans (and might cost more, but try to haggle with them if they are waiting around for business).
Busses are Red (express bus), Blue (for when you have to travel from one side of Seoul to another), and Green (short line bus).
No need to tip. In fact, ask to get Duty free info so you can get money back.
You should really learn some of the language, but many can speak a basic form of English. A good resource to learn Korean is KoreanClass101.com.
Did I miss anything? Contact me!