Love is in the (Autumn) air
K-Dramas have been feeding us tales of romantic Autumn stories for the longest time. Somehow, Oscar-worthy kissing scenes or tear-jerking breakups tend to happen in the midst of lush forests surrounded by falling leaves, and rightly so!
If you fancy a refreshing change from the endless shopping and eating, make the most of the crisp air and venture into the Korean outdoors. With lesser crowds and a golden landscape just dying to be photographed, have your biggest K-drama fantasies brought to life when you visit seoul this Autumn.
(See also: 4 Seasons In Korea: Day Trip to Nami Island)
1. Re-enact scenes from Love In The Moonlight
Love In The Moonlight was one of the most talked about dramas in 2016 and for a good reason! Since its release, the drama has received praise for its brilliant story plot, acting and even its soundtrack. It’s almost as if everyone now wants to be confessed to in sign language just like in the drama! There’s just something about coming-of-age historical dramas that will have you wanting to travel back in time, right?
And if you fancy yourself donning a full traditional hanbok just like the ones Kim Yoo Jung was wearing in the show, why don’t you just rent a pair! Some hanbok rental packages offer a wide variety of designs and the opportunity to be dolled up in true Korean fashion. Both you and your SO can pick favourites, get dolled up and head over to the nearest palaces, shrines or temples to live out your favourite K-drama scenes.
Additionally, it is said that entering the religious sites while wearing a traditional hanbok can actually earn you “Hanbok Benefits” such as discounts or even a free entry! What’s even better is you can pick your hanbok up from the heart of Seoul’s Jung-gu district, which is also a favourite filming location for K-dramas like Iris II and You’re Beautiful.
2. Visit the gorgeous set of one of the biggest K-Dramas ever made
You can’t be a K-drama fan (or a K-pop fan!) if you haven’t heard of Winter Sonata. Renowned for being one of the pioneer dramas that kicked off “Korean fever” as we know it, if you only have time for one Korean drama let this be the one.
Most people know Winter Sonata for the beautiful settings that seem to compliment almost every scene, in which the mesmerising Nami Island takes credit for. And although the drama is set in well, Winter, Nami Island is equally (or arguably more) beautiful during the Autumn season.
And even if you’ve never watched or heard of Winter Sonata, a trip to Nami Island during the Autumn season is not to be missed. Aside from capturing the beautiful colours, head over to “Forest of Sweethearts” where you can say hello to the island’s ever-so-friendly wildlife that consists of deer, rabbits, ostriches and more!
3. Act like childhood lovers at Lotte World
Lotte World is easily one of the top destinations in seoul and with it being the backdrop for the 2004 popular childhood-lovers-themed drama: Stairway to Heaven, a visit to this place is definitely a must for the couples or better still, the childhood lovers!
Consisting of a museum, an ice rink, a castle and a wide range of rides, Lotte World is the place to be for every type of traveller. For the daredevils, brace yourselves and hop aboard the thrilling Gyro Drop or the Gyro Swing.
And of course, don’t miss out on taking photos at the carousel or the merry-go-round, where the famous drama poster was shot!
Additionally, Lotte World will be hosting a range of Halloween activities for the month of October. With zombies, exhilarating rides and more, a trip to seoul without visiting Lotte World is sure to be a waste!
Click here for opening hours and entrance tickets at unbelievable prices!
4. Act out the heart-fluttering first date scene from Boys over Flowers
Remember that scene in Boys over Flowers where Goo Jun Pyo and Geum Jan Di had their awkward but actually-kind-of-cute first date together? Since then, the seoul Namsan Tower was also used as a popular filming location for dates in Korean dramas and of course, it gained popularity to be one of the top go-to date spots in seoul.
The tower, which stands tall at about 500m above ground, offers visitors breathtaking views of the city and beyond, that include the ever famous Namsan Park from the tower’s observation deck. You can also enjoy an audio tour or simply take a cable car ride, in which you can re-enact the first date scene from the iconic drama.
A visit to the tower wouldn’t be complete without “locking your love” at the famous bridge, along with thousands of other padlocks that were placed there over the years by both the tower’s local and international visitors. It is also a perfect place to take your #OOTDs, so grab your SO and your best Autumn outfit and snap away!
Book ahead and skip the queues here.
5. Have your first kiss at the world-famous Everland Theme Park
The world-famous theme park, Everland was the backdrop for the very emotional first kiss scene that was shared between Shin Se Gi and Oh Rijin from the very popular and talked about 2015 drama, Kill Me, Heal Me. So why don’t you and your SO re-enact the first kiss scene amidst the park’s surrounding Autumn colours?
Get your adrenaline pumped with the many thrilling and exhilarating rides that made this park one of the top amusement parks in South Korea. We suggest you take a ride on the wooden roller coaster, which is also known as the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world!
Don’t miss out on the Halloween festivities that the park is hosting throughout the month of October as well. Here, witness a flash mob of zombies inspired by the hit TV series: The Walking Dead. Also, catch famous comedian Kim Jong-seok show off his magic tricks on every Saturday of the Halloween season!
Get your tickets at 30% off here!
6. Visit your favourite stars in teddy bear form
Princess Hours was probably the K-drama that got most of us hooked onto the whole K-drama thing, and what better way to immortalize your favourite drama and characters than in teddy bear form?
Unlike the Teddy Bear Museum in Namsan Tower, the Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju is bigger and better, making you travelling out of the city worth it. In fact, it is one of the top tourist attractions in Jeju Island.
The museum houses various displays of so many different kinds of handcrafted Teddy Bears that include the Elvis Presley Bear, the 125-carat teddy bear and teddy bears that designs are inspired by Seoul’s history. Be sure to say hello to one of the world’s most expensive teddy bears, the Louis Vuitton Bear, which is worth $2.1 million!
Pre-book your tickets to the Jeju Teddy Bear Museum here and enjoy attractive discounts.
7. Or better still, explore the whole of Jeju!
With its gorgeous landscapes and breathtaking views, Jeju Island should well be considered as one of the wonders of the world! Naturally this is the prime spot for many K-drama productions like Secret Garden, Boys over Flowers, My Lovely Samsoon and more.
If you’re looking to explore all of these filming locations in one day, there’s is really no better way than to go on a hop on hop off bus tour. The flexibility of this tour allows you to explore the iconic sites of the island without having to commit to time-crunched itineraries.
Be sure to snap pictures of the many beautiful Jeju landscapes when you’re around! Also, famous sites like the Dongnum Market and the Jeju City Hall should not be missed!
8. Express your feelings through a karaoke session
What better way to express your love than through heartfelt songs (or OSTs)? Unlike most of the Karaoke rooms in Singapore, most of the ones in seoul (like the famous Luxury Su Noraebang), come complete with disco lights and other theatrical gimmicks bound to get you in the mood in no time.
Besides having affordable rates, K-drama fans will be excited to know My Lovely Samsoon was filmed here! Remember that memorable scene where one of South Korea’s favourite heartthrobs Hyun Bin acted drunk and silly just to win the hearts of Samsoon’s family?
Luxury Su’s rooms also come with unique props to complete your whole singing experience. Picture singing to romantic ballads with your SO while donning a comical wig and holding a tambourine or maracas with one hand!
Address: 367-39 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Rates: 1,000 won – 22,000 won / person
Opening hours: 24/7
9. Chase sunsets on a river cruise
“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.” – Jo Walton
Sunsets in seoul are definitely something not to be missed, especially when you’re visiting in Autumn. I mean, is there anything more mesmerizing than seeing the maple leaves donned with the colours of the sunset during the golden hour?
Hop on board the Han River Cruise and you’re well on your way to witness what could be the most romantic sunset of your life.
The Han River Cruise sails off every hour of every day starting at 1pm. Tickets are bound to sell fast for the evening timings so be quick! The cruise also goes past several seoul attractions that include the Jeoldusan Park, 63 Square and N seoul Tower.
10. Play dress up and take couple photos at a herb island
The Pocheon Herb Island actually consists of a herb exhibition hall, a museum, a cafe and bakery, an indoor and outdoor botanical garden, a mini zoo and so much more! Located in Gyeonggi-do, this herb-lover’s paradise opened its doors in 1998 and today, it houses over 180 different kinds of herbs.
This beautiful, understated place was also the filming location for some of the country’s biggest shows that include Oh My Venus and Running Man!
As for the lovebirds, there are actually a whole bunch of stuff that you can do here, not just taking photos. For example, you can take a gondola boat ride and sail through the Venice-inspired canal or have fun dressing up in traditional Korean costumes and take photos!
Address: 35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Rates: 4,000 – 6,000 won
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm daily
In the city of amazing pop culture, the city of seoul has seen the likes fans and avid travellers from all the world. So here’s to spending your next romantic getaway here!