[천원의 행복] 5 things to do in Korea for a dollar
There’s a coined term in Korea called 천원의 행복 (Cheon-won ui haeng-bok) which literally translates into “1000 won’s Happiness”. Popularized by a TV-show of the same name, it gradually became a slang among students (back in the days) what one could do with simply 1000 won since, you know, college kids are usually broke (because of too much drinking. I’m sorry, what? ^^;;)
1. Skate at the Seoul City Hall Outdoor Ice-skating Rink
Been a while since you last strapped on those skates? Feeling a little less adventurous and don’t feel like snowboarding or skiing (because they cost way more)?
Try Ice Skating for just 1000 won per hour. We can assure you that an hour is longer than it seems. Oh. And the skates’ rental is also free. ^^
It sure doesn’t look it, but the atmosphere surrounding this outdoor ice-skating rink really smells like Christmas. The bill boards and flashing lights of the city coupled with the GIGANTIC Christmas Tree right next to the rink makes one miss home for some odd reason.
Image Credits to Joanna @ http://smileyjkl.blogspot.sg/
Yuna Kim, the Queen on Ice from Korea here to motivate you to start skating!
2. Eat a 김밥 Kimbab (Korean Sushi roll) from the 24h 편의점 Convenience Stores or 김밥천국 Kim-bab Heaven
Feeling broke and hungry in the middle of the night? Not to worry, there’s always a whole roll of kimbab to the rescue. Okay, so technically, it’s slightly more than a dollar these days since inflation has set in but it’s still the cheapest and readily accessible food available in Korea, next to its cheaper and less-filling cousin, the 삼각김밥 (Triangle Kimbab, which looks like the onigiri)
Yep, it’s a whole roll, not a single slice. The ubiquitous 김밥천국 at your service.
3. Play 2 rounds of 야구 baseball batting
Okay, so this is something completely new to quite a lot of foreigners and it may seem “dangerous” or dubious at first sight since the structure of the batting cage seems rather flimsy. However, this is really something awesome to do with your friends when you are bored on a cold winter day. It’s really warm in there.
4. Buy Cute Accessories
Again, shops selling all kinds of cutesy accessories like earrings, hair ribbons, rings, keychains, hair bands are found everywhere in Korea. There’re quite a lot of them situated within the subway stations, and along the streets of 명동 Myeong-dong, 홍대Hong-dae, 이대Edae, 강남Gangnam, 종로Jongno, 대학로Daehagno in Seoul.
Some shops may overcharge unsuspecting tourists. Just stay away from those and choose to buy from the ones with the prices stated on the product tags. Here’s our favorite shop, which is also a popular franchise, look out for this signboard! ^^ It’s called 못된고양이 which means Naughty Cat. ^^
5. Eat Ice-Cream during Summer & Winter
You get 2 or 3 for 1000 won during these two seasons usually. And, the Korean Popsicles are super tasty and evil! It’s like Pokemon, you just gotta try ’em all.
The top 5 flavors to try:
1. Melona (멜론나)
2. Strawberry Yo Mam DDae (요맘때 – 딸기 맛) [The other flavors are fine too, but strawberry’s our must-try pick]
3. Pig Bar (돼지바)
4. Nougat Bar (누가바)
5. World Cone (월드콘)
There’s also a fun chocolate popsicle which breaks into two if you’re craving for old school chocolate ice cream to share with a friend called 쌍쌍바 (SSang SSang Bar)
Any other ideas for 천원의행복? We want to know! ^^