Seoul, South Korea travel tips

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Leave room in your suitcase, because Seoul is a shopper's paradise. Try the massive department store Shinsegae, and don't forget the Lotte Duty-Free malls in town and at the airport.

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Don't be put off by tensions with North Korea. Most days in Seoul pass by normally, and if you're concerned, be sure to check State Department warnings beforehand.

Tags: Safety
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Tech gurus should be sure to visit D'Light, a massive showroom inside the headquarters of Samsung Electronics. It's packed with every kind of electronic gadget you can imagine--old and new alike--and gives visitors the opportunity to pull up your laptop's content on gigantic screens.

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When eating in Seoul, remember that all of the dishes will arrive at once; there are no courses.

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If someone passes you a dish, accept it with both hands.

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At the end of a meal, place your utensils beside your place. Don't let them jut out of a bowl; it's considered rude in Korea.

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A traditional Korean meal consists of shared bowls of stews or soups, plus rice and a mix of side dishes.

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Another great place to find beautiful, handmade souvenirs is Samhae Soju Craft Workshop.

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For beautiful architecture, be sure to see Jogyesa Temple.

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If you can deal with the smell, visit the Noryangjin Fish Market, for an excellent view of a traditional Korean culture.

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One of the more interesting places in the city--which will also supply you with all manner of souvenirs---is the Seoul Folk Flea Market.

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If you have a liking for beer, visit Janja's Butterfly Brewery.

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One of the city's best soup spots is Tosokchon.

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For excellent raw crab, head to Seoil Farm.

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Drinking is serious business in Seoul. Be sure to try soju, the world's best-selling distilled spirit.

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If you prefer a more modern experience of Seoul, be sure to book a room south of the river. The north side is the more traditional part of the city.

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Durim is a great tofu restaurant.

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To get a view of "traditional" Seoul, head to Bukchon Hanok Village, north of the river.

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A fabulous place to stay in Seoul is the Lotte Hotel Seoul.

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For some of the best dumplings in Seoul, try KaeSeong Traditional Cuisine.

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