[Interview] Visit Seoul's Traditional Chinese Editor
See & Do Tours
May is chock full of holidays in Korea! Children's Day, Parents' Day, and Teachers' Day are just some of the fun Korean holidays visitors can experience in May. May in Seoul is great for families traveling together as there are many cultural events like holidays as well as beautiful weather. Read about Visit Seoul's traditional Chinese editor Lesley and her advice for family trips to Seoul!
My name is Lesley and I’m from Taiwan. I'm Visit Seoul’s traditional Chinese editor. When I'm not working, I love to travel all over the world and learn about new cultures along the way. Hallyu was the reason I became interested in Korea and I started to study Korean because of Hallyu too. I first attended Korean language schools in Taiwan and before going to Korea to continue my studies. Now I live in Korea and in my spare time I go sightseeing in Seoul and Korea.
Compared to Taiwan, Korea's weather is more distinctly divided into four seasons. In Korea you can see and feel the changes from season to season. All four seasons have different charms but I really like May. The weather is just right, not too hot but still warm and sunny. May is a great month to travel in Seoul, especially for families. If adults are traveling with their parents or children, weather is a pretty important factor for planning your travels. Seoul in the winter can be too cold, and in the summer it can get too hot. Although fall and spring both have mild weather, I feel like spring is livelier and that there's just more to do. I personally find myself going out of family excursions more often in May.
Jjimjilbangs (Korean spas) are so fun to visit as a family. After a day of shopping or sightseeing, it's very relaxing and fun to visit a jjimjilbang to unwind. Admission prices start at about 10,000 won and range up to about 20,000 won. You may go in feeling tired, but you'll leave feeling refreshed! Food is also sold at jjimjilbangs so in addition to enjoy the spa facilities; you can have a meal during your visit. Jjimjilbangs have many different facilities and services to take advantage of as well. You can get a massage, a scrub, or play board games and watch movies, all at a jjimjilbang.
If you're traveling with senior citizens and it's their first trip to Seoul, I'd recommend visiting Seoul's palaces and traditional areas like Insa-dong and Samcheong-dong. You can see Korea's traditional culture and heritage there. For those who've been to Seoul a few times, I'd recommend basing your itinerary on personal preferences. For example, my parents really like walking, so the last time they visited Seoul we walked along Hanyangdoseong, the Seoul City Wall. My parents enjoyed themselves and it's a great way to experience nature in the heart of the city. The full Hanyangdoseong course is long so it's divided into sections. The scenery is different in each section and the course covers areas like Namsan Mountain, Naksan Mountain, and Inwangsan Mountain. For senior citizens who may have difficulty walking for long stretches of time, I'd recommend visiting a park. Seoul Forest, the World Cup Park, and Olympic Park are some of Seoul's most popular and largest parks. There are lots of fun facilities in addition to green spaces. You can spend time outdoors, rest, walk, and enjoy the beautiful May weather.
I'd recommend going to a kids' cafe or spending time by the Hangang River. The weather in May is great spending time outdoors. It's not too hot but there's lots of sun and even light breezes coming off the river. I'd recommend going for a walk or picnicking along the river! Picnicking is popular in Korea, and it's easy to pick up gimbap or sandwiches from convenience stores or cafes. The Hangang is beautiful and there are gorgeous views of Seoul's skyline too. There are several large public parks along the river (Yeouido Hangang Park is one) that are perfect for kids who want to run around and enjoy themselves. Kids' cafes are also great. They're kid-centered, themed cafes that let children play and parents relax for a while. My niece is a huge fan of Pororo and when she visited Korea, I took her to the Pororo Kids' Cafe and she had a blast. There's a model train, an activities room, a theater, and lots more for kids to do.
① Carry a water bottle with you.
Seoul's weather is drier than Taiwan's, so I make it a habit to carry a water bottle with me at all times. You never know when you or your children may get dehydrated. Seoul is great because pretty much every major attraction, malls, and restaurants all have public water dispensers. Just fill up your bottle and head out to go sightseeing.
② Seoul is kid and senior citizen-friendly!
Seoul's subways and buses have specially designated seating for senior citizens, the disabled, and pregnant women. Additionally, some tourist attractions and places like buffet restaurants typically offer discounts for diners who are over 65 years old and children.
③ Read the official Seoul Family Vacations Guidebook!
The Seoul Metropolitan Government published their newest family-themed guidebook in December 2016. The guidebook, "Seoul: A Fun Vacation for the Whole Family" is available in several languages (English, Japanese, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese). The guidebook highlights kid-friendly and family-friendly tourist attractions in Seoul. The guidebook also notes the facilities and services that are available at attractions like nursing rooms, free stroller rentals, and so on. The guidebook even recommends different travel courses suited to families. Make sure to pick one up from the airport or a Seoul tourist information center!