Connect with us


The top 10 things to do in South Korea during summer

Summer in South Korea is severely underrated. Most people who plan on traveling there usually aim for the seasons of autumn, winter and spring to experience the best of the Land of the Morning Calm—all with perfectly good reasons, of course. But South Korea is equally beautiful in the light of the summer, and having a clear day for a backdrop often results in gorgeous Instragram-worthy snapshots.

Satisfy your wandering Seoul with Zee Lifestyle’s guide to South Korea.



South Korea is a country located in East Asia. Its capital and largest city is Seoul. It is approximately a five-hour flight from the Philippines, and is also one hour ahead in terms of timezone (UTC+9). Their currency is the South Korean won, with a currency exchange of roughly PHP 1 = KRW 23 (as of press time). They have four seasons, with summer running from May to September, autumn from September to November, winter from November to March, and spring from March to May.

Going to South Korea requires a visa for Philippine passport holders, which is easily obtainable from the Korean embassy, located on the 12th floor of the Chinabank Corporate Center in Cebu Business Park. Processing time is five days, and fees are gratis for a stay of 59 days or less.

Philippines AirAsia flies direct to Incheon, South Korea from Mactan, Cebu every day. They also have flights to Incheon from Manila and Kalibo, as well as to Busan from Kalibo. For bookings, visit




1. Explore Incheon International Airport

Bibimbap at Café Bonjuk and Bibimpa, located in Incheon International Airport, is the perfect dinner for right when you land

Bibimbap at Café Bonjuk and Bibimpa, located in Incheon International Airport, is the perfect dinner for right when you land

Okay, so we’d actually rather save this for the last day of the trip while you wait to board your flight, but Incheon International Airport is a destination in itself when you’re in South Korea. It’s one of the world’s best airports for good reason: There’s an abundance of amenities, from duty-free shopping and top-notch dining establishments, to sleeping and shower areas and cultural shows. You’d find you wouldn’t really mind long layovers or delayed flights.

272 Gonghang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea


2. Don a hanbok and stroll through Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

South Korea is a highly urbanized and modern city, yet you can still get glimpses of history and culture here and there. Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest of Korea’s Five Palaces and was home to the Royal Family back in the Joseon Dynasty, while the Bukchon Hanok Village is a quaint neighborhood of traditional Korean homes known as hanok. Rent a colorful hanbok (traditional costume) to get the most likes on your social media posts. Plus: Entrance to the Palaces is free when you’re in costume.

161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea


3. Dip your toes into the cool waters of the Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul

Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul

The Cheonggyecheon Stream, which runs throughout downtown Seoul, is the perfect example of urbanization coordinating with nature. This waterway was neglected for years, until the government pursued efforts to restore it in the early 2000s. Today, it’s one of the most popular public parks where people can sit by the river and even dip their toes into the cool waters pumped from the Han River.

Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea


4. Have samgyetang in Nam Chon Ok


Samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup)

Samgyetang is chicken ginseng soup that’s quite popular during summer. This specialty is basically a whole young chicken stuffed with rice, and is also surrounded with noodles. Pro tip: Make sure you’re REALLY hungry so you can finish off this dish.

20 Gwang-hi-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


5. Get a lot of skincare and makeup freebies at Myeongdong

Myeong-dong Street

Myeong-dong Street

Even though you haven’t been bitten by the K-pop craze, even you’d have to admit that Korean skincare is amazing. Myeongdong is a street where you can find popular beauty brands one stall after another, from Etude House to Tony Moly, Innisfree, Missha and Nature Republic. Not only do these stores sell their products at great deals, but they’d throw in a lot (and we mean a lot) of goodies on your way out—or heck, even if you just browse through their selections.

Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


6. Admire the neofuturistic architecture at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Largely contributing to Korea’s honorific as the World’s Design Capital is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a massive and sprawling structure with almost-impossible curves and striking lines designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid in collaboration with Korean studio Samoo. We challenge you to find the perfect angles for your Instagram shots.

281 Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


7. Get a good night’s rest at the T-Mark Grand Hotel

The view from outside T-Mark Grand Hotel

The view from outside T-Mark Grand Hotel

Of course, you can’t just zoom past all the sights without having decent sleep. But just because you’re off to dreamland doesn’t mean you should stop experiencing the best of what Korea has to offer. The T-Mark Grand Hotel, one of the city’s newest hotels, is highly recommended. Besides offering all the amenities you would ever need, it’s also right across the Nandaemun Market and just a short walking distance to Myeongdong.

52 Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea | website


8. Indulge in banana milk in one of Korea’s many convenience stores

Banana milk from CVS for U

Banana milk from CVS for U

If banana milk isn’t Korea’s national drink, then we don’t know what is. The drink, which comes in cute plastic bottles, makes for the perfect refreshment in between all the sightseeing. It’s also filling enough to stave off hunger pangs when necessary. Should you wish to bring some home, we recommend buying them at the airport after checking in.


9. Seal your love at N-Seoul Tower

Love locks at N-Seoul Tower

Love locks at N-Seoul Tower

Following Paris’ lead, several countries now have their own versions of lovelocks, in which couples proclaim your love with a special padlock to signal everlasting togetherness. In South Korea, you can seal your love at the N-Seoul Tower, which also has love benches bent into a curve right in the middle, designed to bring two people together.

105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea


10. Shop ‘til you drop at Insadong Antique Alley and Namdaemun Market


Insadong Antique Alley

No trip anywhere is complete without shopping. If you haven’t had your fill from Myeongdong, Insadong Antique Alley has a lot of interesting and unique trinkets to bring back for your loved ones. For even greater sales, especially on bags and shoes, Namdaemun Market is where it’s at.

29 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea



text and photos by Patty Taboada


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Find Your Summer Spirit in Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu

Breathe in the tropical atmosphere, as you find summer joys through sight, sound and taste at Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu. Poolside fun during the day, spent serenely and luxuriantly—a refreshment in hand. While the evenings are for outdoor family movie nights, with the ocean waves rippling in the background.

Summer is all of that, and more! Plan an extraordinary weekend with an array of exciting activities that await your arrival. Discover your #ShangriLaSummerSpirit from 15 July to 30 August.

Tiki Bar at Buko Bar

Epicurean Delights by the Pool

Keep yourself fueled up as you splish and splash with the whole crew. Take a quick break from all that summer jazz with Mediterranean and Polynesian-inspired bites exquisitely crafted for your palate. From rice balls and pastas, ice creams to sliders—indulge in tastes and aromas that transport you to a world of endless, golden summers.

Mediterranean Selections at Acqua

A Whimsical Touch

Make it a colourful summer for the kids! Let them explore their own version of paradise with whimsical floaties, sure to keep them happily afloat. Your little ones can now freely kick and play in the water with fun and fascinating, animal-shaped inflatables.

Pleasant Sundowner Tunes

Bid the sun adieu and embrace the sunset hues with live acoustics at the Main Pool from 4pm to 6:30pm.

Tiki Cocktails at Buko Bar

Champagne Bar at Acqua

A Toast to an Endless Summer!

Unwind and savour the tropical vibe as our expert mixologists craft refreshing Tiki cocktails and serve chilled bottles of exquisite champagne by the pool! With a backdrop of swaying palm trees and stunning ocean views, sip on delightful beverages and toast to unforgettable summer moments in paradise.

Family Outdoor Movie Night

Gather your nearest and dearest for an enchanting evening as we set up a large outdoor screen by the pool under the starry night sky. Cozy up as you enjoy a family-friendly movie that will delight both those who are young and young-at-heart at Treasure Island from 7pm to 9pm.

Surrounded by lush greens, let the experience bring you to a world of joy and laughter, creating cherished memories for you and the family. For more information on Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, you may contact (032) 2310288. You may also follow them on Facebook and Instagram or visit #FindYourSummerSpirit #FindYourShangriLa

Continue Reading


LONDON IN FULL BLOOM: An Exclusive Look at the recent Chelsea Flower Show

Dame Judy Dench (center in white) with gallery owner, Jerry Sibal, Edwin Josue, writer Eva Gullas and artist James Doran-Webb.

The Chelsea Flower Show in London, one of the most prestigious horticultural events in the world, returned in full glory in May 2023, captivating visitors with its stunning displays and landscape designs. Held annually on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London, this year’s show proved to be a true feast for the senses, showcasing an array of breathtaking gardens, vibrant floral arrangements, and innovative landscaping. The 3-day event showcased 36 outdoor gardens, including four balcony gardens for small spaces. Inside the giant pavilion, blooms compete with each other, exotic flowers, roses, and many more.

Princess Kate Middleton walking the booths at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Dame Judy Dench, who owns several of Webb’s pieces in her garden, with James Doran-Webb and Jerry Sibal discussing the works of James.

One of the flower arrangements competing at the show.

The 2023 Chelsea Flower Show embraced a Nature’s Harmony theme, with a strong focus on sustainability and mental health. The show’s organizers emphasized the importance of sustainable gardening practices and biodiversity conservation, inspiring attendees to create beautiful outdoor spaces while preserving and protecting the environment.

One of the floral gazebo displays recycled chairs and salvaged materials.

Shops at the Chelsea Flower Show are mostly from sustainable materials.

What’s Cebu got to do with the Chelsea Flower Show in London? One person. James Doran Webb (, an Englishman working with driftwood, has been displaying his artworks for several years. James collects cast-off driftwood and shapes them into beautiful animal shapes that find places in some of the most iconic gardens. Leaping horses, owls, reindeer, and the occasional dragon, James Webb’s creations are avidly collected by landscapers to add accent to gardens in all sizes, using cast-off wood, fitting perfectly with the sustainable element—something Mr. Webb has done quite well for the last decade.

The impressive dragon of James Doran-Webb


The Philippine International Flower Festival will be held at the PICC in Manila from January 14 to 18, 2024. Watch out for more info from our website!

Continue Reading


Club Serena: A ‘Serene Luxury’ Experience in the Heart of Cebu’s Diving Mecca

photography by GPA Art and Photography

A three-hour drive, or more, depending on traffic, the fishing town of Moalboal in the southwest of Cebu Island is an extremely popular destination for divers and weekenders who love the white sand and pink sunsets. It is also a favorite place to stay for expats looking for a laid-back life of endless coffees or cocktails.

Thankfully, the big chain resorts haven’t discovered it and places to stay are mostly small family-run resorts. But if pampering is what you are looking for, there is only one hotel to book in Moalboal. Club Serena Resort is a 1.7-hectare beachfront property perched above coral rocks, presenting a unique union of luxurious accommodations and a host of activities to be enjoyed. This hidden gem is reached through a dirt road away from the main highway. Fronting a wide swath of white sand beach, it is an easy walk past several smaller resorts to reach the main town.

Recently renovated by noted architect James Jao, the new Club Serena has 17 rooms, three swimming pools, a restaurant, and a beachfront event space, all designed with modern Filipino aesthetic. On the drawing board are more rooms to be added, an expansion of their modern dive shop, and their popular Kids’ Club program. Their food outlet, Mira, offers all-day dining, favorite among visitors and locals, as well as the growing expat community that has settled in Moalboal. 

Club Serena offers diving courses for adults and kids by their resident operator, Seven Seas Aquanauts Phil. Corp, a PADI 5 accredited diving facility operating since 1988. For a complete list of the courses and their rates, please call (+63) 917.872.6367 or (+63) 905.459.5307.

The resort encourages above-water activities as well, and they have several paddle boards and kayaks available for guests to use.

For rates and more information, visit or email or (+63) 917.872.6367 or (+63) 905.459.5307. You can also visit their Facebook page for updates.

Continue Reading