Gyeongbokgung Palace

6 of the Best Things to See and Do on Your First Visit in Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller

Seoul is a city with so many interesting things to explore that can be barely covered on a short visit. Thankfully, there are many ideas for Seoul itineraries you can choose from. Or you can create your own itinerary that best fits your schedule and allows you to see and experience as much as you can during your visit. With a long list of attractions, here’s a few of Seoul’s must-see and do you would not want to miss on your first visit.

1. Head out to Jongno-gu to take a free guided tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Start your visit by catching the changing of the guard ceremony at Gwanghwamun Gate. If you are interested to give the Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Costume Experience, you can find the Sumunjangcheong Building behind the gate and ask to wear the gatekeeper costume for free. Prepare to spend some time inside to see as much as you can of the many attractions within the Palace grounds.

2. Exit Gyeongbokgung Palace from Gwanghwamun Gate and cross the street heading towards Gwanghwamun Square. Some of the things to see in the square include the statue of King Sejong the Great, the statue of the country’s famous naval commander Admiral Yi Sunshin, a flower carpet, and the 12.23 Fountain among others.

3. Take a short walk from Gwanghwamun Square until you reach Cheonggyecheon Stream. There you take time to rest and just enjoy the soothing sight and sound of the stream that offer a tranquil space in the midst of the bustling city scene.

4. From Cheonggyecheon Stream, take a walk to Insadong located nearby. Browse your way through the many shops and stalls that sell traditional crafts and souvenirs. Or you can have a delicious meal or snack in one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area.

5. Visit Bukchon Hanok Village that dates back to the 14th century to see its many traditional Korean houses.

6. Go shopping in Myeongdong, Dongdaemun Market, or Namdaemun Market or make time to see all three for the ultimate Seoul-shopping experience.

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7 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Person

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Every day is an opportunity to create the life you want. If you want to keep improving in every aspect of your life, here are some of the things you need to do to become a better person.

Be your own fan.Everyone has an inner critic. If you want to succeed at anything, you have to learn to deal with self-doubts that may hinder you from achieving your goals. Be your own fan. Do not beat yourself up if you make mistakes. Instead, reflect on the lessons you learned from the experience then choose to move on. Give yourself a pat in the back for a job well done.

Be respectful.Always treat yourself and others with respect. Treat yourself kindly as you would the people around you. Be conscious of your behaviors that could be potentially harmful not just to you but to others. Avoid being rude or arrogant and try to treat others as fairly as possible.

Be flexible.Develop a flexible mindset that allows you to become more open to change. Be open to different ideas, especially the ones that may challenge your long-held beliefs. This allows you to adapt and embrace changes more easily.

Be proactive in seeking growth.To become a better person, you need to be proactive in seeking opportunities for growth. Be clear about what you want to accomplish in life, set goals, and create plans on how you intend to achieve them. You have to work on your goal every day. If you want to improve your health, you have to build healthy habits like eating right and exercising regularly.

Be teachable.Cultivate a learner’s mindset. Be teachable by finding ways to learn something new every day. Read books, learn a new language, or put yourself in situations where you can pick up a new lesson or skill. Pay attention to the people around you. You might be surprised as to what you can learn from them.

Be a good listener.Have you ever talked with someone who is obviously not listening to you? How did it feel? Keep that in mind the next time someone talks to you. Practice being a good listener by giving your full attention to what the person is saying. Listen without judgment. Hear out what the person is trying to say and pay attention to non-verbal cues that may help you better understand the message he or she is trying to convey.

Be grateful.Gratitude is one habit that can change the way you view things. No matter how bad things get, take a moment to make a list of all the good things you have. This helps put things in perspective and will give you a more optimistic outlook in life.