During early June this year, our Korea Tourism Organization HQ has hosted a Korea MICE Expo to promote and strengthen more on the MICE industry in Korea. KTO has hosted more than 100 buyers this time around, from all across Asia and other continents as well. After the expo ended, we took our hosted buyers for a short post tour, routing to Seoul and Gyeonggi for 2 days and 1 night for site inspection and experience program. It might be short but it was great enough for us to explore the Seoul area and its vicinity. Our first location was to ourK-Style Hub, which is located at KTO Seoul HQ near the famous Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Easily accessible by public transport, K-Style Hub is the one stop information center, to cater for all tourists' needs, from a tourist information center to a Hallyu experience, Hansik exhibition and experience hall, medical tourism information and many more. We were quite excited to visit the K-Style Hub as we heard it has been newly renovated especially for foreign tourists. We were invited for cooking class there and we had the chance to learn how to make Korean traditional cookies! It was really fun making it in various colours and shapes. After that, they taught us how to wrap in Korean traditional paper wrapping. After having the cookies, the staff nicely served us with Korean citron tea which tastes absolutely nice! After our cooking experience, we had a tour to the Hansik exhibition floor and to the medical tourism floor. Our participants have their body mass and proportion inspected during the check up and they were really impressed after that. K-Style Hub opens from 9AM to 8PM all year round and the staff may assist you in several major languages like English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
They even have a new program for the visitor where you can rent the beautiful hanbok there for FREE and walk around Seoul city area in one hour ^^ Great news for Muslim visitors! You may perform your prayers here as they just renovated the prayer’s space that includes water faucet for you to perform your wudhu’ comfortably, with separated rooms for men and women.
We continued our schedule with lunch at the CHON restaurant at Insadong area, which serves scrumptious traditional Korean meals. We totally indulged in our vegetable bibimbap and seafood meals and the restaurant has such calm and peaceful atmosphere since it is located at one of the quiet alleys in Insadong. It might be a little tricky to find but don’t forget to visit this restaurant if you are in the area ^^
We proceed with our next schedule which is to COEX for venue inspection. Located in Gangnam, it also consists of the largest underground shopping mall. We were assisted with English docent and she assisted us to several great halls that can be used for MICE venue and event.
After COEX, we continued our inspection to the to the next MICE venue which is the Some Sevit. The famous artificial islands that stood out in Hangang River area, it flaunts its beauty at night when the LED lights just light up the Seoul night view. We were guided with English speaking staff to explain on the venue area in the unique building. It consists of several halls and outdoor venue for event space for incentive and social groups. We had our dinner there as well to experience and learn more about Some Sevit through presentation, as the courtesy of Seoul Tourism. After we have done with our first day schedule, we moved to our hotel which is the Lotte City Hotel, located almost near to the Myeongdong area.
We started our second day schedule with heading to MBC World which is located in Sangam-dong Mapo-gu, near the Digital Media City (DMC). It was a pretty exciting experience for us as you can explore so many things there! Deemed as the new Mecca for Hallyu, it is also for famous for shooting location for famous drama like ‘Kill Me, Heal Me’. We got lucky when we arrived that day as there was a drama shooting going on for the new MBC drama “Lucky Romance”. At the 1st floor, there is MBC Broadcasting Center that introduces you to many kinds of MBC major programs like Hallyu Experience Zone, Stage Experience Zone, and News Experience Zone. The theme park’s main attractions include the hologram theater, where holograms of K-pop stars such as Big Bang and Psy appear on stage just a few steps from the audience. You can also experience being on stage with K-pop stars in holographic form and learn dance moves from them. We had fun watching Big Bang hologram concert and even sang along to them! It was truly a great experience as we had fun taking photos at the variety programs zone and 3D art zone. Kindly make a reservation if you would like to visit here ^^
After we have done visiting the MBC World, we continued our journey to Paju to visit the Third Tunnel at DMZ. We felt quite excited as we passed through the army check-up point to get into the area. Our tour guide explained that The 3rd Tunnel was discovered in 1978 by South Korean army and it is estimated that approximately 30,000 soldiers could move through the tunnel per hour. We also learnt about the painful Korean War that torn the Korean nation apart. We felt the grief of the separated families as we learnt about Korean War in the film room before going down to explore Third Tunnel. We were informed that the North Korean army even painted the tunnel with coals to camouflage it into mining area. It was really cold and dangerous in the as we walked deep into the tunnel. We finished our schedule with lunch with Gyeonggi MICE Bureau representative at the Imjingak station. We had great Korean meals like bulgogi dish dwenjang jjigae. After that, we took our buyers to Paju Premium Outlet for quick shopping since the area is nearby. Our overall 2 days 1 night inspection itinerary was great and fruitful even though it was done in such short time.