It’s commonly understood that the best way to explore a new place is to go straight to the locals. Each week in the Urbanist, we take that wisdom one step further by seeking out not just locals but local experts — those who are especially well versed in their cities’ newest and most noteworthy scenes — to give us insider tips. This week, we asked Zoohyun Lee, beauty director at Vogue Korea, for her recommendations in South Korea’s capital city.
“Seoul is definitely one of the trendiest cities in Asia. There is plenty to do in Seoul all year round, but I recommend spring and autumn as the best times to visit. Summer months can be hot and humid, and winter is cold and icy. Seoul is a unique destination for various reasons. The area of Dongdaemun offers 24-hour shopping, which is ideal for fashion and beauty fans. Korea is also known for its healthy food and, of course, the K-beauty boom. The keywords for K-beauty are ‘cheap and chic’ — the idea behind K-beauty is to be practical yet work effectively, so I am not surprised that the products are so appealing to Western consumers as well. I highly recommend ‘one day, one sheet’ masks — the difference they make to your skin is incredible.”
Her Other Musts
“Jeju island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a volcanic island with a stunning natural landscape. Hike up Mount Hallasan, explore the lava tubes (the island’s underground caves), or just relax on one of the island’s white-sand beaches. If you’re looking to relax and spend time in nature, visit Park Roche in Jeongseon-gun County. The wellness resort is just over two hours by car from Seoul, making it the perfect weekend-getaway destination. Here you can practice yoga and meditation or get sweaty in one of their exercise classes. After a class, head to the treatment center, which offers various massages and facials. All this and healthy, organic food will make you feel rejuvenated.”