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Health and Wellness in Seoul

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Seoul’s concrete towers punctuate the skyline like the rat-a-tat-tat of Morse code. In this uncompromisingly massive megalopolis, at first it can seem impossible to find a moment’s peace. But under the surface of modernity lies a place of healing with wellness traditions that date back a thousand years.
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Seoul, South Korea
The traditional of Korean wellness is best understood at Gyeongdong market where locals congregate to cure ailments. Tea shops, ginseng shops, spice vendors and traditional doctors line the many streets of the district. It is important to note...
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10 Toegye-ro 36-gil, Pildong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Go one better than tasting the traditional Korean dishes and learn how to make your own. The Korea House (http://www.koreahouse.or.kr/eng/) offers private and group cooking classes where visitors can familiarize themselves with the most famous...
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Marine city 1-ro, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea
Pritzker Prize–winning architect Daniel Libeskind found inspiration in wind-filled sails and the waves off Haeundae Beach when he devised the curvilinear geometry of this 269-room hotel. The interior design includes French oak floors,...
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531 Bongeunsa-ro, Samseong 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Sometimes you don't have to escape the city to find a retreat. At Bongeunsa temple in the heart of Seoul's Gangnam district, visitors can relax at an overnight temple stay that encourages guests to clear their heads and refocus. Think of it as...
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177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Skip a day of dieting and splurge on this ridiculous meal, perhaps the most expensive hamburger on the planet. For around US$200, bust your gut with an incredible mash-up of indulgent eats: an all-beef patty with a layer of foie gras (of equal...
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Seoul, South Korea
According the pantheon of Korean high arts, carpentry is one of the most coveted and difficult talents possessed by very few citizens of Seoul. Shim Yong-Sik opens his beautiful studio in his home to interested visitors. You can learn about the...
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7 Apgujeong-ro 50-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Sure, you've probably dabbled in Korean barbecue in your hometown, but nothing beats the real thing in the motherland, and Gaewhaok is the place to cut your teeth, so to speak. Upholding a proud tradition of locally sourced food, Gaewhaok started...
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Seoul, South Korea
Bringing the carefree nature of New York's East Village to Seoul's establishing dining scene, the chef at the so-named East Village in trendy Gangnam experiments with unique twists on the traditional canon of Korean eats. Set dinner menus of...
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249 Dongho-ro, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The renovated Shilla Hotel's brand new dining venue, La Yeon, gives Seoul's high-end restaurants a run for its money with beautifully executed lunch and dinner courses. The prix fixe midday meal is not too be missed -- an elegant parade of...
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Seoul, South Korea
The thousand-year-old Korean tradition of decorative knots becomes high art in the studio of Kim Eun-Young, where she weaves and ties intricate patterns of flowers and insects out of silk thread. Kensington Tours can arrange a visit with Kim or...
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606 Teheran-ro, Daechi 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Park Hyatt Seoul contains a real- life spa in the sky, with a lap pool on the 24th floor and minimalist treatment rooms where acupressure massages relieve post-flight tension. seoul.park.hyatt.com. This appeared in the January/February 2014...
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685 Jayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Spa as the locals do: Spend an afternoon at a jjimjilbang, a public bathhouse such as Happy Day Spa, with cauldron-like hot tubs, kiln-stoked saunas, and areas to just relax on the heated floor. This appeared in the January/February 2014 issue.
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85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A steaming bowl of ginseng chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered—no matter what ails you—and To Sok Chon is Seoul’s top spot. Each portion contains an entire boiled chicken, accompanied by roots and herbs. Despite the quantity, you’ll hear...
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688 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin 1(il)-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korea puts its own spin on sashimi at the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. Bargain for a piece of raw fish (hoe, pronounced “hway”) amid the lanes of fishmongers, then head upstairs to have one of the in-house restaurants garnish your prize...
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249 Dongho-ro, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the historic Jung-Gu district, the Shilla Seoul gleams after a recent renovation. Like a beach vacation spot in the city, the hotel now has two mammoth swimming pools, one fed by a waterfall. Up top, the quiet restaurants and library lounge...
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Gugi-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Clear your mind with an overnight session at Geumsunsa Temple, where you’ll welcome the dawn with 108 yogic bows. On a hill in central Seoul, the grounds are a welcome escape from the city’s urban center. geumsunsa.org. This appeared in the...