For all the K-wave fans who’ve picked up even a smattering of Korean (thanks to the countless chart topping hit songs and tear jerking dramas), this one’s for you. South Korea isn’t the most tourist-friendly country to travel to if you don’t know any Korean, but if you do, things get a lot more exciting especially in a city as well-connected to the Internet as Seoul. A few simple app downloads and you will find yourself having a great time in the country, sometimes without even stepping out of your accommodation.
Naver is the Google of South Korea and if you can read and write Korean, you get the most native results from searching on Naver. Looking for good food? Search for 맛집. (Be warned though, that there can be sponsored posts that are not labelled as one.) In a cafe and hear a song you like? Use the microphone function to find out the song title. Want to check the weather? Click on the weather section. A little bored while waiting for time to pass? Read some webtoons and improve your mastery of Korean at the same time, or read some of the latest travel blog articles. The sky’s the limit with this behemoth of a website.
Ditch Google Map for Naver Map when you are in South Korea for the same reasons you should use Naver instead of Google. The app is native to South Korea and documents almost every street and alley there is in South Korea.
Naver Map wasn’t as user-friendly in the past as it was only available in Korean. Along came the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018, and Naver Map revamped itself to cater to the influx of foreigners. It is now available in four languages, namely Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese. The Korean version would still be the most accurate, and you can use the app to search for the restaurants and cafes near you. You even check out the reviews and photos of what the place offers before deciding on which to go to.
Want to send some postcards? You can also search for the nearest post offices with Naver Map.
Naver Dictionary and Papago Translate
Papago Translate comes with Naver Dictionary, and it’s the Korean version of Google Translate. The image text translation and conversation translation on Papago doesn’t seem quite as developed as the one on Google Translate as of yet, but when it comes to text translation, it is more accurate than what you would get on Google Translate. If you can type Korean, Naver Dictionary is still the preferred choice to check for the meaning of words that you are unsure of.
If you’re already staying at an Airbnb to get a taste of the local lifestyle, the next best step is to call for food deliveries and dine at the comfort of your accommodation. And there’s not better app out there for food deliveries than Yogiyo.
Simply key in the type of food you would like to eat and Yogiyo will then list the eateries and restaurants near your location and that you can order from. Once you are done deciding, you can then proceed to place your order and choose whether to pay by card or cash on delivery.
Mise Mise (미세미세)
Mise is short for fine dust in Korean, and these harmful particles can pose potential threat to your health. The air can get dangerously polluted especially during spring, and although you can check for the PSI on the Naver app, Mise Mise is said to have a more accurate reading. Remember to check Mise Mise and wear a mask before leaving the house if the air pollution is at a dangerous level.
Coupang and Gmarket Global
Shopping, shopping and more shopping. Coupang is the Amazon of South Korea, while Gmarket is akin to the eBay that we’re all familiar with. If the weather’s not ideal for heading out, whip out your mobile phone and start shopping on Coupang and Gmarket. Besides clothes, accessories, beauty items, household and kitchen supplies, you can also buy food (in bulk too, if your luggage permits). There’s almost nothing you can’t find on these two apps.
All ready to download the apps and conquer South Korea? Although Seoul is pretty well-connected and you can find free WiFi most of the time, you don’t want to be lost in the streets without access to the internet, especially not when the good stuff are usually found in nook and crannies that aren’t always easy to find.
Reserve your ChangiWiFi router for unlimited internet 24/7 for as low as $5/day* and breeze through your trip to South Korea as you use the apps on the road.
Read about these 4 Cafes to Check Out in Hip Enclave Yeonnam-dong, how to Navigate Tourist Traps and Scams in Seoul and join us as We Walk You Through Our Favourite Street Food In Korea.