In “A Travel Guide to Seoul, South Korea by Lost LeBlanc,” Lost LeBlanc takes you on a virtual journey through the vibrant city of Seoul. This travel guide covers everything you need to know about Seoul, from the best things to do and places to visit, to tips for navigating the language barrier and transportation challenges. The video highlights popular areas like Gangnam and Hongdae, and recommends Hongdae as the ideal place to stay for English speakers. You’ll also discover unique spots like Common Ground, a trendy shopping and dining destination. With helpful insights on prices, accommodations, food, nightlife, and cultural norms, this travel guide is a must-watch for anyone planning a trip to Seoul.

In this captivating video, Lost LeBlanc provides a comprehensive travel guide to Seoul, South Korea. Through his entertaining and informative narration, you’ll gain valuable insights into the city’s attractions, language barrier, transportation options, and more. From witnessing the love of cute and weird things in South Korea to savoring delicious Korean meals, this video covers it all. Whether you’re a foodie, a shopaholic, or a culture enthusiast, this travel guide will leave you inspired and ready to embark on an amazing adventure in Seoul. So, grab your virtual passport and get ready to explore this unique and beautiful city with Lost LeBlanc as your guide.

Recommended Area to Stay in Seoul


Gangnam is a vibrant and upscale area in Seoul, known for its modern skyscrapers, luxury boutiques, and high-end clubs. It offers a glamorous nightlife scene and is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The district is also famous for its catchy Gangnam Style song and music video, which brought international attention to the area.

If you’re looking for a more upscale and trendy experience, Gangnam is an excellent choice. With its luxurious hotels, high-class shopping malls, and trendy restaurants, you’ll be able to indulge in the finer things that Seoul has to offer. However, keep in mind that Gangnam can be a bit more expensive compared to other areas in Seoul.


On the other side of the spectrum, Hongdae is a vibrant, youthful, and artistic area in Seoul. It is located near Hongik University, which is known for its arts and design programs. Hongdae is famous for its lively nightlife, hipster cafes, street performances, and shopping streets filled with unique clothing boutiques.

Hongdae is popular among young locals and tourists who enjoy the quirky and creative atmosphere of the area. It has a more laid-back vibe compared to Gangnam, which makes it a perfect place for backpackers, art enthusiasts, and those who want to experience the city’s vibrant youth culture. While accommodation prices in Hongdae may be slightly higher than in other areas, the overall cost of living is still relatively affordable.

Language Barrier in South Korea

Limited English Proficiency

While Seoul is a modern and cosmopolitan city, English fluency among the general population is limited. English is taught in schools, but many Koreans struggle with speaking and understanding the language. This can make communication challenging, especially when dining at local restaurants, asking for directions, or interacting with taxi drivers.

However, it’s important to note that this language barrier shouldn’t discourage you from visiting Seoul. Koreans are generally friendly and willing to help, despite the language barrier. Learning a few basic phrases in Korean, such as greetings and simple questions, can greatly enhance your experience and make it easier to navigate the city.

Difficulty with Communication

In addition to limited English proficiency, the Korean language itself can be difficult for foreigners to learn. Korean uses its own unique alphabet called Hangul, which consists of 19 consonants and 21 vowels. While learning Hangul may seem intimidating at first, it can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Fortunately, many signs and menus in popular tourist areas are often translated into English, and there are also translation apps available that can help bridge the language gap. Additionally, some Koreans, especially those working in the tourism industry, have a basic understanding of English and can assist you with your needs.

Navigation Challenges in Seoul

Lack of GPS Functionality

One of the challenges that travelers face when navigating Seoul is the lack of GPS functionality with popular mapping applications like Google Maps. South Korea has its own navigation system called Naver Maps, which is primarily in Korean. While using Naver Maps can be an option, the language barrier can make it difficult for non-Korean speakers to navigate effectively.

To overcome this issue, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the subway system, major landmarks, and the areas you plan to visit before arriving in Seoul. Additionally, you can download offline maps or use other navigation apps that provide English support, which can help you navigate the city more easily.

Difficulty with Directions

Getting directions in Seoul can be challenging, especially when asking for help from locals. It is recommended to carry a map or have the addresses of your destinations written down in Korean to show taxi drivers or passersby in case you need assistance.

However, it’s worth noting that despite the language barrier, Seoul has a well-organized public transportation system, including an extensive subway network and bus services. Once you familiarize yourself with the routes and stations, getting around the city becomes much easier.

Trendy Shopping and Dining Spot

Common Ground

Common Ground is a trendy shopping and dining complex located in the heart of Seoul. What makes it unique is that it is built entirely out of repurposed shipping containers, giving it an industrial and artistic vibe. It houses numerous fashion boutiques, accessory stores, concept shops, cafes, and even a rooftop garden.

Visiting Common Ground is a must for fashion-forward individuals and those looking for unique and trendy clothing items. You’ll find a variety of local and international fashion brands, showcasing the latest fashion trends in Seoul. Additionally, the complex provides a great backdrop for Instagram-worthy photos.

Unique Shops in Shipping Containers

One of the highlights of Common Ground is its collection of stores inside shipping containers. These funky and innovative spaces offer a diverse range of products, from clothing and accessories to homeware and stationery. Each container represents a different brand or concept, creating a vibrant and eclectic shopping experience.

Exploring these unique shops allows you to discover hidden gems and support local designers and entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for stylish clothing, handmade jewelry, or artistic home decor, the shipping container shops at Common Ground offer something for everyone.

Love for Cute and Weird Things

Unique Coffee Shops

Seoul is known for its abundance of themed and quirky coffee shops. These cafes go beyond the usual coffee and pastry offerings, providing visitors with unique and Instagram-worthy experiences. From cat cafes to board game cafes and even poop-themed cafes, there is something for every taste.

Cat cafes, in particular, are a popular attraction in Seoul. These cozy establishments allow you to enjoy a cup of coffee while being surrounded by adorable cats. It’s a great place to unwind and spend some time with these furry friends.

Quirky Stores

In addition to coffee shops, Seoul is home to numerous quirky stores that cater to those with a love for all things cute and weird. These stores offer a wide range of products, from cute plush toys and character-inspired merchandise to peculiar gadgets and novelty items.

Visiting these stores can be a fun and unique experience, as you’ll come across items that you may not find anywhere else. Whether you’re looking for cute stationery, kitschy home decor, or bizarre souvenirs to bring back home, Seoul’s quirky stores have you covered.

Transportation Options in Seoul

Challenging Metro System

Seoul’s metro system is known for its extensive network and efficiency, making it one of the most convenient ways to travel around the city. However, for non-Korean speakers, navigating the metro system can be challenging due to the language barrier and the complexity of the routes.

Each subway line in Seoul has its own color and number, and stations and subway maps are displayed in Korean. While there are some stations with English signage and announcements, they may not be available in all areas. It is advisable to carry a pocket map or use a mobile app that provides English translations to help you navigate the subway system more easily.

Taxis as an Alternative

If you find the metro system too challenging or prefer the convenience of door-to-door transportation, taxis are a reliable alternative in Seoul. Taxis are widely available and relatively affordable compared to other major cities around the world.

It’s essential to have the address of your destination written down in Korean or show it on a map to the taxi driver. Some taxi drivers may not speak English, so having the address in Korean helps ensure smooth communication. Additionally, most taxi drivers in Seoul accept credit card payments, making it convenient for travelers.

Accommodation Prices in South Korea

Hostels starting at $10

For budget travelers or backpackers, Seoul offers a wide range of affordable accommodation options. Hostels are a popular choice, with prices starting as low as $10 per night for a dormitory bed. These hostels provide basic amenities such as free Wi-Fi, communal kitchens, and common areas where travelers can socialize and exchange travel tips.

Staying in a hostel not only helps to keep your accommodation costs low but also provides an opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world. If you prefer more privacy, private rooms are also available in hostels at a slightly higher price.

Mid-range Hotels around $50

For those looking for a bit more comfort and privacy, mid-range hotels in Seoul offer a range of options at reasonable prices. These hotels typically offer well-equipped rooms with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and other amenities such as breakfast and fitness facilities.

Prices for mid-range hotels in Seoul start around $50 per night, depending on the location and quality of the hotel. It’s worth noting that prices may vary depending on the season and demand, so it’s advisable to book in advance to secure the best rates.

Guesthouses Recommended by the Video

Gangnam Guesthouse

If you’re considering staying in Gangnam, the video recommends Gangnam Guesthouse as a great option in the area. Guesthouses provide a more intimate and homey atmosphere compared to hotels, making them ideal for budget travelers or those looking for a more local experience.

Gangnam Guesthouse offers both dormitory-style rooms and private rooms with shared bathrooms. The guesthouse is known for its friendly staff, clean facilities, and convenient location near public transportation. It’s a great choice for travelers who want to explore the vibrant Gangnam district while keeping accommodation costs low.

Hongdae Guesthouse

For those planning to stay in Hongdae, the video recommends Hongdae Guesthouse. Located in the heart of the hip and artistic neighborhood, this guesthouse offers affordable rooms with a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Hongdae Guesthouse provides dormitory-style rooms as well as private rooms with shared or private bathrooms. The guesthouse is known for its friendly and helpful staff, who are often willing to provide recommendations and assist with any questions or concerns you may have. Its central location allows easy access to the vibrant nightlife, trendy cafes, and shopping streets of Hongdae.

Affordable Food Options

Meals costing $5-$6

Seoul offers a wide range of affordable food options, allowing you to indulge in delicious Korean cuisine without breaking the bank. From street food stalls to local eateries, you’ll find a variety of dishes that are both tasty and affordable.

Meals at local restaurants or street food stalls can range from $5 to $6 per person, depending on the dish and the location. Korean cuisine typically consists of rice, meat or fish, an assortment of side dishes, and various sauces. Don’t miss out on trying iconic dishes like bibimbap (mixed rice), bulgogi (marinated beef), and samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly).

Platters of Local Food for $10

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal or want to sample a variety of Korean dishes, there are also options for platters or set menus priced around $10. These platters often include a combination of meat, rice, vegetables, and side dishes, providing a complete and satisfying meal.

Local food markets and food courts in shopping malls are excellent places to find these affordable platters. The variety and quality of the food make it a great way to experience the flavors of Korean cuisine without spending a fortune.


Seoul is a diverse and vibrant city that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern attractions. While the language barrier and navigation challenges may seem intimidating, embracing the local culture and exploring the city’s hidden gems can make for an unforgettable experience.

Whether you choose to stay in Gangnam or Hongdae, make sure to take advantage of the trendy shopping and dining spots, unique coffee shops, and quirky stores that Seoul has to offer. Despite the language barrier, Seoul’s transportation options such as the metro system and taxis can help you explore the city efficiently.

Don’t forget to indulge in the affordable food options, where you can enjoy delicious Korean dishes at reasonable prices. From affordable accommodations to unforgettable experiences, Seoul has something for every traveler. While your trip may be short, you’ll likely be left with a desire to return and explore more of what this fascinating city has to offer.