What to pack for Korea trip – all 4 seasons

Coming from Malaysia, I can’t say I’m not excited to spend my days, or months, or even years in a 4 seasons country. And this is the very first time in my life to spend my time out of my own comfort zone, into the unknown foreign place of Seoul, Korea. For those who are unsure of what to wear, I have listed this out for you guys. Eastasy wrote a breakdown of what to wear from head to toe, you may want to read it as well!

So here’s basically what you might need during the summer (Late May ~ Sept).. Summer in Korea is unlike Malaysia. It’s not as hot as Malaysia, but the humidity here is the real pain in the neck. Sometimes, there’s no wind at all, and it gets extremely humid after rain.

  • T-shirts (take a few extras) – It’s summer and you’ll need it. You know why right?
  • Loose jeans
  • Shorts – more the better
  • Pajamas – best if you sleep naked!
  • Cap
  • Socks – bring extras if you wear everyday
  • Sports shoes, sandals (my size: 260, it’s like an extinction for me!) – Go to Shoopen for cheap & decent shoes varieties (and larger sizes too)!
  • Umbrella – Summer also means rain in Korea
  • Bikini (for beach lovers)
  • Sun lotion

Also, a heads up for big foots, size 260 and above is terribly tough to find. You could, but it cost a lot more and you’ll only be able to get it in certain places. So, bring an extra pair or 2 if you’re planning to stay long in Korea.

(*Update: You may find some in Shoopen)

For people who came from a tropical country like me, we tend to worry about what to wear on cold seasons as we have never experienced such temperatures back at home.

In addition, I’ve been getting quite some queries on what to wear during these season, thus, here’s a summary of what you will need to bring during Spring, Autumn and Winter. (I will be listing it according to the average temperature rather than the actual seasons themselves.)

Spring/Autumn – Apr~Early May/ Oct

Once it’s Spring season, the weather gets warm rather quickly, which is somehow slightly warmer than Autumn. Sometimes Autumn can be tricky, it gets warm in the afternoon and cold in the wee hours.

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Outfit for Spring / early Autumn
  • Short sleeve shirt (in case weather gets too hot)
  • Thin / Medium thickness jacket, Wind breaker (for mid ~ late Aprearly ~ mid Oct) / Knitted sweater (early Aprlate Oct)
  • Long sleeve cotton shirt (4 ~ 5 pcs, you’ll wear them most of the days)
  • Sneakers / Sports shoes (Winter boots is NOT necessary during this period, though you might need on Mar & Nov)
  • Normal jeans
  • Wool leggings (2 pcs, if you prefer not to wear jeans)
  • Normal but not too thin socks
  • Gloves (when the wind is cold, especially after rain)
  • Moisturizer
  • Lotion to keep your skin from drying up & cracks
  • Lip balm
  • A thick jacket / sweater or a thin down jacket for late October
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[2016] Early October. I feel cold due to rain in this outfit. Recommend a slightly thicker jacket & not so thin inner shirt will do the job for Early ~ Mid October.
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Outfit for early Spring (mid ~ late March / end Oct)

Winter – Nov ~ Mar

Winter can be harsh in Korea, as in it’s really dry and some days, really cold. And the wind is what making walking outside unbearable. You will be fine when the wind is absent, but you’ll be running indoors a lot if you don’t get dressed well when wind blows! Skip to (almost) end for the kind of coat you will need.

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  • Thick knitted sweater
  • Thick winter coat (you can get cheap & decent ones from Namdaemun market)
  • Wool / fleece lined long sleeve shirt (4 ~ 5 pcs, you’ll wear them every single day) – Find cheap & decent ones from Topten outlets
  • Wool scarf (You’ll need a thicker one, you might find cheap ones in Myeongdong btw, I got mine for only 5,000 won!)
  • Covered shoes or boots (slip & waterproof) – especially when it’s snowing
  • Winter leggings – with fur / fleece lined – Get a couple from E-mart if you’re in Korea. It’s thin, cheap & really keeps me warm compare to the so called heat tech from Uniqlo
  • Loose jeans with fleece lined leggings inside – DON’T wear tight jeans, because the cold outer surface will make the cold worse!
  • Wool socks (3 pcs) – You’ll need it, trust me
  • Scarf / mask – Need to cover your nose when temperature is below -10’c, the dry air will make your nose hurt
  • Ear muffs – If you don’t have a hoodie on your coat
  • Gloves – Preferably leather, blocks the icy wind
  • Face moisturizer
  • Body lotion – This is a MUST!!
  • Lip balm – This is also a MUST!! If you didn’t bring, you can get it at Daiso (cheaper) or convenient stores
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Dec 2014 – Inner layers (1 cotton long sleeve, 1 wool long sleeve, 1 knitted sweater)

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[Click for bigger image] Above is my humble winter coat.

 

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Side pockets are most important since they are your hands saviour. It should be comfortable when you rest your hands in and I’m sure you don’t want your arms to feel “uncomfy” the whole day right?

For me, it’s below waist length due to my long arms. And you also wanna make sure the inside cloth can keep your hands warm (not necessarily heat tech, but at least not something that can get cold).

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Osaka autumn. Brought the wrong coat so I was taking on and off. This coat is strictly for winter. And yes, I wore Dr. Martin (fake) shoes on winter. It’s waterproof + blocks the wind. Click for bigger picture.
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That’s a frozen Han River behind!

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