I don’t want to brag, but I just got back from Korea and I got very close, like physically close, to a bunch of famous Korean superstars. Jae from Day6 waved at me. HE WAVED AT ME. I never thought I’d live to see the day. Here's how I did it! 

Before my trip, I thought the only K-celebs I’d ever see would be on dramafever.com. Boy was I wrong! The folks planning my trip, Ryan from Good Day Tour and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), told me not to worry, and they came through in a big, celeb-heavy way. I went on a great star-studded adventure and I want to let you guys in on five idol-spotting secrets.

1. Go to a live taping of a music show

This was easily the best part of my trip. I was in the studio audience at Music Bank, a live K-Pop TV show. I saw a ton of my favorite bands perform hit after hit in an intimate studio setting. I was so close I could see the sweat dripping off the boys from Astro. Wow! Getting tickets was a breeze because my tour guide did it for me. Traveling through KTO got me priority access to seats, which is a big deal. My advice for Music Bank: sit as far right as you can, that’s where all the k-hunks and k-idols hang out before they go on stage. I got so many hand-hearts flashed at me, I died. And then Day6 brought me back to life.

2. Visit the major labels’ offices!

I made a point to check out the JYP office building before heading over to Music Bank. Tucked away in a quiet side street, the building really makes a statement. I was hoping to see TWICE walk out the door, but I settled for a giant picture of JYP himself plastered on the building. You can get as close as you want, but I was too shy, shy, shy, shy and kept my distance at the Dunkin Donuts across the street. PRO-TIP: this Dunkin is decked out with JYP celeb signatures, so be sure to pop in and see if anyone famous is there. The S.M. building is also cool. They’ve got funny cardboard cutouts and a museum-like installation celebrating EXO, SNSD, and more!

3. Use the K-Style Hub’s wizard-like technology to trick your friends

Did I mention that I also met Big Bang? See that photo of me with my new best friends G-Dragon, T.O.P., and Dae Dae. What’s that? Who’s Dae Dae? Oh, ha ha, Daesung, sorry that’s just my nickname for him. It’s an inside joke. You’d get it if you were there ha ha. Okay, seriously, don’t feel jealous because everything I just said was a total lie enabled by the 31st-century HOLOGRAM technology available at the K-Style Hub. And it’s not just Big Bang, there are dozens of celebs you can pose with. Amazingly, the entire experience is completely free.

Find out more here!

4. Worship K-Pop stars on Hallyu K-Star Road!

If you find yourself in Gangnam and desperately bored after buying your third 15 million won designer bag, take a stroll down K-Star Road! Along Apgujeong Road, you’ll find 17 massive statues erected to honor the greatest acts ever to come out of South Korea. Even if you can’t meet EXO in person, you can at least personally worship their “GangnamDol” monument. New statues pop up along the sidewalk as new groups grow in popularity, and you can bet that each group was there to personally christen their tribute. The lady working at the gift shop (where you can buy small figurine versions of the statues) told me that the next band up could be GOT7, so keep an eye out for that! I might go back just to watch Jackson do a backflip over his monument.

Find out more here!

5. Meet a star before they make it in Hongdae!

My greatest claim to fame is that I saw Justin Bieber busking two years before he got famous. Every night before I fall asleep, I think back to that moment in 2007 and smile. Some nights I even shed a tear. Now imagine how much you’d be sobbing if you caught a glimpse of G-Dragon before he blew up. If you can feel the tears welling up, you NEED to go to spend a weekend in Hongdae, one of Seoul’s most happening neighborhoods. I saw so much raw, untapped talent that I felt like any of these young lads might make it. And the best part is, it’s all free and out in the open, but tipping and fangirling/boying are greatly appreciated.

Find out more here!

YOU CAN GO TOO

I hope that you’ll use these tips to maximize your star-sightings. But if you’d like even more ace tips, check out Good Day Tours, the fantastic people who lugged me across Korea. You can book your trip here: http://www.gooddaytourusa.com/