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8 Korean Variety Shows To Watch If You Miss Traveling

Go around the world without leaving your home.
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) YOUTUBE/KBS WORLD TV, TRAVELER/JTBC
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If there’s one thing we really miss doing right now, it’s traveling! Whether you’re wandering locally or abroad, there’s something freeing about going on adventures in places far from home. If you’re feeling the quarantine blues, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

These travel-themed K-variety shows are full of cool places and fun games that will entertain you for hours on end. Here's a list of them that you can watch on Netflix and Viu:

2 Days & 1 Night (2007-present)

Who’s in it: Yeon Jung Hoon, Kim Jong Min, Moon Se Yoon, Kim Seon Ho, DinDin, Ravi

Where you can watch it: Viu

We’ve been super fans of this show for years! Every ep features the cast going to a different part of South Korea where they play games for meals, sleeping arrangements, and other benefits (or punishments). You get to appreciate the sights and sounds of South Korea, while busting a gut laughing at the cast’s hilarious antics. Its current run is one of our faves (and not just because it stars Start-Up star Kim Seon Ho) because the cast has such great chemistry! Moments we love include the cast getting painful massages, any time the members need to ride a zipline, and their version of a sports fest that had them “swimming” on the floor. You can start watching from ep 579, but it’s worth checking out the previous seasons too.

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New Journey to the West (2015-present)

Who’s in it: Kang Ho Dong, Eun Ji Won, Lee Soo Geun, Song Mino, P.O., Cho Kyuhyun, Ahn Jae Hyun (older seasons)

Where you can watch it: Viu

Helmed by Na Yeong Seok (or Na PD as everyone calls him), one of South Korea’s most popular producers, this show mimics Sun Wukong’s adventures in the Chinese novel Journey to the West and takes it cast traveling to different places such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Vietnam. The more recent seasons (seven and eight) were filmed around South Korea. They play games to collect dragon balls and make a wish. Among their epic games are the Zombie Game (they need to bite other cast members to turn them into zombies) and the Morning Mission (they must accomplish crazy missions—like making straw shoes or secretly cooking and eating ramyeon). We personally love season four where they travel to the foggy, sleepy mountains of Sapa, Vietnam.

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The Law of Jungle (2011-present)

Who’s in it: Kim Byung Man, various guests per season

Where you can watch it: Viu

Survival is the name of the game on this variety show that tasks stars with living in the wild in different locations all over the world, like New Zealand, Fiji, and even Antarctica. Comedian Byung Man is the resident survival expert, and guests ranging from actors to K-Pop stars join him. They must hunt and forage for food, cook their own meals, and build their own shelter. They’re sometimes allowed to bring their own survival items but in limited quantities (for example, you can only bring one item). They even have eps set in Palawan (eps 403-415) with a roster that includes idols Kim Jae Hwan and Hani.

Thrifter’s Guide to Luxurious Travels (2017-2020)

Who’s in it: Park Myung Soo, Cho Kyu Hyun, Kim Jun Ho, So Yi Hyun (latest season)

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Where you can watch it: Viu

Cast members and guests take turns being one-day tour guides. The first season focuses on what you can do with a limited budget, while the second includes a luxury spot only accessible after completing a mission. Just like on any travel tour, the members encounter their share of mishaps. Everyone then votes on which tour they enjoyed more. Among the places they visited are Russia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, and more. Actors, singers, and other comedians also regularly join as guests, including Red Velvet’s Joy, Jin Se Yeon, and UP10TION’s Lee Jin Hyuk.

Traveler (2019-2020)

Who’s in it: Lee Je Hoon, Ryu Jun Yeol (season one); Ahn Jae Hong, Kang Ha Neul, Ong Seung Wu (season two)

Where you can watch it: Viu

In this reality show, actors go on backpacking trips with limited interference from the producers, making you feel like you’re really just traveling with them. The first season has Je Hoon (from our new fave, Taxi Driver) and Jun Yeol traveling to Cuba, where they must manage their own decisions every step of the way. Je Hoon doesn’t have much experience with backpacking, so Jun Yeol takes the lead. Meanwhile, our travelers in season two head to Argentina. Despite only having met for the show, the charming trio eventually becomes really close, as they enjoy the food and Argentinian hospitality, and go hiking in Patagonia.

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Twogether (2020)

Who’s in it: Lee Seung Gi, Jasper Liu

Where you can watch it: Netflix

This show combines fandom and travel—what’s not to like? In it, two actors, South Korea’s Lee Seung Gi and Taiwan’s Jasper Liu, travel all over Asia to meet their fans. The catch: They don’t speak each other’s language very well, and they need to complete missions to actually see their fans. Variety veteran Seung Gi is in full charisma and mischief mode here. As the show goes along, it’s fun to see Jasper opening up to him and learning to anticipate his tricks. Watch them walk around blindfolded, play sports, and even do couple’s yoga. Among the countries they visited are Indonesia, Thailand, and Nepal. The fans give suggestions for places they should visit, so there are plenty of non-tourist-y spots also on the list.

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Camping Vibes (2020)

Who’s in it: Park Na Rae, Ahn Young Mi, Park So Dam, Son Na Eun, Solar

Where to watch it: Viu

This variety show takes traveling to the next level, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. For each trip, the all-girl crew goes camping in Korea in places set up to look like foreign lands, from Asia to Europe. The crew goes all out with their props and setup, especially comedienne Park Na Rae, who takes decorating their camping grounds and cooking good food seriously. They even have tropical setups for places like Hawaii and Vietnam—despite the actual weather in Korea being cold. You’ll enjoy their interactions with their guests too, among them top actors Song Seung Heon, Lee Sang Yoon, and Cha Tae Hyun, as well as singer-variety stars Eun Ji Won and Mino.

Youn's Stay (2021)

Who’s in it: Youn Yuh Jung, Lee Seo Jin, Jung Yu Mi, Park Seo Joon, Choi Woo Sik

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Where you can watch it: Viu

This show is a rebrand of another Na PD franchise, Youn’s Kitchen, where the cast members operate a restaurant by themselves in another country. The first season was in Indonesia, the second in Spain. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, they had to stay in Korea this time around. The Spain crew returns, and the challenge is to host foreigners who have been living in Korea for the past year in a traditional hanok guesthouse. Parasite’s Woo Sik adds a dash of playfulness to the crew as he becomes their newest part-timer. Watching the show is relaxing, and it’s also perfect for learning more about Korean culture and food. You’ll have fun anticipating the guests’ reactions too.