Sidekick connects visitors in Korea to locals in real-time chat

A view of Myeongdong district, Seoul, Korea. (AFPrelaxnews pic)

Visiting Seoul and hungry for spicy tteokbokki or rice cakes near your hotel or vacation rental? A newly launched app will connect tourists in South Korea with locals in real time via chat.

Called Sidekick, the app works with live chat platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE to connect users with local guides who can provide recommendations on everything from translation requests, restaurant recommendations and reservations to shopping, culture and etiquette questions in real time.

Guides speak English, Korean and Japanese.

After years of travelling back and forth between the US and Korea and navigating their way around the country by texting local colleagues, former Samsung workers Scott Barrow and Jungwon Yang came up with the idea through personal experience, notes Lonely Planet.

The service works as a pass. A day pass starts at US$20 for real-time travel assistance between 7am to 5pm.

Three and five-day passes are also available.

Sidekick is currently available in Korea but will also be expanded to Japan.