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South Korea

Destination Information

South Korea, the home of K-Pop and Kimchi, offers captivating cultural experiences and a rich history. Full of vibrant cities and breathtaking landscapes, with a unique lifestyle and intriguing attractions, it’s well worth a visit. From the dynamic urban landscape of Seoul, with exciting nightlife and an interesting history, to breathtaking landscapes and traditional architecture further afield, the country boasts a unique lifestyle and intriguing attractions. Explore beyond the capital to discover places like Gyeongju, with its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Jeonju, renowned for its culinary scene and historic charm. Venture south to Busan, known for stunning beaches and bustling markets, and escape to Jeju Island, a paradise of volcanic landscapes and natural wonders. With its mix of city life, outdoor adventures, and cultural treasures, South Korea promises an unforgettable experience for adventurers seeking excitement and exploration.

Seoul

South Korea’s capital, Seoul is a dynamic city blending modernity with tradition. Its skyline features towering skyscrapers alongside beautifully preserved palaces from the Joseon Dynasty, such as Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung. Vibrant street markets like Namdaemun and Dongdaemun offer cultural immersion and delicious street food. Seoul also boasts numerous cultural centres and museums, including the National Museum of Korea, showcasing the country’s rich heritage. Despite its urbanity, the city offers green spaces like Bukhansan National Park and Namsan Park for outdoor recreation. With a bustling nightlife, diverse culinary scene, and thriving entertainment industry, Seoul embodies a cosmopolitan lifestyle that never fails to captivate.

Jeju Island

Jeju Island, often referred to as the ‘Hawaii of South Korea,’ is a picturesque volcanic island located off the southern coast. Known for its stunning natural landscapes, Jeju offers a wealth of attractions, including Hallasan Mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the highest peak in South Korea. The island is also home to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, known as Sunrise Peak, and beautiful beaches such as Jungmun and Hyeopjae. Jeju’s unique attractions include the Jeju Loveland sculpture park and the Jeju Teddy Bear Museum. With its natural beauty, cultural sites, and recreational activities, Jeju Island is a must-visit destination for travellers seeking a memorable experience in South Korea.

Busan

South Korea’s second-largest city is a vibrant coastal metropolis renowned for its beautiful beaches, bustling markets, and rich cultural heritage. Haeundae Beach, one of its most famous attractions, offers golden sands and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Gamcheon Culture Village, with its colourful houses and winding alleys, provides a glimpse into Busan’s artistic side. Beomeosa Temple, nestled in the mountains, is tranquil with its stunning views. Visitors can also explore the lively Jagalchi Fish Market, where they can sample fresh seafood and experience Busan’s culinary delights. A visit to Busan will top off your South Korea adventure perfectly.

Gyeongju

Known as the ‘museum without walls’, Gyeongju is a city rich in history and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination in South Korea. As the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, Gyeongju is home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, renowned for their exquisite architecture and serene surroundings. Visitors can explore the Gyeongju Historic Areas, which feature ancient tombs, temples, and palaces that offer a glimpse into Korea’s illustrious past. The city also boasts the picturesque Hahoe Folk Village, where traditional thatched-roof houses and cultural performances provide insight into traditional Korean life. With its wealth of historical sites and cultural attractions, Gyeongju offers a captivating journey through Korea’s ancient heritage.

Jeonju

Renowned as the birthplace of bibimbap (a popular Korean rice dish), Jeonju is a city famous for its delicious food, traditional hanok village, and vibrant arts scene. Why not visit Jeonju for the chance to savour iconic Korean dishes in its place of origin. The city’s Hanok Village is a picturesque neighbourhood lined with traditional Korean houses, providing a glimpse into the country’s architectural past. Visitors can also explore the vibrant Nambu Night Market, sampling a variety of street food delicacies and local specialties. Additionally, Jeonju is home to the Jeonju Hanji Museum, where visitors can learn about the traditional art of Korean papermaking. With its blend of culinary delights, cultural attractions, and historic charm, Jeonju promises a memorable experience for travellers seeking an authentic taste of South Korea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit South Korea?

The best time to visit South Korea is generally during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and comfortable. Spring brings blooming cherry blossoms, while autumn offers beautiful foliage.

Is it safe to travel to South Korea?

Yes, South Korea is considered a safe travel destination for tourists. The country has low crime rates, and crime against tourists is incredibly rare. The political situation is stable, and South Korea has well-developed infrastructure and healthcare facilities. We always recommend taking precaution no matter where you are travelling, be aware of your surroundings and do your research. We also believe it is very important to remain respectful to locals and their cultures at all times to have the most fun on your trip. The best way to travel in complete safety is to join a group tour – that way you’ll never be alone, and will have an epic and experienced guide leading the way.

What is the local language in South Korea?

The official language of South Korea is Korean. Many younger Koreans and those working in the service industry do have proficiency in English. It is not as widely spoken as in some other countries, especially outside of major tourist areas. Learning a few basic Korean phrases can be helpful for communication, but most tourist signage and transportation information are also available in English.

What are some traditional Korean dishes to try?

South Korea offers a rich culinary history with a variety of delicious dishes to try. Some traditional Korean dishes include bibimbap (mixed rice with vegetables and meat), and kimchi (fermented vegetables, usually cabbage or radish). Try bulgogi (marinated grilled beef), samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly), tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), and gimbap (seaweed rice rolls). Street food such as hotteok (sweet pancakes) and mandu (dumplings) are also popular options.

What are the cultural norms and customs in South Korea?

Some important cultural norms include showing respect to elders and using two hands when giving or receiving items. Remove shoes before entering someone’s home or certain establishments, and avoid public displays of affection. It’s also customary to bow as a sign of respect when greeting someone. Be sure to dress modestly when visiting temples or other religious sites.

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