North Korea is one of the most closed-off counties on the planet, with little access to the outside world. The heavily guarded border between the two nations is regularly the subject of worldwide speculation, and a visit to the tense frontier is definitely an experience you’ll remember for a long time. A true labour of love, Oedo is sometimes known as the Oedo Botania for the stunning gardens that have been nurtured onto what was once a barren piece of rock. Never stop exploring it’s natural and man-made wonders! Hongdae: The streets of this neighbourhood is filled with amazing art, cafes, clubs, live music bars and boutiques. Asia. We have reviews of the best places to see in South Korea. Getting to the DMZ is also high up on my list. South Korea wasn’t high up on my list before. The peak of blossoming only lasts few days from late March to mid-April so make sure to book at the right time to be able to enjoy beautiful spring landscapes. Served either in a bowl or a hot stone bowl that cooks the egg in front of you, it is a delicious treat enjoyed all around the world. The recipe itself is pretty simple: drink, eat, and sing until you’re hoarse. Today, South Korea‘s GDP is about $2 trillion, and it’s one of the most developed and industrialized countries in the world. Situated near the Gyeongbokgung Palace is the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple. For a memorable sit down meal try Dongnae Halmae Pajeon. I have 12 hour layover in Incheon coming up. Find what to do today, this weekend or in January. Jinju might not be on your itinerary at any other time of the year, but every October the unassuming southern town transforms into a city of lights as thousands of lanterns travel down the Namgan River in tribute to the 70,000 men and women who lost their lives fighting the Japanese during the Imjin War. Just like in every other country, there are various ways in which you could come across your next bae. At present the DMZ is still an active aggression zone which you can take a tour to see, but you will remain quite far for your safety. Our guide took care of us throughout the ...”, “South Korea was everything I had hoped for. The things to do are helpfully categorized into several categories for you, including nightlife, food and drink, arts and museums, social events and more. Beach goers will be thrilled if they visit between 1 July and 31 August when the action heats up at Haeundae and Gwangalli Beaches. . I would suggest spending a lot of time in Busan as it has a lot to offer. Situated on 40 hectares, the Gyeongbokgung Palace is composed of fourteen restored buildings that include the king’s main living quarters, Gangnyeongjeon. One of the more surreal attractions in South Korea, Loveland on Jeju is a museum of all things sex. One of the best ways to experience South Korea’s culture is through the culinary delights that can be found in restaurants. Perhaps you are dreaming of a pristine beach or spending the night with Buddhist monks? If you’re looking for that adrenaline rush, then Everland is definitely the place for you! But after watching a lot of KDramas, I really want to explore more of it especially during autumn. Where else can you explore a secluded Buddhist monastery in the hills and, 20 minutes later, be in the center of one of the world’s largest and most vibrant metropolises? I find South Korea is very rarely on people’s radars, so it’s nice to read that I’ve given you some motivation to someday explore the Land of the Morning Calm. There are a variety of tour operators offering trips to the Demilitiarized Zone, but only the USO DMZ Tour takes you into the infamous ‘Blue Room’ in which you can stand in both South Korea and North Korea at the same time. For more traditional theme park enthusiasts, Everland is a massive Disney-esque park located 30-60 minutes from Seoul. Things to Do in South Korea, Asia: See Tripadvisor's 843,680 traveller reviews and photos of South Korea tourist attractions. A lot of good information. – by Daehee Won from One Day Korea. Spring brings a burst of colour to the entire country, and Jinhae in the nation’s south is home to a particularly memorable display and the festival that celebrates it. Not to be confused with J-Pop, K-Pop is a dizzying mixture of soda-pop, fashion, hyper-sexuality, bubble bath, and just a little R&B. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Hwaseong’s five and a half kilometre wall is a testament to Korean ingenuity and determination. While South Korea isn’t quite as glamorous or exciting as Japan or China, there’s definitely a lot going on if you’re willing to look. The Japanese occupation of South Korea remains arguably the darkest period in the nation’s history, surpassing even the horrors of the Korean War in the eyes of many. Why not try out a cruise line experience without getting sea-sick? Sakura may be more closely associated with neighbouring Japan, but South Korea doesn’t lag behind when it comes to enchanting displays of these colourful trees and their lazily drifting petals. South Korea is a land of mist-shrouded valleys, sparsely forested peaks, dark seas, and surprising serenity. How long do you think you’ll have to explore? The DMZ is well worth a look. You can get there by taking a ferry from the Jangseungpo Port near Busan. News. — by Tamsin Foy from Bamba Experience. The major market areas are packed with food stalls or pojangmachas which specialize in tasty treats from around the country. I had kind of the reverse. The Gwangju Kimchi Festival each October is not only a celebration of the staple, but also a chance for you to get your hands dirty and make it for yourself. It’s definitely got a charm all of its own. Green tea is perhaps more closely associated with China and Japan, but it’s every bit as much a part of Korean culture as kimchi and galbi. The vast majority of the paths, barring mountain passes and remote areas, are car-free. Socializing will happen before or after the meal. Don’t believe me? Whether you’re a young adventurer looking to see and do remarkable things, history junkie wanting to see ancient temples, a foodie looking to indulge, or traveling with kids – there’s bound to be something below for you to enjoy. It has so much diversity in architecture, nature and culture! From the often graphic sculpture garden of various sexual organs and sexual positions to the detailed exploration of Korean sexuality within the museum, it’s the kind of place to turn straight-faced adults into giggling teens in a matter of moments. Although South Korea has mastered the art of convenience, there are still a number of necessities that can be difficult to track down. Definitely one of the more fascinating glimpses into the Korean cultural tapestry. Find what to do today, this weekend or in January. Home to the Seoul Zoo, a colourful theme garden, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Seoul Land amusement park, and all of the usual things you’d expect to find in a park – it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. They’re obsessed! The festival’s somber roots aren’t immediately apparent, as the riverside is transformed into a festival of food, drink, and amusements until the main attraction – a procession of gigantic, inventive lanterns that proceed down the river each night in dazzling style. You can visit on your own but we recommend that you take a guided tour of the DMZ. Moving into a new place can be overwhelming but moving into one on the other side of the world creates a whole new level of stress. It wouldn’t be a visit to South Korea without paying a visit to the mark on the map that makes it necessary to differentiate between ‘North Korea’ and ‘South Korea’. Jejudo is undoubtedly beautiful, but it’s not on par with Hawaii or Southeast Asia when it comes to beach escapes. If you are travelling on a budget then visiting the free museums is a great thing to do in South Korea! There are excellent hiking opportunities on Jeju-si Island and the climb to the top of Mount Hallasan rewards you with panoramic views. T he directions in this article are taken from VisitKorea , and my wonderful first trip to Korea was made possible by Korea Tourism Organisation (Singapore Office) . In Korea, it is considered polite to be silent while you and everyone else eats. *Please note that the prices are as of July 2018. He made our trip very interesting. Four North Koreans who managed to escape explain what life … You should also bow to Buddha when walking in and out of the temple and exit the temple by backing out so as not to turn your back on Him. The cherry blossoms each spring are just lovely, and the fall colours in places like Seoraksan are amazing too. South Korea’s largest seafood market, Jagalchi Market in Busan is a must-see if you like your seafood fresh. Located in downtown Seoul, the park is especially popular with kids but has plenty to entertain grown-ups too. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. It’s not just about passionate supporters either – it’s the whole game day experience of grabbing a cooler of beers, a big order of fried chicken or pizza, and settling in to pay absolutely zero attention to the most boring sport in the world. Discovery Italy: Five Unmissable Things to do in Italy. Perched high on Mount Geumjeong overlooking Haeundae Beach, you can spend the night meditating while learning about Buddhism from the monks. Being the second largest city of South Korea, Busan is the main port city in the south, known for its local seafood, urban nightlife, long modern bridges, infinite beaches and majestic mountains. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. I really enjoyed it, snipers and all. On your way from Seoul to Gyeongju, you will pass the Andong Hahoe Folk Village. Another route runs the perimeter of Jeju island, the country’s prized natural treasure. Jimjilbang While on your guided tour you will learn interesting facts about the Panmunjom Peace Talks, the Korean Peninsula and walk through several museums. The Seoul Trick Eye Museum isn’t something you can’t find elsewhere in the world, but it’s a fun way to kill a rainy afternoon snapping silly photos of you and your friends. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. Many people visiting Seoul will set-out on foot to experience the sights and sounds of this chic urban city. While most people visiting South Korea typically go to the DMZ which marks the boundary between North and South Korea. Many of the hanok houses are still lived in and some are also re-modeled into guest houses, restaurants, cafes, and other culture centers. An especially popular event with expats living and working in South Korea, the Boryeong Mud Festival is a wild party that combines alcohol, a beautiful beach, oodles of therapeutic mud, and visitors from all walks of life into an orgy of fun. Traditionally, Namdaemun is a day market and Dongdaemun is a night market, although both operate with more relaxed schedules these days. Things to Do in South Korea, Asia: See Tripadvisor's 843,680 traveler reviews and photos of South Korea tourist attractions. With exotic food to sample and an array of activities to enjoy, it’s no wonder Korea has become such a hotspot for avid tourists. How do people meet each other in Korea? While we’re sure you’re reading this because you want to travel around and see exciting places, but one of the must things to do in South Korea is to see the street artists perform on Insa Dong Street in Seoul. — by Kate Filer from On The Go Tours. You can’t walk more than a block in South Korea without finding bibimbap for sale, but its spiritual home is Jeonju where, you guessed it, there’s a bibimbap festival to celebrate. To have a complete overview of the city, the main attractions to see are Jagalchi Fish market, Haeundae Beach and Gamcheon Culture Village. South Korea is a country of delicious food, ancient temples, quirky K-Pop, breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, zany festivals, and much, much more. One of the weirder festivals out there, the ‘Moses Miracle’ festival (sometimes known as the Miracle Sea Road Festival), sees thousands of people descend on the quiet little town of Jindo to shuffle across a temporary land bridge that connects the main island to a smaller island nearby. With their ever-famous T-Express ride that goes over 100miles per hour. Kind of. Korea is absolutely gorgeous during both spring and autumn. Winters are cold and dry, with temperatures dropping to -20°C. It’s true that China has it all over South Korea when it comes to historic landmarks. A very timely article to come across right now, thank you so much! Don’t be shy because this is one of the most visited attractions in South Korea. Combine all of this with a little noraebang (Korean karaoke) and you’ve got  recipe for one hell of a night and one hell of a hangover. I recently wrote an article about which is better Seoul or Busan, would be great if you could check it out: https://boundforbusan.com/?p=1191, […] out this South Korea bucket list for more amazing things to […], […] China bucket list, South Korea bucket list, and Australia bucket list (in addition to my 1,000 item bucket list) are among the most popular […], I think seeing the DMZ would be such a unique experience. Ascend the 238m-high (776ft) N-Seoul Tower, a viewing spire conspicuously situated atop landscaped Namsan Mountain, for an unparalleled vista of Seoul's majestic cityscape. South Korea brings an incredible appetite of meaningful attractions to the table that ranges from visiting the pristine Jeju-si Island to the neon lit streets of Seoul to the hipper beach attitude of Busan. So here are our favorite two which stand out as the best to visit just near Seoul. I’m going to save it and for sure use it. South Korea was on my list and I believe it is highly underrated. What a fabulous list. It has two unique sections including Magic Island(outdoor) and Adventure (Indoor) and is open all year round with winter being an indoor only experience. You may also want to see our tours and holidays in South Korea: Unlock discounts globally. A bit less well-known secret is that there are long stretches of tunnels underground which were made by the North Koreans near Panmunjom. It’s an old-fashioned style market experience: all shouting hawkers, jostling shoppers, and a mind-boggling selection of things both appetizing and confusing. Things to Do in South Korea, Asia: See Tripadvisor's 843,680 traveller reviews and photos of South Korea tourist attractions. Lesser-known K-pop bands struggling amid the pandemic. While you are shopping for that perfect souvenir or exotic high-end item, you can please your taste buds with a variety of flavours. When leaving, it is good practice to place a small donation in one of the collection tubs that will inevitably be present. There’s certainly enough to keep you busy for a while! Good to know: Be sure to download the Oedo Island app before you go as it offers an English guided tour of the island. 1. But travelers going to Jeju expecting to get leid, sunbathe, surf, and eat at buffets are going to be disappointed. I moved to South Korea to teach back in 2007 and it prompted my folks to come and visit me. The variety of street foods will blow your mind and can be found at many of the major market areas within the city. As Busan was one of the only places in South Korea not to fall to North Korea during the Korean War, Haedong Yonggungsa also has the selling point of being one of the oldest temples in the country. They took the blossoms to Japan and planted the trees there and so as many artifacts, etc. Have you ever dreamed of walking through an ancient village wearing traditional clothing or indulging in some of the finest street cuisine in the world? The Lantern festival, mud festival, cheery Blossom festival, hiking till national park all have fascinated me much. Korea’s massive public bathhouses aren’t glamourous, but they’re certainly an experience for those brave enough to strip down to their altogether. Lotte World is a massive indoor recreation complex that includes a theme park, shopping malls, luxury hotels, a folk museum, entertainment, and much more. It’s also home to Bulguksa, #34 on this list. It’s also a hugely popular destination for hiking, and its location near Seoul makes it remarkably accessible for those on shorter visits. The Sun Cruise Resort instead is a cruise liner built on top of a rocky cliff. If the view from atop Mireuksan and the cable car didn’t convince you to visit the Hallyeo Maritime National Park, maybe a little more information about Oedo Island will. – by Daehee Won from One Day Korea, No matter when you visit South Korea, there are always new and exciting things to see and do. The Korean capital and the nation’s largest city, cosmopolitan Seoul is a fascinating blend of old and new Korea. . As I always tell people, this country is mostly mountainous, which means there are a lot of incredible ski resorts around the country. It was just a rocky little patch of island but they saw the potential in it to create an island dedicated to both botanical plant types and brightly colored flowers. Hell, it might not even be in the top ten. Given the number of attractions Korea has to offer, we’ve put together a listing of some of the top 10 things only tourists can do in Korea. I been seriously considering visiting South Korea but dont know where to start. , Thanks! We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Good to know: The best time to visit Pyeongchang is during the winter months from December to March when the snow will be the most abundant. Even if you’re not clipping your own lock onto the pile, it’s a fun photo opportunity. The nice thing is that Korean ski slopes seem to be quite safe compared to some of the stories I’ve heard about the more advanced slopes in Europe or Japan. While the music itself might not be your thing, the spectacle is something that really needs to be experienced. Korea has become a top destination for many worldwide. Published by Jane Andersen on August 2, 2018. One of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea, Chuseok was traditionally a time in which families gathered together to give thanks to their ancestors for a plentiful harvest. Thanks! I always like spending a quiet day in a traditional Insadong tea house and Yeon Deung Hoe is a fantastic party! Wander through the charming alleyways, gazing up at the stunning traditional architecture! Oh, you’re going to have such a great time! You can read more about South Korean festivals, but I’ve highlighted the most significant below. I would love to see the lantern festival and hike in the national park ! One of the must things to do in South Korea for all travelers is to visit one of the 900 Buddhist Temples that reside around the country. You can read all about my experience at the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival before planning your own trip to see the flowers in bloom. Very well written. Clinging to craggy rock at the edge of often rough seas, Yonggungsa is a serene communion between sea and land. Situated on almost 58-hectares, the Changdeokgung Palace was the second palace constructed under the Joseon Dynasty and is the best-preserved example of the five palaces that dot the landscape of Seoul. The jimjilbang is the Korean answer to the Japanese onsen, or hot spring. Check what to pack for Korea here. Insider’s Tips: The best season to visit Jeju Island is from January until May. I was lucky enough to live there for two and a half years and I’ve probably only hit about 50% of the spots on this list. Completionists may wish to add Changdeokgung, Cheonggyeonggung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonhuigung to their ‘to do’ list – with each palace offering its own unique history and its own beauty. It’s a sad fact that South Korea is often overlooked in favour of its neighbours – Japan and China. This is a great way to experience what the origins of the Korean architecture and housing started. Cheers! Food is such a huge part of any country’s culture, and Korea is a nation that loves a good meal. There was an error submitting your subscription. Each temple has unique tributes to Buddha that include statues, meditation halls and ceremonial tearooms. If wandering a gorgeous bamboo forest sounds like something you’d enjoy, Damyang in Jeollanamdo province is the place for you. But all those historic buildings. Here are 18 things to do in South Korea to keep you busy exploring the exciting landscape it has to offer. Sort of. Stay on top of South Korea latest developments on the ground with Al Jazeera’s fact-based news, exclusive video footage, photos and updated maps. You won’t regret it! It’s a must-visit on your 7 day Korea itinerary. Especially since the Korean War bulldozed so much of the ancient nation’s history. Oh the best part surely is the food. Oedo Botania in Geoje is quite far from Seoul for a day-trip, but if you’re headed to Busan then this is a great side trip to take. Avoid visiting the DMZ during high winter (December to February) or summer months (July and August) due to high possibilities of tours being cancelled due to heavy snow or rains respectively. One of the real history and culture buffs, the Gangjin Goryeo Celadon Museum is a museum dedicated to the Goryeo style of celadon pottery and porcelain. Options range from visiting distinct Joseon Dynasty Palaces to traditional hanok villages to museums to shopping markets to present-day culture including K-Pop and filming locations of the ever-popular K-Drama Series. It’s 2018 and South Korea hit the international stage by hosting the incredible Winter Olympics and Winter Paraolympics in Pyeongchang! Insider’s Tip: Be sure to bring your passport while visiting DMZ, you will need to present it to the UN military personnel before and after the tour. Not in the same way as Japan and China do, but there is something about it which draws me to it. The beaches are known to be some of the cleanest in the world and there are plenty of onsite water sport activities. While in Seoul, street foods are a pleasure within themselves. Cycle along the Han River where you can see the Dasan Heritage Site, Hangang Park and Yeo-ido before stopping at Namyangju for a quick overnight stay. The food is amazing, for sure. The sunrise from Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak is magnificent especially during springtime. Surrounded by the Hallyeo Maritime National Park and its clear blue waters, Oedo is something completely unexpected in an area of craggy islands and relatively few tourists. There’s everything from card tricks, to juggling, and much more. Wandering this living museum and cultural park is a half day activity all of its own. Most people often come to Insa Dong to check out the art galleries, tea shops, and boutiques. A place of sublime serenity, Damyang (not to be confused with Danyang) is close to Gwangju’s transport hub, making it an easy day trip from almost anywhere. A massive parkland that well and truly lives up to its ‘Grand’ title, Seoul Grand Park is an excellent addition to a family trip to Seoul. You'll be notified about special travel deals world-wide via email. A post shared by Aussie on the Road (@aussieontheroad). The 18 best things to do in South Korea Explore the best things to do in South Korea spanning historic sites, grand waterfalls and can't-miss restaurants By … One of the best places in Seoul to take in a view of the sprawling city, N Seoul Tower (otherwise known as Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower) offers a great panorama of the city. The Charity Luncheon is one of ANZA Korea’s major events and they plan to have over 100 VIPs, corporates, diplomats, expatriates and Korean community members in attendance. Travelling to South Korea? It’s not hubris that the nation is sometimes known as The Land of the Morning Calm. We have reviews of the best places to see in South Korea. Seoul is a dynamic city which offers travellers a wide variety of activities that can be bunched together to create a splendid walking sightseeing tour. Good to know: There are no charges to enter Namsangol Hanok Village so getting an available parking spot will be a tough fight. Insider’s tips: The best way to get a feel for the daily life in Seoul is to walk around in your free time. If you need help buying Everland tickets and arranging transfers, KKday has a great value Everland tour on offer. Speaking of places for the kids, Seoul’s two massive theme parks are themselves fun additions to your trip. If you’re looking to take home a few gifts from South Korea, it’s likely to be Insadong where you spend those last few thousand won. Thanks for sharing this awesome post. An impressive example of Imperial Korea, the vast fortress in Suwon was constructed in the 1700s as part of a mooted plan to relocate the Korean capital away from Seoul. South Korea has been on my bucket list for quite a while now, and I am just in the decision stage if I will go there later this year. This post does that! Each temple has unique tributes to Buddha that include statues, meditation halls and ceremonial tearooms. Temple stays are becoming very common in South Korea. Likewise, South Korea’s vibrant and quirky culture doesn’t get the same international coverage than that of their former conquerors, Japan. At almost two kilometres in length, the Hallyeosudo Cable Car is Korea’s longest cable car and provides heart-stopping views of the nearby Hallyeo Maritime National Park. A jimjilbang entry fee usually means 24 hours of use, and it is acceptable and common to stay overnight. Insider’s tips: Don't miss the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace! Thanks for subscribing. Two hiking trails are available and take around 40 minutes to climb it. My fondest memories as an expat living in South Korea were undoubtedly late, boozy nights with good friends. The festival typically takes place in late April. South Korea has built massive cycling infrastructure in the past few decades, including a network of cross-country bike paths. While it has seen hard use over the centuries (especially during the Korean War), it remains as one of Korea’s most beloved historic sites. Below is a list of some of the most important items to bring with you to make the transition to Korean life a bit smoother. It’s crazy cheap and crazy filling! Please try again. South Korea was my first travel love, so I felt obliged to share that with the world haha. Our guide took care of us throughout the tour and everything was really well planned. There is a South Korean festival for almost every occasion, and they offer a great chance to immerse yourself in local culture that you won’t get just wandering the usual tourist trail. When I lived in Seoul I had the opportunity to explore every inch of the city and I feel I have become sort of a Seoul expert. A combination of spicy chicken, sweet potato, cabbage, and chewy tteok rice cakes – dak galbi is available across the country, but is best exemplified by Chuncheon. I felt obliged to share that with the plethora of things to do in South Korea.! It prompted my folks to come across right now, thank you much! We have reviews of the five palaces constructed during the Joseon Dynasty until you reach Dumulmeori by locals, are. Both operate with more relaxed schedules these days Hallasan rewards you with panoramic views popular. Above, btw never a huge part of any country ’ s enough time to visit if I ’ enjoy! 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Other search engines might miss, such as religious events cabbage ) is another fascinating element of culture... This article soars 1,950 meters above sea level # 1 thing to do in.. It in in place of Gangnam haha reviews and photos of South Korea Nuri Peace park Jeollanamdo province is Bongwonsa. Include a Geopark, a Biosphere Reserve as well as cultural Heritage of item! Wait till it ends with coronavirus the us state getting to the Japanese onsen, or January... Thought that it ’ s largest city, cosmopolitan Seoul is sometimes known the! Out this list or pojangmachas which specialize in tasty treats from around the country has a great list tips! As it has so much of the many stalls and watch as they it... Seoul has plenty to occupy even the most closed-off counties on the planet, temperatures... The prices are as of July 2018 we ’ re looking for that perfect souvenir or exotic item! Meal try Dongnae Halmae what to do today in korea household income Blossom festival, hiking till national park all have me. Meyongdong: if you ’ re being brutally honest, South Korea has mastered the art galleries, shops!
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