Korea is a cultural feast. Whether you want a deep cultural experience or you’re looking to party 24 hours a day Korea caters for it. The country is a juxtaposition of tradition and technology. A place where culture has been layered century upon century. A place where time seems to both stand still and speed up depending on what street you walk down. If you’ve only got a short time in this amazing country here are the 5 top places to visit in South Korea.
Seoul is a city like no other. A great heaving monster of volcanic appetites and a calm, tranquil escape all wrapped in one. The city is a must visit on any trip to Korea. Starting at the ancient seat of kings and queens of the past – Gyeongbukgung and moving to the famous shopping areas in Seoul such as Dongdaemun and Namdaemun you’ll be drawn to this fast paced place.
The city is vast and every neighbourhood has something to offer. Take time to explore the narrow streets and enjoy some of the best street food in Seoul.
This stunning port city in the south of the country is just a few hours from Seoul by the KTX bullet train. A magnet for the rich and good looking youth during the summer months there are plenty things to do in Busan.
Stop by famous Haeundae Beach to be seen or grab a bite to eat at Jagalchi Fish Market. This summer city is one of the best places to relax in South Korea.
Andong city and Andong traditional village are UNESCO World Heritage sites that are not to be missed. Andong village has been continually inhabited by the same family line for centuries and is still inhabited to this day.
Take a walk about the village to see where the Ryu family has lived for centuries and definitely take time to try Andong Soju. This traditional alcohol varies by region and the Andong region is famous for it. The village is definitely a must see historical place in Korea.
Jeju Island is a tropical paradise that sits off the southern coast of Korea. The island is a famous place to travel for hiking Hallasan Mountain – Korea’s tallest mountain and relaxing.
You’ll also find some of Korea’s hardest working women living on Jeju Island. The Hyenyo are local women, mostly in their 60’s and 70’s who dive for octopus, abalone, clams, squid and seaweed year round. If you know how cold the water got in Korea in winter you’d see why they are not to be messed with.
Gyeongju in the ancient seat of power of the Silla dynasty – a period of Korea’s history lasting a thousand years. The entire city is an archaeological dig and it is home to some of the most historically significant temples in Asia.
The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple and nearby Seokguram Grotto are two of the most beautiful spots in the city. But my favourite is the Cheomseongdae. It is an observatory dating back to 632 A.D showing the technological and scientific sophistication of ancient Korea.
Want to see more of this beautiful country?
Take a guided tour from a local. Local’s can show you all the best places that are off the well worn tourist path. Take a local Seoul tour guide on your next trip to Korea and see the city from a locals perspective.