One of the most interesting Asian nations to visit is South Korea as it offers an ideal combination of the old and new worlds. You’ll be able to soak in the rich culture and history of this fascinating and vibrant country while you’re enjoying the modern conveniences of cosmopolitan and trendy cities such as Seoul.
These are some of the most popular things to get up to while visiting South Korea:
1. N Seoul Tower
The capital city is hustling and bustling and it features a diverse mix of sites such as modern skyscrapers and historic palaces. If you’re looking to get a fantastic view of the city and its surroundings, then a trip to the N Seoul Tower is a good choice.
From the observatory you’ll get a beautiful bird’s eye view of the city, which houses about 25 per cent of the nation’s population of 49 million. On a clear day you can even see the mountains in neighboring North Korea. There’s also a revolving restaurant atop the tower as well as a teddy bear museum and media zone.
2. The Palaces
There are 5 major palaces in Seoul. One of the most popular is the UNESCO World Heritage site Changdeok Palace. This royal palace was built early in the 15th century during the Joseon dynasty. It features a palace in the front with a market behind it as well as gates and courts.
There’s a beautiful royal garden which is about 76 acres in size and features wooded areas, ponds, and pavilions. This palace had a big influence on Korean architecture and landscape design for hundreds of years after it was built.
3. Korean Folk Village
If you’d like to take a trip back in time to view the traditional culture, and history of the land, but don’t have a lot of time in South Korea, you should check out the popular Korean Folk Village, which isn’t too far from Seoul. This is an open-air village that consists of 260 traditional Korean houses and pieces of furniture from a variety of regions.
The village is close to 250 acres in size and you’ll be able to see blacksmiths, weavers, potters, and other craftspeople carry out their trades. You’ll also find a bustling market and folk museum as well as live dance and music performances.
4. Gyeongju City
There’s so much to see in this destination that it would take at least a couple of days. This ancient city used to be the Silla Kingdom’s capital between 57 BC and 935 AD. Gyeongju is often referred to as the nation’s Mecca and is known as the museum without walls.
There are many historical sites to see here, including the Bulguksa Temple, the Seokguram Grotto, Tumuli Park, the Cheomseongdae Observatory, and the Gyeongju National Museum.
5. Jeju Island
This gorgeous island is home to some wonderful mountains, waterfalls, and lava tubes and it quite a popular site for honeymooning couples. It was also a finalist along with 27 other sites for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
It’s also famous for the women divers who gather shellfish, octopus, and sea urchins, from the bottom of the ocean while holding their breath for several minutes at a time. It’s filled with natural beauty and a superb place to enjoy nature or to simply relax.
6. The Namdaemun Market
This busy market is one of the nation’s biggest and is located near the South Gate in Seoul. It features over 1200 stalls and shops that sell a wide variety of goods at bargain prices. You’ll be able to find just about everything here such as food, electronics, gifts, house wares, arts and crafts, flowers, and clothes.