South Korea is a country of natural wonders, teeming metropolises, and romantic legends. Tourist discover the hidden treasures of the mountainous Korean peninsula, poking southwards from the eastern end of the Asian continent.
South Korea Travel Guide
South Korea has been separated from North Korea by a demilitarized zone since 1953, flourishing to become a stable and mature democracy. It’s 50 million people inhabit nine provinces and are concentrated in seven mega cities.
Ringed by mountains, the capital of Seoul is the largest and most frequented city. The world’s tenth largest city, it’s ancient shrines nestle beneath soaring skyscrapers in an urban sprawl of vibrant nightlife, unforgettable dining, and unique attractions.
Another area rich in tourist attractions is the southeastern region, with it’s wealth of archaeological treasures. Gyeongju, ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, is an open-air museum boasting tombs, temples, pagodas, and ruins dating from as early as 57 BC.
With its luxury hotels, the Bomun Lake Resort is a fine base from which to explore the area. New resort complexes are currently under construction to open up this fascinating area to even more tourist opportunities.
The least populated area of the country is Gangwon-do Province, on the eastern side of the peninsula. Here, remote forested mountains and valleys are studded with small towns. This area, which played host to the Asian Winter Games in 1999, is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought after skiing destinations. For the rest of the year, visitors are drawn to the province’s magnificent beaches and scenic hiking trails.
Those seeking a romantic getaway should head for South Korea’s resort island, Jejudo, known as ‘Little Hawaii’ because of it’s subtropical vegetation, volcanic landscape, sandy beaches, and sparkling waterfalls. The island is dominated by the towering Mount Halla volcano. But visitors need not fear a natural disaster as the volcano was last active in 1007.
Best Time To Travel
South Korea has four distinct seasons. The summer period from June to August sees hot and humid weather where as winter, from December to February, is icy cold and dry. Autumn and spring are thought to be the best time to visit as they offer warm, sunny days with clear blue skies.
What To Pack
Autumn and spring are mild and sunny, so comfortable clothes for travel should be fine, along with a light jacket in case it’s chilly at night. Summer is hot and humid, so you will want to pack to dress lightly. You also should bring an umbrella and poncho, as summer is monsoon season.
What To Buy
Ramyeon (Instant Noodles), Soju, Korean beauty products (Innisfree), Korean Red Ginseng, Character socks, Chopsticks, Cute nail clippers, Zodiac figurines.
Hoeddeok (sweet syrupy pancakes), Bulgogi (marinated beef barbecue), Samgyeopsal (pork strips), Japchae (stir-fried noodles) , Kimchi (fermented vegetables), Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake) , Sundubu-jjigae (soft tofu stew), Bibimbap (mixed rice).
A Final Word
Digital addicts will be relieved to know they’ll never have to wait too long for their internet fix in South Korea. The country was judged to have the world’s fastest internet connection speed for the 12th consecutive quarter last year.
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO CITY CENTRE: 60 kilometres
TIME ZONE: GMT +8 hours
CURRENCY: South Korean Won (KRW). ATMs are prevelant, but will not always accept international cards so just keep trying until you find one that does.
LANGUAGES: Korean, but English is widely understood and spoken in main areas.