What do you think when you think ‘South Korea’? Unknown? Mysterious? You couldn’t be more wrong! South Korea is a cosmopolitan hidden gem tucked away in East Asia. Its super modern, home to Samsung, LG, Hyundai and one of the richest and fastest developing nations in the world. The food is delicious, nightlife is buzzing and the beaches are glorious basically the traveller’s dream destination. Sitting comfortably in between China and Japan it can be added into a little Asian adventure very easily. What’s more, it makes for a wicked stopover on the way down to Oz!
There’s actually more to South Korea than Gangnam style. Who’d have thought?
So here’s a little break down on all things South Korea:
Where is South Korea?
South Korea is located in East Asia, you can fly direct to Seoul from London with Korean Air or British Airways. Bliss. The flight is just under 11 hours. If you’re on a bit more of a backpacker budget you can fly cheap and indirect with airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Air China, Etihad and many more – that’s an extra stop in your trip, winning!
Want to add it to your Asian adventure? You can fly to Seoul from Tokyo in just under 2 hours and from Beijing in about an hour and a half. It’s easy and cheap to get between the three, particularly with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air. So if you’re planning on heading to Oriental Asia, South Korea is worth throwing into the mix. I mean you’re all the way over there, you might as well!
FYI: The country’s capital is Seoul pronounced “sole” like the fish. Hope that helps.
When is the best time to go?
The spring and autumn months are the best time to visit South Korea. Between April and June the country is in full bloom with cherry blossoms dusting everywhere in pink petals. Head to the country’s gorgeous National Parks and the Hwagae Cherry Blossoms Festival. This festival is held in Hwagae Market, a traditional open-air market. Take a stroll from the market down the cherry tree blossom lined road to Ssanggyesa Temple and admire the beautiful trees. It is believed in South Korea that if a couple walk down the road holding hands they will grow old together. Try it! September to November are mild months, rainfall is low and the country is lit up by the volcanic mountains. The winter months are perfect if you’re a bit of a ski bunny. South Korea are hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – so they know what they’re doing when it comes to skiing!
What can I do in South Korea?
Absolutely anything! From tea ceremonies to teddy bear museums, you name it South Korea has probably got it. To make things run that little bit smoother, maximise your time there and help enrich your experience it’s worth joining a trip.
A small group adventure such as the Best of South Korea uncovers the incredible highlights of South Korea in just 10 days. On this trip local guides take you on three city tours through Seoul, Gyeongju and Busan. You also get to explore more traditional areas such as Yangdong folk village, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Jeju Island. The tour also enables you to dip a toe into the infamous North Korea at the Demilitarized Zone.
You’ll discover what South Korea is really all about in 10 days – freeing up way more time for other Asian countries! Too Easy. But honestly, probably the best thing about this trip is you don’t have to brush up on your rusty Korean.
Why should I go?
Why shouldn’t you? It’s awesome. The people are warm and incredibly inviting. The food is AMAZING; Bibimap (rice dish) is seriously tasty, Kimchi (veggie dish) is yum and the barbecues put the Aussies to shame. The nightlife is some of the best the Far East has to offer, beats China hands down. Noraebangs or ‘karaoke-style’ rooms are an essential on any South Korean night out, 3am drunk singing doesn’t get much better. The beaches are picturesque, yes South Korea has beaches! Soak up the sun on Sokcho Beach, a half mile long stretch of pure white sand.