Although its popularity is steadily increasing, South Korea is still an overlooked travel destination. This is a shame because the country has so much to offer to visitors. Whether you want interesting culture, tasty food, or unique experiences, you’ll find them no matter which part of the country you head to
Here are four reasons why South Korea should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
(Photo by Mathew Schwartz)
Table of Contents
The mix of history, culture, and modern ideas
South Korea’s past and culture are well-preserved, with tradition running deep. History buffs will love exploring the city of Gyeongju, parts of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the abundance of temples, tombs, and art.
You can also find impressive buildings like Gyeongbokgung Palace (located in Seoul) and traditional neighborhoods (Hanok neighborhoods) all around the country. Why not take a trip to a tea house while you’re there?
Despite its vast number of historic structures, South Korea is also home to plenty of futuristic architecture, which makes for a fascinating contrast. The capital city, Seoul, is even home to Building 63, the tallest gold-clad structure in the world, according to Culture Trip.
(Photo by Jakub Kapusnak)
Although it’s based on commonplace foods like rice, vegetables, and meat, the cuisine in South Korea is unlike anywhere else in the world. Meals are accompanied by a serving of the national dish, kimchi, which consists of fermented vegetables such as cabbage.
It’s well worth visiting as many street food stalls as you can during your trip or taking a cooking class or two to learn about some of the many preservation and preparation methods South Koreans use.
Delicious dishes you could try in South Korea:
Hobakjuk — a kind of sweet porridge made from steamed pumpkin and rice
Bibimbap — mixed rice with mushrooms, beef, soy sauce, and fried egg
Japchae — stir-fried noodles with sweet potato, vegetables, and beef
Hoeddeok – sweet pancakes filled with cinnamon, honey, sugar, and peanuts, often served as street food
(Photo by Ambir Tolang)
The unique attractions
South Korea is at the forefront of unconventional entertainment. They were the first to think of cat cafés, where you can enjoy an afternoon snack while surrounded by furry friends, and the country is also home to PC rooms, where visitors can enjoy a variety of online games.
Other attractions worth checking out include the illusions in Seoul’s Trick Eye Museum, abandoned spaces like Yongama Land theme park and the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Gwangju-Si, and Heyri Art Valley in Paju.
(Photo by Brady Bellini)
There’s something for everyone
Want to go on a busy city break? Seoul has everything you could possibly need or want, and with 20% of the country’s population living there, you’re never far from the hustle and bustle. It’s also an excellent choice for travelers with a disability, with wheelchair-accessible public transport, a good choice of accommodation, and plenty of attractions which been adapted to increase accessibility.
If you’d prefer to go on a quiet countryside retreat, you can enjoy that too. There are some beautiful rural areas in South Korea, which are easy to get to thanks to the speedy transport. Take the train from the city and enjoy the peace.
This was a contributed post, which means that the item/product/link(s) mentioned here were contributed by another author in exchange for compensation or other value. This helps this writer to do what she loves and to continue her storytelling.