While it is now known around the globe for its K-pop, kimchi and K-dramas, South Korea also has enthralling historic sites and dynamic cities for visitors to explore. Despite being sandwiched between China and Japan, it retains its unique culture and customs with the major economic power also boasting some dazzling scenery and nature spots.
Occupying the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula, the ‘Land of the Morning Calm’ borders North Korea with the sparkling waters of both the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan lying to either side. Although very mountainous in nature, it also encompasses picturesque hills, forests and plains with some 3,000 mostly small and uninhabited islands lying alongside its long and scenic coastline.
One of the largest and greatest cities in the world, South Korea’s capital Seoul and its surroundings are remarkably home to over half of the country’s population. As well as centuries-old palaces and temples, it has gleaming shopping malls and lively night markets to explore while the impact of its cutting-edge technological advancements and trend-setting youth culture is felt around the world.
After seeing sights like Gyeongbogkung Palace and the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, many people head to either Gyeongju or Busan. While the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom has a glut of impressive royal tombs, temples and cultural festivals to enjoy, the latter’s beautiful beaches and hot springs make it a popular place to relax and unwind.
Jeju Island‘s lush subtropical scenery and innumerable amusement parks also attract lots of visitors as do the marvelous mountains of Seoraksan National Park and the living folk villages of Andong. More adventurous travelers will want to check out the heavily guarded DMZ – the demilitarized zone which demarcates the border between South Korea and its northern neighbor.