The Winter Olympics are just beginning and, while that might be enough for a person to head straight over to South Korea, it’s not the only reason to go to this fabulous country. From the big city bustle of Seoul to the breathtaking beaches to the peaceful mountains, this East Asian country is the perfect destination for a memorable East Asian vacation.
Here are 10 great reasons you should visit South Korea:
1 Rich History
The history within South Korea dates back more than one thousand years and people can see numerous historical sites including the city of Gyeongju with its palaces, temples, and royal tombs. One of the most significant sites in the country is the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is the main palace that can be found in Seoul.
2 Year-Round Festivals
There are so many festivals in South Korea that a person simply does not have time to attend every single one of them. The more popular ones include the festival when the cherry blossoms bloom in the spring, Buddha’s birthday in May, and the Korean’s version of Thanksgiving during Chuseok in the fall.
3 Delicious and Unique Foods
The Koreans are quite proud of their many unique dishes and how they prepare them. It has taken them years to create these numerous stews, soups, noodle dishes, meat dishes, and vegetable side dishes. Their favorite side dish is kimchi, which is salted and fermented vegetables that are kept in jars for months. Visitors to South Korea need to spend at least one day visiting the street markets as they sample multiple dishes and have the flavors erupt in their mouth.
4 Thrilling Cities
Seoul, the capital and largest city in South Korea, is a huge metropolis full of contrasts. Shining skyscrapers sit next to ancient Buddhist temples and you can choose from traditional tea houses or exciting, pulsating nightclubs. You simply can’t go to Korea and skip Seoul.
Seoul might be the city that most people visit when they go to South Korea, but it is not the only one that should be considered. In fact, many of the larger cities have their own local cuisine and attractions that everyone should experience and see. Two of the definite must-see cities in addition to Seoul include Busan and Jeonju.
5 Tranquil Countryside
The cities might be big and busy, but there is still a large portion of countryside that is serene and quiet in South Korea. The rural villages can easily be reached via the railway and express bus systems, so people do not need to miss out on any of the hidden temples or the rice terraces.
6 Unique Entertainment Options
Entertainment is a must in South Korea and the locals are always looking for new ways to keep themselves occupied and amused. They have themed cafes, where people can play with cats, dogs, raccoons, meerkats, and other animals, and they also have ones where people can play dress up or eat foods shaped like certain items. Karaoke has always been popular in South Korea as are PC rooms, where people gather to play online games with others from all over the world.
7 Breathtaking Beaches and Coastline
Since South Korea is a peninsula, there are miles of coastline and beautiful beaches. Add in all the islands and people have even more choices when it comes to relaxing in the sand and in the water. Jeju Island has the best beach, plus a long list of natural wonders that everyone can enjoy while they are there.
8 Changing Seasons
South Korea has four seasons, which means that people can enjoy the weather and the scenery no matter when they are in the country. During the spring, the cherry blossoms are in bloom and the summertime brings fields full of flowers. The foliage changes color in the fall and snow falls and blankets the entire region during the winter months.
9 Fashion Central
Seoul is becoming known as Fashion Central and the clothes and designs are moving faster than a person can think. Everyone will love shopping at the Queenmama Market, where they can pick up anything that they need for themselves and their home. The seven floors are filled to the brim, and no one can leave empty handed.
10 Beautiful Mountains
There are twenty-two national parks in South Korea and that means a lot of hiking opportunities for visitors. The best trail will lead people up to the summit of Hallasan, which is the highest peak in the country, and it can be found on the island of Jeju. Another popular hiking destination is Seoraksan, which is the third tallest mountain at 5,603 feet.
South Korea is quite a unique place, and everyone will find themselves thinking that they should have visited sooner after they experience it for the first time. There is so much to do in this country, and it is definitely much more than just the Winter Olympics!