A land of ancient traditions and dazzling futuristic cities, South Korea is one of Asia's most incredible holiday destinations for a reason. From beautiful island beaches and a rich cultural heritage to soaring wooded mountains, South Korea is in a league of its own.
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Things to see and do in South Korea
From the latest in luxury fashion and cutting-edge technology to pop supergroups and some of the most delicious cuisine in the world, South Korea is a must for any bucket-list. With so much to see and do, here are some suggestions to get you started.
For most people, their first taste of South Korea begins in the capital Seoul. Far more than just a stopover, Seoul is one of the most exciting cities on the planet for a reason. With a vibrant culinary culture, exciting arts and fashion scene and renowned night markets, bars and clubs, Seoul also has some exceptional historical sites.
The Five Royal Palaces, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, are striking, however unfortunately some of the buildings are replicas due to destruction during Japanese occupation in the first half of the 20th century. Head up Namsan (N Seoul) Tower or Lotte World Tower for spectacular views across the city, or blow your budget shopping in Insadong, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Edae and Hongdae. For art lovers, a visit to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and the Daehangno district will keep you busy. Head out of Seoul on a day trip to gaze across the DMZ - the border between North and South Korea reputedly the most dangerous patch of land on earth - or visit beautiful Nami Island and the serenely titled 'Garden of Morning Calm'.
Further afield, South Korea is as diverse as it is breathtaking. Busan, South Korea's second largest city, has exceptional Buddhist temples hidden deep within the mountainous regions nearby, as well as spectacular scenery on Dongbaek Island.
If it's scenery you're after, then be sure to take some time out and visit Jeju Island. With a mild climate, stunning sandy beaches and superb sunsets, a well-won sense of accomplishment awaits those fit enough to climb to Baenok Lake, atop South Korea's highest peak Mount Halla. Seogwipo, on the southern side of the island, is a sea lover's paradise, offering water based activities and exceptional seafood restaurants. For nature aficionados, Gangneung and Sokcho are regions that are well worth a visit if you're looking for something beautiful and slightly off the regular tourist track.
Wherever you go in South Korea, you're bound to make memories to last a lifetime.