Travel and Explore South Korea

Seoul - Heunginjimun (Photo: Kristel Reyes)

The natural attraction of soaring mountains, luminous water and the peacefulness of the morning are the reasons why South Korea is called “The Land of the Morning Calm”.

The capital of South Korea is the megacity of Seoul which is the most popular tourist destination in the country.  The city ranked eighth in the Global Cities Index of 2012 because of its active involvement in global affairs. It is world’s 11th most populated city.

Considered as an important city of the country for more than 2000 years, Seoul is also the first city in the world to introduce Digital Multimedia Broadcasting for both radio and television. For three years, the city  has been the top tourist destination for the Chinese, Japanese and Thai travellers.

Some famous spots in South Korea that are really good to visit:

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace – This palace was built in year 1394 as commanded by the king and founder of Joseon Dynasty.  The place has now become the National Palace Museum of Korea.
  • Jejudo or Jeju Island –  The island is a famous place for many visitors especially for the honeymooners. It called the “island of the Gods” because of the amazing scenic views in the place.
  • Seoraksan National Park –  The park is known for its natural beauty. If you are interested in rare flora and fauna, this is the place to visit. At the moment the park has been tentatively listed by the government as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
  • Korean Folk Village – The village is located at Yongins, Gyeonggi Province and is a  a live museum of more than 260 houses. It features traditional houses, restaurants, and workshops. A recommended place if you would like to know more about Korea’s traditional life and culture.
  • Bulguksa Temple – The Buddhist temple is found on Mt. Tohamsan in Gyeongju National Park and home to the country’s national treasures.  The historical temple is listed in UNESCO’s  World Heritage list.  Here you can find the Geungnakjeon Hall, Jahamun Gate and Beomyeongru Pavilion.

Here are the popular shopping and dining places in Seoul Korea.

  • Namdaemun Market – Good place to shop for those bargain lovers.  It is also the largest wholesale market in Korea which was opened in 1964. This place is popular for travellers because here you can buy accessories, clothes, furniture and the famous ginseng. You can also dine in different fast foods and restaurants in this place.
  • Dongdaemun Market – Korea’s most classical or representative market is the Dongdaemun Shopping Complex that was opened in December 23, 1970.  A famous fashion market with more than 5,000 shops. Here you can find products like fashionable clothes, wedding products and fabrics.
  • Myeong-dong – Located in Myeong-dong streets, this market is 1km long that extends to the Myeing-Dong subway station. Here you can find restaurants, fast food outlets and even department stores selling branded products. You can also dine in restaurants serving Japanese, Western and Korean cuisine.  You can also try and taste the famous Kalguksu  ( Korean noodles) and the mouth tasting pork cutlets.
  • Gangnam District is known as the high end or luxurious shopping place in Seoul. Travellers can spot some famous Korean celebrities because the place features the elegant ambience of restaurant and designer shops.  You can go to Apgujeong Rodeo Street where you will find different shops for accessories, famous designer clothes, and other fashion products.  You can also visit the Sinsa-dong Garosugil Street, the “tree lined street”  famous  for the Gingko trees that turn into gold shades during autumn that attract many tourists.

The Korean food is very healthy and tasteful.  Here are some of their famous foods that you may want to try.

  • Kimchi – Korea’s national dish that is made of a fermented cabbage with spicy pepper, onion and garlic. This dish may not look appealing but after tasting it you will continue to eat more.
  • BibimbapBibim means mixed and bap means rice. Bibimbap is rice mixed with beef, pork or chicken meat and served with egg. It is usually a combination of hot sauce made of Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) and rice mixed with meat and egg.
  • Japchae – A famous Korean dish that is made up of light-cooked vegetables and noodles.
  • Dakjuk – This is Korea’s chicken porridge. The chicken is boiled with onions and garlic then sushi rice is added.
  • Ddukbokki – A delicious rice cake eaten with sweet or hot and spicy sauce. The food is available on the night street markets  in the capital city Seoul.

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