10 Reasons To Visit South Korea

Korea offers you at least ten good reasons to visit this Asian country, which has great things to offer even to the most discerning travelers – from eccentric entertainment to the charm of traditions at any time of the day or night.

visit south korea

Restaurants and cafés work around the clock, ubiquitous delivery systems, excellent shopping, and medieval architecture. It is a pleasure to write my papers while enjoying the magnificent views of South Korea.

1. The contrast between the old and the new, history and modernity.

If you look at the brightly lit skyscrapers of Seoul from the territory of the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace complex, the architecture of which dates back to the era of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), the contrast between antiquity and modernity will seem amazing.

In Korea, you can find some of the most interesting examples of modern architecture and technology, for example, the Busan Cinema, the densest and high-speed Internet network in the world, but also fully functioning and well-preserved medieval cities and settlements, such as the traditional village in Jeonju (Jeonju Hanok) in the northeast of the country in North Jeolla, where 700 traditional Korean houses (“hanok”) have been preserved.

2. The country that never sleeps.

Korea is perfect for those who suffer from insomnia – it offers many options for spending time up-to-date 24 hours a day for every taste: for example, eateries and restaurants open around the clock (like Park’s BBQ or Parkdaegam) that meat lovers will surely appreciate after visiting local nightclubs in the style of the famous Psy composition “Gangnam Style”. And this is not to mention shopping malls that are full of visitors even after the traditional opening hours at Dongdaemun Market in Seoul, or round-the-clock Internet cafes (called “PC bang” that can be found on every corner and in every city.

3. They will deliver anything, anytime and anywhere.

The Han River flows through the heart of Seoul, dividing the Korean capital into two parts: the old and the new city (which resembles the Paris Seine). Numerous parks along the banks of the river naturally serve as a favorite place for picnics. However, do not worry if you forgot to bring sandwiches with you – call the nearest Chinese eatery, pizzeria, or restaurant selling fried chicken, and you will get everything you want right on your picnic blanket.

Twenty-four-hour delivery and services engaged in the execution of small orders offer assistance with almost any problem or whim that you may have: they will help you pick up or take your clothes to the dry cleaners or even pick up your cat from the veterinarian.

4. Mornings are still filled with peace and freshness, at least in some places.

Korea has preserved great fully functioning medieval cities, such as Andong in the east of the country, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, wherein in 1999 the British Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 73rd birthday. But to get into the spirit of the local centuries-old rituals and traditions, many travelers decide to stay overnight in one of the more than 900 Buddhist monasteries in Korea.

Moreover, the so-called “demilitarized zone”, a living relic of the Cold War era, still dividing the Korean peninsula into two hostile parts, also attracts tourists with a special peace. It serves as a constant reminder of the importance of peace, and tourists come here en masse to look through binoculars at mysterious North Korea. Artists like Lee Eun-suk used the local landscape as a backdrop for their installations.

5. Mountains inscribed in the urban landscape.

Mountains cover about 70 percent of the Korean peninsula and are always visible from the center of any city. Mount Buhan serves as a picturesque backdrop for the Cheongwade Presidential Palace in Seoul (the so-called “Blue House”). But if you are interested in hiking trips of a more serious level of difficulty, pay attention to national parks, for example, the extremely popular park on Mount Seorak in Gangwon Province, the oldest and largest nature reserve on Mount Jiri with extremely difficult hiking routes, or the volcanic expanses of Jeju Island.

The Korean government still cannot remain indifferent every time Korean cuisine (which is commonly called “hansik”) is mentioned in the foreign press, but needless to say, the local culinary tradition speaks for itself. From a quiet unassuming street food from kiosks on wheels to the traditional royal cuisine “hanchonsik”, there are sure to be many interesting options in the varied menu. Michelin-starred chefs are paving the way on the local gastronomic scene, but if you prefer to take matters into your own hands, you can cook dinner yourself right in the restaurant, using the grill on your table.

7. In stores you can find everything your heart desires, from limited-edition luxury goods to cheap mass-market analogs.

Whether you’re looking for something ultra-trendy or timeless classics, you can find anything in the Korean capital. Although the cheapest and most spontaneous place to shop is still Dongaemun Market and in the Myeongdong shopping district, fans of more prestigious brands will probably prefer the Seoul analog of Rodeo Drive – Cheongdam, which international fashion houses have chosen for their boutiques and branded stores. The flagship store of the Italian house Gucci even brought silk fabric manufacturers from Florence to Seoul as part of its traveling exhibition “Flora”.

8. Koreans like to have fun and arrange noisy and crowded holidays.

Koreans have always been distinguished by their love of fun and holidays, what is called “heng” in Korean, and it is always noisy at local parties and events. South Korea hosts Asia’s largest film festival (Busan International Film Festival), the world’s largest women’s film festival (Seoul International Women’s Film Festival), as well as one of the world’s most important art exhibitions (Gwangju Biennale). In addition to these international holidays and festivals, more modest celebrations take place every month across the country, from the June firefly festival in Munju to winter ice fishing in the northern provinces of Gangwon.

9. Whether you want to admit it or not, but you also love R-pop.

Even before Psy’s horse dance galloped around the world thanks to YouTube, local TV and movies, and everything that is commonly called the term “hallyu” (“Korean Wave” — the growing popularity of Korean culture abroad) attracted crowds of tourists to Korea. By the way, among the fans of all this television and music production is the famous Chinese cellist Wang Jian and many other people who seem to be far from mass culture. Fans of the popular South Korean TV series “Winter Sonata”, for example, make mass pilgrimages to Nami Island, where the cult TV saga was filmed.

As R-pop is gaining more and more star fans around the world (including Dakota Fanning, who confessed her love for G-Dragon and Anna Kendrick, who starred in the recent video F(x)), the Korean government has finally decided to build an entire music arena specifically for performers of this genre.

In addition to pop music, Korean versions of Broadway musicals enjoy great success, to the point that Japanese producers often prefer them to American originals. And finally, the international music festival and the Great Mountains Music International Music Festival & School classical music School were nicknamed “little Aspen” by experts.

10. A paradise for fans of sports games and excitement.

Figure skater Kim Yong Ah has made a huge contribution to the popularization of the World Figure Skating Championships, but this reigning queen of South Korean sports is only the tip of the iceberg called “Korean sports culture”.

The passion that football fans demonstrated at the 2002 FIFA World Cup has not only not disappeared anywhere since then but has also increased many times. Every four years, hundreds of thousands of fans dressed in red – the color of the national team – gather in Seoul Square to cheer for the national team. It is thanks to their enthusiasm that this small country has won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and Korean athletes are achieving impressive results around the world.

Baseball player Ryu Hyun-jin has just played his first game against the Dodgers (albeit with varying success), and in general, the local baseball season is just beginning in April. And finally, gaming is a serious profession in Korea, which is not surprising, given that this country boasts the densest Internet coverage in the world.

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