The Seoul City
Source: Conde Nast Traveler
1. A world of shrines and Soju– Seoul
If you are one of those old souls stuck in the 21st century, Seoul, the nation’s capital, can be your safe haven during your traveling days. Being the biggest town of the realm, it simultaneously soldiers on with Korea’s old-fashioned customs and the ongoing K-pop trends.
Cheong-gye-cheon: Your escape!
Among the Seoulites, Cheong-gye-cheon is often more than a respite from the reality. Its wonderful panorama of the not so citified Seol, the rivers and serene streams, green countryside would sweep anyone off their feet.
The scenic streams are so calm and poised that you may forget to take a few snaps, but you should not! This is literally an ideal place for the exhausted metropolitans to traipse around the traffic free suburbs while treating their eyes with artistic endeavors like Dongdaemum and Insadong.
You can befriend the shrouded trees there, for helping your nerves relax a bit. And last but not the least, Gwangjang Market could be another addition to the list for those who love shopping!
Lovers Point at Namson
While traveling alone or with your partner may be super exciting and carefree in respect of privacy and a lot of other things, Seoul does offer quite a lot for young and old alike.
For a fun family trip, the Seoul zoo, Seoul grand park and traditional, theme-based parks like Everland await you with their full glory.
Everland is a quintessential family park, the Disney theme has a lot to engage both the young kids and the adult ones.
Hence Seoul does not discriminate against senior travelers! You only need to buy the ticket and Seoul welcomes you with everything it has.
2. War Memorial, Museums
The Korean War Memorial predominantly preserves the chronicles of its war history. The legal documents, official agreements and papers of the Korean war are retained with significance here in this museum.
A traveler is supposed to be an inquisitive human being and thus the War museum serves the best. It constantly plays the unedited, raw video footage of the war and interesting documentaries made on this in the background.
The history of the Korean War can be relived to a certain point as the museum has many of its sworn statements and even warcrafts like weapons, fractions of the supersonic transports used during the war.
To not let anyone, forget the martyrs, there is a whole separate passage engraved with their names. And on the first floor, several handmade sketches are hung on the wall demonstrating all the terrific wars that Korea fought like clockwork to invade many realms of the world.
The paintings may be seemingly obscure or just some pieces of art, they actually hold a lot of significance in terms of Korea’s nationalism.
In case the kids in the travel group find those historical documents too hard to digest, a children’s museum is also there to occupy their mind. In that part, things are illustrated in a much more lighthearted way for the little minds to fathom them.
The ones with deep thirst for knowledge should check into National Museum for once. It is more cathartic than one may expect it to be! A blend of antiquities and contemporaries!
War Memorial of Korea
Source: DEREK VERSUS LONELY PLANET
3. Festivals that You Should Not Miss!
People in the South Korea are huge fans of festivals. No matter what season, or what reason it is, South Korea is always up for festivities. And the good news for our travelers is that they get to indulge in all of those crazy fun fests without having to feel foreign.
The Jinju festival
As the name suggests, Jinju is a festival of light and glow. It has a touchy story behind—70000 men and women sacrificed their lives in the Imjin war against Japan. Every October the south part of the Korea lay out their respect and love on the feet of Namgan River to show their indebtedness.
The festival assumes an unbelievably beautiful sight with thousands of lanterns!
Not only do they walk up to the river with the lanterns in hand, as the night grows deeper, they turn the ritual into a carnival of delicious food and other fun elements. The Jinju festival, by and large, is a celebration of pride and glory, you better do not miss this out!
A Day with Blooming Flowers: Jinhae Cherry Blossom Fest
This festival in South Korea swears to their obsession over their eye-catching, green trees and countryside. During Spring when the nature decks itself out in all the bright, colorful petals and breathtakingly beautiful flowers—the South Koreans never shies away from flaunting their nature bestowed assets!
Specifically, in Jinhae, the South Koreans get all carried away and celebrate it with great panache. You may like to put it in your bucket list if you have a thing for blooming flowers!
A Mud Slinging Day!
In the middle of July, a crazy mud festival is celebrated in Boryeong, South Korea. It engages people from literally every stratum of life, and even foreigners and travelers from around the world.
Mud-slinging may not always be dirty! At least in the South Korean Mud festival, everyone throws mud at each other with unadulterated fun. For some it rather has some restorative power; instantly lightens up the mood. They arrange great food and local alcohol to add more fun to it!
Crazy fun at Mud festival
Source: Kim’s Travel
4. Temples for Spiritual Peace
This goes even without saying that Seoul and a lot of other places of South Korea have an admirable history and heritage. Even though amidst all the urban hubbubs, the sanity of many of these 900 temples is lost, it would be a travesty of traveling to the South Korea without stopping at some of them.
As you walk down the densely populated streets of South Korean cities, very often you would happen upon several temples. Some of them are architecturally flamboyant, some are plain yet peaceful.
Even though the temples are meant to pay homage to the God Buddha, several aches may coincide with the unmatched tranquility they offer. Irrespective of your religious belief you can have access to the central temples, meditation auditoriums and even meditate with their local monks.
The Bongwonsa Temple in Seoul is one of the most artistic ones, it has more than ten buildings, that too made of wood and other eggshell elements.
Then comes the historically enriched Beopjusa temple that has more than 30 buildings and 70 sancuaries. This one is a stupendous, acclaimed temple as it has a history with the Japanese invasion of South Korea in 1592. For its historical interest, Bongwonsa temple is considered a national treasure
One must put their shoes off and refrain from taking pictures of that sacred places. Apart from that, turning your back on the Buddha idol is considered disrespectful. As a pilgrim, you can definitely pull these little things off!
The sacred Bongwonsa temple at Seol
5. Eat, Travel, Repeat!
Kimchi for vegetable lovers
Kimchi can be titled as the signature dish of the South Koreans. Especially for the vegetable lovers, Kimchi would come off as a relief amidst other exorbitant dishes.
The fermented veggies are processed in interesting ways and taste somewhat spicy. The fun fact is, within a couple of days you may acquire the taste so addictively that you cannot have enough of it!
The fermented broccolis, cabbages and carrots would lure you into having more and more.
Seafood at Fish Market
Jagalchi Market, located at Busan, is known as the most famous seafood place in South Korea. Those who have experienced a little shabby, crowded, old-fashioned bazars in the South Asian countries may relate better to Jagalchi Market.
What makes it stand out is that you can choose your fish and how they cook it in front of you in an extremely satisfying process. The taste of undried, freshly cooked seafood has its own charisma and an experience worth remembering!
BBQ at its best
At first glance, one may be puzzled by the pictures of raw meat shown in front of the restaurants, or by the unusual contraptions atop the tables. Once you come to learn that those are actually Korean barbecue spots, all the confusion goes away and gets replaced by a fondness for them.
Unlike normal restaurants, eating at these places is a whole new experience, because there you have to prepare your own meal, quite literally!
You get to do all the tasks yourself, like searing and chopping the meat, then immersing them into a variety of dips, and finally wrapping it in lettuce. The whole process can be quite fun, given that someone already acquainted with it guides you.
Please your tummy with Bibimbap!
This one may not be too exotic for any of you, but in respect of its super cheap price and fullness it should get a place in the list. Bibimbap is basically a bowl of warm rice blended with assorted veggies, eggs, and a flavorful gochujang sauce.
This is again one of South Korea’s signature dishes and for its distinguished taste, it becomes quite popular among the travelers. Yeah, a simple rice and vegetable dish can be turned into something extraordinarily delicious and Bibimbap just testifies to that!
Kimchi: A South Korean signature food
6. Drink into Oblivion
While many of you might be fond of different options when it comes to drinking, this is literally a sin to leave South Korea without indulging yourself with Korean delicacy—Soju.
Soju lets you revel in some boozy nights around the dimly lit Korean lanes. After a hearty meal at night, Soju can be a wonderful company for you even if you are traveling solo. Soju is very much appetizing, unlike the harsh vodkas, especially when mixed with soft drinks.
You can never have enough of Soju!
7. Treat your eyes with South Korean’s green!
South Korea’s heartwarming beauty can make anyone lay all their frustration out at its feet. The solemn and solitary landscapes imbue its viewers with a sense of overwhelming satisfaction. The mystical valleys, grave forests and abysmal rivers are surprisingly serene! Let’s have a quick look at some of the places of South Korea that are naturally blessed.
Mount Seoraksan, a visual treat!
Mount Seoraksan is one of the highest mountains of the eastern part of South Korea. Apart from the Seoraksan mountain, there is the Hallasan volcano and Jeju island that have breathtakingly beautiful natural views.
It has a park inside, the park is arrests attention of a lot of tourists for its grave, green forest. Especially during the fall and winter, the forest turns into a yellow valley. The small and medium-sized hills and rocks are always on the trails of the forest.
Several nature bestowed waterfalls flow over the mountains—quite a scene that is! During rainy seasons, the streams are full to the brim! The Yukdam waterfall and the Bireyong waterfall are the most loved ones for how they go by round the clock amidst the greeneries.
For the ones with mammoth interest in hiking, this could be an ideal option, also, the ones who want to expertise in nature photography.
Green Boseong Tea Fields
The beauty of green tea harvest of Boseong cannot be compromised by any stretch of imagination! Not only do you get to enjoy the scenic landscape of far-fetched tea lands, but also learn a little or more about tea production.
Keeping all that aside, you can taste the delicious green tea ice-cream and even witness the entire procedure! So yes, even though we tend to associate green tea only with Japan, the South Korea does not anyhow lag behind!
The beautiful Seoraksan mountain!
8. The Night is Young!
As most of us have always heard, New York is a city that never sleeps. To be honest, South Korea falls behind when it comes to nightlife.
The deeper the night grows, the brighter its neon-lit streets become. It goes without saying that the formula applies to Seoul as it is the capital town, but it also applies to all the cities of South Korea.
Even the suburbs—their alcohol shops are open almost round the clock, and the mouthwatering snacks too, go hand in hand. All you need to do is get your hand on the Soju, buy some snacks and start walking down the serene lanes of Seoul.
The cities are pretty much awake and so are many of their inhabitants. Nightlife in South Korea is something one should take the taste of, at least for once during their stay at the country.
Nightlife in Seoul, South Korea!
Source: Culture Trip
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9. K-pop Concerts!
The moment you embark on the South Korea, the craziness over K-pop will pop up out of nowhere! Although K-pop is a genre of music, specifically emerged in the South Korea, it includes a number of other genres as well. Say, Hip Hop, Rock music, Rap et cetera.
You may be a K-pop fan already, who knows! Even if you have not come across Cha Eun-Woo and Sandara Park on the screen yet, you must get yourself in a K-pop concert to experience the hyper-sexual, overdramatic, fascinating Korean pop culture.
Not necessarily you will fall for their music, but their interesting dance choreography and loudly shouting fans and followers may blow your mind away for a second! To have a rememberable night out with the K-pop fans, watching a K-pop concert is a must in your bucket list.
Insane and happening K-pop concerts!
Source: The Indian Express
10. Finally, Shopping!
In 2021, we all have come across Korean beauty products at least once in life as those are highly hyped in the beauty market. So, it would be a complete injustice to your South Korea visit, if you do not get your hands on the authentic Korean beauty products in the South Korea itself!
Get into the shops for skincare cosmetic products and purchase a few according to the need of your skin! Some of the best South Korean shopping places are Myeongdong Market, Dongdaemun Market, open-air Mecenatpolis Mall, Goto mall. All of these malls have a number of departmental stores, separate shops for clothes and skincare products and some for-beauty services.
Dongdaemun Maret is one of the biggest wholesale markets of South Korea, where you get to purchase many things at a surprisingly cheap price. From attires to shoes, accessories, vanity bags—South Korea puts a lot on your plate!
Then comes the Galleria Department Store. If you are on a crazy shopping spree and specifically looking for high-end brands, Galleria is your place. But here is a friendly reminder that Galleria may burn a hole in your pocket, but if you are up for spending extravagantly, you will get here anything!
Crazy shopping at South Korea!
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As they say, the land of morning calm it is, the country does absolute justice to this coat of arms. Be its peculiarly scenic environment or the powerful history behind its emergence, South Korea qualifies to be your destination holiday! Buy your ticket and go for it!