South Korea offers travelers a fantastic range of experiences. Not only that the fearsome border doesn't cast a shadow on its highly developed urban views, but the peninsula is also well known by the intact culture and breathtaking natural beauty. If you haven’t been convinced of a go, these Instagram photos will do their job.
1. DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), Seoul
Feeling the tense atmosphere? That's what you're supposed to, because this is the place which splits Korea into south and north in Seoul. Visiting the DMZ line is a serious business: though you can get so close to the North without being arrested, the heavily armed and stern-looking soldiers keep reminding you that strict behavioral codes must be followed. Isn’t it eery enough to be one of your most memorable travel experiences?
2. Cherry blossom
When the cold of winter fades away, South Korea is adorned with frail pink and white bunches of cherry blossoms, creating perfect spring views no less gorgeous than that in Japan. A visit in early April stumbles into Cherry Blossom Festivals held in places like Jeju, Gyeongju and Yeouido. Even if you don’t plan to go all the way, the trees will be blooming everywhere in Seoul and Busan as well.
3. Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul
Given the good location at Seoul's main boulevard Sejongro, Gyeongbokgung Palace is what any visitor can hardly miss. With the free English guide’s help, the grandeur palace unrolls fascinating history and culture of the city. More importantly, the traditional changing of guards contrasting modern buildings nearby provokes a strong feeling of amazement.
4. Korean cuisine
Enjoying great cuisine is always a solid reason to visit some places. Same as with South Korea. Your tastes buds will be teased when first time having Korean cuisine, whose major elements consist of rice, vegetables and meats, with strong salty and spicy flavors. The most recommendable food would be Kimchi (fermented cabbage), Bibimbap, Hangover Stew and lots of more hearty meals to please your belly!
5. Hahoe Folk Village, Andong
The living clan village is a UNESCO historic site surrounded by coiling river and forested mountains. Walking around the picturesque village is like stepping back in time: everything is so "old" and peaceful as it was hundreds of years ago, making the place a reclusive haven from the rapid economic growth. Check your travel date before going - fascinating Hahoe mask dance ritual is performed on Lunar New Year's Day and continued around the village until midmonth.
6. Jeju Island
Kindly reconsider your family's summer holiday destination if it’s not Jeju, because this volcanic island can be as amazing as Hawaii (yes that's what according to CNN). To Instagram users, Jeju is more than the world's New 7 Wonders of Nature - it's totally capable of exceeding travelers' expectation from nature sightseeing, water sports to museum visits. Stay in a nice resort and try local dishes - your trip to South Korea would be nothing to regret about.
As the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Shilla dynasty, Gyeongju keeps the most ancient architectures in South Korea. Your eyes will be dazzled by colorful hip roofs of temples, serene royal tombs, beautiful palace ruins, along with the oldest surviving observatory around the globe. History buffs, this place is simply unmissable.
8. Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan
Undeniably, Busan has some of the best seafood in the world, and Jagalchi Fish Market will prove the word-of-mouth is true. Opening in the early morning, the market is incredibly active with a staggering range of produce (you can't name all, I bet), mostly live and very fresh. Pick your favorite food and bargain for the price, later you will be served with delicious plates upstairs. Aren't your eyes and belly satisfied at the same time?
9. Myeongdong Shopping Street, Seoul
With more than 1 million shoppers pass through this area every single day, Myeong-dong claims to be South Korea’s shopping mecca. Instead of doing sheer (and crazy) shopping, you are free to find rather tasty street foods or fancy restaurants, take a coffee break, or simply experience the vibrant crush of people. Definitely a must-go to experience the modern Asian ruckus.
10. Bukhansan National Park, Seoul
The wish of getting close to Mother Nature is not hard to realize in South Korea, but Bukhansan National Park is where offers more than great hiking routes. Visitors enjoy every moment of seeing seas of clouds, granite peaks, hermitages and couldn't stop snapping the maple leaves-included views. Oh by the way, the sunrise/sunset is beyond amazing.
A huge THANK-YOU to those who give permission to include their wonderful Instagram photos of South Korea in this post! And I hope you have seen why a visit to the country is worthwhile from the pictures. Still, travel your way to discover it and get more perspectives. We're always more than happy to help plan your South Korea trip at !