The best things to do in South Korea
Often overshadowed by Japan, South Korea is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination with travellers from across the globe. The atmosphere in Seoul is enthralling with tranquil Buddhist temples in the city centre surrounded by towering modern skyscrapers. Although many tourists go to the capital, you should also check out Busan and Jeju Island. Whether you are a foodie, shopper or even hiker, Korea will have everything you need for the perfect holiday.
Food glorious food, there is nothing quite like a Korean feast. From Korean BBQ to sushi rolls (called gimbap), and the famous spicy fermented vegetable kimchi; you will never be left hungry. Make sure you try the chicken and beer, it’s a simple idea that will leave you wanting more. Having dinner is a big social event for Koreans where food is shared, so grab your chopsticks and get stuck in!
Korean nightlife is really something else. For a good night out in Seoul head to Hongdae, the main area for clubbing, where you will be surrounded by Korean hip hop hangouts. Sample the famous Korean drink soju whilst in a bar in Itaewon, and if you are really feeling adventurous mix it with beer! Don’t expect to hear Gangnam Style everywhere you go - hip hop is the favourite for Koreans when going out and is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Tired of the bright lights? What could be better than hiking in the famous Bukhansan National Park? With plenty of trails to choose from, you can decide how challenging a mountain you want to tackle (and yes, they are mountains). The best time to go hiking in Korea is Autumn when you surrounded by a forest of red leaves, but Spring is just as beautiful. Wear sturdy shoes and don’t forget your gloves, it’s cold at the top.
Are you a confessed shopaholic? Do you want to shop until you drop? Seoul is the city of choice for you. With huge shopping centres, you will never be spoilt for choice, and the good news is you can shop until the early hours of the morning. Make sure you leave enough room in your suitcase!
For us Brits, the idea of getting up in front of our friends and having to sing is a nightmare, but if you want to experience life in Korea it’s a must. You can either have a large room with your friends or even try a “coin karaoke”, where you can belt out ballads to your heart's content without being disturbed. Either way, don’t be shy and give it a try.