When it comes to visiting Asia, there are a lot of countries that visitors have to choose from. Some of these countries are more regularly visited than others, like China, Japan, and Vietnam. While these countries are wonderful, some of the more overlooked countries in Asia can also be really fun and interesting to visit because they all have their own unique culture.
South Korea is an East Asian country that is known for having a combination of highly populated, modern cities like Seoul as well as ancient temples and rural fishing villages. For someone that wants a unique experience and to visit an often overlooked Asian country, South Korea can be just the ticket.
To see the 10 best things to do while on a trip to South Korea, keep reading!
10 Visit Gyeongju
Gyeongju is a coastal city located on the far southeastern edge of South Korea. This ancient city was once the capital of the Silla Empire and it's now a popular destination for anyone that's truly into learning about the culture and history of South Korea. There are so many historical and cultural sites here that many people refer to it as an open-air museum.
If you want to get away from the busy streets of Seoul and see pagodas and temples that have been standing for hundreds of years, take a trip to Gyeongju and get ready to learn about the history of South Korea.
9 Browse Dongdaemun Market
Who can go anywhere without picking up some souvenirs? Luckily for anyone visiting South Korea, there are a ton of places to go shopping. You can buy just about anything you're looking for in this country.
When in Seoul, make sure you take a trip over to Dongdaemun Market, the largest shopping district in Seoul. This district has over two dozen malls and tens of thousands of shops that sell just about anything money can buy.
8 Visit The Kimchi Festival
Kimchi is one of the most popular foods in Korean cuisine. It's a staple dish in this culture and has become well-known around the world as a delicious Korean dish. In Seoul, there's a Kimchi Festival each year to celebrate this tasty food.
One of the best parts of attending the Kimchi Festival, which is being held for the fifth time in November, is making your own kimchi. Kimchi is made with fermented vegetables like cabbage and a lot of spices to make it spicy and delicious.
7 Go To Lotte World
There are Disney parks all over the world. From California to Paris and Japan, there are a lot of different Disney parks that visitors can take a trip to. Although there isn't an official Disney park in South Korea, they do have their own magical theme park that visitors can take a trip to.
Lotte World opened in 1989 and consists of a massive indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park, shopping malls, and a museum. Along with Everland, Lotte World is one of the two biggest theme parks in South Korea and definitely one that anyone who likes theme parks needs to visit.
6 Visit The Five Grand Palaces Of Seoul
South Korea is home to a lot of different palaces, temples, and pagodas that have been around for hundreds of years. They're important to the history and culture of South Korea and they're popular destinations for many people visiting this country.
Although there are a lot of them located in the more rural parts of South Korea, there are five located right in Seoul that are known as The Five Grand Palaces of Seoul. Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace are ancient palaces located around Seoul that were once the homes of rulers of ancient Korea.
5 Go To A K-Pop Concert
K-Pop is the phrase used to describe pop music in Korea. If you're a music lover, it's likely that you've already heard of some of the most popular K-Pop groups like BTS, BLACKPINK, SHINee, and Red Velvet. These groups may have made their debut in the music world in South Korea, but they've become a music phenomenon all over the world.
Related: Top 10 Destinations For Music Lovers
Although getting tickets to some of the biggest K-Pop groups in the world may be difficult and expensive, there are a lot of lesser-known K-Pop groups that have the same type of fun and infectious music that are easier to nab tickets to. What better place to see a K-Pop artist perform live than right there in South Korea?
4 Visit Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream is a stream that runs through the heart of Seoul. It's a peaceful, natural departure from the rest of this highly modernized society and a great way to take a little break from the city for a while. On top of being a peaceful, serene stream, Cheonggyecheon has quite a long and turbulent history.
This stream has been in the same place since the Joseon Dynasty, which lasted from the 14th to the early 20th century. After The Korean War in the 1950s, a highway ran over the top of Cheonggyecheon and covered it up. But, efforts to revive this historic site removed the highway and a museum that details the history of this site welcomes guests that want to learn more.
3 Visit The DMZ
The DMZ, also known as the Korean Demilitarized Zone, is the strip of land that works as a buffer zone directly between the borders of North and South Korea. It was built during the 1950s and now, it's a tourist destination for people that are interested in the history of tension between these two countries.
Because visiting North Korea as a civilian is both dangerous and difficult, visiting the DMZ is about as close as many people get - and as close as some want to be! There are a lot of interesting things to see at the DMZ and the surrounding area and it's interesting for people that love history.
2 Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival
The Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival, also known as the Jinju Lantern Festival, is a festival that occurs in Jinju-si, South Korea during the first two weeks of October. Each October, people come from all over South Korea and the rest of the world to see the river in this area light up with lanterns and inflatable, lighted balloon floats.
This festival dates back to the 16th century when several battles took place in the area. This festival is a way to celebrate the history of this area and to commemorate the people that lost their lives during the battles.
1 Visit Damyang Bamboo Forest
When many people think about South Korea, the first thing that comes to mind is a big city like Seoul. Although large, modern cities that are on the cutting edge of fashion and technology are definitely a large part of life in South Korea, there's a lot more to the country than just big cities.
If you're someone that likes to get out and experience nature, visiting Damyang Bamboo Forest in South Korea is a must. It's located relatively close to cities like Gwangju. Here, visitors are able to take a relaxing walk through this dense, natural forest and see the unique beauty that the area has to offer.