Anika Chopra, New Delhi
To all the Korean drama fans out there, a trip to South Korea is a must on our bucket lists for sure. For most people, their first stop in Korea will be Seoul. In fact, there’s a lot more to South Korea than just the capital city Seoul. An opportunity to see some magnificent places, whether it be historical in the countryside or one of the many gorgeous mountains. So here are a few places that you can visit that might inspire you to see the beauty of Korea beyond Seoul. Check out the lists!
Not only does Busan have great beaches, delicious dwaeji gukbap, and beautiful temples but it’s got a relaxed vibe and great nightlife. This second largest city in South Korea is known across the world for hosting Asia’s largest International film festival. Busan is an interesting amalgamation of skyscrapers, majestic mountains, beautiful beaches, and magnificent Buddhist temples and is amongst the best places to visit in South Korea. One of the most popular places to visit in Busan is the HaedongYonggungsa temple along the coast and the interesting Jagalchi fish market. Foodies can relish the seafood spread at the numerous restaurants and enjoy local delicacies at the ubiquitous street food stalls.
This stunning island just 85 Kilometers off the coast is one of the most beautiful and famous places in South Korea. Having been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the pristine beauty of Jeju will take your breath away. Surreal white sand beaches surrounded by pine forests, volcanic craters and lava caves, beautiful botanical gardens, and rich culture are some of the high points of this natural paradise among places near Seoul that surely are a must-visit.
Located on the coast of Eastern Korea you can catch amazing sunrise by the sea near the infamous hand enjoy fresh local seafood, relax on the beaches and check out a local Japanese village.
A volcanic island in the middle of South Korea’s East Sea, remote Ulleungdo island has long been a popular destination among nature-loving South Koreans. Ulleungdo is peaceful and pristine — a natural refuge that’s home to towering volcanic peaks, fascinating rock formations, cedar wood forests, juniper trees, and a few tiny fishing villages, and has the reputation as South Korea’s most spiritual destination. The island is home to clear water that’s teeming with marine life, so it’s no surprise that Ulleungdo has become a hot spot for scuba diving, and kayaking.
Sokcho is a pleasant little town on Korea’s eastern coast famous for its fish market and beaches. It’s also in a good spot for visiting a few other attractions. A mere 50 kilometers to the north is the DMZ (the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea) and the Goseong Unification Observatory which will give you a very clear view of some of North Korea’s mountains.15 kilometers to the west is Seoraksan National Park and Sokcho often serves as the entry-point to this stunning National Park.
One of the best places to go in South Korea, the coastal city of Gyeongju, often called an open-air museum, is one of the best things to do in South Korea to discover its traditional roots and rich heritage. The erstwhile capital of the ancient Silla kingdom, Gyeongju is a treasure trove of cultural and historical sites and ruins going back a thousand years. With the UNESCO world heritage site, Bulguksa temple, and the National Museum with its unparalleled collection of artifacts, this city gives you a glimpse into South Korea’s cultural roots.
Let us know your favourite place to visit in South Korea in the comments!