South Korea

South Korea 3 canva

Experience the contrasts of South Korea

South Korea is a country that is not easily defined.  It has its own special character and yet the culinary opportunities reflect South East Asia, the modern city architecture rivals Japan and there is a distinctive Chinese influence to the Buddhist-era temples.  It is a land of contrasts with green, hilly countryside, seaside fishing villages, subtropical islands and high-tech cities.  South Korea shares one of the most heavily militerized borders with North Korea which can be visited via a guided tour.

The modern metropolis of Seoul boasts sleek skyscrapers and shopping malls and well-preserved royal palaces including the Gyeongbokgung Palace which dates back to 1395 and which was rebuilt after systematic destruction by the Japanese.

Korean cuisine reaches around the globe but none is more authentic than found here.  A Korean meal would not be complete without kimchi and, of course, Korean barbecue is world-renowned.

The vibrant port city of Busan is home to Gamcheon Culture Village, known for its layered streets, artisan cafes and art galleries.  

South Korea is home to 22 national parks, the largest being Jirisan at 472 sq km.  With a vast array of trails available in the various national parks, hiking is a serious past time for the locals, evidenced by the pricey hiking gear they wear and the plethora of hiking clubs.

Reach out to our expert travel consultants to start planning your trip to South Korea today.

Things you should know about South Korea

Korean is the official language although Japanese, English and Chinese are widely understood.

Tipping is generally not expected, although taxis and local market stall holders appreciate it if you offer for them to keep the change.  More upscale hotels will add a 10% service fee.  Credit and debit cards are widely accepted.

Tap water is safe to drink but the locals prefer to boil or filter it first, or drink bottled water.

Tips and Advice

The Gamcheon Culture Village is a popular destination for locals as well as visitors so it pays to visit there on a week day and arrive early-ish in the morning around 9am.
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A visit to the demilitarized zone can only be done by escorted tour, but it is also worthwhile to have your own private guide to explain more fully what you are witnessing.
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Exploring by foot is particularly easy, so pack comfortable walking shoes. Winters are generally cold and dry, summers are hot and humid. Spring and autumn are quite short but very comfortable making them a popular time to visit.
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