The global centre of high-tech as well as preserved traditions with 11 UNESCO cultural sites. South Korea is full of surprises and offers a variety of experiences be it culinary, cultural or urban.
Seoul is buzzing with nightlife and restaurants, while stepping out from the capital to the nature awes with peacefulness an serenity.
1. Explore Gyeongbokgung Palace & Namsan Mountain
Visit Seoul is unimaginable without stepping to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, located in the northern part of the city. It was abandoned for nearly three centuries after burning down and was rebuilt in 1867. It is the main palace and the largest of the five palaces of the Joseon dynasty.
For the best views of the city climb on top of the Namsan Mountain. N Seoul Tower was renovated in 2005 with an observatory, a major attraction that opened in 1980. You can capture the 360 ° view of Seoul and its surroundings from the top of the 236 meter tower.
2.Visit Hanok Village
Hanok Village of Namsangol, a traditional Korean village that stands amidst large, modern buildings of central district of Seoul. The village has five renovated traditional yangban (upper class) houses from the Joseon era, a pavillion, a brook and a historic capsule. Cultural programs include wearing hanbok (traditional costumes), calligraphy, making traditional paper (hanji), kites and masks, and sipping traditional teas.
3. Learn to cook Kimchi
Learn the art of wearing the hanbok (traditional Korean outfit) and learn how to make Kimchi at Bukchon Hanok Village, where many places offer cooking classes. Bukchon was not created for tourists and it is a residential village inhabited by Seoulites. The best place within Bukchon to experience the old hanok (traditional houses) atmosphere may be Gaehoe-dong. Here, hundreds of hanok sit shoulder to shoulder.
4. Try South Korean traditional dishes
Experience the fascinating South Korean culture by trying the makgeolli (traditional rice wine) with bindae ttoek (pancake from green soy). Tea is an inseparable part of culture as well. Recent decades have seen a regeneration of interest in the Korean way of tea, thanks primarily to Hyo Dang, Ch’oi Pom-sul, the great restorer of tea for the 20th century. He wrote the first book on tea to be published in modern Korea, “The Korean Way of Tea”.Hyo Dang chose a more natural style of ceremony and gave the name Panyar-o, the Dew of Enlightened Wisdom, to the green tea he made.
5. Spend the night in a hanok in Jeonju
A night at hanok in Jeonju offers a glimplse to the millennium of history of dynasties and royal families who lived there. At the village there are more than 800 traditional houses preserved in the middle of the modernity of the city. It was originaly founded by Joseon Dynasty, which in turn influenced the traditions of modern day Korea.