Seoul is one of the most vibrant, buzzing, interesting cities in Asia. It’s crammed full of interesting neighbourhoods, markets, shopping areas, galleries, museums and historical sights; and there’s no shortage of places in Seoul to have a drink or party on.
A visit to the heavily fortified border that divides South Korea and North Korea is a must-see. To witness opposing soldiers staring each other down and stand on the one of the most heavily fortified borders on earth is an amazing experience.
The food and drink
Korean food is cheap and unbelievably tasty. Barbecues are a delicious and hands-on culinary experience — you cook the meat yourself at your table. Korean teahouses are also worth checking out for their unique atmosphere.
For Koreans, bathhouses are as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping. Basically, you take off all your clothes (men and women have separate areas) and then spend an hour or five sitting in a spa (the water is often taken from therapeutic hot springs) or sauna. It might seem frightening at first, but once you’ve taken the plunge for the first time it’s a great way to unwind.
South Korea has some spectacular mountain scenery (many locals like to think of themselves as the Switzerland of Asia). There are great facilities — not to mention stunning panoramas — for skiers, hikers and cyclists
It’s definitely worth visiting some of the numerous temple complexes dotted around South Korea. Most are beautifully preserved (or restored) with pretty, landscaped grounds.
Making it easy
South Korea is an interesting and different place to visit, but that doesn’t it’s a difficult place to travel. Public transport is excellent and easy to use, there’s plenty of English signage, and the telephone translation service makes travelling in out-of-the-way places straightforward.